The Heat Is Off: Murphy Finds Home for “Beverly Hills Cop” TV Series

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With talk of a fourth installment in the popular movie franchise over, Nellie Andreeva of Deadline reports that a pilot for a “Beverly Hills Cop” “offshoot” has been approved. Eddie Murphy and “The Shield” creator Shawn Ryan  will serve as executive producers, with Ryan holding the TV’s industry “it” title: showrunner.

CBS has committed to a pilot, which will continue where the three movies left off. Murphy’s wise-cracking, out-of-place Detroit detective isn’t the star. That’s probably a good thing: Eddie’s bland family-friendly style was beginning to emerge in 1994’s mediocre last effort.

Instead, the series–which Murphy has been shopping around for a while–will focus on the next generation. Here’s Andreeva with the details:

The proposed series has a similar fish-out-of-water setup and centers on Axel Foley’s blue-collar police officer son, Aaron, who helps take down the criminal elements of the rich and famous in Beverly Hills while trying to escape the shadow of his larger-than-life father. Murphy will reprise his role as Axel in the pilot and may recur if the pilot goes to series.

Andreeva writes the show sounds like a good fit alongside CBS’ slate of prime-time programming, but I have my reservations. The success of the franchise, especially the first movie, was based on Murphy’s profane, star-making charisma. So, whomever is cast as Aaron Foley has to be a certifiable crowd-pleaser, which you can’t find around the corner.

And if CBS turns this into, as Andreeva puts it, another “light procedural with a male lead” a la “NCIS” or “The Mentalist,” then isn’t that too much of a good thing?

Maybe that can be Aaron’s first case.

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