EXCLUSIVE: HBO/Cinemax and The X Files alum Frank Spotnitz are developing Sam Hunter, a drama starring Melissa George to air on Cinemax. A spinoff of Cinemax’s Hunted, the action series sees George reprising her role as Sam, a gutsy agent in the murky world of private espionage. Now on the run from her former employer, Sam has a price on her head and a young daughter to protect. She must work as a freelance spy to find out who wants her dead — and how it connects to the murder of her own mother. Cinemax is planning to launch Sam Hunter as a four-hour miniseries, which Spotnitz is currently writing. Cinemax has been looking to keep Hunted alive in some form since partner BBC One last November opted not to renew the series for a second season.
EXCLUSIVE: The BBC-Cinemax series Hunted won’t go beyond its current freshman season after BBC One opted not to renew the espionage drama for a second season. But Cinemax is working with series creator Frank Spotnitz on a new incarnation of the show about spy Sam Hunter (Melissa George). “We are making plans with creator and executive producer Frank Spotnitz and star Melissa George to present a new chapter in the Sam Hunter mythology,” Kary Antholis, President, HBO Miniseries and Cinemax Programming, said in a statement to Deadline. “We are very pleased with what Hunted has done for Cinemax’s brand and are very excited about what lies ahead.”
Because of the project’s setup – BBC originally commissioned eight episodes from Shine-owned British production company Kudos Film and Television before Cinemax came on board as producer/U.S. distributor — I hear continuing the series in its current form proved impossible without partner BBC. That has led to Cinemax brass looking for another way to keep the premise and the Sam Hunter character alive while also assuming greater creative control. In a complex co-production agreement like the one on Hunted, it is hard for each of the partners to realize their vision for the show as decisions are often made by compromise. Additionally, for a pay cable network, doing a series with a public broadcaster like the BBC imposes certain restrictions on the content that could be featured.