A&E feels ‘Cooler’ in Honolulu

Bruckheimer pilot, set in Hawaii, gets green light

A&E has greenlit the Jerry Bruckheimer drama pilot “Cooler Kings,” a police procedural set in Honolulu.

Tristan Patterson (“The Electric Slide”) wrote the project, which centers on a former Honolulu cop who’s out to avenge the death of his girlfriend. He falls into a group of mysterious detectives — the “Cooler Kings” — who are looking to combat the seedy side of Paradise.

Project reps the first for A&E from Bruckheimer Television, as well as the first from Warner Horizon TV (Bruckheimer TV is based at parent Warner Bros. TV). Patterson will exec produce with Bruckheimer and Jonathan Littman.

Because the Bruckheimer-produced procedural “CSI: Miami” has been such a success for the cabler, execs have high series hopes for the “Cooler Kings” pilot.

“Once we got into the scripted business, we started actively looking for the right project with Bruckheimer,” said Tana Nugent Jamieson, A&E’s senior VP of drama programming. Pickup is the first to come from a new round of scripted development at A&E, which has been getting its feet wet in the drama category with series such as “The Beast” and “The Cleaner.”

“Cooler Kings,” which was originally developed at the Fox network, also comes as Bruckheimer continues to expand its cable presence. Bruckheimer is also behind the TNT drama “Dark Blue,” which bows this summer. The shingle has also been developing the script “Cocaine Cowboys” at HBO.

A&E plans to order two more pilots shortly and shoot all three later this year as the channel scouts for another original drama series.

Most of A&E’s development is in the crime-solving world, and most, like “Cooler Kings,” revolve around a larger-than-life lead character, Nugent Jamieson said.

If picked up to series, “Cooler Kings” would likely launch in spring or summer 2010.

A&E already knows a thing or two about the gritty side of Honolulu — after all, that’s where veteran reality series “Dog the Bounty Hunter” is shot.

Separately, A&E sister net Bio Channel unveiled a slate of programming Monday that included the new eight-episode series “Celebrity Ghost Stories,” as well as the return of “Shatner’s Raw Nerve” (13 new segs), “I Survived” (10 new episodes), “Mobsters” (six more segs), “Psychic Kids” (eight more editions) and signature series “Biography” (50 new hours).

Pilots include “My Rescue,” about people being saved from imminent danger; “Primetime Confidential,” behind-the-scene looks at classic TV shows; “My Ghost Story: Hauntings Revealed,” featuring supernatural tales; and “Celebrity Close Calls,” about celebs who have nearly died.

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