Nellie Andreeva

In his TV series debut, veteran action-movie actor Dolph Lundgren (The Expendables) has signed to star in Emmett/Furla Films & Tower 18 Prods.’ upcoming action-adventure drama series Rescue 3. Emmett/Furla Films, in conjunction with Envision Entertainment, is co-financing a full season of 20 episodes of Rescue 3 for a fall 2013 premiere.

Now the company has found an U.S. distributor in Tribune Broadcasting, which will launch Rescue 3 on its stations in primetime in fall 2013. Tribune has picked up the series with a massive two-year order with a 104-week guarantee. “We are very happy that first-run scripted programming is back in syndication,” said Sean Compton, President of Programming and Entertainment at Tribune. Indeed, Rescue 3 is a throwback to old times, when action-adventure series like Baywatch, Xena, Hercules and Andromeda heated up the syndication market. There have been no new entries in the genre since the end of Legend Of The Seeker two years ago. Tribune has been adventures with its pickups recently; the station group also is behind a new late-night talk show starring Arsenio Hall, also a genre that had disappeared from syndication.

Rescue 3, the first project to come out of Emmett/Furla’s TV division launched in August, centers on Southern California’s elite multi-agency task force Rescue 3, which consists of the cream-of-the-crop from Los Angeles Lifeguard, Firefighter and Coast Guard agencies. Each episode will center on big-action rescues involving all three services. Lundgren, repped by Gersh and manager Craig Baumgarten, will play Captain John Mathews, a reluctant hero and career firefighter and lifeguard who leads a highly specialized unit made up of experts in air, fire and water rescue. Gregory J. Bonann (Baywatch) executive produces Rescue 3, which he created with Tai Collins. Jim & John Thomas (Mission To Mars) will write alongside Collins. Sierra/Engine and Aldamisa International are handling the series’ international sales.

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