NBC orders prequel series based on ‘Taken’ films

18 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Taken’ TV Prequel Picked Up Straight-to-Series at NBC.

“Taken” is heading to the small screen, as NBC has handed a straight-to-series order on a prequel adaptation of the popular action movies, which starred Liam Neeson, Variety has confirmed.The series is said to focus on Liam Neeson’s character Bryan Mills, and how he got his “very particular set of skills” during his time at the CIA.

The successful “Taken” movie franchise is expanding to television “with a prequel drama about a young Bryan Mills (the character in the movies played by Liam Neeson),” writes our friend Nellie Andreeva in an exclusive story for Deadline. The drama hails from Universal Television and EuropaCorp, which produced the Liam Neeson feature film that helped transform the actor into an action star. With Fox premiering its Minority Report series this upcoming Monday with CBS’s Limitless following the day after, networks are continually banking on building new programs around an already existing, and hopefully successful, brand.

The series will be a co-production between Luc Besson’s studio EuropaCorp. and Universal TV.” Bresson, “who co-wrote the three movies in addition to producing the feature franchise,” will be one of the executive producers on the project, the story says. The show, first reported by Deadline, will focus on how Mills acquires his expert skills that enabled him to become the character known to audiences today.

However, Bates Motel has done a pretty great job at telling the story of young Norman Bates in its own semi-compelling manner outside of the canon of the Psycho movies. Besson will exec produce, along with Matthew Gross, Edouard de Vesinne and Thomas Anargyros of EuropaCorp. “Taken” first premiered in 2008, and was a surprise box-office hit, resulting in two sequel series in 2012 and 2014. The Taken prequel comes as IP — including features and TV series — have been hot commodities across broadcast and cable networks amid an increasingly cluttered original programming landscape. This development season, Fox is taking on Behind Enemy Lines, CBS is tackling Training Day, while The CW is prepping a series based on The Notebook and Friday the 13th, as the reboot trend continues into its second development season. Still, both Antoine Fuqua’s Training Day and William Friedkin’s To Live And Die In L.A. are spinning off into their own series in the coming year and with the recent end of the network’s bloodiest series ever, it looks like NBC may be attempting a different approach at cutting edge story telling.

Straight-to-series orders like Taken (and Coach) come as broadcast, cable and streaming services compete for high-demand fare in a bid to break through.

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