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Rescue Me creator tees up Titans for WGN America

WGN America’s rebirth as a home for high-end drama projects continues with the straight-to-series commission of a show from Peter Mattei and Rescue Me co-creator Peter Tolan.

Titans will be the Tribune Media’s basic cable and satellite-distributed channel’s third drama after Manhattan, which launched this month, and Salem. WGN America was previously known as for acquired syndication programming and local news, but has reinvented itself as a viable home for major drama projects.

Another project, Underground, has been put into pre-production and given writers’ room staff with an eye towards a series order.

Titans will follow the Farrell clan, a mysterious group of mountaintop outsiders that protect their homestead above all else.

Sony Pictures Television will produce alongside Tribune Studios.

Playwright Mattei is writer and creator, while Tolan, who runs Fedora Entertainment, will executive produce alongside actor Paul Giamatti (Sideways) and Dan Carey from Touchy Feely Films. Fedora’s Wichael Wimer is also execing the 13x60mins series.

Underground, meanwhile, will follow the pre-American Civil War slaves that made for freedom by taking the dangerous Underground Railroad, and the mercenaries paid to hunt them down.

Misha Green (Sons of Anarchy, Heroes) wrote and created the concept. Joe Pokaski (CSI) is executive producing alongside Akiva Goldsman from Weed Road Pictures, Tony Tunnell and Joby Harold from Safehouse Pictures.

“These projects, each exploring a world we find to be unique and fascinating, continue our aggressive expansion into original scripted programming,” said Matt Cherniss, president and general manager, WGN America and Tribune Studios.

“Everyone at WGN America is pleased to enter this next phase of our growth with Sony Pictures Television as an important partner on these projects, along with such talented creators and producers.”

“WGN America has made a commitment to quality programming and we are happy that working together is a significant part of their growth strategy,” added Zack Van Amburg, president of programming and production for SPT.