ITV locks up Lethal Weapon acquisition
The highly sought-after US series Lethal Weapon is heading to ITV, marking the return of acquired content to the primetime schedule of the UK’s most watched commercial channel.
Acquired from Warner Bros. International Television Distribution, the new series is based on the hit movie franchise and tells the story of the classic cop duo Riggs (played by Clayne Crawford – Rectify) and Murtaugh (played by Emmy® nominee Damon Wayans – My Wife and Kids, In Living Color) as they work a crime-ridden beat in modern-day Los Angeles.
Kevin Lygo, ITV’s Director of Television, said:
“We’re absolutely delighted to be bringing Lethal Weapon to our main channel. It’s rare that we find an acquisition with that sweet spot potential – the best production values and hugely entertaining drama, that we think can appeal to the biggest and broadest audiences and take up a place in ITV primetime. We saw Lethal Weapon and were immediately excited by what it could add to the ITV schedule, and we’re really looking forward to bringing the series to UK viewers.”
Lethal Weapon will premiere in the US this Autumn. The deal was brokered by Sasha Breslau, ITV Head of Acquired Series and Jonathan Vandermeer, Controller of Acquisitions, Rights and Regulatory.
Sasha Breslau said, “Lethal Weapon was a standout drama from this year’s Screenings, superbly rebooting a beloved franchise with the perfect mix of action, heart, humour and terrific chemistry between Wayans and Crawford as the iconic cop duo. I’m thrilled and excited to see the show take its place alongside ITV’s popular homegrown dramas.”
Family man and by-the-book LAPD Detective Roger Murtaugh (Wayans) is back to work after a near fatal heart attack – and his doctor has told him he needs to keep his stress levels under control. That might not be so easy given that he’s been paired with ex-Navy SEAL-turned-detective Martin Riggs (Crawford), who has moved to California for a new start at the LAPD.
During their first case, hot-headed Riggs drags conventional cop Murtaugh on a freeway chase and into a shootout with drug dealers; despite his protests, the older cop feels more alive than he has in years. Meanwhile, Riggs gets a glimpse of why Murtaugh is so determined to get home safely at the end of each day – he has a family and a newborn baby. And Murtaugh finds out what happened to Riggs’ marriage, that he sadly lost his young wife and unborn child, and his devil-may-care-attitude hides his grief.
By the time their investigation ends, Riggs realises he may have found something worth living for – a partner and friend in Murtaugh. Even Murtaugh figures this arrangement might just work out after all. If only Riggs doesn’t get them killed first….
In addition to Wayans and Crawford, Lethal Weapon stars Kevin Rahm (Mad Men), Jordana Brewster (The Fast and the Furious films), Keesha Sharp (Are We There Yet?), Dante Brown (Mr. Robinson), Chandler Kinney (Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street) and Johnathan Fernandez (Upright Citizens Brigade).
Matt Miller (Chuck, Las Vegas, Forever), Dan Lin (Sherlock Holmes films, The LEGO™ Movie franchise, Forever), Jennifer Gwartz (Veronica Mars, Forever) and McG (Supernatural, Nikita) are executive producers of Lethal Weapon, which is based on the feature film from Warner Bros. Pictures. Miller wrote the pilot episode, which was directed by McG. The series is from Lin Pictures and Good Session Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television, and is distributed around the world by Warner Bros. International Television Distribution.