Elizabeth Mitchell Fanyour source for Elizabeth Mitchell

CANNES: The prospect of working with Donald Sutherland was one of the main reasons Elizabeth Mitchell and Goran Visnjic joined the cast of Tandem Productions’ Crossing Lines, the stars told TV Drama at MIPTV today.

STUDIOCANAL is launching the third season of the European crime drama to international buyers at MIPTV this week. For the new season, Tandem enlisted Frank Spotnitz (The X-Files) as executive producer. Visnjic, known for his long run on ER, tells World Screen that when Spotnitz and Rola Bauer, CEO and partner of Tandem, spoke to him about the series, they hadn’t locked in details about his character. “They gave me broad strokes and said, Now we can talk about it, we can create a character together.”

Mitchell, whose TV career includes memorable roles in Lost and Revolution, says of Spotnitz and Bauer, “They’re incredibly collaborative…. I was worried about being in something that would be thought of as a procedural, because I thought I’d be bored. What they’ve done here is crafted some really interesting characters.”

Visnjic says he has been “immensely enjoying myself with things I’ve never done before. A couple of days ago they blocked the streets of Prague and let me loose with an Alfa Romeo turbo diesel. I was like a kid in a candy store!”

Spotnitz says that for the third season, “We wanted to honor everyone who has loved the show for the past two years, but we also wanted to bring it new life, new characters. It’s more of everything that is great about the show.”

Bringing some freshness to the series was important, Bauer says. “If you have a chance to do a third season and you’re fortunate to get that production greenlight, then you want to give your audience something that they’re familiar with and love, and attract a new audience. You want to keep everyone curious about what the story is going to be and then turn it slightly upside down—but not completely. You want to keep the DNA of the show, but with everything that is out there in terms of TV today, if you’re going to a third season, you need to springboard into something more ambitious and different.”