Michele Clancy | 25-09-2013
The Starz premium cable network has green-lighted a new one-hour drama, Gringo.
The project, inspired by The Shadow Catcher, the non-fiction book by US Immigration Officer Hipolito Acosta, will chronicle a Mexican-American Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Agent who infiltrates one of Mexico’s most deadly drug and human smuggling cartels.
“Gringo provides a thrilling and uniquely personal look into international organised crime, never seen by the American public, from the viewpoint of a federal undercover agent on the front lines,” said Carmi Zlotnik, managing director of Starz. “We are excited to work with this team to develop Gringo into what we think could make for incredibly compelling television.”
Gringo is written by Spartacus franchise alums Aaron Helbing and Todd Helbing, and executive-produced by Steve Lee Jones of Bee Holder Productions.
Jones recently founded Bee Holder Production’s TV division. The company’s credits include the award-winning film, You Don’t Know Jack, and it is currently developing several projects including Delorean, a miniseries with writer Adam Mazer; the television series Rube, about the godfather of the porn industry, Reuben Sturman; Being Reich, based on the thriller by Christopher Reich; and reality skein Guilty by Association with Court TV reporter Beth Karas slated to host.
Aaron Helbing and Todd Helbing’s credits include Spartacus: War of the Damned, Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, Smallville and The Mob Doctor. They also co-wrote the first season of Mortal Kombat: Legacy, as well as the live-action series Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn. They are also supervising producers on Black Sails, premiering on Starz in January 2014.
Acosta will consult on the project, and is an expert on immigration laws, regulations, policy and procedures, and has conducted extensive undercover enforcement operations domestically and abroad. He was the district director of INS at the US Embassy, Mexico City in charge of all INS operations in Latin America and the Caribbean.