Veteran actor Nick Nolte will be hitting the small screen as the star of one of two new original series by Epix – a hybrid cable/satellite/subscription VOD service that’s a joint venture among Paramount, Lionsgate, and MGM. The pair of shows will be the first original series to appear across Epix channels, on demand, at Epix.com, and through TV Everywhere platforms with distribution partners.
Lionsgate’s single-camera, half-hour comedy, called Graves, will star Nolte as an ex-U.S. president who racked up some mistakes during his time in office. And now, after an epiphany of sorts, along with guilt about the perceived negative repercussions of his bad decisions, he wishes to correct them … 20 years later. Coincidentally, his ex-wife is in the midst of her own political campaign.
Epix is banking on success, having already ordered 10 episodes. The show was created by Joshua Michael Stern (Swing Vote) who will write, direct, and executive produce the show along with Greg Shapiro (The Hurt Locker.) Kevin Beggs, Chairman at Lionsgate Television Group, describes the show as a “provocative comedy.”
It’s a little difficult to picture the show as a comedy given the description, not to mention that Nolte is best known for his dramatic roles in iconic films like Cape Fear, The Thin Red Line, and The Prince of Tides. However, he isn’t a complete stranger to the comedy genre, having been involved in projects like 48 Hours and Tropic Thunder.
The second new series, Berlin Station, has also been confirmed for at least 10 one-hour episodes. Sounding a bit like life imitating art, the drama follows the story of a CIA officer named Daniel Meyer (actor unknown) trying to find out the person who leaked sensitive information to a famous whistleblower. Amy Powell, President of Paramount Television, describes the show as a “modern day spy thriller.”
It will be written by spy novelist Olen Steinhauer (The Cairo Affair), and the first two episodes will be directed by Michael Roskam. The two, along with Eric Roth (House of Cards) and Anonymous Content (True Detective), will all serve as executive producers. Powell calls Steinhauer one of the “most respected espionage voices of our time,” and describes Roskam as having “a seasoned and distinct command of noir.”
Production of both series will begin this fall, with plans to air them in the fall of 2016.
Epix confirms that there’s a third original series in the works from MGM as well, but details on that project are yet to be released.