May 14, 2008 / 5:56 AM / 9 years ago

Donnie Wahlberg to star in Boston-set cable drama

<p>Singer Donnie Wahlberg of the music group "New Kids on the Block" makes an appearance on NBC's "Today" show in New York April 4, 2008.Brendan McDermid</p>

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Donnie Wahlberg and director/producer Jon Avnet have teamed up with cable network TNT to develop a crime drama about a young war hero turned Drug Enforcement Administration officer working in his hometown of Boston.

Wahlberg, a Boston native, is expected to star in the tentatively titled "Morse Code," which is being written by former "Law & Order" writer-producer Walon Green, with Avnet expected to direct.

Michael Wright, TNT's top programmer, described the project -- one of several expected to be announced Wednesday at Turner's "upfront" presentation to advertisers in New York -- as being in the vein of "The Departed," with the commingling of law enforcement and organized crime.

"Our original shows are character-based dramas that speak directly to the audience," Wright said. "The guy at the center of this is a relatable everyman kind of cop -- an honest, authentic character that our audience can connect with on a personal level."

Wahlberg and Avnet worked together on "Boomtown" and the upcoming film "Righteous Kill."

Wahlberg also has reunited with his New Kids on the Block bandmates for a tour kicking off Friday on NBC's "Today."

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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