The Wild West is making a comeback on TV, with another Western project in the works. TNT has given a cast-contingent pilot order to Gateway, from HBO’s Band of Brothers and The Pacific writer Bruce C. McKenna and Nikita and CSI producer-director Danny Cannon.
Gateway is about an action/adventure set in a town of the same name in Colorado in the 1880s. The story chronicles three brothers who step up to save their town when their sheriff father is murdered, pitting them against a corrupt cattle baron determined to make the town his own.
After HBO revived the Western with the grimy artistic Deadwood, it took a few years before FX’s Justified came along and suggested the genre might work again for a broader audience. (Justified, of course, is set in modern times, but is often called a neo-Western since, well, it feels like one, doesn’t it?) NBC developed a Western for the upcoming season that didn’t make it past the pilot stage, and CBS was working on a reboot of Wild Wild West. But AMC went ahead with its post-Civil War story Hell on Wheels, about a former solider seeking revenge while working on the transcontinental railroad.
Gateway is a very familiar sounding story, but I like it. Ever since Deadwood, networks have been trying to figure out other new ways to put spins on the format. This sounds more like a classic story that, if cast and told really well like McKenna’s BOB and Pacific, could be fun. What do you think?