After years of HBO dominating most of the action in the original programming department, its corporate sibling Cinemax is finally following in its footsteps.
Deadline is reporting that Cinemax has signed a deal with the UK network Sky and Left Bank Pictures to produce "Strike Back," a new one hour action series that will debut this summer on Cinemax.
"Strike Back" is an adaptation of Sky’s TV series of the same name which premiered last year. Both TV incarnations were based on the "Strike Back" novel by Chris Ryan. The new version of "Strike Back" will star Sullivan Stapleton ("Animal Kingdom") as Damien Scott, a former U.S. Special Forces operative who hunts an international terrorist group with an elite British paramilitary unit led by Michael Stonebridge, who will be played by Philip Winchester’s ("Fringe"). The series is expected to begin filming later this month and go through July in South Africa and Hungary.
The original "Strike Back" ran in the U.K. for six episodes last summer and starred Richard Armitage, Andrew Lincoln, Orla Brady, Shelley Conn, Colin Salmon and Jodhi May. Lincoln was more recently known in the U.S. for his lead role as Rick Grimes on "The Walking Dead," while Conn is slated to star in Steven Spielberg’s "Terra Nova" later this year on Fox.
The U.K. "Strike Back" has also previously been renewed for a ten episode second season, though it’s not clear if there will be any interaction between the characters of the two "Strike Back" series or if the American version is considered a reboot for the franchise.
Prior to "Strike Back," Cinemax has had very few original shows outside of its late night anthology series "Femme Fatales." But Deadline indicates that the network may be changing its focus to pick up a few more original series as co-production deals, as it did with Sky for "Strike Back."