Nellie Andreeva

Cinemax is teaming with Luc Besson for a TV series based on his popular Transporter film franchise. After lengthy negotiations, HBO’s sibling pay-cable channel has committed to 12 episodes of  the action drama, produced by French company Atlantique and executive produced by Besson. This is the  second series order under Cinemax’s current push in original scripted fare. Last month, the network partnered with British satcaster Sky for another action series, the 10-part Strike Back.

Transporter, the series, will center on professional transporter Frank Martin, played in the movies by Jason Statham. Operating in a seedy underworld of dangerous criminals and desperate players, Martin can always be counted on to get the job done — discreetly. He has three rules: Never change the deal, no names and never open the package.

Transporter, which has also secured broadcasters in France (M6) and Germany (RTL) will begin production this summer in Europe and Canada and will be presented at the upcoming MIPTV market. According to Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp., the budget for the series is $48 million. Atlantique’s parent company Lagardere Entertainment is fully-financing the show, having licensed The Transporter from EuropaCorp. In addition to Besson, the series is being executive produced by Klaus Zimmermann and Fred Fuchs.

TV Editor Nellie Andreeva - tip her here.