NBC Orders Charles Manson Event Series ‘Aquarius’, David Duchovny To Star

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NBC is adding a 1960s set police drama about the hunt for Charles Manson to their growing slate of event series.

The network has handed a 13 episode straight-to-series order to event series Aquarius, which hails from John McNamara and ITV Studios America in association with Marty Adelstein Productions. In what marks his first broadcast television series since The X-Files wrapped its run in 2002, Californication star David Duchovny is attached to star and executive produce.

Aquarius is set in the late 1960s and follows an LAPD Sergeant (Duchovny) with a complicated personal life who starts tracking a small-time criminal and budding cult leader seeking out vulnerable women to join his “cause.” The name of that man is Charles Manson. The twists and turns of a complicated undercover operation will lead Duchovny’s character and his young partner to the brink of Manson’s crimes that will eventually lead to the Tate-LaBianca murders in subsequent seasons. In addition to Duchovny, the executive producers are John McNamara, Marty Adelstein and Melanie Greene.

With today’s greenlight, Aquarius joins a number of event series which are in various stages of development at NBC. Three other such event series, Rosemary’s Baby, Heroes: Reborn and The Slap, based on the Australian series of the same name, have all received green-lights and are expected to air on the peacock across 2014 and 2015. For their part, NBC has yet to confirm production or planned broadcast schedules for Aquarius.

“Event series are a big priority for us, and the combination of a show that charts the lead-up to the Manson murders, along with a television star of the magnitude of David Duchovny, is the very definition of an event,” said Jennifer Salke, President of NBC Entertainment. “We’re thrilled to be working with these talented producers, including Marty Adelstein and creator John McNamara, to present something truly original.”

Chairman of NBC Entertainment Robert Greenblatt, who worked on both The X-Files and Californication in his previous roles at Fox and Showtime, commented: “After being involved in the production of both ‘The X-Files’ and ‘Californication,’ it gives me great pleasure to work with David Duchovny for the third time on this compelling drama. I’m especially pleased that he wanted to come to NBC where I know there is a big audience waiting to see him.”

While David Duchovny added: “I’m thrilled to be working with Bob Greenblatt again and coming back to broadcast television. I think ‘Aquarius’ has a chance to be a special show and I can’t wait to get going.”