In news that should make every genre fan happy for a variety of reasons, CBS has greenlit the pilot for the J.J. Abrams/Jonathan Nolan project, Person of Interest.
“The project, from Warner Bros. TV and Abrams’ Bad Robot, is a crime drama centered on a CIA agent, presumed dead, who is recruited by a reclusive billionaire to wage war against violent criminals in New York City.”
The interesting thing about this is that the first time we looked at this piece the other day, in the description it featured the phrase,
“An ex-CIA hitman and a scientist team up to prevent crimes before they happen.”
You’ll notice that in the comments section of the Deadline piece that the above description is even referred to by one of the various whiny posters on that site. We don’t know why this was scrubbed from the original piece but we were able to find the same description posted at Entertainment Weekly and it is described as “official” although no sources were indicated to verify that it is indeed official, but it is coming from EW so there’s no reason to assume that it’s not legitimate.
That being said, though, since it isn’t sourced at this point and Deadline did scrub their original piece (and ALL Abrams’ projects are notoriously secretive), officially we can’t say whether it’s more like Human Target or more like the Stephen Spielberg Sci-Fi flick Minority Report or a hybrid of both, perhaps.
So what is so great about this project, anyway? Well, of course, it’s a J.J. Abrams project and he’s just about the hottest property in Hollywood right despite the recent failure of NBC’s Undercovers (which, unlike audiences, we actually liked) so that’s the biggest selling point but maybe as cool is that this story is the brainchild of Jonathan Nolan.
Jonathan (whose nickname is “Jonah”) is of course the younger brother of esteemed director and writer Christopher Nolan who is of course famous for the most recent Batman film franchise, Memento, The Prestige and 2010’s blockbuster hit (and Academy Award nominee for Best Picture) Inception. What folks may not know (we certainly didn’t) is that Jonathan Nolan actually co-wrote The Dark Knight and The Prestige with his brother as well as Memento and he actually wrote Memento Mori, the original short story which the film is based on. Oh, yeah… he also wrote the screenplay for the highly anticipated third installment of the Batman films, The Dark Knight Rises and he co-wrote 2009’s Terminator: Salvation. You can check out his whole bio here.
Needless to say, Jonathan Nolan is an experienced and talented genre writer and we are looking forward to what he can bring to television with J.J. Abrams and though normally we would worry about a show like this because it usually winds up getting pitched to FOX and we all know what happens with brilliant genre and scripted drama that FOX gets their hands on, even with J.J. Abrams’ name attached to it. This is not the case with CBS who tends to have a pretty good eye (no pun intended, but we’re going with it) for this type of scripted genre programming and give shows like this some time to build an audience.
Oh, and one more thing: Guess who’s already been cast for the pilot? None other than Lost alum Michael Emerson. According to Reuters, Emerson who’s best known for his Emmy award-winning role as Ben Linus on Lost, will play the billionaire benefactor who will aid our player-to-be-named-later in fighting crime.
We don’t really know any more details right now about Person of Interest and probably won’t for some time (again, that’s to be expected with Abrams) but we are hopeful for an air date of Fall 2011 for the pilot but realistically it’s probably going to air mid-season 2011 – 2012. The ‘Tastic, of course will keep you updated.