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A&E announces slate of original drama series

A&E, coming off the heels of the recent addition of The Sopranos, is getting even more involved in the realm of drama, announcing a slate of six new shows:

  • “Dry River,” a crime drama focusing on a wealthy community on the Texas border that faces a conflict between the local sheriff and his son, a federal agent newly assigned to the town. Joel Silver is exec producer for Warner Horizon TV. Michael Frost Beckner (“Spy Game”) is the writer.
  • “The Hunt,” a cop show dealing with a former LAPD police officer caught up in the Rampart scandal who’s trying to clear his name. It’s from Jennifer Klein and her Apartment 3B Prods. Sheldon Turner (“The Longest Yard”) is the writer.
  • “Y3,” which follows the exploits of a former criminal who sees the light and, while temping at a local precinct, secretly dons an NYPD uniform to solve cases before the regular cops can. Dan Therriault is the writer and co-executive producer with Gary Randall, for Fox TV Studios.
  • “Johnny the Great,” a character study of an out-of-control defense attorney whose personal life is dysfunctional and most of whose clients are untrustworthy. Billy Finkelstein wrote the script.
  • “Untitled NYPD Anti-Terrorist Project,” which zeroes in on a secret unit based in New York that tracks down terrorist cells throughout the U.S. Bruce McKenna (“Band of Brothers”) is the writer and co-exec producer with Andrew Tannenbaum (“The Bourne Identity”) and Jason Hoffs (“Meet the Parents”), for Fox TV Studios.
  • “Untitled Steven Bochco Project,” a departure from the other projects in that it deals not with criminal law, but with a divorce-law practice run by a happily married couple. It’ll feature both drama and black comedy. Bochco is exec producer, and the writer is Jonathan Abrahams (“Wildfire”).

In addition to the new drama show orders, the network has renewed six of its reality shows: The First 48, King of Cars, Intervention, Dog the Bounty Hunter, Gene Simmons Family Jewels, and Criss Angel Mindfreak.

Three new reality shows have also been announced, with one in production (Patti Novak: America’s Toughest Matchmaker) and two others ordered to pilot (Hollywood DMV and Alien Encounters).

None of the new shows are expected to debut before 2008.