As the summer's virtual Television Critics Association's press event series rolls along, Robert Downey Jr. and Susan Downey's production company has inked a straight-to-series order with Apple for a drama from Team Downey (Perry Mason, Sweet Tooth) and Adam Perlman (Billions, The Good Wife, The Newsroom). Perlman will serve as writer and executive produce alongside The Downeys and Amanda Burrell (Sweet Tooth, Perry Mason), with Michael Lista set to co-executive produce (and possibly taking on a supporting role, which would mark his first regular series television work in 20 years). With Variety first reporting the news exclusively, the series is based on Lista's Toronto Sun article "The Sting," which finds "a frustrated Canadian detective" taking on an old "cold case" with the hope of solving it and becoming a hero. When the undercover officer takes the investigation into his own hands to plan an "elaborate sting," things spiral out of control with "play-acting cops," a whole lot of taxpayer money spent, and an "unexpected friendship" with the case's prime suspect.
Team Downey has been having a pretty good run of things lately. The production company's take on Perry Mason has proven a hit for HBO, with the Matthew Rhys (The Americans)-starrer recently renewed for a second season. In addition, production is underway on Netflix's adaptation of Jeff Lemire's comic book series Sweet Tooth. Perlman's time on Showtime's Billions saw him develop from writer to executive producer, and he is currently adapting the Sports Illustrated article "This Hockey Mogul Was 17. Got a Problem With That?" into the feature film, "The Trashers." For AppleTV+, the news is just the recent in a series of high-profile, big-name deals since the streaming service was first announced. With The Morning Show, you have Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, and Steve Carell, M. Night Shyamalan's thriller series Servant, Hailee Steinfeld in Dickinson, Jason Momoa in See, and Chris Evans in Defending Jacob. And don't get us started on how pricey Snoopy's contract is.