Chuck Norris back in action

Aug 5, 2002  •  Post A Comment

Action star Chuck Norris is returning to television after entering an exclusive agreement to star in and develop a new weekly television series with Tribune Entertainment designed to premiere in fall 2003.
The upcoming series will be targeted for syndication and will feature an ensemble cast and an exotic base of production. It will be executive produced by brothers Chuck Norris and Aaron Norris, the team responsible for the long-running CBS series “Walker, Texas Ranger.” The series will be designed along the same lines as the prototype action and crime-doesn’t-pay hour that made Mr. Norris a TV star.
“For 81/2 incredible seasons, Chuck and `Walker, Texas Ranger’ were part of the foundation of CBS’s prime-time schedule,” said Dick Askin, president and CEO of Tribune Entertainment. “He also commands an incredibly loyal audience worldwide, so this is a tremendous coup for syndication. Chuck and Aaron’s wealth of creative ideas and vision will enable us to develop yet another long-term hit franchise.”
The move would appear to continue Tribune’s storm through the action hour business, a genre avoided in recent years by most studios for syndication. Tribune will launch “Adventure, Inc.” starring Michael Biehn this fall and has successfully launched “Mutant X” and “Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda” in the past two years.
“This continues to keep Tribune Entertainment at the forefront of the weekly action hour business,” Mr. Askin said. “It significantly expands our future portfolio of contemporary hit programming for the marketplace.”
Exciting opportunity
The deal was brokered for Norris Brothers Entertainment by Steve Kattleman and Henry Holes of Greenberg & Traurig and Ross Fineman of Endeavor.
“A number of opportunities have come up for Aaron and me and our production company since we decided to end `Walker’ … and this partnership with Tribune Entertainment is definitely the most exciting,” Mr. Norris said. “It presents some new challenges as well as the opportunity to build upon our experience in delivering a weekly series that incorporates action, social concerns and a sense of morality.”
Mr. Norris made his breakthrough in the 1978 hit film “Good Guys Wear Black” and was subsequently recognized in a succession of 20 films, including “A Force of One,” “Missing in Action,” “Code of Silence” and “The Delta Force,” before his long run as “Walker, Texas Ranger.”