ITV is developing crime drama Wild Bill, starring and executive produced by Rob Lowe (Code Black, Parks and Recreation, The West Wing). ITV’s Head of Drama Polly Hill today confirmed commission of the six-part crime drama, in which Rob Lowe plays high-flying US cop, Bill Hixon, who is appointed Chief Constable of the East Lincolnshire Police Force.
When high-flying US police chief Bill Hixon lands in Boston, Lincolnshire, with his 14 year-old daughter Kelsey in tow, he’s hoping they can flee their painful recent past. But this unfamiliar, unimpressed community will force Bill to question everything about himself and leave him asking whether it’s Boston that needs Bill, or Bill that needs Boston?
“As an actor, Wild Bill is a larger than life character who’s outrageously articulate, has nothing to lose and revels in being an American fish out of water. As an executive producer, I’m excited to work with such talented partners and to come back to work in the UK, which I always love,” said Lowe.
The drama is the first time 42 (Traitors, Ironbark, Watership Down), Anonymous Content (13 Reasons Why, Maniac, Mr. Robot), and ITV Studios label, Shiver, have collaborated to produce a drama series for the channel.
Wild Bill is created by David Griffiths (The Hunted, Collateral Damage), Kyle Killen (Halo, Awake) and Dudi Appleton and Jim Keeble (Silent Witness, Thorne: Sleepyhead & Scaredycat, Trial & Retribution), and will be written by lead writers and showrunners Keeble and Appleton.
Rob Lowe will also act as an executive producer on Wild Bill alongside Eleanor Moran (Rome, Being Human, Watership Down) and Rory Aitken (In Darkness, Watership Down, Traitors) on behalf of 42, and Tim Carter (Traitors, Garrow’s Law, Privates), Managing Director of ITV Studios label Shiver. Writers Dudi Appleton and Jim Keeble, creator David Griffiths, Kyle Killen, Scott Pennington and Keith Redmon from Anonymous Content also join the team as executive producers.
With a first class degree in Criminology, a Masters in Psychopathology and a Doctorate in Statistical Mapping, Bill Hixon is impressively qualified to tackle the county’s crime figures with his graphs, charts, algorithms and a tapestry of digits. Whip-smart, acerbic and unstoppable, Bill is very good at what he does. America’s Top Metropolitan Police Chief three years running is the ideal candidate to make his mark on the East Lincolnshire Force, not least by driving through drastic cuts. From the outset Bill isn’t about making friends. He’s here to get the job done and get the hell out as quick as his spin-class-toned legs will carry him.
But Bill discovers the people of Boston are just as smart-mouthed, cynical and difficult to impress as he is. They don’t suffer fools, authority or algorithms gladly. And the man who’s spent his life keeping the messiness of human intimacy at arm’s length is reluctantly propelled into frontline policing and forced to reconsider his relationship with those closest to him. It’s funny and dangerous in equal measure.
Writers and creators Jim Keeble and Dudi Appleton said: “Wild Bill gives us an chance to write about modern Britain and modern crime through unique eyes. We wrote this for Rob Lowe, for his smart-talking, anarchic, soulful voice. Displacing Rob in Brexit Britain and specifically in Boston, Lincolnshire allows us to tell stories that are leftfield and unexpected. We wanted to write something that couldn’t take place anywhere else, or at any other time.”
The drama will be directed by Lead Director Charles Martin (Marcella, Skins, Wallander) and produced by Chris Thompson (Emerald City, The Fear, Eric and Ernie). Filming will take place around London and in Lincolnshire starting in November.