When high-profile creators team up, the expectations can be somewhat daunting. So, certainly for the new show from Shawn Ryan, creator of The Shield, which is to be written by long-time Criminal Minds producer Simon Mirren, the potential is considered tremendous.
In the duo’s first outing together, they have cooked up what sounds to be a far-fetched idea, but is, in actuality, based on some real-life science. The soon-to-be-titled program will be a police procedural – likely very much in the style to which CBS viewers have become accustomed. The hook this time lays in the fact the series’ main-character, a genetic scientist, has discovered proof that the evil he is helping to track down, also lives within him.
Now this is not an examination of the potential capacity for violence and deviant behavior that exists within everyone, but rather a somewhat science-fiction element described as the ‘psychopath gene’ that through the miracle of science can aid the FBI in tracking down violent criminals.
Mind you, the science behind this program actually comes from UC Irvine Professor James Fallon (no, not that Jimmy Fallon), who through his work mapping the human genome, linked himself to a rather dubious lineage – one that included several killers, including famed alleged axe wielder Lizzie Borden.
At this early stage, it’s hard to say what direction the actual genetic twist will drive the show, but that kind of cut-and-dry scientific simplicity could be an intriguing concept – depending on how it is executed. Naturally, the program’s concept is drawing comparisons to admitted psychopath Dexter Morgan from Showtime’s Dexter, but it is likely that this new program will lean more to the side of preventative measures within the constraints of the law – rather than the after-the-fact vengeance, which has made Dexter so popular.
For the network’s part, the deal with Ryan and Mirren has been given what is known as a ‘put pilot’ – or an agreement between a network (in this case CBS) and those behind the property to produce a pilot (Ryan and Mirren), which would result in significant penalty for CBS if the pilot does not air. This, of course, means CBS is likely quite interested in the program, and the chances it will receive a series order are fairly high.
This is good news for Ryan who, after The Shield, had two critically lauded series, FX’s Terriers and The Chicago Code for FOX – both of which ended after the first season. With CBS’ track record for producing long-running procedural programs like CSI, NCIS and Mirren’s former show Criminal Minds, this new project could be Ryan’s next big hit.
As more news develops regarding Ryan and Mirren’s collaboration, we will be sure to keep you updated.