J.J. Abrams Sells Robocop-like Pilot to Fox; Gifted Girl Pilot to NBC
It just wouldn’t be a very interesting pilot season if there weren’t at least two pilots from J.J. Abrams being picked up. Despite directing the upcoming Star Trek Into Darkness, Abrams has managed to prevent his prolific TV producing career from stalling. I don’t know where he finds the time; especially considering the recent announcement he’ll be directing the next episode of the Star Wars saga. However he does it, I’m glad for it. His shows, whether he’s directly involved in their creation or just producing, are always at least interesting concepts. Sure, some don’t always find an audience – I’m still bummed about Alcatraz – or don’t make it past the writing stage – does anyone remember that Terry O’Quinn/Michael Emerson buddy cop pilot, Odd Jobs? – but with the amount he has on the go, one of them is eventually going to land.
The first Abrams pilot was picked up by Fox and is currently untitled, but who needs a name when you have a concept like this: according to Entertainment Weekly, it’s an action-packed buddy cop show set in the near future where all LAPD officers are partnered with highly evolved human-like androids. Essentially, all cops are partnered with Robocop. It’s written by former Fringe showrunner J.H. Wyman, with Abrams and Bryan Burke as executive producers. Should this go to series, my hope would be to have Wyman serve as showrunner. His time on Fringe – co-created by Abrams – has given him the experience to handle this sort of sci-fi series.
The other pilot was sold to NBC and actually has a name: Believe. This pilot ditches sci-fi in favor of a more supernatural flavor. The story follows the unlikely relationship developed between a young girl with a gift and a man sprung from prison. He is tasked with protecting her from the evil forces that seek her power. Don’t ask me what her power is; I have no idea. Believe comes from writer/exec prod Alfonso Cuaron (director of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) and Mark Friedman. Once again, Abrams and Burke are exec prods.