Eye spies ‘Covert’ ops

Jackson a factor for net's Ludlum drama

Mick Jackson has signed on to helm “Robert Ludlum’s Covert One: The Hades Factor,” a four-hour CBS miniseries to star Mira Sorvino, Stephen Dorff and Anjelica Huston.

Larry Sanitsky (“The Last Don”) and Paul Sandberg (“The Bourne Supremacy”) are aboard to exec produce the project, which will lense in Toronto, Paris and Berlin. Project will be available for broadcast later this season, though CBS has not yet determined an airdate.

Elwood Reid (“Blind Justice”) wrote the script for “Covert One: The Hades Factor,” adapting it from the 2000 novel by Ludlum and Gayle Lynds.

 Sanitsky and German producer Tandem announced plans for “Hades” in spring at MIP,  but no network, stars or helmer were attached (Daily Variety, April 12).

Ludlum’s bestselling series of “Covert One” novels revolves around a secret intelligence agency consisting of political and tech experts who fight corruption and conspiracy, reporting directly to the U.S. president.

Dorff will play Col. Jonathan Smith, a disease specialist and ex-agent of Covert One whose fiancee has been killed by an Ebola-like virus spreading around the world. When it turns out the virus may have been deliberately spread, the president — played by Huston — orders a cover-up.

Sorvino will play Rachel Russell, a Covert One agent who goes missing after killing two men.

Colm Meaney (“Star Trek: The Next Generation”) will play a former spy and friend of Smith’s, Blair Underwood (“LAX”) the No. 2 official at Covert One.

Ludlum’s novels have made it to the small screen before.

Richard Chamberlain starred in a 1988 miniseries adaptation of “The Bourne Identity” that preceded the Matt Damon-led film series. In 1977, NBC adapted Ludlum’s “The Rhinemann Exchange” for television.

Jeffrey M. Weiner and Henry Morrison will serve as co-exec producers of “Hades Factor.”

Jackson’s small-screen credits include HBO’s “Live From Baghdad” and the pilot for CBS’ “Numbers.” His feature credits include “The Bodyguard” and “L.A. Story.”

Sanitsky’s recent credits include “Riding the Bus With My Sister” and “The Pennsylvania Miners’ Story.”

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