Rainn Wilson is back on TV with "Backstrom". The one-hour drama from "Bones" boss Hart Hanson and starring the former "The Office" star has received a 13-episode series order from FOX. The project was originally developed at CBS during the 2013-14 pilot season but the Eye passed on it.
Based on the books of the same name by Swedish criminologist/novelist Leif G.W. Persson, the crime show centers on Detective Everett Backstrom (Wilson), an overweight, offensive, irascible detective as he tries and fails to change his self-destructive behavior. Hanson wrote the pilot and executive produces the series.
"Hart Hanson and Rainn Wilson are the perfect combination of creative vision and on-screen talent to bring this one-of-a-kind character and story like 'Backstrom' to FOX," says Kevin Reilly, chairman of Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company.
"I've been in business with Hart for a long time, and not only does he have a rare gift for infusing darker themes with relatable humor, he's one of the best showrunners out there today. Together with Rainn - who absolutely nails this role and makes it a classic FOX character - I think we've got something really special here."
Wilson comments on the series pickup, "I couldn't be more thrilled to get a chance to dig into Detective Everett Backstrom. For an actor it's rare to get a crack at a role of such intelligence, humor and complexity. He's a delightfully disheveled misanthrope with a twisted, brilliant mind and a heart of barbed wire. Truly the role of a lifetime."
The Emmy-nominated actor continues, "Hart Hanson is an incredible writer and showrunner and I couldn't be more excited to collaborate with him. Last but not least, FOX is the perfect home for this fun and disturbed piece of entertainment. They are passionate about the show and I'm ecstatic to be working with Kevin Reilly again (he launched 'The Office' on NBC and fought tooth-and-nail for us to stay on the air, let's not forget) and to be on the same network as my frenemy, Mindy Kaling."
Hanson also chimes in, "Naturally, all of us who worked on 'Backstrom' thought it was too promising a series to die unseen and Dana [Walden] and Gary [Newman] were relentless in their support of the project. Imagine our delight to find that Kevin Reilly and his team at FOX agreed enough to pick it up and give us a good home. Thanks FOX!"
Production for "Backstrom" will begin later this year. A premiere date for the show has not been announced yet.