Shawn Ryan, Television’s Most Cancelled Showrunner, Takes A Crack At An HBO Drama

Poor Shawn Ryan. He’s clearly a talented show runner, and the mind behind many of the best shows of the last decade, but since The Shield, the man just can’t catch a break. The Unit, Lie to Me, Chicago Code, Terriers and Last Resort were all cancelled, the last three never made it past 13 episodes. So what’s a guy to do to insulate himself from early cancellation? He’s taken two different approaches for the 2012-2013 season, and both seem fairly cancellation proof: First, he’s developing a Beverly Hills Cop television show, centered on the son of Axel Foley (Brandon T. Jackson) for CBS. Damn near everything on CBS does well, and with built-in name recognition, how could that go wrong? It’ll probably be a tepid procedural, but it’ll run for 8 seasons.

The other thing? He’s developing a show for HBO, which will air a show for years as long as its fetches awards and prestige for the network, ratings be damned.

Ryan, along with Ron Fitzgerald — his Last Resort co-creator and exec producer — are developing a show called Badlands. According to Deadline, the show will explore “the challenges and joys of love and family, as well as the struggles of living in the blue-collar mining town of Tar River, Wyo, that’s fighting for its life during this economic hardship.”

That sounds very … HBO-y, which is to say: No one will watch the first four seasons and HBO will pull the plug on it right about the time that everyone starts tuning it, leaving us with a stubbed boner that will smart for years to come. Right Deadwood? C**ksucker.

The good news is, with so many talented people on former Shawn Ryan shows, there’s a huge pool of character actors with which to pool for casting Badlands. I hope he starts with Jason Clarke and Michael Raymond-James, and FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, find a place for Laura Allen.