The 2014 TV pilot season is just getting started, but there’s still life in some of the shows networks declined to order last year: FOX announced that it has picked up 13 episodes of “Backstrom,” a cop show from “Bones” creator Hart Hanson starring Rainn Wilson as a very un-PC, unorthodox police detective.
The show was originally developed by 20th Century Fox TV and FOX in 2011-12. It didn’t go, but CBS then ordered a pilot last spring. After CBS declined, the production company eventually found a home in sister network FOX.
Says FOX head Kevin Reilly in a press release, “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. 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.”
Says Hanson in the release, “Naturally, all of us who worked on ‘Backstrom’ thought it was too promising a series to die unseen. … Imagine our delight to find that Kevin Reilly and his team at FOX agreed enough to pick it up and give us a good home. Thanks FOX!”
The grumpy Portland, Ore., police detective is a slight departure for “The Office” star Wilson, but he calls the show “fun and disturbed.” “For an actor it’s rare to get a crack at a role of such intelligence, humor and complexity,” he says. “He’s a delightfully disheveled misanthrope with a twisted, brilliant mind and a heart of barbed wire.”
Wilson is the second “Office” alum in as many days to have a presumed-dead pilot revived. On Monday, NBC ordered six episodes of a comedy from Craig Robinson.
Kristoffer Polaha and Dennis Haysbert co-star as fellow cops. Zap2it has confirmed that although Mamie Gummer played Backstrom’s partner in the pilot, she will not continue with the series. Production is scheduled to begin in early 2014 for an as-yet-undetermined future air date. Check out the sizzle reel for the show below: