‘CSI’ and ‘Chicago Med’ Executive Producers Developing ‘Cliffhanger’ Series

by Jennifer Shea

A new series being developed at Fox would subject the plot of a British novel to a little role reversal. And if that weren’t intriguing enough, Cliffhanger, based on the novel of the same name by TJ Middleton, has already drawn in co-executive producers known for their work on CSI and Chicago Med.

Melissa Byer and Treena Hancock are working on the one-hour drama series with Fox, Deadline reports. The duo previously executive produced CSI on CBS, The Gifted on Fox, and Chicago Med on NBC.

Instead of sticking with the novel’s distinctly 20th-century plot, about a taxi driver in the British countryside who kills his wife, the new series will follow Audrey Greenwood, a rideshare driver who has a pandemic-induced epiphany about her husband, Al.

Audrey realizes she never wants to see Al again. But instead of merely leaving him, she tries to kill him in a tequila-fueled fit that predictably goes sideways. In the aftermath of that night, Audrey finds herself ensnared in a murder mystery that upsets the balance of things in her tiny seaside town.

CSI and Chicago Med EPs Are Writing and Exec Producing Cliffhanger

Not only will Byer and Hancock executive produce Cliffhanger, but they will also write it. Middleton, whose given name is Tim Binding, will consult. Also executive producing are Cartel Entertainment’s Stan Spry, Jeff Holland, Drew Brown, and Evan Cordray.

Repping Byer and Hancock is Cordray at Cartel, Andy Patman at A3 Artists Agency and Darren Trattner at Jackoway Austen Tyerman Wertheimer Mandelbaum Morris Bernstein Trattner & Klein.

Meanwhile, repping Binding are Godwin at David Godwin Associates and Jonathan Sissons at Peters, Fraser & Dunlop. And repping Cartel Entertainment are Bob Myman and Laurie Megery at Myman Greenspan Fox Rosenberg Mobasser Younger & Light.

The news of Cliffhanger’s development dovetails with Fox’s push to launch multiple new shows heading into 2022, Variety reports. That includes the comedies Pivoting and Welcome to Flatch and the dramas The Cleaning Lady and Monarch.

Fox has also issued several series orders for next year. Among them are the animated comedies Krapopolis and Grimsburg and the anthology drama Accused.

Novel on Which the Show Is Based Is Part of a Series

Cliffhanger, the novel, is actually the first in a series. Its second installment is titled Fish Tale.

The novels are told from the perspective of a taxi driver named Al, who encounters all kinds of unfortunate consequences after the planned murder of his wife goes awry. Al winds up going on a crime spree in his attempt to cover up the murder.

Intended to be darkly funny, the novels give readers a tour both of the English countryside and of the relatively banal psyche of a murderer.

As for the planned drama on Fox, it’s unclear what befalls Audrey after her attempt to kill Al. Curious mystery fans will just have to watch it to find out.