Nellie Andreeva

Rene Balcer, co-developer/executive producer of Law & Order: Criminal Intent, which started off on NBC before migrating to the USA Network, is back at USA with a new project, a drama he is writing as well as executive producing with Aaron Kaplan of Kapital Entertainment. Described as “The X-Files meets The Matrix“, DarkNet is a mystery series about a couple of cyber-crime investigators who stumble across a far-reaching conspiracy to change the course of human evolution. “On one level, DarkNet‘s a cautionary tale about transhumanism inspired by something Ray Bradbury said,” Balcer said. “He thought the Internet was a massive scam perpetrated by computer companies. I thought, what if he was only half-right, and they had something far more sinister in mind.”

DarkNet, produced by Universal Cable Prods., centers on a woman with an MIT degree whose younger sister disappeared years ago, allegedly a victim of a cyber predator. As part of her quest to find the truth, the woman joins the FBI’s cyber crime unit where she is partnered with a former hacktivist who was recruited by the FBI after serving time in jail. USA has had success with two-lead series, most notably, White Collar and Suits.

Balcer is a 20-year veteran of the Law & Order franchise. He wrote an episode in the first season of the flagship Law & Order and joined the series in Season 2. He rose to executive producer before leaving in 2001 to executive produce and showrun spinoff L&O: Criminal Intent, which he developed with creator Dick Wolf. Balcer was at L&O:CI for five seasons, during which time the show was sold to USA in off-network syndication, before returning to the mothership series in 2007 as executive producer and head writer. He served as showrunner on the long-running drama for its last three seasons before segueing into an executive producer/showrunner position on Law & Order: Los Angeles. Balcer, repped by UTA and Dan Walerstein, just wrapped production on the first season of TF1 crime drama Jo starring Jean Reno, which he created and executive produces.

TV Editor Nellie Andreeva - tip her here.