Sony Pictures TV, the studio that has an overall production deal with Vince Gilligan, the creator of AMC’s hit TV show ‘Breaking Bad’, announced on Wednesday that it had concluded a big contract with CBS TV Studios to create another TV show, with a guarantee that it will go onto the network’s prime-time schedule next fall.
The series, a police drama called ‘Battle Creek,’ comes with an added layer of elite television pedigree. Based on Gilligan’s script, which he originally penned in 2002 for CBS, the show’s production will be led by another celebrated television producer, ‘House‘ creator David Shore. Both are serving as executive producers along with Mark Johnson (‘Breaking Bad’). Gilligan has, furthermore, expressed interest in directing the effort.
The deal reflects the status Gilligan has reached, after he took home the best drama series Emmy for ‘Breaking Bad’.
To sweeten the deal, CBS has promised to produce 13 episodes and put them all on the air. The next stage is limited to the making of a pilot and CBS has committed to paying for all 13 episodes before they are even produced. Meanwhile, Gilligan’s potential involvement in ‘Breaking Bad’ prequel spinoff ‘Better Call Saul‘ has yet to be determined.
‘Battle Creek’ is a drama about two detectives with very different world views who are teamed up in Battle Creek, Michigan. One is a trusting naïf, the other a cynic who relies on guile and deception. They find themselves in competition with an F.B.I. agent whom they see as ‘the epitome of a crime-fighter’, although he’s actually far from it.
For Gilligan, this is somewhat familiar territory since he launched his television career as a writer, director and producer on ‘The X-Files’ where he was responsible for such memorable outings as ‘Bad Blood’ and ‘Pusher’.