TNT has gone ahead of schedule and given a 10-episode series order to explosive action filmmaker Michael Bay’s post-apocalyptic drama, The Last Ship. The series, starring Eric Dane (Grey’s Anatomy) is one of the two pilots (the other being Legends) at TNT that have been awaiting a series order.
The Last Ship is based on the novel of the same name by William Brinkley and it is not set to premiere until 2014. The series will be helmed by Bay and his partners Brad Fuller and Andrew Form. Hank Steinberg (Without A Trace) has been named as showrunner, with Steven Kane (The Closer). Kane and Steinberg penned the pilot together, which was directed by Jonathan Mostow.
The Last Ship begins with a global catastrophe that nearly wipes out the world’s population. Because of its positioning, the Navy destroyer U.S.S. Nathan James avoids falling victim to the devastating tragedy. But now the crew and its captain must confront the reality of their new existence in a world where they may be among the few remaining survivors. Dane plays the lead role, Captain Tom Chandler, a Navy man who has all the important qualities of a strong leader: authoritative, decisive, fair and courageous.
“The Last Ship has all the elements of a big Hollywood blockbuster, from its epic storytelling to its top-notch cast headed by the perfect leading man, Eric Dane,” said TNT’s head of programming Michael Wright. “Michael Bay and his fellow executive producers have shaped William Brinkley’s story and characters into an exceptional drama full of action, suspense, tragedy and triumph.”
You can check out the trailer for the series below.
The US networks have a bad track record with these near-future types of what-if scenarios made into weekly dramas. What works for a movie blockbuster will not survive the harsh realities of a weekly examination of every flaw and the budget production issues of TV versus films.
Unless they can somehow mold it into an estrogen-friendly soap like Smallville, Heroes or Lost (not likely, given the name Michael Bay) this will follow on the heels of shows like Surface, The Event, Terra Nova, Last Resort and others that made even less of an impression.
The natural target audience for a story like this wants to see ominous giant high-tech machines, big 'splosions and lots of 'em. Once the budget reality of weekly TV production reduces these factors down to a trickle, fan attention wanders. Unless they plan to work in a bionic fembot or some version of Lois Lane or Mary Jane Parker to run around on that Navy destroyer in a clingy metallic catsuit, this too shall not be assimilated.