EXCLUSIVE: Living up to its “Brace Yourself” slogan, Showtime has put in development another provocative project, neo-Nazi drama The 4th Reich. The project, executive produced by Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal, is described as American History X meets The Town. It is a high-octane crime thriller delving into race, religion, and politics through the lens of a dogmatic faction of the neo-Nazi movement in South Boston. When a former leader is sprung from jail by agreeing to become a confidential informant to the FBI, he assimilates back to his old life and finds his estranged 15-year-old son has been co-opted by his former best friend and now current leader of the Brotherhood. The trajectory of the series will track the central character caught between two worlds as he starts to gain perspective and change.
4th Reich, written on spec by Sonya Winton and Jonathan Kidd, has been a passion project for Rosenthal as it dovetailes with Tribeca’s work with Against Violent Extremism, a “social network” for former violent extremists and their victims. Backed by the Google Ideas think tank, AVE’s goal is to counter violent extremists. In that context, people close to the project stress that The 4th Reich is not just another violent show but hits on the human stories of former extremists and people affected by extremism to help influence “at risk” young people.
Tribeca first set up the 4th Reich spec at CBS TV Studios where the company is under an overall deal. It was taken to Showtime, which immediately bought it for development. De Niro and Rosenthal serve as executive producers, Paradigm-repped Winton and Kidd as co-executive producers and Tribeca’s Berry Welsh as producer. This marks Tribeca’s second major project at Showtime, where the company also has in the works The Good Shepherd, a period drama based on the characters from the 2006 Cold War feature spy thriller directed by De Niro. The film’s writer, Oscar winner Eric Roth, is writing the series adaptation, with De Niro set to direct.
CAA-repped Tribeca and CBS TV Studios also have two drama scripts in contention at CBS, a legal drama from Danny Strong and David O. Russell and family medical drama from TV writer/playwright Diana Son.