ABC has given a put pilot commitment to a drama project with Jean Dujardin attached to star and Luc Besson attached to direct, Variety has learned.
The series, titled “The French Detective,” is based on James Patterson’s Luc Moncrief mystery novels. The series is described as a light procedural drama that centers on Moncrief, a Parisian detective who moves to New York and joins the NYPD in order to leave his previous life behind and start fresh. The show would follow Moncrief as he and his blue collar female partner solve New York’s most complex and inscrutable crimes, while Luc simultaneously tries to keep his dark past from catching up to him.
The role will mark both Dujardin’s first U.S. television role and Besson’s TV directorial debut.
“The French Detective” was developed and will be executive produced by Bill Collage, Jonathan Collier, and Adam Cooper. Besson, Patterson, and James Patterson Entertainment’s Leopoldo Gout and Bill Robinson will also executive produce. Besson’s EuropaCorp TV Studios will produce.
Dujardin is best known to American audiences for his starring role in the 2011 silent film “The Artist.” He won the Academy Award for Best Actor for the role, as well as a Golden Globe and BAFTA Award, among many other accolades. He has also appeared in films like “The Wolf of Wall Street” and “The Monuments Men.”
Besson is a writer, producer, and director. He is currently an executive producer on the NBC series “Taken,” based on the film franchise that he created. His other directing credits include “The Transporter,” “Léon: The Professional,” “The Fifth Element,” and most recently “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.”
Collage and Cooper are writers known for “Assassin’s Creed,” “Exodus: Gods and Kings,” and “Allegiant.” Their adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize winning “Devil in the Grove” is slated at Amazon Studios, with Anton Corbijn directing. Collier is a consulting producer on the upcoming Netflix series “The Good Cop” and was co-showrunner of “Bones.” He has also worked on “Monk,” “King of the Hill,” and “The Simpsons.”
For Patterson, this marks the latest in a long line of TV projects based on his work. His novel of the same name served as the basis for the CBS summer series “Zoo,” with that network also preparing to launch the Alan Cumming-led series “Instinct” based on Patterson’s writing. James Patterson Entertainment is also under an overall deal at CBS Television Studios. The studio currently developing multiple projects with him, including the drama series “Innocent” which Patterson will executive produce. Showtime is also planning an adaptation of the Patterson-Bill Clinton novel “The President Is Missing.”
Dujardin is repped by CAA. Besson is repped by the law firm Lichter, Grossman, Nichols, Adler & Feldman. James Patterson Entertainment is repped by CAA. Cooper and Collage are repped by Syndicate Entertainment. Collier is repped by UTA.
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