By Nellie Andreeva (Deadline.com)
In one of the highest-profile packages this year, NBC has given a 13-episode straight-to-series order to Shades Of Blue, a drama toplined by Jennifer Lopez, which she will executive produce with her American Idol co-star Ryan Seacrest. Written by Adi Hasak (From Paris with Love), the project will begin working on scripts in June with an eye toward a 2015 production start and will be for the 2015-16 season, not the one that starts in September. Shades of Blue is a complex police series that centers on Harlee McCord (Lopez), a single mother and detective recruited to work undercover for the FBI’s anti-corruption task force. Part of a close-knit unit known for its conviction record, Harlee has become compromised by her colleagues — all ofwhom also pitch in to help her raise her daughter — and finds herself faced with the moral dilemma of working against her cop brothers in order to redeem herself. Lopez and Seacrest executive produce with Nina Wass, Hasak, Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas and Benny Medina for Universal Television, Lopez’s Nuyorican Prods., Ryan Seacrest Prods., EGTV and H’s Films. Search is underway for an experienced TV writer-producer to serve as co-showrunner alongside former Israeli journalist-turned-screenwriter Hasak. This marks reality powerhouse RSP’s first drama series. Its first scripted series, ABC comedyMixology, which it joined at the pilot stage, premieres next week.
“Whether its producing, acting, singing or any of her other many entrepreneurial activities, Jennifer is an extraordinary talent and life force, and we’re delighted to be in business with her and Adi Hasak on this sophisticated show,” said NBC Entertainment President Jennifer Salke. “We’re especially excited that Jennifer is returning to her acting roots from such great movies as Out of Sight, and we know that she will create this complicated character in a vivid way that will breathe new life into the cop show genre. Ryan Seacrest is part of the NBCU family and doing his first scripted drama series with us makes perfect sense.”
Hasak wrote the script on spec and gave it to Goldsmith-Thomas. The two approached ABC, which wouldn’t commit, so Hasak showed Shades of Blue to RSP’s head of scripted Wass, with whom he shares a lawyer. “Nina Wass loved the script from the moment she read it,” Seacrest said. “The script is so powerful and ambitious, we can’t wait to see Jennifer take on this remarkable role,” said Seacrest, who I hear was key in getting his friend Lopez to board the show and whose relationship with NBC helped get the project a series order at the network.
After a couple of brief TV series stints in the early 1990s, Lopez transition into features with her breakout starring roles in 1997′s Selena and 1998′s Out of Sight. For the past two decades, she has largely stayed away from scripted series sans a couple of guest starring stints, including Will & Grace and How I Met Your Mother, while become a reality star as a judge on American Idol. As a producer, she has a hit with ABC Family’s drama series The Fosters. Shades of Blue was packaged by CAA. Hasak is repped by attorney Patti Felker.
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