Earlier this week, we learned that two popular films – the 1988 Tom Hanks comedy Big and the 1998 Jackie Chan/Chris Tucker action-comedy Rush Hour – are being turned into television shows. Fox has already picked up the Big TV show, and now we know that CBS has acquired the Rush Hour program – from showrunner Bill Lawrence (creator of Scrubs and co-creator of Cougar Town) – making it the network’s second recent big TV show pickup, following its acquisition of the Supergirl TV series last month.
Rush Hour the TV show, which is being produced by Rush Hour movie trilogy director Brett Ratner, will retain the same premise as its cinematic predecessors; namely, a square Hong Kong police officer and an anti-authoritative black LAPD cop are forced to work together on a case (most likely, cases). Beyond that, though, we await further information, with regard to what elements will distinguish the small screen version of Rush Hour apart from its big screen predecessors.
Deadline is reporting that CBS has given a pilot production commitment to the Rush Hour series, with Lawrence serving as co-writer and executive producer alongside Black McCormick; the latter previously collaborated with Lawrence on Cougar Town, in addition to working on such popular animated comedy series as Futurama and King of the Hill. Presumably, the plan is for Rush Hour to begin its first season run in just under a year from now, when Fall 2015 arrives- bringing other would-be hit TV series, such as Supergirl, with it.
Lawrence’s previously television shows have thrived largely based on the collective screen chemistry of their casts, in particular that for the main characters – such as the inseparable buddy duo of J.D. and Turk on Scrubs. Similarly, the Rush Hour movies all leaned heavily on the sense of camaraderie between Chan and Tucker, even as the series grew increasingly bankrupt, creatively speaking (Rush Hour 3, looking at you…). Which is to say: casting will likely be a key determining factor, when it comes to setting the Rush Hour TV show apart from other buddy-cop series.
Of course, there’s still no guarantee yet that Rush Hour the TV show will actually see the light of day. CBS previously gave the Beverly Hills Cop sequel TV show a put-pilot commitment, but ultimately passed on a series order. Similarly, there have been a number of movies-turned TV shows that we’ve reported on in the past year or so, but have either been slower-than-expected to develop or fallen off the tracks (see: American Psycho, The Truman Show, etc.). So don’t count on Rush Hour following in the footsteps of, say, About a Boy just yet.
We’ll keep you posted on the status of the Rush Hour TV series.