Nellie Andreeva

CBS has given a pilot pickup to Hostages, a drama from writer-director Jeffrey Nachmanoff, Jerry Bruckheimer Television and Warner Bros. TV, which has set Toni Collette as the lead.

Based on an Israeli format, the project, which had a pilot production commitment, centers on a family caught in the middle of a grand political conspiracy that will change their lives forever. Emmy winner Collette will play Ellen, a successful surgeon living in Washington, D.C. who is selected to operate on the President of the United States. She is thrust into the middle of a political conspiracy when her family is taken hostage, and it is up to her to save the lives of her husband and children.

Hostages was originally developed for Israel’s Channel 10 by Alon Aranya, Omri Givon and Rotem Shamir. The show has not been produced in Israel, but an U.S. adaptation written by Aranya found its way to Bruckheimer TV, which bought the rights and then brought in Nachmanoff (Traitor). Nachmanoff wrote the script and will direct the pilot. He will also executive produce it with Bruckheimer, Jonathan Littman, Givon, Rotem Shamir and Chayim Sharir. Aranya and KristieAnne Reed serve as co-executive producers. Collette won an Emmy for her starring role on the dark Showtime comedy United States Of Tara.

Hostages is among the slew of projects with big commitments this season that started casting before a formal pilot order. Another hourlong CBS project whose pickup is pending, Beverly Hills Cop, also cast its lead role with Brandan T. Jackson ahead of a pilot greenlight. This marks CBS’ first official drama pilot order. On the comedy side, the network has ordered two single-camera comedies, the Jim Gaffigan/Peter Tolan project starring Gaffigan and the Rob Greenberg project starring Tony Shalhoub, Kal Penn and Jerry O’Connell, as well as Chuck Lorre’s multi-camera Mom starring Anna Faris.

TV Editor Nellie Andreeva - tip her here.