Just one day after Relativity Television formally relaunched as Critical Content, the company has landed its first greenlight with a series order from Sony’s Crackle for a drama starring Adam Brody and Martin Freeman, Variety has learned. “Start Up” marks the second scripted one hour drama on the streaming service’s expanding slate.
Crackle has ordered 10 episodes of the drama that also stars Edi Gathegi (“The Blacklist,” “Twilight”) and newcomer Otmara Marrero, who has appeared in “Graceland.” Created by Ben Ketai, the show begins filming this week in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Set in Miami, “Start Up” explores what happens when a brilliant, yet controversial tech idea gets incubated on the wrong side of the tracks by three strangers who don’t necessarily fit the mold of tech entrepreneurs. Forced to fund a tech company with dirty money while forming ties with a Haitian gang, their fight to build a business pales in comparison to the fight to stay alive, especially when there’s a vehement FBI agent who wields the power to make or break those he comes in contact with — and not always for the right reasons.
Freeman plays FBI agent Phil Rask who specializes in financial crimes and crosses paths with Brody’s Nick Talman, a sharp and intelligent financier at a boutique firm in Miami.
Aside from starring in the series, Brody (“The O.C.”) will also serve as a producer, marking his first major producing credit.
“‘Start Up’ carries out our promise to continue our commitment to quality drama,” said Eric Berger, g.m. of Crackle and exec VP of Sony Pictures Television Digital Networks. “We are working with a top-notch team to produce a project that explores the motivations and complexities of creating a new venture, while walking a fine line between crime and legitimacy.”
Critical Content‘s president and exec producer Andrew Marcus commented: “Ben Ketai has an amazing vision for this series and we are fortunate to have such a talented ensemble of actors to help bring this story to life.”
Ketai wrote the episodes and will also direct and exec produce. Other exec producers are Marcus, Critical Content’s Tom Forman, Ray Ricord, Gianni Nunnari and Shannon Gaulding. Anne Clements will serve as a producer, along with Brody. Critical Content is producing with Hollywood Gang Productions.
The order for “Start Up” follows Crackle’s premiere of its first scripted hourlong drama “The Art of More,” which was recently renewed for a second season.
Freeman and Brody are repped by UTA; Marrero is repped by Innovative Artists; Gathegi is repped by ICM Partners and Framework Entertainment.
(Pictured: Adam Brody, Martin Freeman)