Cinemax will head to the Middle East for its next original action-drama, titled Signal. Hailing from Ben Younger, the writer-director of Boiler Room and Prime, the series is apparently based on true events and will draw inspiration from the top-secret world of military contracting during the Iraq/Afghanistan war.
The series, which Younger will script and executive produce, centers on a young man who “launches a propaganda business in the Middle East and gets rich on the back of millions of dollars of US Government contract.”
If Younger’s comments to THR about Signal are any indication, it will mark an intellectual high-water mark for the premium network once known as Skinemax:
“What drew me to this story was the opportunity to look at a decade-long conflict this country was knee deep in, from a totally unique perspective. From the specific perspective of a few people who were there, both on the ground in Baghdad, and in Crystal City navigating the world of contractors this war spawned. I am a news junkie and yet I still feel like I don’t truly understand all of the events that transpired in Iraq those first two years after Baghdad fell. Bremmer, De-Bathification and the sectarian war that followed. What were the actual events that led from us being liberators to occupiers? How did some D.O.D. contractors end up making hundreds of millions of dollars? How did we blow it so badly?”
If Younger can deliver the goods and avoid turning it into a testosterone-fueled, low-IQ thriller, Signal could well become mandatory TV viewing. It certainly sounds like an intriguing addition to Cinemax’s growing line-up of originals. On the network, high-rated action dramas Strike Back and Banshee will soon be returning for new seasons, and Steven Soderbergh’s Clive Owen period drama The Knick is coming later this summer. Also on the way: action thriller series Hurt People, Sandbox, The Sixth Family, Kingpin, Blanco and Quarry.