Fox is ordering a new police series from "Burn Notice" creator Matt Nix and adding projects from Gabe Sachs & Jeff Judah ("Freaks and Geeks"), Karyn Usher ("Prison Break") and Michael Duggan ("Millennium") to its fall 2010 development slate.
The network has ordered 13 episodes of Nix's "Jack & Dan," a Fox TV Studios-produced hour that will follow the studio's low-cost international co-production model. But unlike past efforts-- "Defying Gravity" and "Mental," for example-- FTVS is getting into business with a U.S. network partner first before selling the project internationally.
That will give Fox development executives a greater opportunity to shape the series, since they'll be on board from the show's creation. FTVS execs have already briefed their international partners on the project and don't anticipate any trouble lining up a co-production partner.
The FTVS model, in theory, allows networks a chance at broadcast quality programming at a significantly reduced license fee. That's because international monies upfront help reduce production costs, as does the ability to skip the pilot process and go straight to series.
The studio's next project under the model is "Persons Unknown," which has been bought by NBC but not yet scheduled.
FTVS produces Nix's "Burn Notice," which has been a major hit for USA. Nix will write and exec produce "Jack and Dan," with Mikkel Bondesen also serving as exec producer. The series is scheduled to start production in early 2010 and is expected to air sometime next year.
The series is described as a buddy cop drama. Jack is an ambitious, by-the-book cop who is partnered with with Dan Savage, a drunken, lecherous, wild-card cop who only hangs onto his job because of a heroic act many years prior. Amazingly, crimes still get solved.
"Jack & Dan" joins several other major previously reported Fox projects in the works, including the Shawn Ryan cop drama "Ridealong," the comedy reunion of Will Arnett and Mitch Hurwitz and the Matt Olmstead actioner "Break Out Kings."
The network is also doing a TV version of "Heathers."
As for the other new projects on Fox's development slate:
--The network has attached a penalty to its script order for the untitled Sachs and Judah project. The series is a medical ensemble set on an Army base in Kuwait and comes from 20th Century Fox TV.
Sachs and Judah most recently served as the initial exec producers of the CW's "90210."
--Fox has ordered a script for "Daylight Robbery," a "Thelma & Louise"-like drama about a group of women who are driven to crime for various reasons. Usher is writing while Jane Hewland, Marty Adelstein and Michael Thorn are producing for 20th.
--Sony Pictures Television is behind the untitled Duggan project, an action show a la "Spy Game" about a young government agent and his veteran government handler. Duggan will write and produce.