A&E has given a cast-contingent pilot order to Occult, a drama produced by Transformers helmer Michael Bay and written by veteran genre writer, The X-Files alum James Wong. The project, which draws parallels to X-Files and Fringe, centers on a FBI agent who returns from administrative leave after going off the deep end while investigating his wife’s disappearance. Eager to be back on the job, he is paired with an agent with her own complicated backstory who specializes in the occult. Together, they will solve cases for the newly formed occult crimes task force. Wong executive produces with Bay and his partners at Platinum Dunes Andrew Form and Brad Fuller. There is no studio attached yet.
Occult’s greenlight marks a venturing into new, supernatural territory for A&E. It follows A&E’s July pilot order to Those Who Kill, an U.S. version of the Danish crime series about a forensic profiler with an uncanny understanding of serial killers, and the straight-to-series, 10-episode order to Psycho prequel Bates Motel, which recently cast Vera Farmiga as Norma Bates. A&E has an existing relationship with Bay and Platinum Dunes who had a competition reality series in development at the cable network.
It has been a very strong TV summer for Platinum Dunes, which last year made expanding into television a priority. In May, the company received a straight-to-series eight-episode order from Starz for the Treasure Island prequel Black Sails. In July, it got a pilot order from TNT for post-apocalyptic drama The Last Ship, followed by today’s pilot pickup at A&E.
In addition to The X-Files and spinoff The Lone Gunmen, Wong’s series credits also include Millennium, The Others, The Event and, most recently FX’s American Horror Story. His feature credits include Final Destination 3.