EXCLUSIVE: Dick Wolf’s groundbreaking 1990s cop drama New York Undercover is making a return.
NBCUniversal’s streaming platform Peacock is in negotiations for a new incarnation of New York Undercover, which is expected to receive series commitment, we have learned. It hails from former The Chi showrunner Ayanna Floyd Davis, Dick Wolf and Universal Television where the company is based.
Written by Floyd Davis, the new series is described as re-examination of the original, reflecting the current times. It is picking up 20 years after the end of the original series that changed the face of TV cop dramas.
Floyd, who will serve as showrunner, executive produces with Wolf Entertainment’s Wolf, Peter Peter Jankowski and Arthur Forney. Uni TV, part of Universal Studio Group, in association with Wolf Entertainment.
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The original 1994 series, which aired for four seasons on Fox, starred Malik Yoba and Michael DeLorenzo as undercover detectives, marking the first police drama on U.S. television to feature two people of color in the lead roles.
Wolf and Uni TV originally developed an updated take on New York Undercover during the 2018-19 broadcast development season. That iteration, from writer Ben Watkins, went to pilot at ABC. It served as a sequel to the original series, with Yoba reprising his role as J.C. Williams, joined by fellow original cast member Luna Lauren Velez, who reprised her role as Nina Moreno.
The Floyd Davis-penned reimagining is still in very early stages, we hear, and it is unclear yet whether it would feature characters from the original series.
When ABC opted not to pick up NY Undercover to series, the pilot was shopped around by Uni TV. The studio and Wolf remained high on the title, leading to the new reboot with a new creative take.
This past summer, ahead of the launch of Peacock, Bill McGoldrick, President of Original Content at NBCU Entertainment Networks and Direct-to-Consumer, told Deadline that they were in conversations with Wolf about doing original series for the streaming service and admitted that they had been “talking about revisiting IP.” As Deadline reported at the time, New York Undercover was considered a lead reboot contender in the Wolf library of IP.
On Peacock, the new NY Undercover would join the majority of Dick Wolf’s library, including the Law & Order and Chicago franchises, which the streamer landed in a mega deal earlier this year. It also falls under the massive five-year overall deal spanning broadcast and streaming that Wolf signed with Universal Television.
Revivals/reboots of shows from the Peacock library to compliment the original episodes is a key part of Peacock’s programming strategy. The streamer has new incarnations of Battlestar Galactica, Saved By the Bell and Punky Brewster in the works.
Floyd Davis served as executive producer/showrunner on the Lena Waithe-created Showtime series The Chi. She also served as co-executive producer on Empire, Falling Skies, Hannibal and Hit the Floor and did a stint on Private Practice. She is repped by ICM Partners, Rain Management and Paul Hastings.