Mark Burnett and Roma Downey are rapidly expanding their spirituality-based scripted TV brand. NBC has given a pilot order to their drama Unveiled. Also getting a pilot order at the network is medical drama Heart Matters. Both hail from the network’s sister studio, Universal TV. NBC’s drama pilot tally now stands at eight, which was what the network brass eyed going into the pickup season, so the network appears done or nearly done with its orders on the hourlong side.
Echoing the series that made Downey a star on American television, CBS’ Touched By An Angel, Unveiled follows an ensemble of flawed guardian angels who intervene in the lives of those who find themselves facing crisis in an attempt to restore their faith and, often, save their lives. John Sakmar & Kerry Lenhart (The Glades) wrote the script and are executive producing with Burnett and Downey through the duo’s LightWorkers Media.
Heart Matters, executive produced by another former CBS star, Amy Brenneman (Private Practice, Judging Amy), was inspired by the life of Dr. Kathy Magliato and her book of the same name. It is a medical soap that follows the outspoken Alex Panttiere, one of the rare female heart-transplant surgeons. Alex brings an innovative eye to treating patients week to week while also balancing the complications of her professional and romantic life.
Jill Gordon (My So-Called Life) wrote the script and is executive producing with Brenneman and Brad Silberling. Susan Carlson, Eric Carlson, Kelly Meyer and Magliato serve as co-executive producers.
This is the first pilot order so far to a medical drama, which was the hottest hourlong genre during pitch season. NBC has two new contenders in the field with Heart Matters and the planted Chicago Fire spinoff Chicago Med, joining returning summer series The Night Shift.