If there was anyone that wanted concrete proof that the world of television, and particularly the world of television writer employment is an enigma, look no further than the career of Shawn Ryan. He has had the dubious reputation of being quite possibly the most canceled writer/show runner in Hollywood today. Shows such as Lie to Me, The Unit, The Chicago Code, Last Resort, and Terriers have all been canceled, the last two being within the first season. Only in Hollywood could someone repeatedly be canceled and yet repeatedly finding new jobs.
Case in point, Shawn Ryan has two new shoes in development, one with CBS and one with HBO. The one for CBS is based on the 80’s film Beverly Hills Cop. Ryan is teaming up with Eddie Murphy to bring the popular film trilogy to the small screen. Not much has been released about the project beyond the story, which will follow Axel Foley’s son Aaron, who is now a cop in Beverly Hills. One could wonder how close CBS is to having an entire schedule comprising solely of procedurals, but apparently they are on to something as even though NBC has some strong weeks and months, CBS still reigns among the network channels.
It would be difficult to get two ideas further from each other, considering one is a remake of a 1980’s cop film, but the HBO project titled Badlands does just that. Badlands is set in a modern time small mining town known as Tar River, Wyoming, and has been hit particularly hard by the economic downturn. The show is set to follow the lives of the Tar River residents, proving if nothing else that Ryan has range.
Will Shawn Ryan’s luck finally turn? Even though he has had a string of early canceled shows, chances are good that with offerings on CBS and HBO, he will have at least a couple of seasons at each network. One network we can be fairly certain Ryan won’t be working with any time soon would be AMC. After it was announced that Glen Mazzara would not be returning to The Walking Dead, Ryan headed to twitter to express his displeasure with the network. He hit the nail on the head with his assessment of AMC’s future.
It’s been no secret that AMC is not very kind to show runners (Mazzera was the second in as many years for The Walking Dead) and with Breaking Bad ending and Mad Men entering its sixth season, AMC is going to need some new shows soon. Who is going to want to sign up with them? If you ask Shawn Ryan, no one of any caliber.
As for Ryan’s future, as well as AMC’s, we’ll just have to stay tuned.