Specialty television channels such as HBO and Showtime have often turned to realistic, gritty, real-world bases for their series in order to provide their viewership with the most intense and accurate portrayals of crime-drama possible. Well those heavy-hitters had better take note, because there is a hot new rookie about to step up to the plate. Tandem Communications (a StudioCanal production company based in Germany and France) have announced their first ever original, ongoing television series entitled ‘Crossing Lines.’ Why is a French production big news across the pond? Well, Tandem is producing ‘Crossing Lines’ as an English-language series, intending on attracting some big-name American distribution.
Hmmm… what would be the best way to produce an English-language series that would appeal to both European and North American audiences? How about casting a recognizable talent from Canada, France, and the USA?
French star Marc Lavoine (‘The Good Thief’) and successful American character actor William Fichtner (‘Prison Break,’ ‘Heat’) have signed on to star in the upcoming ten-episode order of ‘Crossing Lines;’ joining them is seventy-seven-year-old Hollywood legend Donald Sutherland.
A Canadian star of the big screen, the small screen, and the stage, Sutherland has been the hardest working man in show business since 1967. Go ahead and take a moment to scan his IMDB page. Okay, it’s going to take more than a moment, because DAMN that’s a hell of a resume. Bringing proven talent like Sutherland, Fichtner and Lavoine on-location in France and the Czech Republic for a gritty crime drama has already whetted my appetite. The fact that the series is being helmed by showrunner Ed Bernero (‘Criminal Minds’) is the icing on the cake.
‘Crossing Lines’ is an action crime series about a broken New York detective, who finds unlikely redemption when an ex-colleague convinces him to join an elite unit of younger cops to hunt down Europe's most brutal criminals. Ed Bernero, formerly a Chicago police officer, brings his extensive, on-the-street experience to the series' concept, ensuring cutting-edge action, drama and suspense. "Some of my favorite television shows are coming from the EU right now," says Bernero, quoted in Tandem Communications’ press release. "As storytelling becomes more global,” he continues, “it's extremely exciting to team up with a company the caliber of Tandem that truly understands how to create content with widely diverse stories, locales and internationally-renowned casts that appeal to broad audiences worldwide."
The already-impressive cast is rounded out by Gabriella Pession (‘Wilfred’), Tom Wlaschiha (‘Game of Thrones’), Genevieve O’Reilly (‘Star Wars Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith’) and Richard Flood (‘Titanic: Blood & Steel’).
‘Crossing Lines’ will air on TF1 in France and on Sony Pictures TV Networks’ AXN channels across 81 countries. You gotta believe it’s only a matter of time until an American network opens their hearts (and wallets) to Tandem Communications.