I’ve learned that CBS has passed on high-profile drama pilot The Advocates. The project, written by The Mentalist creator Bruno Heller and directed by David Nutter, starred Mandy Moore and Ben McKenzie as a female lawyer and a male ex-con who team up as “victim advocates,” going to the very edge of the law to right wrongs and fight for the underdog. I hear Warner Bros. TV, which produces the project, will shop it elsewhere. Also being shopped at the moment is another CBS drama pilot that didn’t make the cut, Beverly Hills Cop. So far CBS has picked up two new drama series, Hostages, also from Warner Bros., and Intelligence, from ABC Studios/CBS TV Studios.
EXCLUSIVE: Mandy Moore is set as the female lead opposite Ben McKenzie in the CBS/Warner Bros Television drama pilot The Advocates, written by Bruno Heller and directed by David Nutter. It centers on lawyer Shannon Carter (Moore) and ex-con Henry Bird (McKenzie), who team up as “victim advocates,” going to the very edge of the law to right wrongs and fight for the underdog. Once a take-no-prisoners Assistant District Attorney, Shannon now works as a victims advocate after learning the truth about her tragic past and connection to an unjustly incarcerated man. The casting for WME-repped Moore comes less than a week after she exited ABC comedy pilot Pulling. Her previous drama series experience includes an arc on ABC’s flagship drama Grey’s Anatomy.
EXCLUSIVE: Top TV director David Nutter has picked his 2013 pilot, signing on to direct and executive produce Bruno Heller’s CBS legal drama The Advocates from Warner Bros TV. It was one of two pilots the network picked up yesterday. Written/executive produced by The Mentalist creator Heller, Advocates centers on a female lawyer and a male ex-con who team up as “victim advocates,” going to the edge of the law to right wrongs and fight for the underdog. This marks a reunion for Nutter and Heller — Nutter also directed the pilot and second episode for Heller’s CBS/Warner Bros TV series Mentalist. Last season, WME-repped Nutter directed the pilot of the CW’s Arrow, one of the fall’s very few breakout hits. Of the 18 pilots he has directed, 17 have gone to series.