FX, Jim Uhls feel ‘Paranoid’

Network developing edgy surveillance thriller

FX is developing “Paranoid,” an edgy thriller with themes of privacy and spying, from “Fight Club” scribe Jim Uhls.

Series is described as a modern-day “Parallax View,” centering on a surveillance agent who himself may be spied upon, all set against Patriot Act-America.

Sources say a pilot deal is likely but has not officially been ordered.

“Paranoid” has had a long history, with a number of cable execs privately praising the script for months but also saying it was too dark to put on the air; in one scene, for instance, a man rips open his skin searching for an embedded surveillance device.

Uhls, who is writing Fox supernatural theatrical “Jumper,” is producing with wife and producing partner Yalda Uhls.

Shephard/Robin Co., which had also been initially attached to produce the series, is said to be stepping back to concentrate on its other new cable project, TNT pilot “Truth in Advertising,” though it may yet rejoin “Paranoid” at a later stage.

Deal fits with what sources say is FX’s possibly renewed focus on male auds.

Cabler has been landing stellar numbers for Glenn Close drama “Damages” — about 2.8 million total average viewers — this summer, which makes the series a strong candidate for renewal.

That show — along with returning series “Dirt” and “The Riches” — skews more female. But FX topper John Landgraf is said to be hoping for an edgy male-oriented show to replace “The Shield,” which will go off the air after next season.

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