The Big Picture

  • Ty Burrell stars in the new comedy noir series
    , inspired by the ’50s drama series, remade into slapstick comedy with executive producer Bryan Cranston.
  • Burrell will track down cases from city to city while searching for his long-lost love in the new series.
  • Producer Cranston calls
    a result of a fever dream, conceived over a bowl of chili at Chasens.

Ty Burrell is on the case in the new comedy noir series Tightrope! The Modern Family funnyman will star in the new Roku series, which is set to be produced by Bryan Cranston. The series is a remake of a short-lived, noir-tinged CBS drama series from 1959; the modern reimagining will reshape it into a slapstick comedy in which Burrell tracks down cases from city to city, all while searching for his long-lost love.

Producer Cranston says the series “was inspired by the on-the-nose old drama series of the ’50s, to mess with the whole thing and create a new version of a lunatic comedy, never seen before in a TV series. Tightrope is a result of a fever dream, and conceived over a bowl of chili at Chasens, savvy?” This is the second series Burrell has signed on to after the end of the long-running Modern Family in 2020. His series Forgive and Forget, in which he will play a lifelong party animal whose early-onset Alzheimer’s diagnosis prompts him to reconnect with his estranged son, was picked up with a pilot order by ABC earlier this year.

What Was ‘Tightrope!’ About?

A cop and a man in a suit standing together while the man in a suit holds two guns in Tightrope
Image via CBS

Tightrope! debuted in the fall of 1959 on CBS; it was created by Clarence Greene and Russell Rouse, the minds behind the noir classic D.O.A. It starred Mike Connors as an undercover cop known only as Nick. His status as an undercover cop was totally unknown to both his fellow police officers and to his criminal brethren, so he was forced, in every episode, to walk the metaphorical tightrope of the title.

Influenced by the noir films of the postwar period, Nick narrated the series in a hard-boiled fashion and carried a secret second gun that typically evaded a search by his enemies, be they cop or crook. The series was popular, but a dispute with the show’s sponsors ended it after a single season, and it concluded in 1960. Connors would later achieve greater fame as the star of Mannix, a similarly hard-edged detective series that proved more successful, running for eight seasons.

Cranston will executive produce the series via Moonshot Entertainment alongside James Degus; Burrell will also executive produce via Desert Whale Productions. Adam Small (Just Roll With It) and Fax Bahr (Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse) will also executive produce and direct the series.

Tightrope! has not yet set a release date. Stay tuned to Collider for future updates.

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