The drama, which was initially passed over by CBS last pilot season, is based on the Swedish book series about an overweight, irascible detective (Rainn Wilson in his first series role since The Office) as he tries and fails to change his self-destructive behavior.
"Hart Hanson and Rainn Wilson are the perfect combination of creative vision and on-screen talent to bring this one-of-a-kind character and story like Backstrom to Fox," Kevin Reilly, Fox's Chairman of Entertainment, said in a statement. "I've been in business with Hart for a long time, and not only does he have a rare gift for infusing darker themes with relatable humor, he's one of the best showrunners out there today. Together with Rainn — who absolutely nails this role and makes it a classic F0x character — I think we've got something really special here."
Added Wilson: "I couldn't be more thrilled to get a chance to dig into Detective Everett Backstrom. For an actor it's rare to get a crack at a role of such intelligence, humor and complexity. He's a delightfully disheveled misanthrope with a twisted, brilliant mind and a heart of barbed wire. Truly the role of a lifetime. Hart Hanson is an incredible writer and showrunner and I couldn't be more excited to collaborate with him. Last but not least, Fox is the perfect home for this fun and disturbed piece of entertainment. They are passionate about the show and I'm ecstatic to be working with Kevin Reilly again (he launched The Office on NBC and fought tooth-and-nail for us to stay on the air, let's not forget) and to be on the same network as my frenemy, Mindy Kaling."
The series — executive-produced by Hanson, Niclas Salomonsson, Mark Mylod (Shameless) and author Leif G.W. Persson — also stars 24 alum Dennis Haysbert, Life Unexpected's Kristoffer Polaha, Page Kennedy (Weeds) and Beatrice Rosen (Charmed).
Production on Backstrom will kick off early this year.