UPDATED: J.J. Abrams is having a pretty good end of the week. After signing on to direct the next Star Wars movie yesterday, he received two pilot orders today. NBC has greenlighted Believe, Abrams’ project with Oscar-nominated filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón. The network also has ordered Undateable, a comedy from writer Adam Sztykiel (Due Date) and producer Bill Lawrence.
The high-concept Believe, which had a pilot production commitment, was written by Cuarón and Mark Friedman (Home Of The Brave). It is about the unlikely relationship between a girl in possession of a great gift/powers — which will come into their own in seven years — and the man who is sprung from prison to protect her from those trying to hunt her down. Cuarón, Friedman, Abrams and Bryan Burk are executive producing for Warner Bros TV and Abrams’ Bad Robot. Cuarón is attached to direct. The project has been on a fast track for a pickup and started to explore casting of the young lead back in December. The NBC pickup comes less than an hour after Fox ordered a futuristic cop drama from Abrams and Fringe showrunner J.H. Wyman.
Undateable hails from Warner Bros TV and Lawrence’s studio-based Doozer. The multi-camera project, which had a script commitment with penalty, is based on the book Undateable: 311 Things Guys Do That Guarantee They Won’t Be Dating Or Having Sex, by Ellen Rakieten & Anne Coyle. Written by Sztykiel with Lawrence supervising, it is described as a bromantic comedy about two very different guys who are bonded by their common inability to attract women. Sztykiel and Lawrence executive produce with Jeff Ingold. Like Abrams, Lawrence too has a pilot at Fox, single-camera comedy I Suck At Girls. Cuarón, Friedman and Sztykiel are with UTA, Abrams with CAA, Lawrence with ICM Partners.
For a full list of broadcast network pilots and for all Deadline pilot season stories, go to our Pilot Panic page.