Serial-killer characters — long used as chum for feeding voracious story-line beasts such as “Law & Order,” “CSI,” “Criminal Minds,” “Bones,” “NCIS” and “The Mentalist” — have emerged as hot, new stars of crime dramas for networks looking to “grab people by the shoulders and force them to watch,” as NBC programming honcho Jennifer Salke put it.
Problem is, there’s now such a crush of serial-killer dramas, it’s hard to get noticed.
In addition to Showtime’s pre-existing “Dexter,” there’s Fox’s newly added “The Following,” BBC America’s “Ripper Street,” NBC’s upcoming “Hannibal,” CW’s upcoming “The Cult,” A&E’s “Bates Motel” and one or two others we’re probably forgetting in the crush.
FX thinks it has the answer: a border-hopping serial killer.
The NewsCorp cable network has ordered “The Bridge,” which is based on a Scandinavian series about a serial killer working on both sides of the Danish/Swedish border.
For FX, the show will be geographically adjusted and the killer will split his time between El Paso and Juarez.
Diane Kruger (“Inglourious Basterds”) plays Det. Sonya Cross, who, naturally, has an undiagnosed disorder that falls on the autism spectrum. Demian Bichir (“Weeds”) is the family-man homicide investigator for the state of Chihuahua, Mexico, who’s one of the last good men in a corrupt and apathetic police force outgunned by powerful drug cartels.
The pilot’s been penned by two vets of CBS’s “Cold Case”: Meredith Stiehm and Elwood Reid.
“For years, networks having been trying [to] develop a drama series set on the U.S.-Mexican border without any success,” FX President John Landgraf said in Tuesday’s announcement.
”I’m thrilled to say that Meredith Stiehm and Elwood Reid have become the first to crack that creative code and they have done so magnificently,” he continued modestly, adding: “There have been great films set in that world — ‘No Country for Old Men’ and ‘Lone Star’ come to mind — but never a great TV series. This one is special.”