Almost exactly a year ago (at the time of writing this), Eddie Murphy confirmed that the oft-rumored Beverly Hills Cop IV isn’t going to happen, but caused more than a few eyebrows to rise when he announced that a television spinoff (revolving around the exploits of Alex Foley’s son) was being developed instead.
CBS picked up the series two months ago, with Shawn Ryan (creator of The Shield and Chicago Code) writing the pilot and Murphy executive producing. Actor Brandon T. Jackson (the Percy Jackson franchise) was tipped for the lead a couple weeks ago, and reports are now in that he has entered final negotiations.
Humor Mill is reporting that the Beverly Hills Cop television show takes place in the present, where Axel Foley has been promoted to the Detroit Chief of Police and his grown-up son, Aaron (Jackson), is “a blue-collar cop who is also on the force and struggling to escape the shadow of his father.” Insiders are indicating that the show is going to be an hour-long crime procedural, but also one with a buddy-cop dynamic and comedic elements at its core. Bear in mind, though, the buddy duo won’t be Aaron and his dad, as Murphy isn’t expected to appear outside the pilot and a few scattered episodes throughout the first season.
Jackson, as mentioned before, plays Grove in the Percy Jackson movies, but his performance as rapper-turned actor Alpa Chino in Tropic Thunder offers the better demonstration of his comedic abilities (as opposed to his roles in Tooth Fairy and Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son). He’s not a well-established funnyman like Murphy was when he appeared in the first Beverly Hills Cop movie, so it may prove difficult for Jackson to crawl out from under the shadow of his predecessor. How’s that for an example of life-imitating-art?
There was a good deal of interest from the Big Four networks (ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC) when it came to acquiring the Beverly Hills Cop series, as it was sold on the potent combination of Ryan’s knack for serious crime-drama and Murphy’s humor. CBS managed to beat out the competition thanks to its success with such action-driven series as NCIS and Hawaii 5-0; whether it will have similar luck resurrecting the BHC brand for the small screen, remains to be seen.
As for all you out there who were holding out hopes that Donald Glover could be cast as the son of Axel Foley, well… sorry to disappoint, but you can still catch him on the second season of Girls and fourth season of Community (whenever it airs).
More on Beverly Hills Cop as the story develops.