Early NBC pickups highlight J.J. Abrams, Jason Katims and Dermot Mulroney
'Believe,' 'About a Boy,' 'Crisis' lead early NBC pickups
One day after FOX made its first series orders with four new dramas and five new comedies, NBC has gotten into the act, ordering five new shows for the 2013-2014 season.
NBC may have more pickups to come, but for now the network has ordered three comedies, featuring familiar stars like Minnie Driver, Sean Hayes, Parker Posey and David Walton, plus dramas led by Dermot Mulroney, Gillian Anderson and the all-star creative pairing of J.J. Abrams and Alfonso Cuaron.
NBC's full schedule will be announced on Sunday, ahead of the network's upfront presentation to advertisers on Monday.
As of now, here are the details on the network's five new series pickups:
* "About a Boy" is, of course, based on Nick Hornby's novel and the film of the same name and comes from Jason Katims, who knows a thing or two about movie-to-TV adaptations from "Friday Night Lights" and "Parenthood." Jon Favreau directed the pilot, which focuses on man-child Will (David Walton) whose life changes when he meets single-mom Fiona (Minnie Driver) and her 11-year-old son (Benjamin Stockton).
* "Believe" is written and directed by Alfonso Cuaron and executive produced by J.J. Abrams and his Bad Robot team. The sci-fi tinged drama focuses on a girl named Bo (Johnny Sequoyah), who possesses some sort of gift, and an ex-prisoner named Tate (Jake McLaughlin), who takes it upon himself to protect her after he sees what she can do. Delroy Lindo, Kyle MacLachlan, Jamie Chung and Sienna Guillory co-star.
* "Crisis" is what was formerly called the "untitled Rand Ravich drama" and stars Dermot Mulroney, Gillian Anderson, Lance Gross and Rachael Taylor. The drama involves the kidnapping of a group of kids from an elite Washington prep school and the subsequent political ripples. Phillip Noyce directed the pilot from the "Life" creator.
* "The Family Guide" comes from DJ Nash and features Jason Bateman as executive producer and narrator. Told in flashbacks, it's the story of 11-year-old Henry (Eli Baker), who reflects on the strange ways his family grew closer together after his parents' divorce. David Schwimmer directed the pilot, which also stars J.K. Simmons, Parker Posey and Ava Deluca-Verley. [UPDATE: Parker Posey isn't continuing with "The Family Guide."]
* "Sean Saves the World" features Sean Hayes as executive producer and star, playing a gay divorced dad with a pushy mom (Linda Lavin) and a 14-year-old daughter (Sami Isler) who moves in with him full-time. Written by Victor Fresco and directed by James Burrows, "Sean" also stars Thomas Lennon, Linsday Sloane and Echo Kellum.
Stay tuned for more upfronts coverage on HitFix over the next week.