David Duchovny’s ’60s Cop Drama ‘Aquarius’ Gets 13-Episode, Straight-to-Series Order

By March 31, 2014

Just at the end of February, we learned that Fox was developing a new series following the people involved with the Manson Family murders with Rob Zombie and Bret Easton Ellis teaming up to bring it to life. But it looks like they won’t be the only ones shining a light on the well-known, gruesome killings.

Deadline reports NBC has just given a 13-episode, straight-to-series order to “Aquarius,” a new 1960s crime drama following David Duchovny (“X-Files” and “Californication”) as a cop who goes undercover to investigate Charles Manson and his insane relatives just before they claimed seven victims in August of 1969, including actress Sharon Tate, who was eight and a half months pregnant with the child of director Roman Polanski’s child at the time of her death.

John McNamara (“Prime Suspect”) wrote the series, which will see Duchovny as an L.A. police sergeant with a complicated personal life as he tracks the small-time crimes and rising cult of Charles Manson, before he became the ruthless murderer and well-known serial killer we all know today. The series will follow the twists and turns leading up to the chilling murders, eventually bringing the police sergeant and his young partner to killings (including Sharon Tate) in later seasons.

Charles Manson - Arrested

Initially, the project was pictured as an event series, but it sounds like the scope can easily be widened if it turns out to be a success. As we’ve seen lately, limited series are all the rage, but if something catches on, networks won’t hesitate to bite. If anything, this allows for a much less stressful development season, because if a show doesn’t work after 13 episodes, there’s no need to explain why it isn’t coming back or to struggle to keep it alive.

NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke says, “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.” Sounds a bit morbid when put into that context, but whatever. Duchovny is wasting no time finding a new TV home now that “Californication” is all finished. We were hoping for another X-Files movie, but putting David Duchovny back in detective mode is about as good as we’ll get for now.

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Ethan Anderton
Some of his favorite films include Ghostbusters, The Empire Strikes Back and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, while his favorite TV series include LOST, Mad Men, 30 Rock, Parks & Recreation, Arrested Development and Saturday Night Live.