Fox's J.J. Abrams-Produced Drama Series 'Alcatraz' Undergoes Showrunner Change

EXCLUSIVE: There is a change at the helm of Fox’s midseason drama Alcatraz, from Warner Bros TV and J.J. Abrams’ studio-based Bad Robot. Co-creator/executive producer/showrunner Elizabeth Sarnoff is leaving the time-travel series, which will now be co-run by Jennifer Johnson and Daniel Pyne. Chase creator/executive producer and Lost alumna Johnson joined Alcatraz after the pilot as a consulting producer. Two months ago, she was quietly elevated to executive producer and co-showrunner alongside Sarnoff. Sarnoff, who wrote the version of the project that was picked up to pilot and then to series by Fox from an earlier incarnation by Steven Lilien and Bryan Wynbrandt, is now stepping down over creative differences, with feature writer Pyne (Fracture) coming in as an executive producer and co-showrunner alongside Johnson. His TV series credits include Miami Vice. Sarnoff is expected to receive an executive consultant title on the show going forward. The behind-the-scenes showrunner turnover was a factor in WBTV and Bad Robot’s decision two weeks ago to put filming of new episodes of Alcatraz on hold and do reshoots on some of the seven completed episodes instead. After completing some reshoots, the show is not filming at the moment, with the writers working on scripts and producers and directors prepping for additional reshoots as well as filming new episodes. Alcatraz, which features inmates from the infamous prison popping up in present day San Francisco, is slated to premiere in midseason in the Monday 9 PM time period, which also is being eyed for the new Kiefer Sutherland drama Touch. Fox is expected to announce premiere dates for its midseason series in the coming days.

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