Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Big news for Lost fans: series co-star Jorge Garcia has joined another J.J. Abrams drama about an island. Garcia is set to play a lead on the Fox pilot Alcatraz, which is executive produced by Lost co-creator/executive producer Abrams. The project, described to be “about secrets and the most infamous prison of all time,” centers on a group of missing Alcatraz prisoners and guards who reappear in the present day. It chronicles the efforts of a team of FBI agents to track them down and unravel the mystery behind their disappearance thirty years prior. Garcia will play the hippy geek Dr. Diego Soto, the world’s foremost expert on Alcatraz. Actor-comedian Garcia, who landed his first TV series role on the CBS comedy Becker, rose to fame as one of the key cast members on ABC’s hit drama Lost. He was the first actor cast in the Lost pilot, just like he is now on Alcatraz. The role of Hugo “Hurley” Reyes on Lost was tailor-made for him. Similarly, he was the first and only actor the producers of Alcatraz approached for the role of Dr. Soto. Garcia, repped by APA and KLWG Entertainment, guest stars on the Thanksgiving episode of CBS’ comedy How I Met Your Mother tomorrow night. He will also appear in an episode of ABC’s midseason comedy Mr. Sunshine. Garcia is the third Lost cast member eyeing return to primetime this season in a new drama series executive produced by Abrams. Michael Emerson and Terry O’Quinn star as former special ops agents in the project Odd Jobs, which landed at NBC with a put pilot commitment.

Alcatraz was written on spec by Elizabeth Sarnoff, who penned the final version, and Steven Lilien and Bryan Wynbrandt, who wrote earlier incarnations. The project, from Abrams’ Bad Robot Prods. and Warner Bros. TV, was bought by Fox with a pilot commitment in mid-September, and greenlighted to pilot a week later. Sarnoff serves as showrunner and executive produces with Abrams and Bryan Burk. Lilien and Wynbrandt will co-executive produce and Danny Cannon will direct the pilot, which is slated to begin in January in San Francisco and Vancouver.

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