Like seemingly every other network and streaming service, the film-focused ReelzChannel is looking to get further into the realm of scripted series. Previously focused on programming about movies in theaters, on DVD and on premium channels (like “Maltin on Movies” and “Naked Trailers”), Reelz has also been filling out its schedule with syndicated sitcoms like “Wings” and “3rd Rock From The Sun” and the occasional network premiere like Sarah Palin doc “The Undefeated,” which took place the same weekend as the premiere of HBO’s “Game Change” in what many assumed was a calculated bit of counterprogramming.
Reelz has also made itself the home of the Steven Seagal-scripted series “True Justice,” in which the action star plays a former special forces agent turned undercover cop or something. Now Deadline’s reporting they’ve picked up popular Franco-Canadian spy series “XIII,” starring Stuart Townsend and Aisha Tyler and based on a Belgian comic book series and video game.
The show, an hour-long drama which has been airing in France and Canada, began shooting its second season last month in Toronto with Roger Avary now on board as an executive producer and, reportedly, the writer of the season premiere. “XIII” will start on Reelz in June, being actually the second iteration of the franchise to hit U.S. television — in 2009, a miniseries version starring Val Kilmer and Stephen Dorff aired on NBC.
This time around, Townsend plays the title character, a secret agent suffering from amnesia who takes his name from the Roman numeral tattooed on his neck. Tyler is a Homeland Security agent who works with XIII, and Virginie Ledoyen is a Russian mercenary. “Fat Girl” star Roxane Mesquida has joined the series for its second season.