Nellie Andreeva

FX has handed out a 13-episode order to The Bridge, its drama pilot from writers Meredith Stiehm and Elwood Reid starring Diane Kruger and Demián Bichir. Filming on the series, co-produced by Shine America and FX Prods, begins in April for a July premiere. It marks Shine’s first major U.S. scripted series since the 2008 acquisition of Reveille.

Based on the Danish/Swedish series Bron, which was set on the border of Denmark and Sweden, The Bridge is set on the border between El Paso and Juarez. It centers on two detectives — one from the U.S., Detective Sonya Cross (Kruger), and one from Mexico, Marco Ruiz (Bichir) — who must work together to hunt down a serial killer operating on both sides of the U.S.-Mexican border. Homeland writer/executive producer and Cold Case creator Stiehm and novelist and TV writer-producer Reid wrote the adaptation, which the two executive produce with Shine America’s Carolyn G. Bernstein and Lars Blomgren of Shine Group’s Filmlance, which co-produced the original series with Denmark’s Nimbus Film. The Bridge co-stars Ted Levine, Annabeth Gish, and Thomas M. Wright; Matthew Lillard guest starred in the pilot directed by Gerardo Naranjo (Miss Bala).

“For years networks having been trying develop a drama series set on the U.S.-Mexican border without any success,” said FX president John Landgraf. ”I’m thrilled to say that Meredith Stiehm and Elwood Reid have become the first to crack that creative code and they have done so magnificently. There have been great films set in that world — No Country for Old Men and Lone Star come to mind — but never a great TV series. This one is special. The setting, the writing, the direction, and the way it is brought to life by Demián Bichir, Diane Kruger and the rest of the cast makes for truly riveting drama.”

In addition to The Bridge, FX has two high-profile pilots that are on fast track for series orders: The Strain, from Guillermo del Toro and Lost‘s Carlton Cuse, and Middle East drama Tyrant, from Homeland executive producers Howard Gordon and Gideon Raff and Six Feet Under alum Craig Wright. FX’s latest original drama, The Americans, got off to a strong start last month before a major second-week drop.

TV Editor Nellie Andreeva - tip her here.

Get Deadline news and alerts sent to your inbox.