Tradecraft: Fox Books New CIA Drama From Former Spook
Deadline reports that Fox has bought a new spy pilot from Imagine Entertainment (24) written by former CIA officer Joseph Weisberg. Weisberg's TV credits include Falling Skies and Damages, but, more relevantly, he's also the author of the novel An Ordinary Spy. I haven't read it, but it's been praised for its verisimilitude, so he sounds like the right guy to pen a realistic drama about the Intelligence Community. According to the trade blog, "the hourlong project... is described as a high-stakes character-based drama centering on the young assistants of high-ranking officers in the U.S. Intelligence community. The show takes place within the walls of the CIA, as well as the DIA, NSA, FBI and the intelligence components at the White House." I'm so on board! Inter-agency relations and conflicts are the bread and butter of some of my favorite spy writers, but rarely are they portrayed on screen in nearly as compelling a manner. While the British shows do it well (I love that barely-civil Season 1 Spooks encounter between MI5's Harry Pearce and MI6's Jools Siviter, or the one-upmanship those two agencies engage in in the third story of the UK Strike Back), the tendency in America, as seen on Alias and 24, among others, is to make one agency (usually the NSA, it seems) bad and have it always running roughshod over the others. How many times did the NSA take over CIA operations on Alias to the detriment of the field agents? From a real-life former spook, I'd expect a more nuanced look at the subtler office politics involved in cooperating and bargaining with other agencies. This project doesn't have a title yet, but given its specific milieu, it's one of the spy shows in development right now that I'm most excited about! I really hope it ends up going to series and lives up to its potential.