Some info I thought was worth sharing, lifted from a profile of the upcoming Thandie Newton/DirecTV cop drama series titled Rogue, in which Newton will star as an undercover cop, who, in a personal vendetta, comes face to face with a high-profile gangster, after her son is killed in a drive-by shooting.
The series doesn't debut until sometime in 2013 – no exact dates yet, and it's currently being shot in Vancouver, BC, which is doubling for Oakland, CA.
In a profile of the series in Canadian paper, The Province, I learned the following:
– First, Series creator Matthew Parkhill says that he initially conceived the series as a 3-part miniseries about an undercover cop, set in his hometown of London, to be made with the BBC. But that changed quickly, and he would eventually partner instead with DirecTV here in the USA, because they were apparently looking for a marquee show to rival competitors HBO and Showtime. And with that switch of networks, Rogue became a 10-episode serial, from what was original supposed to be a 3-part mini, and the setting changed to the Oakland docks from London’s docks.
– Series creator Parkhill states that, apparently, he wrote the lead character with Thandie Newton in mind, very early on, and she agreed to play the morally tormented cop Grace Travis, also very early on.
– And since the series is meant to compete with hit dramas on HBO and Showtime, expect the writing to be riskier; specifically, Parkhill says that the show has a high body count, adding that he was aiming for the grit and intensity of such U.S. shows like The Shield and The Sopranos, calling Rogue a very dark show, with fairly full-on sex, fairly full-on violence. "Those are things you can do in that world of American cable shows that you can’t really do on the BBC," he said. So I guess we can expect lots of nudity, and lots of raw violence.
– And lastly, they (both Parkhill and Newton) are already prepping for a season 2, with the hope that the series will catch on with USA audiences (it'll air in Canada as well). As the profile states, Parkhill has created a story, characters and setting that will be able to continue on, after season 1 ends, and that subsequent seasons could broaden the show’s scope.
You can read the full profile HERE.
Rogue will be satellite television provider DirecTV's first original series.
An official synopsis reads:
ROGUE revolves around Grace (Newton), a morally and emotionally conflicted undercover detective who is tormented by the possibility that her own actions contributed to her son's death. Grace's search for the truth is further complicated by her forbidden relationship with Jimmy (Marton Csokas), the crime boss who may have played a hand in the crime. A smart, complex, character-led thriller, the show explores loss, grief, identity, family bonds, second chances and redemption. Both Grace and Jimmy not only struggle with who they are, they also struggle with who they want to be. Both cross the line – morally, emotionally, sexually – with devastating consequences for their own lives and those around them.
Rogue is executive produced by renowned UK producer/director Nick Hamm for Greenroom Entertainment; John Morayniss and Michael Rosenberg for eOne; and Steven Marrs from Momentum Entertainment Group. Series creator Matthew Parkhill also serves as writer and supervising producer.
In addition to Newton and Csokas, the cast includes Ian Hart, Claudia Ferri, Joshua Sasse, Jonathan Holmes, Sarah Jeffrey, Ian Tracey, Jarod Joseph, Matthew Beard, and Martin Donovan.
The pilot episode is being directed by Brian Kirk (Luck, Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire).
So, Thandie gets to carry a gritty, sex- and violence-filled cable TV series; let's see how that works out. Looking forward to that first trailer!