EXCLUSIVE: Sci-fi action-crime series The Sector, from Ridley and Tony Scott’s Scott Free Prods and Germany’s Tandem Communications, is no longer set up at Cinemax. There is talk about Discovery’s Science (formerly Science Channel) possibly picking up the action-crime series in the vein of Blade Runner and District 9 that centers on a commander of a paramilitary unit who pursues a dangerous new race of genetically-enhanced humans. I hear the search is underway for a writer to rework the script by The Sector creators Aaron and Matthew Benay. The Sector had been in development at Cinemax for several months with Simon Mirren attached as exec producer/showrunner and Anne Thomopoluos as executive producer when Tandem, Scott Free and Cinemax announced in April that the project was a go. There has been a discrepancy over the size of the network’s commitment, with some calling it a series order and others insisting it was a pickup of a pilot script and a bible. The commitment is now believed to be the latter, and Cinemax ultimately passed on the project as it already has one direct-to-series primetime drama, Strike Back, on the air; another, Transporter, in production; and a third, the Alan Ball-produced Banshee, which was developed at sister pay cable network HBO, eying a spring production start.
Cinemax has picked up to series action-crime series The Sector, from Ridley and Tony Scott’s Scott Free Prods. The project was created and written by Aaron Benay and Matthew Benay, with former Criminal Minds executive producer/showrunner Simon Mirren on board as exec producer/showrunner. The Sector had been in development at Cinemax with Anne Thomopoluos for several months. Now it’s going forward, with German production company Tandem Communications set to produce with Scott Free. The Sector is described as an action-crime series in the vein of Blade Runner and District 9 which tracks the commander of a paramilitary unit who pursues a dangerous new race of genetically-enhanced humans. Ridley Scott, Tony Scott, Anne Thomopoulos, Rola Bauer, David W. Zucker and Jonas Bauer are exec producing. This is the third straight-to-series pickup at Cinemax in the past couple of months following Strike Back and The Transporter.
UPDATE: Despite speculation that British-born Simon Mirren might be headed back home, it turns out the trip he will be making is from Burbank/Studio City where Criminal Minds producers ABC Studios and CBS TV Studios are based, to Culver City. I hear that, after 6 years on Criminal Minds, Mirren is finalizing an overall deal with Sony Pictures TV. Mirren had been looking to pursue his own development. When ABC Studios indicated it was not interested, he was quickly snapped up by Sony, which shifted its overall deal strategy last summer towards signing top-tier writer/showrunners. Mirren’s overall pact with Sony is expected to begin in June, after Mirren’s current deal for Criminal Minds expires at the end of the season. Additionally, Mirren is executive producing The Sector, a project in the works at Cinemax, which is now looking to do more originals. He is shepherding that project with Scott Free, Anne Thomopoluos and Aaron and Matt Benay.
PREVIOUS EXCLUSIVE: Criminal Minds executive producer/ showrunner Simon Mirren is leaving the veteran crime drama. Mirren, who joined the series right after the pilot as a supervising producer, was promoted to executive producer at the beginning of Season 5.
This past October, WME-repped Mirren, along with fellow Criminal Minds veteran, exec producer Erica Messer, took over showrunner duties alongside longtime exec producer/showrunner Ed Bernero when Chris Mundy left as showrunner of the Criminal …