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Two More Board J.J. Abrams’ Pilot ‘Alcatraz’

By | Wednesday December 1, 2010 @ 6:00am PST
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Following the casting of Lost alum Jorge Garcia in the J.J. Abrams-produced Fox pilot Alcatraz, Abrams has recruited two more actors who have appeared on his previous series – Jonny Coyne and Jason Butler Harner – for the  pilot. The drama project, from Warner Bros. TV, Abrams’ Bad Robot and executive producer/showrunner Liz Sarnoff, chronicles the efforts of a team of FBI agents tracking down a group of missing Alcatraz prisoners and guards who reappear in the present day. Coyne, who did a two-episode arc on Abrams’ NBC drama Undercovers this fall, will play the lead role of Alcatraz Warden Edwin James. Harner, who guest starred in the pilot for Abrams’ Fringe, will play the supporting role of Associate Warden E.B. Tiller who enjoys and abuses his power. The two join previously cast Garcia and Sarah Jones, who will play the female lead. Stage and film/TV actor Butler, repped by ICM and ATA Management, will next be seen in the indie Letters From the Big Man, which is expected to premiere at Sundance.

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‘Alcatraz’ Drama Picked Up To Pilot At Fox

Nellie Andreeva

It’s been a quick greenlight for Alcatraz, the JJ Abrams-produced drama, which landed at Fox with a pilot commitment a week ago. I hear the project, described as “a show about mysteries, secrets and the most infamous prison of all time: Alcatraz,” has been picked up to pilot by the network with a production order. Elizabeth Sarnoff penned the final script, while Steven Lilien and Bryan Wynbrandt wroteearlier versions. All 3 are credited as writers on the pilot. Sarnoff will serve as showrunner and will executive produce with Abrams and Bryan Burk. Lilien and Wynbrandt will co-executive produce. Abrams’ Bad Robot Prods is producing with Warner Bros TV. This will be the second off-cycle pilot order for Fox, which also recently greenlighted the comedy pilot Outnumbered.

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JJ Abrams TV Drama ‘Alcatraz’ Lands At Fox

Nellie Andreeva

The network that gave us Prison Break is heading back to prison. Fox has picked up Alcatraz, the J.J. Abrams produced drama about the San Francisco Bay island. The project, which was written on spec and recently taken out to the networks, has received a pilot commitment by Fox which is already in business with Abrams on sci-fi drama Fringe. Alcatraz is described as “a show about mysteries, secrets and the most infamous prison of all time: Alcatraz.” Lost executive producer Elizabeth Sarnoff penned the final script, while Steven Lilien and Bryan Wynbrandt (Kyle XY) wrote earlier versions. All 3 are credited as writers on the pilot. Sarnoff will serve as showrunner and will executive produce with Abrams and Bryan Burk. Lilien and Wynbrandt will co-executive produce. Abrams’ Bad Robot Prods is producing with Warner Bros TV. This is the third consecutive year a spec from Bad Robot has landed a major commitment after interest from multiple networks. The first two scripts, Fringe and Undercovers, went to series on Fox and NBC, respectively.

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