Following the end of his Showtime dark comedy series Californication, David Duchovny is reuniting with former Showtime topper Bob Greenblatt for Aquarius, a gritty 1960s cop drama at NBC about a cop who goes undercover to track Charles Manson and the Manson Family before their infamous murder spree. The project, envisioned as an event series, has received a 13-episode straight-to-series order. Aquarius was written by John McNamara, creator of the cult Fox series Profit. It will be produced by ITV Studios America and Marty Adelstein Prods in the first collaboration between the companies, which have been in lengthy talks about a joint venture-type of partnership, in which Marty Adelstein Prods would function as a mini studio under the ITV Studios America umbrella following Adelstein’s upcoming exit from his long-time studio home, 20th Century Fox TV. Aquarius marks the return to broadcast TV of Duchovny, who toplined Fox’s hit The X-Files, in which Greenblatt also was involved while at Fox.
Set in the late 1960s, Aquarius stars Duchovny as a Los Angeles police sergeant with a complicated personal life who starts tracking a small-time criminal and budding cult leader seeking out vulnerable women to join his “cause.” The man’s name is Charles Manson. The twists and turns of a complicated undercover operation will lead Duchovny’s character and his young partner to the brink of Manson’s crimes that eventually will lead to the Tate-LaBianca murders in subsequent seasons. “Event series are a big priority for us, and the combination of a show that charts the lead-up to the Manson murders, along with a television star of the magnitude of David Duchovny, is the very definition of an event,” said NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke. Added Greenblatt, “After being involved in the production of both The X-Files and Californication, it gives me great pleasure to work with David Duchovny for the third time on this compelling drama.” Aquarius joins another Charles Manson project, a limited series is in development at Fox with writer Bret Easton Ellis and director Rob Zombie.