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‘The Alienist’ Lands Big Bucks Series Order From TNT

TNT has made a hefty series commitment to Paramount TV’s adaptation of Caleb Carr’s novel “The Alienist,” spearheaded by “True Detective’s” Cary Fukunaga and screenwriters Eric Roth and Hossein Amini.

The deal for the project came down on the eve of Turner Broadcasting’s upfront presentation Wednesday morning in New York. New TNT/TBS boss Kevin Reilly has promised to overhaul TNT’s original drama offerings in an effort to bring more provocative and edgy material to the cabler known for its procedural hits.

TNT is said to have made a whopping $5 million-an-episode deal for the eight-part series, a clear signal to the industry that TNT is ready to spend big for glossy properties. The exact number of episodes is still to be determined, TNT said.

“Alienist” is set in late 1800s New York City and revolves around the search for a serial killer by then-police commissioner Theodore Roosevelt, a doctor and a reporter. Paramount TV began shopping the series last month.

Amini is on board to write the episodes, with Fukunaga directing and Roth producing. The trio will exec produce with Anonymous Content’s Steve Golin and Rosalie Swedlin. “Alienist” is a co-production of TNT Original Prods. and Paramount TV.

The deal marks a reunion for Reilly and Paramount Pictures chairman Brad Grey. The two worked together in the mid-1990s when Reilly headed Brillstein-Grey’s television division.

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