EXCLUSIVE: NCIS: Los Angeles executive producer/showrunner Shane Brennan has signed a new two-year overall deal with the studio behind the hit CBS crime drama. Under the pact, Brennan will continue to run NCIS: LA as he has done since the series’ 2009 launch. Now in its fifth season, NCIS: LA already has been renewed for a sixth. Additionally, Brennan will develop new series for the studio through his Shane Brennan Prods. Australian-born Brennan joined mothership series NCIS at the beginning of Season 4 in 2006, taking the reins as showrunner the following season. He created spinoff NCIS:LA and ran both series for two years before focusing his attention solely on NCIS: LA. The spinoff series is broadcast television’s second most watched drama only behind NCIS, averaging nearly 16 million viewers per episode. It landed a $2 million-plus episode off-network syndication deal with USA only seven episodes into its freshman run, a record for a fast syndication sale. “Shane has propelled NCIS:Los Angeles into one of television’s most beloved dramas,” said CBS TV Studios president David Stapf. “His ability to combine great storytelling, action and humor make him an exceptional showrunner.”
EXCLUSIVE: In the heat of the broadcast buying season when most pitches start to blend together, this one easily stands out. I’ve learned that NCIS: Los Angeles showrunner Shane Brennan has teamed with Tiësto, a superstar DJ and record producer of electronic dance music. The hourlong project, which is being taken out by CBS TV Studios where Brennan is under an overall deal, is expected to feature original music written for the series by Tiësto. I hear Dutch-born DJ (birth name Tijs Michiel Verwest) is flying in for pitch meetings for the show, on which he is expected to serve as an executive producer alongside Brennan and possibly appear. Tiësto, who is hugely popular in Europe, also has done sold-out shows in the U.S. and performed at the Opening Ceremony of the Athens Olympics. Listen to a compilation of his hits and watch the behind-the-scenes YouTube series Tiësto In The Booth after the jump.
EXCLUSIVE UPDATED: A new duo will be joining TNT‘s primetime. I’ve learned that the network has given a series order to the pilot King And Maxwell starring Rebecca Romijn and Jon Tenney. The series, which is now untitled, hails from from CBS TV Studios and NCIS: LA boss Shane Brennan. Adapted from characters created by bestselling author David Baldacci, it has received a 10-episode order for a summer 2013 launch. In the vein of Moonlighting, the series follows Sean King (Tenney) and Michelle Maxwell (Romijn), who aren’t the typical pair of private investigators. Both are former Secret Service agents, and their unique skill sets (not to mention their razor-sharp chemistry) often gives them a leg up on suspects and conventional law enforcement. With her striking beauty, athletic prowess and Beltway connections, Maxwell is a formidable investigator, determined to prove herself after being forced to resign from the Secret Service. Brennan wrote the script and executive produces with Grant Anderson. Karen Spiegel is producing and Baldacci serves as a consultant. The project was originally developed for CBS last season.
EXCLUSIVE: CBS is looking to further expand its NCIS franchise with another spinoff. The untitled project, written/executive produced by NCIS and NCIS: LA executive producer Shane Brennan, is a planted spinoff from NCIS: LA, which Brennan created and serves as showrunner on. It will feature new characters who will be introduced in two-part episode of NCIS: LA later this season. The proposed spinoff, produced by CBS TV Studios, will follow a small mobile team of agents, who are forced to live and work together, as they crisscross the country solving crimes.
Both NCIS: LA and its mothership series, juggernaut NCIS, originated as planted spinoffs, as two-part episodes of JAG and NCIS, respectively. In using NCIS: LA as a launchpad for the new spinoff, CBS is taking a page from the playbook of the long-running CSI franchise, in which the third series, CSI: NY, also started off as a planted spinoff from spinoff CSI: Miami.
Now in its 10th season, NCIS continues to be one of the biggest scripted series on television. Airing behind it, NCIS: LA, now in its fourth season, has been a solid ratings performer and commands one of the highest off-network syndication license fees for a drama series. (It is the subject of ongoing litigation by NCIS creator Don Bellisario.)