Rainn Wilson is coming back to television. Fox has picked up his newest series entitled, “Backstrom.” The series was developed by CBS during the 2013-14 pilot season. Fox has ordered 13 episodes, and production will begin early this year. A formal premier date has not yet been announced.
“Backstrom” will be based on the books by Swedish criminologist/novelist Leif G.W. Persson. The hourlong crime drama centers on an overweight, offensive, irascible detective as he tries and fails to change his self-destructive behavior. Wilson stars as Detective Everett Backstrom. This is Wilson’s first television project since his iconic role as Dwight Schrute on “The Office.”
“Bones” executive producer Hart Hanson penned the pilot and will be executive producing via his overall deal with 20th Century Fox Television. Persson and Niclas Salomonsson are also on board as EPs. Mark Mylod (Shameless) directed and exec produced the pilot. Wilson will produce.
“Hart Hanson and Rainn Wilson are the perfect combination of creative vision and onscreen talent to bring this one-of-a-kind character and story like Backstrom to Fox,” said Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly. “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.”
“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. 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.”
Kristoffer Polaha (Life Unexpected), Dennis Haysbert (24) and Page Kennedy are set to co-star.