NBC Plans A ‘Wiseguy’ Reboot

Stephen J. Cannell's classic series may find new life at the peacock network.

Blair Marnellby Blair Marnell

In the '80s, "Wiseguy" was somewhat ahead of its time with multi-episode arcs about Vincent "Vinnie" Terranova (Ken Wahl), an undercover cop who infiltrated criminal organizations to help bring them down from within. Now that the TV landscape is dominated by both crime procedurals and serialized dramas, NBC has decided that "Wiseguy" is overdue for a comeback.

According to Deadline, NBC has given a script commitment to an updated version of "Wiseguy" from 20th Century Fox TV and Chernin Entertainment. Alex Cary ("Homeland") is attached to write and executive produce the potential series, alongside Peter Chernin and Katherine Pope.

For the new "Wiseguy," the premise will reportedly be modified slightly so that the main character is a disgraced former cop who cuts a deal while in prison to help the federal government bring down a criminal syndicate in exchange for time off of his sentence.

The original "Wiseguy"  was created by Stephen J. Cannell and Frank Lupo and it ran on CBS for four seasons from 1987 to 1990. In that series, Vinnie Terranova was working for the Organized Crime Bureau, a fictional offshoot of the FBI. The series was highly regarded for its use of serialized stories and outstanding performances by Kevin Spacey and Jerry Lewis, among others.

Wahl left the series before the fourth season, with Steven Bauer stepping in as the new lead character, Michael Santana; a disbarred U.S. Attorney. However, Wahl reprized his role in the "Wiseguy" TV movie that aired on ABC in 1996.

If "Wiseguy" goes forward as a series, it would likely air next fall on NBC.

What are your thoughts on a new "Wiseguy" series? Who should play Vinnie Terranova in the reboot? Let us know in the comment section below!