Pilot season kicked into high gear this week, with all of the big four broadcast networks green-lighting projects and AMC ordering two of its own, including an adaptation of the comic book “The Walking Dead.”
Oscar nominee Frank Darabont (“The Shawshank Redemption”) will write and direct the “Walking Dead” pilot, based on Robert Kirkman’s comic about the survivors of a zombie apocalypse. The lead character is a police officer named Rick Grimes, who leads a group of people in search of a safe home. Darabont and Kirkman will executive produce with Gale Ann Hurd (“The Terminator”) and David Alpert.
AMC has also ordered “The Killing,” a drama based on a Danish series called “Forbrydelsen.” Set in Seattle, it centers on the murder of a young girl and tells the intertwining stories of the victim’s family, the detectives working the case and local politicians.
“Cold Case” writer Veena Sud is writing the pilot and executive producing with Mikkel Bondesen (“Burn Notice”).
A roundup of the other projects:
ABC: The network got into the swing of things over the past two days, the showbiz trade papers say, orders four dramas and a comedy.
The dramas are “Off the Map,” about doctors in an out-of-the-way medical clinic created by “Grey’s Anatomy” writer-producer Jenna Bans and exec produced by her boss, Shonda Rhimes; “Body of Evidence,” about a female medical examiner; “Cutthroat,” about a woman who finds running a drug cartel and navigating Beverly Hills society equally treacherous from “Reaper’s” Michelle Fazekas and Tara Butters; and “Generation Y” from “The Unusuals” creator Noah Hawley, about a group of twentysomethings that features flashbacks to their high-school days.
The comedy is “Happy Endings,” which centers on a couple who break up just before their wedding and their friends, who try to figure out whose side to take. It comes from writer David Caspe and executive producer Jamie Tarses (“My Boys”).
CBS: The Eye gave the go-ahead to “The Odds,” a buddy-cop show set in Las Vegas. It comes from writer Jeff Wadlow (“Never Back Down,” “Cry_Wolf”) and producer Joel Silver (“Veronica Mars,” “The Book of Eli”).
FOX: Network entertainment president Kevin Reilly has revived a project from way back in 2004, when he was with NBC. It’s a comedy called “Nevermind Nirvana” about two Indian-American brothers, one sibling’s Caucasian girlfriend and their circle of family and friends. Writer Ajay Saghal based the show in part on his own life (he’s married to “Lie to Me” star Kelli Williams).
NBC: “Reno 911” principals Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant are writing and starring in a Vegas-set comedy called “The Strip.” Lennon would play a former child star who owns a tacky restaurant in strip mall on the city’s outskirts; Garant will play a yet-undefined supporting role.
Photo credit: AMC/Image Comics