Lost director-producer Jack Bender has signed on to direct the Fox medical drama pilot Weekends at Bellevue. The project, which Fox got in turnaround, hails from the same studio, UMS, that produces Fox’s veteran medical drama House. Based on Dr. Julie Holland’s memoir, Bellevue, from former ER writer-producer Lisa Zwerling and BermanBraun, centers on a psychiatrist in charge of the weekend shift of Bellevue Hospital psychiatric unit. The project reunites Bender with BermanBraun. In the summer, he directed the company’s 90-minute SyFy pilot Alphas, which has been picked up to series. Bender spent the last six years as an executive producer and director on Lost, wrapping his stint by helming the series’ finale.
Liz Friedlander will make her pilot directing debut with the CW’s Secret Circle for Warner Bros. TV and Alloy Entertainment. Written by Andrew Miller and Kevin Williamson based on the book series from The Vampire Diaries author L.J. Smith, Secret Circle tells the story of a young woman who moves to a new town and discovers that not only is she a witch and part of a secret coven, but she’s also the key that will unlock a centuries-old battle of good versus evil. Gersh-repped Friedlander, who started off as a music video and commercial director, has helmed multiple episodes of several CW series, including The Vampire Diaries, One Tree Hill and 90210.