TNT has picked up the U.S. rights to "Transporter: The Series," an international action drama based on the Luc Besson-produced film franchise about meticulous, skilled driver-for-hire Frank Martin, played by Jason Statham. British actor Chris Vance, who played "freelance psychopath" Mason Gilroy on "Burn Notice" and Dr. Jack Gallagher on "Mental," the short-lived 2009 Fox series set in L.A. but shot in Bogotá, stars as the small screen incarnation of Frank. François Berléand, reprising his role from the films as Inspector Tarconi, is also in the cast, alongside Andrea Osvárt, Delphine Chanéac and Charly Hübner.
"Transporter: The Series" is a French-Canadian production, and was originally slated to air in the U.S. on Cinemax, though they ended up passing on the project -- a trailer that was released at the time but has since been taken down didn't look particularly promising. The first season has since aired in Canada, France and Germany, with each market apparently getting the episodes in a different order. A second season is going into production February 26th to air internationally in late 2014, with Frank Spotnitz ("Hunted") taking over as showrunner. TNT plans to air seasons one and two, each running 12 episodes, debuting the first in fall 2014.
"'Transporter: The Series' is a roller-coaster ride with big-screen action, fantastic locations and an extremely charismatic lead in Chris Vance," said TNT's Michael Wright. "The 'Transporter' franchise is a proven winner embraced by movie and television viewers around the globe, and we're proud that TNT will become the television home for fans in the United States. 'Transporter: The Series' is a perfect addition to TNT's lineup, as we continue to expand our reach with such action-packed dramas as our upcoming 'Legends' and 'The Last Ship.'" Vance has been playing a recurring role on TNT on "Rizzoli & Isles" as Jane Rizzoli's (Angie Harmon) sometimes love interest.