Fox rescues 'Backstrom' crime drama starring Rainn Wilson, orders 13 episodes

By Daniel S Levine,

Fox has rescued Backstrom, a crime drama starring former Office actor Rainn Wilson as a self-destructive detective. The project was previously set up at CBS, but the network passed on it.

The series is based on the books by Leif G.W. Persson and was actually born at Fox for the 2011-2012 TV season, reports Deadline. The series is produced by 20th Century Fox TV and is executive produced by Hart Hanson.

When Fox first ordered it, Stephen Gaghan was adapting, but the network never went further than a put pilot commitment. Hanson came aboard as showrunner in July 2012 and CBS picked that up in January 2013, even producing the pilot, with Wilson cast as Detective Everett Backstrom now that The Office was over. CBS did produce the pilot and Fox TV still looked interested in producing the series, even signing the cast and drew to extensions through December. But CBS never put in an order.

“Hart Hanson and Rainn Wilson are the perfect combination of creative vision and on-screen talent to bring this one-of-a-kind character and story like Backstrom to FOX,” Fox entertainment chief Kevin Reilly said in a statement. “I’ve been in business with Hart for a long time, and not only does he have a rare gift for infusing darker themes with relatable humor, he’s one of the best showrunners out there today. Together with Rainn – who absolutely nails this role and makes it a classic FOX character – I think we’ve got something really special here.”

Hanson is best known for creating Fox’s hit crime drama Bones, which is coming to an end after this season.

Fox ordered 13 episodes to be produced, but did not announce when the show would air. Other members of the cast include Kristoffer Polaha, Dennis Haysbert. Page Kennedy and Beatrice Rosen.

The sizzle reel for the CBS pilot is still on YouTube:

image: Wikimedia Commons

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