Denzel Washington in The Bone Collector
Screenshot: YouTube

Steven Spielberg’s 2012 film Lincoln was a critical and commercial success, delivering an indelible portrayal of our 16th president. So if you’re going to create a TV adaptation of a series of blunt potboiler novels by Jeffrey Deaver derived from his hit The Bone Collector, why not confuse fans of both?

In news that sadly fails to mean the network is repurposing Abraham Lincoln as a time-traveling forensic criminologist, Variety reports NBC has ordered to pilot Lincoln, the TV show formerly known as The Bone Collector. The series is based on Deaver’s series of books about the quadriplegic Lincoln Rhyme and his trusty “legs and eyes” cop partner Amelia Sachs, who solve crimes for the NYPD. Starting when Rhyme is called back to service after his crippling injury during the search for the notorious killer known as the “Bone Collector,” the show will begin at the outset of their partnership, presumably following the structure of the first book in the series as the larger season arc, while weaving in procedural-style cases of the week. (“More like cases of the weak,” Rhyme sasses to his superiors, after being told for the umpteenth time that he doesn’t play by the rules.)

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Weirdly, there’s no mention of how someone each week will laugh after Rhyme introduces himself and say to him, “You’re kidding, that’s your name?” Similarly, there don’t appear to be any plans to have characters remark to each other, “Odd how this is exactly like the Denzel Washington-Angelina Jolie thriller from 1999.” Perhaps neither actor exists within the universe of the series. It’s possible the 16th president doesn’t, either.