The TNT cable channel has a new series in mind, and just the right people to take it on.
Mike Sussman and Kenneth Biller, who connected for the first time in 1996 as writers for the UPN series “Star Trek: Voyager,” have taken on a new project for the Turner channel that seems to have received at least some inspiration from the popular USA network series “Psych.”
The duo are developing a pilot called “Perception” through ABC Studios centered around Dr. Geoffrey Pierce, an “eccentric neuroscientist who uses his unique outlook to help the federal government solve complex cases,” according to TV Week. The show is part of an overall slate of pilots announced for TNT and sister stations TBS and Turner Classic Movies Wednesday.
“These pilots reflect our enthusiasm for relatable but complex everyman heroes, showcased in exciting storytelling environments,” said Michael Wright, an executive vice president and head of programming for TNT, TBS and TCM, according to TV Weekl. “They also reflect our reliance on extraordinary talent to deliver on the promise of quality series television. The writers of these projects bring great intelligence, heart and humor to their work.”
Also getting a greenlight for pilot were “Brain Trust,” a comedy for TBS; an untitled project from producer Allan Loeb; and an update of the 1980s primetime soap “Dallas” through Warner Horizon Television. “Brain Trust” has Dean Devlin attached, one of the main forces behind the 1994 film “Stargate” that spawned a massive franchise for MGM and Syfy, as well as the popular TNT series “Leverage.”
Sussman wrote the story for the February 1996 episode of “Voyager” called “Meld,” which focused on Tuvok (Tim Russ) investigating the death of an engineer. He got his first scriptwriting credit a few months later for “Swarm,” but then would be out of the writing picture until resurfacing in 2000 for the “Voyager” episodes “The Haunting of Deck Twelve,” as well as the two-parter “Unimatrix Zero.”
Sussman also wrote episodes of “Star Trek: Enterprise,” “Threshold” and “Legend of the Seeker.” He was a co-producer on “Enterprise,” a supervising producer on “Threshold” and a co-executive producer of “Seeker.”
Biller got his start with “90210” on Fox back in the early 1990s, but quickly graduated to genre television, counting involvement in “Voyager,” “Dark Angel,” “Smallville,” and “Six Degrees” before reuniting with Sussman on “Seeker.”
It’s unclear if and when “Perception” will be developed into a series, but if TNT likes what it sees, Sussman and Biller could have a show back on the airwaves in as early as 2011.