NBC Gives 13-Episode Order to David Duchovny Charles Manson Drama
David Duchovny won’t be out of the series game long after “Californication” finishes its seven-season run on Showtime this year. The actor will star in a period NBC drama as a police detective on the trail of the Los Angeles-area hippie cult leader who turns out to be Charles Manson.
NBC has given a 13-episode straight-to-series order to “Aquarius,” penned by drama vet John McNamara (“In Plain Sight,” “Profit”) who exec produces with Duchovny, Marty Adelstein (“Prison Break”) and Duchovny’s longtime manager Melanie Greene. “Aquarius” hails from ITV Studios and Marty Adelstein Prods.
The pact also marks Duchovny’s reunion with NBC Entertainment chief Bob Greenblatt, who greenlight “Californication” during his tenure as Showtime entertainment prexy. Greenblatt and Duchovny also go back to the origins of “The X-Files” when Greenblatt headed drama at Fox.
“I’m thrilled to be working with Bob Greenblatt again and coming back to broadcast television. I think ‘Aquarius’ has a chance to be a special show and I can’t wait to get going,” Duchovny said. Greenblatt returned the compliment, adding: ”I’m especially pleased that he wanted to come to NBC where I know there is a big audience waiting to see him.”
In “Aquarius,” Duchovny will play a Los Angeles police sergeant with a complicated personal life. In the late 1960s, he and his younger partner begin tracking a small-time criminal who specializes in luring vulnerable young women to his “cause.”
The plan is that the series will follow “the twists and turns” of Manson’s early efforts, but the horrific murder spree in August 1969 that made his name synonymous with evil will not enter the story until 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 prexy Jennifer Salke.