FX has put in an order for Over There, Steven Bochco's drama about the war in Iraq.
The cable network has commited to 13 episodes, which it plans to start running in July.FX also ordered six episodes of Thief, a show created by Norman Morrill that focuses on a group of thieves.
Both shows are part of an effort to bolster the cable channel's lineup of dramas, which already includes three: The Shield, Nip Tuck and Rescue Me. They've boosted the network's rating, earned it critical acclaim, and made it a place where top actors want to work.
When The Shield returns for a fourth season on March 15, Glenn Close will join the cast.
Over There is billed as the first scripted television series set in an ongoing war involving the United States (M*A*S*H* was about Viet Nam by way of Korea).
The ensemble drama created by Bochco and Chris Gerolmo centers on the members of a U.S. Army unit sent to Iraq on their first tour of duty. It will explore the effects of war on those soldiers on the front, as well as their families at home.
Bochco and FX say the series will avoid getting into the politics of the war.
Over There is one of two Bochco dramas slated to premier this year as NYPD Blue ends its 12-year run on ABC. Bochco's Blind Justice will run in NYPD Blue's time slot on Tuesdays at 10 p.m., starting March 8.
Over There is produced by Steven Bochco Productions in association with Twentieth Century Fox Television.
Thief, which is slated to debut early next year, focuses on a sophisticated robbery crew led by Nick Atwater (played by Andre Braugher, ex of Homicide).
The show, which will be shot in New Orleans, examines Atwater's troubled relationship with his teenage stepdaughter, a desperate cop and the Chinese Mafia. It is produced by Regency Television, Fox Television Studios (FtvS), and Pariah Pictures.