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New TV-series pickups include Spielberg’s alien-invasion drama, plus still more cops and lawyers

TNT and ABC both added a handful of new shows to their lineups today. ABC starts with Matadors, a drama about two prominent feuding families in Chicago— one heavily involved in the district attorney’s office, the other running a prestigious law firm. Variety doesn’t have any word on casting, but Matadors comes from writer and executive producer Jack Orman, who wrote and executive-produced for both ER and JAG in the early 2000s. Orman then spent the mid-2000s writing and executive producing Dr. Vegas, though, so it’s anybody’s game.

ABC also picked up the drama True Blue, about a group of homicide detectives in San Francisco who team up to solve the murder of a fellow officer. The show is written and produced by frequent collaborators Chris Brancato, Jon Feldman, and Bert Salke, according to the same article. Feldman most recently produced and wrote for Dirty Sexy Money, while all three teamed up earlier on the Eliza Dushku vehicle Tru Calling. Brancato, Feldman, and Salke have had their share of non-starters recently, between Reunion, something called Secrets Of A Small Town, and Big Shots, whose pilot got a D- (the gentleman’s F) from The A.V. Club a few years ago. We’ll see how the trio fares this time around.

TNT, which has had some success with star-driven original series like The Closer and Saving Grace, picked up three shows today, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Jason Lee, fresh off the NBC sitcom My Name Is Earl, is in for a change of pace with Delta Blues, where he will play a Memphis cop who’s also a musician by night. The pilot was written by Liz Garcia (Cold Case) and Joshua Harto, an actor with no previous writing credits, although you might recognize him as the employee who tried to blackmail Batman in The Dark Knight. In addition to Lee, Delta Blues will co-star Celia Weston, Abraham Benrubi, Alfre Woodward, and DJ Qualls.


The network also added Rizzoli & Isles, a procedural about the titular crime-fighting duo, a detective and a medical examiner. The show, which stars Law & Order’s Angie Harmon and NCIS’ Sasha Alexander, respectively, is based on Tess Gerritsen’s mystery-novel series of the same name. The show features Bruce McGill and Lorraine Bracco as well. Rizzoli & Isles is executive produced and written by Janet Tamaro, who also produced and wrote for Bones, which differs in concept slightly; that one is about an FBI agent and a forensic anthropologist. Which suggests Harmon and Alexander may wind up embroiled in yet another will-they-or-won’t-they sexual-tension series.

Finally, TNT is taking a crack at science fiction with Steven Spielberg’s alien-invasion drama, starring Noah Wyle and Moon Bloodgood. The series, as yet untitled, is about a team of soldiers and civilians battling with an alien force occupying Earth. Wyle and Bloodgood will co-star with Seychelle Gabriel, Maxim Knight, and Jessy Schram. Steven Spielberg produces, with writing from Robert Rodat. Rodat has experience writing soldiers (Saving Private Ryan), aliens (Warcraft, the upcoming videogame adaptation), and—to make it really TNT—heart-warming family drama (Fly Away Home). TNT might not seem like the obvious fit for a show about soldiers fighting an alien invasion, but kudos to them for trying something new.

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