Cinemax orders "Femme Fatales" series

Wed Jul 21, 2010 12:00am EDT
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By James Hibberd

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Cinemax is looking to revive the thriller anthology series with a project based on the men's magazine "Femme Fatales."

The network has given a series order to a half-hour late-night program with the same title, which will explore noir-style mysteries with strong female protagonists.

The show, set to debut next year, is part of the network's effort to expand its scripted originals. Though "Femme Fatales" will have a strong erotic component, it will not fall into the network's famous softcore "Skinamax" genre.

"It's a different show than we've ever done before," said Bob Conti, senior vp creative affairs at Cinemax, who cited movies like "Bound," "Dead Calm" and "Red Rock West" as inspirations. "We have an opportunity to tell some sexy and thrilling stories that all have powerful women."

Like "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" and "The Twilight Zone," Altman said the show will feature a mysterious narrator, one that he dubbed "a sexy Rod Serling."

"There's been so few opportunities to do contemporary noir," said Mark A. Altman, who co-created and will executive produce the series with Steve Kriozere. "Within that, we can do different genres -- we can do a Western episode, we can do a supernatural episode."

The producers hope that, like previous anthology shows, they'll be able to attract notable directors who will be intrigued by the opportunity to tell standalone stories.