Martin Lawrence, Gabrielle Union, Will Smith from Bad Boys II. Photo Courtesy of Sony Pictures 

EXCLUSIVE: In a competitive situation with multiple networks pursuing, a Bad Boys spinoff TV series project starring Gabrielle Union has landed at NBC with a pilot production commitment.

 The project, centered on the Special Agent Syd Burnett character played by Union in 2003’s Bad Boys II who is making a cross-country move from Miami to Los Angeles, was taken to the marketplace last week by Bad Boys movies’ producer Jerry Bruckheimer via Jerry Bruckheimer TV, Doug Belgrad via his 2.0 Entertainment, and Primary Wave Entertainment. Sony Pictures TV Studios, whose movie sibling is behind the feature franchise, is the studio.

The untitled Bad Boys TV spinoff is being written by The Blacklist writers-producers Brandon Margolis and Brandon Sonnier. Syd Burnett, last seen in Miami taking down a drug cartel, now is an LAPD detective and can pursue all the pleasures Los Angeles has to offer and leave her past behind. But things will get complicated when her new partner, Nancy McKenna, learns that Syd’s unapologetic lifestyle might be masking a greater personal secret.


In the Bad Boys universe, Burnett is the sister of Detective Lieutenant Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) and was romantically involved with Marcus’ partner, Detective Lieutenant Mike Lowrey (Will Smith).

Margolis and Sonnier executive produce with Union, Belgrad, Jerry Bruckheimer TV’s Bruckheimer, Jonathan Littman and KristieAnne Reed, as well as Primary Wave’s Jeff Gaspin and Jeff Morrone.

The idea for a Bad Boys offshoot centered around Union’s character came from Primary Wave, which manages the actress. This marks the first big sale in the first broadcast development season since the company brought in former NBCUniversal TV Entertainment chairman Jeff Gaspin as president. It also marks Gaspin’s return to the Peacock network.

Union, who also is a bestselling author, just became available as BET announced that her popular series Being Mary Jane will end next year with a two-hour series finale movie.

Belgrad worked on Bad Boys during his 25-year career as a Sony movie executive. He was the creative executive on the 1995 original movie, which established Lawrence and Smith as feature stars. As he segued into producing with the launch of 2.0 Entertainment last fall, one of the Sony features he set out to co-finance was the long-gestating Bad Boys 3. His film slate also includes Sony’s upcoming Peter Rabbit and the Elizabeth Banks-directed Charlie’s Angels reboot.

Because it is based on existing Bruckheimer IP, the Bad Boys spinoff does not fall under Jerry Bruckheimer TV’s overall deal at CBS TV Studios. Via that pact, Bruckheimer TV has set up four drama projects at CBS: Main Justice, a legal drama inspired by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder; Unthinkable, an FBI crime drama penned by MacGyver executive producer David Slack; Whistleblower from NCIS: New Orleans executive producer/co-showrunner Chris Silber;  and a crime drama based on Lorenzo Carcaterra’s book Chasers with Shane Brennon.

Union is repped by CAA, Primary Wave Entertainment and attorney Patti Felker. Sonnier and Margolis are with CAA, John Tantillo and attorney Stephen Clark.  Jerry Bruckheimer TV is repped by CAA.

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