20th Television and FX are going back to the drawing board on creating a new adaptation of Sam Greenlee’s spy novel “The Spook Who Sat By The Door”, which tells the fictional story of Dan Freeman, a patriot and Vietnam vet, who is recruited as the only Black operative in the CIA as part of an affirmative-action program in the late 1960s. After a very competitive selection process he trains in high-level combat and espionage. However, following this arduous training, this model recruit is rewarded with a post in the reprographics (aka photocopying) department, “left by the door” as a token of the CIA’s “racial equality.”
A pilot had been made for the series, which was written by Leigh Dana Jackson and directed by Gerard McMurray. But the pilot didn’t move forward. This pilot starred Y’lan Noel, Christina Jackson, Lucas Till, Nafessa Williams, Nathan Darrow and Tom Irwin.
During this week’s Television Critics Association Winter Tour, FX Entertainment President Eric Schrier told Deadline:
“We are working on a redeveloping of it. Lee Daniels is still involved, and they are working on it. We are reworking on the development side of it, we are not going forward with the current pilot, which Leigh Dana Jackson tweeted about awhile ago.”
The series is being developed by Lee Daniels and the search for a new writer is currently underway.