FOX Orders 13 Episodes of Drama 'Backstrom' Created by Hart Hanson & Starring Rainn Wilson

Categories: 1-Featured,Network TV Press Releases

Written By

January 7th, 2014

Rainn Wilson Super Soul

via press release:






Emmy Award Nominee Rainn Wilson to Star and Produce;

Based on Books by Renowned Criminologist and Novelist Leif G.W. Persson


Fox Broadcasting Company (FOX) has given a 13-episode series order to BACKSTROM, a one-hour drama from 20th Century Fox Television, based on renowned Swedish criminologist and novelist Leif G.W. Persson’s hit series of books of the same name. Created and executive-produced by Hart Hanson (BONES, “The Finder”), the series centers on Detective EVERETT BACKSTROM (three-time Emmy Award nominee Rainn Wilson, “The Office”), an offensive, irascible detective, as he tries, and fails, to change his self-destructive behavior. Throughout the series, Backstrom leads his team, the Serious Crimes Unit, as they navigate Portland’s most sensitive cases.


“Hart Hanson and Rainn Wilson are the perfect combination of creative vision and on-screen talent to bring this one-of-a-kind character and story like BACKSTROM to FOX,” said Kevin Reilly, Chairman of Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company. “I’ve been in business with Hart for a long time, and not only does he have a rare gift for infusing darker themes with relatable humor, he’s one of the best showrunners out there today. Together with Rainn – who absolutely nails this role and makes it a classic FOX character – I think we’ve got something really special here.”


“There are so few creators out there with the genuine ability to mix great procedural storytelling with humor, and Hart Hanson is one of those guys. Getting another show on the air with him has been a top priority of this company,” commented Twentieth Century Fox Television Chairmen and CEOs Gary Newman and Dana Walden. “And getting the amazing Rainn Wilson in the title role was quite simply a coup. His ‘Backstrom’ fits perfectly into FOX’s long history of dramas centered around a bigger-than-life iconic character.”


“Naturally, all of us who worked on BACKSTROM thought it was too promising a series to die unseen and Dana and Gary were relentless in their support of the project,” added Hanson. “Imagine our delight to find that Kevin Reilly and his team at FOX agreed enough to pick it up and give us a good home. Thanks FOX!”


“I couldn't be more thrilled to get a chance to dig into Detective Everett Backstrom. For an actor it's rare to get a crack at a role of such intelligence, humor and complexity. He's a delightfully disheveled misanthrope with a twisted, brilliant mind and a heart of barbed wire. Truly the role of a lifetime,” noted Wilson. “Hart Hanson is an incredible writer and showrunner and I couldn't be more excited to collaborate with him. Last but not least, FOX is the PERFECT home for this fun and disturbed piece of entertainment. They are passionate about the show and I'm ecstatic to be working with Kevin Reilly again (he launched “The Office” on NBC and fought tooth-and-nail for us to stay on the air, let's not forget) and to be on the same network as my frenemy, Mindy Kaling.”


Hanson serves as executive producer on the series with Persson and Niclas Salomonsson. Emmy Award-nominated director Mark Mylod (“Entourage,” “Shameless,” “Ali G Indahouse”) served as director and executive producer on the pilot. Production is scheduled to begin in early 2014.


In the pilot episode, after the apparent suicide of a Senator’s son is ruled a homicide, the Portland Police Bureau’s Serious Crime Unit, led by Detective Backstrom (Wilson) must solve the case. Following the team’s arrival on the scene, forensics expert Sergeant PETER NIEDERMAYER (Kristoffer Polaha, “Ringer,” “Life Unexpected”) verifies that the death was indeed a homicide. This starts the trail for Backstrom and his team: Detective NICOLE GRAVELY, Detective Sergeant JOHN ALMOND (Dennis Haysbert, “The Unit,” “24”), uniformed officer FRANK MOTO (Page Kennedy, “Weeds,” S.W.A.T.”) and the tech-savvy NADIA PAQUET (Beatrice Rosen, “The Dark Knight,” “Cuts”). Together, they must follow leads, while trying to maintain a low profile in this highly scrutinized case.


Persson’s book series “Backstrom” is popular in Scandinavia, where his work has sold more than six million copies. The character has appeared in two novels so far, “Linda” and “He Who Kills The Dragon.”


BACKSTROM is produced by 20th Century Fox Television. The series is created, written and executive-produced by Hart Hanson. Leif G.W. Persson and Niclas Salomonsson serve as executive producers. Rainn Wilson and Josh Levy serve as producers. Mark Mylod directed and served as an executive producer on the pilot.


  • ToXiX

    @PRW no, the cable model sucks and so does having only 10 – 12 episodes per season and then having to wait a year for another season. Broadcast is better for a variety of reasons *rolls*

  • ToXiX


  • ToXiX


  • ToXiX


  • ToXiX


    And :roll: at all my failed attempts to post :roll:

  • Bitter Go On Fan

    Get over yourself! everybody hates your schedules! they’re truly horrible!! Stop spamming us with them!!

    I think I could like this show. Pair it with Mindy for a The Office reunion (Mindy is probably getting axed though :()

  • Omega

    Thanks @tobes and @KevinY. I just found couple of go to websites. The AV Club and this one now withstanding.

  • Ultima


    Fifth time’s a charm! :razz:

  • Networkman

    FOX has to continue creating successful dramas that run 22 episode seasons and can be sold into syndication. So I wouldn’t want the network to fully adopt the cable model. I don’t mind Sleepy Hollow and The Following sharing a timeslot though

    9pm Sleepy Hollow(13 episodes)/ The Following(15 episodes)

    8pm Glee(Final Season)
    9pm New Girl
    9:30pm New Comedy- Man/Child

    8pm Brooklyn Nine-Nine
    8:30pm New Comedy-FOMO
    9pm Backstrom

    8pm Masterchef Jr. / American Idol
    9pm Kitchen Nightmares /American Idol

    8pm Bones (Final 18 episode Season)/Almost Human
    This will bring the total episode count to 206, the amount of separate bones in an adult
    9pm Almost Human/ Gang Related

    8pm The Simpsons
    8:30pm New Animation- Bordertown
    9pm Family Guy
    9:30pm Bob’s Burgers

  • I Love TV!

    8p – Rake
    9p – The Middle Man

    8p – Backstrom
    9p – New Girl
    9:30pm – FOMO

    8p – Hell’s Kitchen
    9p – Sleepy Hollow

    8p – Cosmos
    9p – Surviving Jack
    9:30pm – Brooklyn 99

    8p – Glee (Final 13 Episodes)
    9p – MasterChef Junior

    8p – Bob’s Burgers
    8:30p – The Simpsons
    9p – Family Guy
    9:30p – Bordertown

    The Following
    Waynard Pines

  • PRW


    We don’t even have a winter premiere list yet and it’s January…


    Yet it works for Cable dramas all the time…

  • Jermal


    The media corporations that own CBS,NBC,FOX and ABC are already doing that for this season as those mid-season shows will air 8-13 episodes or air during the summer. I will also remind you that those corporations also own those cable channels for example Disney owns half of A & E Networks(8 channels) as well as all ESPN networks and their own channels(also ABC’s cable channels). NBC/Comcast owns 20 channels. CBS owns(besides their own networks and CW) Showtime and its channels as well as TVGN. FOX owns 14 cable channels plus My Network TV. Lastly these media corporation fully adapt their cable model on their broadcast networks.

  • Jermal

    meant to say that they won’t fully adapt their cable model onto their broadcast television shows.

  • Jagger Dagger

    I don’t mind the cable model for dramas that has 12 eps instead of 22.
    I’d rather have quality over quantity, and the cable and pay cable’s dramas have become superior to what the networks have been dredging up lately.

  • Brad

    Glee 13 episode Friday burn off confirmed!

  • Greg


    Hierogliph, Gracepoint and Backstrom are all for fall 2014. Wayward Pines and 24 are miniseries (at least for now, maybe FOX decides to renew 24 for another season and make it an even 10), and Gang Related will likely debut after Almost Human is over (on March).

  • Tomcatt630

    If viewers can accept R. Wilson in another role and not think he’s ‘Dwight’, it may be a hit.

  • Tomcatt630

    22 episodes only work with dramas that are ‘catch bad guys’ or ‘cure rare disease’ every week, like CBS shows. They repeat well on cable. Many like to have ‘satisfaction’ after the episode.

    ‘Cliffhanger/spoiler’ shows best run with shorter seasons and don’t repeat well. * seasons of Des. Wives are sitting on shelves gathering dust. Once spoilers are revealed, no need to watch.

  • DSC

    this is good news. I heard Hart Hanson recently on the nerdiest writers panel, and, at the time, he said that this show was dead, that FOX hadn’t picked up the pilot. apparently it’s back from the dead.

  • greenrun99

    And Cancelled.

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