In a competitive situation with multiple bidders, Centralia, a genre drama from Star-Crossed creator/executive producer Meredith Averill and Amblin TV, has landed at NBC with a major penalty and has been laid off at Universal TV.

averill__120921232816-275x415Written by Averill, Centralia is a dark character-driven genre soap based on a real town in central Pennsylvania where an underground mine fire has been burning for over 50 years. The remaining few residents of this ghost town are determined to preserve their homes but NBC Logo Newremain unaware of the evil that is slowly making its way to the surface. Averill is executive producing with Amblin TV’s Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey.

A booming coal mining town with almost 3,000 residents at the end of 19th century, Centralia saw its fortunates gradually falling in the following decades as mines started to close. Then in 1962, an above-ground fircentralia2e accidentally migrated underground, entering the maze of abandoned coal mines. It has been burning ever since. In 1992, the area was condemned and the majority of residents relocated, turning Centralia into a nearly ghost town. After lengthy litigation, eight determined residents won the right to stay in Centralia for the rest of their lives. One of the town’s churches also remains open.

Averill has first-hand knowledge of the Centralia story as she grew up in the nearby town of Pottsville, PA. She is coming off an overall deal at CBS TV Studios where, in addition to creating and executive producing alien-themed love story Star-Crossed for the CW, she also worked as co-executive producer on the studio’s CW dramedy Jane The Virgin and producer on CBS’ The Good Wife. She is repped by WME.

Amblin recently received a straight-to-series order for drama American Gothic at CBS to launch next summer and is in production on the HBO movie All The Way starring Bryan Cranston.