NBC Orders Charles Manson Drama Series Starring David Duchovny
Following the end of his Showtime dark comedy series Californication, David Duchovny is reuniting with former Showtime topper Bob Greenblatt for Aquarius, a gritty 1960s cop drama about the Charles Manson murders at NBC. The project, envisioned as an event series, has received a 13-episode straight-to-series order. It will be produced by ITV Studios America and Marty Adelstein Prods. in the first collaboration between the companies, which have been in lengthy talks about a joint venture-type of partnership, in which Marty Adelsein Prods. would function as a mini studio under the ITV Studios America umbrella following its upcoming exit from 20th Century Fox TV where Adelstein had been based for a long time.Aquarius, written on spec by John McNamara (In Plain Sight), marks the return to broadcast TV of Duchovny who previously toplined Fox’s hit The X Files, in which Greenblatt also was involved while at Fox
Set in the late 1960s, Aquarius stars Duchovny as a Los Angeles police sergeant with a complicated personal life who starts tracking a small-time criminal and budding cult leader seeking out vulnerable women to join his “cause.” The name of that man is Charles Manson. The twists and turns of a complicated undercover operation will lead Duchovny’s character and his young partner to the brink of Manson’s crimes that will that will eventually lead to the Tate-LaBianca murders in subsequent seasons. “Event series are a big priority for us, and the combination of a show that charts the lead-up to the Manson murders, along with a television star of the magnitude of David Duchovny, is the very definition of an event,” said NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke. Added Greenblatt, “After being involved in the production of both The X-Files and Californication, it gives me great pleasure to work with David Duchovny for the third time on this compelling drama.”
McNamara will executive produce with Duchovny, Adelstein and Duchovny’s manager Melanie Greene. The project stems from a script Adelstein, which had had for a long time and which had been excluded from his 20th TV deal. He recently revisited it, felt it would be perfect for Duchovny who was becoming available post-Californication and sent it to him. With Duchovny on board, the project was set up at NBC. Duchovny, who also is repped by Resolution and attorney Peter Nelson, had a recurring role on ABC’s Twin Peaks before starring for nine seasons as Fox Mulder in the iconic series The X-Files. The seventh and final season of Californication premieres next month. Duchovny won Golden Globes for both The X-Files andCalifornication and has received four Emmy nominations, including two for The X-Files.