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: NCIS: LA creator/showrunner Shane Brennan has teamed with top video game writer Jesse Stern (Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 1&2) for Insecurity, a drama project, which has been set up at CBS. The two previously worked together on the mothership NCIS series. Written by Stern, Insecurity centers on an obsessive compulsive former Federal Agent turned Head of Security at a Boston art museum who uses his unique professional and personal background — he was raised by criminals — to help solve complex local and federal cases across the country. The project hails from CBS TV Studios, Brennan’s studio-based Shane Brennan Prods. and Oasis Media. Brennan, Stern, Grant Anderson, David Lonner, Larry Shuman and John Mass executive produce. This is CAA-repped Stern’s second sale this season — he also has comedy Thursdays with Breckin Meyer, Sony TV and Fanfare at NBC. Paradigm-repped Brennan recently developed and executive produced the TNT drama King & Maxwell.
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.)
2ND UPDATE 11:40 AM: TNT went for a trio of heavy TV hitters with its pilot pickups today, greenlighting Howard Gordon‘s Legends, Jerry Bruckheimer‘s Trooper and Shane Brennan‘s King & Maxwell. All three were originally developed for broadcast networks last season and fall into the procedural category TNT had been looking to mine with its second round of pilot pickups. They join the Michael Bay-produced The Last Ship, which is now casting.
Legends, developed by Gordon, Jeffrey Nachmanoff and feature writer Mark Bomback from the novel by Robert Littell, was originally set up at NBC. It follows a deep-cover operative who has an uncanny ability to transform himself into a different person for each job. Gordon, Nachmanoff, Alex Cary and Jonathan Levin executive produce through Fox 21. It is a big day for Gordon and Cary, who also just landed a rich premium deal at NBC for legal drama Ritter.
1ST UPDATE: TNT has made the second pilot pickup, going with Trooper, the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced procedural, which was set up at CBS last season where it went to pilot with Mira Sorvino as the lead. Trooper centers on a recently divorced female state trooper who is as unconventional at work as she is at home raising her three kids. Her partner on the …