×

‘Lethal Weapon’ Pilot Greenlit at Fox, Damon Wayans Sr. to Star

Fox has given an formal pilot order to “Lethal Weapon,” based on the film franchise, Variety has learned.

Damon Wayans, Sr. will star in the potential series, playing Roger Murtaugh, the role played by Danny Glover in the original 1987 movie and its three sequels, which co-starred Mel Gibson.

Fox’s “Lethal Weapon” will follow a Texas cop and former Navy SEAL Martin Riggs (yet to be cast) who suffers the loss of his wife and baby and moves to Los Angeles to start anew. There, he gets partnered with LAPD detective Roger Murtaugh (Wayans, Sr.), who, having recently suffered a “minor” heart attack, must avoid any stress in his life. In the original buddy cop films, Gibson played Martin Riggs.

“Forever” creator Matt Miller will pen the television adaptation and exec produce along with Dan Lin and Jennifer Gwartz. McG has been tapped to direct the hourlong pilot, and he’ll also serve as an exec producer. Warner Bros. Television will produce along with Lin Pictures and Good Session Productions. (Warner Bros. was behind the film franchise.)

“Lethal Weapon” is the latest television adaptation of movies this pilot season, joining “The Exorcist” at Fox (which passed on their “Urban Cowboy” spin), “Cruel Intentions” and “Taken” at NBC,” “Time After Time” at ABC, “Frequency” at the CW, plus “Training Day” and “Nancy Drew” at CBS.

Movie reboots have taken over the past couple of pilot seasons, as broadcasters are looking for familiar titles and brand recognition in the hopes of luring in viewers in the highly competitive “too much TV” era — however, high viewer expectation is also risky.

This current TV season, Fox took their try with “Minority Report,” which was cut to 10 episodes, shortly after its initial run. Across the broadcast nets, “Limitless” has been a hit on CBS, which will also debut “Rush Hour” in March, and “Uncle Buck” will soon premiere on ABC. Cable is hot on the trend too — just this week, USA Network picked up “Shooter,” based on the Mark Wahlberg film.

Fox “Lethal Weapon” TV series was put into development this past October, landing at Fox after garnering much interest and bids from other networks.

The original “Lethal Weapon” flick spawned three sequels, released in 1989, 1992 and 1998, and a fifth installment has been in development at Warner Bros. for some time.

Wayans, Sr. is repped by ICM Partners and Kleinberg Lange Cuddy & Carlo LLP.

More TV

  • Kian Lawley Starring in Finnish Comedy

    Kian Lawley, Katherine C. Hughes Starring in Finnish Comedy 'Perfect Commando'

    Kian Lawley, who was dropped from movie “The Hate U Give” last year after a video resurfaced of him that included racist comments, has landed a starring role alongside Katherine C. Hughes (“Blue Bloods”) in the Finnish comedy “Perfect Commando.” The series is the latest original for Elisa Viihde’s Aitio streaming service, and will be [...]

  • Chris Hardwick Aziz Ansari MeToo Comeback

    Aziz Ansari, Chris Hardwick's Reemergence Complicate the #MeToo Conversation

    Aziz Ansari’s new Netflix stand-up special “Right Now” marks the comedian’s return to the spotlight more than a year after being publicly accused of sexual impropriety, an allegation that has proved to be divisive, fueling discussions about what is considered consent and what constitutes sexual assault. His isn’t the only redemptive arc forming at the [...]

  • Jenji Kohan with two-time Emmy winner

    Inside 'Orange Is the New Black's' Unlikely Journey to Become Netflix's Most-Watched Original

    Before “Netflix and chill” entered the cultural lexicon, before the streaming platform won its first Emmy, before it started inking deals with major showrunners, Netflix in the early 2010s was testing out a hypothesis about the public’s appetite for premium-quality television shows on the internet. It had recently recovered from the Qwikster debacle — an [...]

  • John Malone

    Liberty Global and Vodafone's $21.5 Billion Cable Deal Cleared by European Authorities

    The European Commission has approved Vodafone’s $21.5 billion deal for a raft of Liberty Global assets in Europe, with conditions attached. The commission had investigated the deal on the grounds that it could reduce competition and lead to higher prices for consumers. It concluded, however, that the deal could go ahead with conditions. These include [...]

  • Harlots

    ITV Takes Majority Stake in ‘Harlots’ Producer Monumental Television

    ITV Studios now has a controlling stake in Monumental Television, the production company that makes Hulu series “Harlots” and that was founded by Oscar-nominated film producers Alison Owen and Debra Hayward. ITV first bought into the company in 2015 and has upped its stake from 26% to 51%. Julian Bellamy, managing director of ITV Studios, [...]

  • Fremantle Owner RTL Group Forms New

    Fremantle Owner RTL Group Forms New Unscripted Formats Unit

    RTL has created a new unit that will work up unscripted formats exclusively for broadcasters and streaming services in the group. Fremantle, which is a major force in unscripted, is part of the RTL Group, and makes shows for RTL and third parties. The new Format Creation Group will develop ideas exclusively for in-house outlets. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content