Leading independent studio Entertainment One Television (eOne) and Sony Pictures Television (SPT) announced today they are moving forward on 22-episodes of John Grisham’s The Firm.
Produced by eOne Television in association with SPT and Paramount Pictures, the series will be broadcast on Sony’s AXN networks in more than 125 territories or countries around the globe. eOne Television will retain basic and pay television, broadcast television and digital/DVD rights for the show outside of AXN markets and handle distribution of the series worldwide, including the U.S. and Canada. Casting is currently underway, with production anticipated to begin in Canada in July.
“SPT’s networks set out to raise the bar this year, both in the programming acquisitions we make and the original series we commission. We have found our next big tentpole for AXN in The Firm,” said Marie Jacobson, executive vice president, programming and production, networks, SPT. “Working with John Grisham and Lukas Reiter to bring John’s best-known work to television is a dream partnership and a great forward step for SPT’s network ambitions around the world.”
“The development of this series marks the latest success for eOne Television as we continue to collaborate with the best creative talent in the business to produce premium, original content for broadcast partners around the globe,” said John Morayniss, CEO, eOne Television. “We’re delighted to be partnering with SPT which we believe is a perfect partner to bring this much-anticipated series to audiences around the world.”
“John Grisham’s the best. He’s a brilliant storyteller and a great partner. As a writer and a lawyer, I’ve always been a huge fan, so it’s beyond cool to be collaborating with him on this series,” commented Executive Producer Lukas Reiter. “eOne is a perfect fit for this project. They’re innovative, aggressive, and they want to make great television.”
Based on the Grisham-penned best-selling novel that remained on The New York Times’ bestseller list for 47 weeks following its 1991 debut, the two-hour pilot script for The Firm picks up 10 years after the 1993 blockbuster feature film starring Tom Cruise left off. Written by Lukas Reiter, the pilot reintroduces Mitch McDeere, the young lawyer who brought down a prestigious Memphis law firm operating as a front for the Chicago mob. McDeere and his family emerge from isolation after 10 years in the Federal Witness Protection Program. Determined to reclaim their lives and their future, the McDeeres soon find that past dangers are still lurking and new threats are everywhere.
Grisham and Reiter (Law & Order, Boston Legal, The Practice) serve as executive producers, along with eOne’s John Morayniss (Haven, Hung), Michael Rosenberg (Hung, Skins) and Noreen Halpern (Rookie Blue, Hung).
With The Firm, SPT has a series perfectly suited for its vast footprint of AXN channels across Africa, Asia, Latin America, Central Europe, Germany, Italy, Japan, Portugal, Russia and Spain. AXN is Sony’s highly successful pay cable and satellite television network known for its high-quality international and locally produced programming which includes CSI, Hawaii Five-O, The Amazing Race Asia among other global franchises. AXN is actively seeking and developing both global and local original series to expand its ratings-winning line-up and further differentiate itself as the drama destination of choice around the world.