Showtime Networks has ordered a new, eight-hour television event based upon last year's Golden Golden-nominated miniseries, Sleeper Cell, it was announced today by Robert Greenblatt, President of Entertainment, Showtime Networks Inc. Michael Ealy (Barbershop, "Their Eyes Were Watching God") and Oded Fehr (Resident Evil: Apocalypse, The Mummy) re-team for the frighteningly realistic drama, set to begin production in Los Angeles this summer. Creators Ethan Reiff & Cyrus Voris will continue to serve as executive producers.
The controversial and unconventional drama delves into the harsh inner-workings of a Los Angeles-based Islamic terrorist cell headed by a charismatic and fanatical extremist (Fehr) and an Muslim undercover FBI agent (Ealy) who infiltrates it. Last year's mini-series featured a powerful and engrossing two-hour finale that will set the stage for the new Sleeper Cell, which will continue to combine timely, meticulously researched storylines and complex characters to create an entertaining and thought-provoking television event.
"Sleeper Cell became an instant signature show for us and has all the hallmarks of great premium cable," said Greenblatt. "It's relevant, fearless and unlike anything else on television. Unfortunately terrorism is a part of our daily lives and this show is one of the few things in our pop culture to grapple with this subject matter in a realistic way."
Sleeper Cell premiered last December and became one of the most critically acclaimed mini-series of the year, receiving a Golden Globe-nomination for Best Mini-Series as well as being named one of the AFI's Ten Best Television Programs of 2005. The New York Times hailed the ground-breaking mini-series as "Better than 24," and "Unlike any other program that has been produced for American television."