Imagine’s Brian Grazer has turned his fascination with the FBI into a TV show, landing a series commitment at Fox.
The drama, to be written and executive produced by feature screenwriter Chap Taylor (Changing Lanes), represents the first series in more than 35 years to be shot with the full cooperation of the law enforcement agency, since the late ’60s/early ’70s series “The F.B.I.”
Imagine and 20th Century Fox TV, which also produce “24” and “Shark” together, are behind the project, also tentatively titled “The FBI.” The show will revolve around Michael Cavanaugh, an Iraq war vet who’s tapped to head up the Critical Incidents Response Group.
The dark, abrasive lead character is based on real-life former FBI agent John O’Neill, who warned the agency early on about the dangers of al-Qaeda and quit in disgust when his proclamations were ignored.
Ironically, O’Neill began his new career as security director at the World Trade Center on Sept. 10, 2001 — and was killed when the towers collapsed the next day. Later, at his funeral, several women discovered that they had all been married to O’Neill.
Taylor, Grazer and Imagine TV’s David Nevins will executive produce. Fox is eyeing “The FBI” to potentially air in “24’s” slot next fall, keeping the Monday night slot filled by two government-themed shows from Imagine and 20th.