×

USA Network has added another original drama to its growing roster of originals with a series pickup for “Queen of the South,” a thriller set in the world of Mexican drug cartels.

The series is based on the novel “La Reina Del Sur” by Arturo Perez-Reverte, which inspired a telenovela of the same name that was a monster hit for Telemundo, USA’s sibling network at NBCUniversal. USA has given a 13-episode order to “Queen” which hails from Fox 21 Television Studios, Universal Cable Prods. and writers M.A. Fortin and Joshua John Miller. It’s targeted to premiere next year.

“Queen” revolves around a woman who inadvertently becomes drawn into the world of high-stakes drug trafficking when her drug-dealer boyfriend is murdered. Alice Braga stars as the woman who aims to bring down a drug lord but winds up becoming positioned to take over the leadership of the organization. The 2011 edition on Telemundo helped make actress Kate del Castillo a mega-star in Spanish-language TV.

“From script to inception, ‘Queen of the South’ had us hooked,” said Chris McCumber, President of USA Network. “Alice Braga does an outstanding job playing Teresa Mendoza, a determined woman who defies all odds, to not only survive, but to thrive in an unfamiliar world. The novel has been embraced around the globe, and the telenovela broke records — now we’re looking forward to sharing this unique version of her story on USA.”

Fortin and Miller exec produce with David Friendly and Pancho Mansfield. Producers are in the process of setting a showrunner.

“We really believe that ‘Queen’ is a breakout show and we couldn’t be more excited,” said Fox 21 TV Studios president Bert Salke.