But executive producer Josh Reims told TV critics Friday that 'Undercovers' won't be 'Alias: Five Years Later.'
"Don't tell J.J., but I never really watched 'Alias,'" Reims said. "Neither one of us wanted to do 'Alias' -- he'd already done it ... and I thought it was one of the most confusing shows ever."
So, don't expect any Rambaldi-esque mythology in 'Undercovers,' but there will be more glamor and globe-trotting -- and sexy, witty banter between leads Boris Kodjoe and Gugu Mbatha-Raw, who play married spies Steven and Samantha Bloom.
Reims, Kodjoe and Mbatha-Raw were joined by producer Carther MacIntyre and cast members Gerald McRaney, Ben Schwartz and Mekia Cox. See what they had to say about the show, after the jump ...
The two "Visionaries," as labeled by Entertainment Weekly, came together for one geektastic Comic-Con panel Thursday. And the creators of 'Lost,' 'Buffy,' 'Alias,' 'Firefly' and the 'Star Trek' movie only disappointed the hall full of fans in one way -- they sadly aren't collaborating on a project. (Yet.)
Whedon confirmed what has been long suspected -- that he's directing 'The Avengers' movie with Marvel. It's too soon for much info, he said. He's still writing an outline and thoroughly researching the comics, but was enthusiastic about the movie's development. "These people shouldn't even be in the same room together, let alone on a team; isn't that the definition of family?" he reasoned wryly.
Meanwhile, Abrams talked about his new show 'Undercovers,' which will be both "case of the week" and serialized. He also revealed a few (very sparse) tidbits about his upcoming movie 'Super 8,' which is being produced by Steven Spielberg. The movie hasn't begun shooting and may feature an interactive element. Abrams cryptically said, "My favorite thing about the movie is that someone will go to the theater and see the trailer and hopefully go, oh my God, that looks bitchin', and have no idea they will be starring in it." What could he mean?
Whedon also discussed the prospects for future editions of 'Dr. Horrible,' saying he needed to find time to get the whole gang back together as well as find a studio to finance it. But some songs have been written, and Whedon referred to the project as "the movie," which may give a hint to the project's ultimate scope.
From an expletive-spewing dad made famous on Twitter and another family that's far from ordinary, to a sexy Texas oilman moonlighting as a con artist, there's something for every TV taste ... and some things that are completely unpalatable.
Now keep in mind that these are "not for air" pilots. In some cases, there have already been casting changes; in other cases, there should be. Either way, these thoughts are just my initial reactions to the shows. Official reviews will come when the dust settles and we see the final premieres.
Got questions? E-mail me TV questions at TheTVShowGirl@aol.com and I'll try to get you answers on the show. -- By Maggie Furlong
Keep in mind that in each case, our opinions are based on a pilot that could be completely recast and reworked between now and the fall.
Timeslot: Wednesdays, 8PM ET
The lowdown: Steven and Samantha Bloom (Boris Kodjoe and Gugu Mbatha-Raw) run a catering company in Los Angeles. But at one time, they were a pair of crack agents for the CIA. They fell in love on the job, but never worked together or discussed each other's missions; they left the spy life in order to enjoy their lives together. But they are called back to duty by CIA liaison Carlton Shaw (Gerald McRaney) to find their old agency friend Leo Nash (Carter MacIntyre), who might have gone rogue. The Blooms criss-cross the globe, joined by staff agent/ Steven Bloom fanatic Bill Hoyt (Ben Schwartz), in search of Nash, and in the process they find that they're attracted to each other all over again.
After the jump, the eight shows that look really promising. And oh my God, one of them is on The CW!
Seinfeld ... Seinfeld, Jerry, a mere couple of feet away! I choose to pretend that 'The Marriage Ref' never happened, so he remains, for me, the star of the all-time greatest TV show. And, regarding today's network upfront, he was one of the rare celebrities to be seen around the ol' Hilton -- at least, on stage.
In years past, NBC, like the other networks, has peppered its upfront presentations with celebs, even if it was to do nothing more than trot them across the stage with the rest of their series casts. But today, there was the line-up of sportscasters from NBC's 'Sunday Night Football' and an awkward little segment in which the host of 'Late Night with Jimmy Fallon' tried to improvise commercial jingles.
Abrams co-wrote, produced and directed the pilot about two former married CIA agents -- played by Boris Kodjoe and Gugu Mbatha-Raw (pictured) -- who get reactivated after years of retirement. According to the Hollywood Reporter, this is the first pilot Abrams has directed since 'Lost' in 2004.
"We have tremendous confidence in this promising series and feel this is a great way to kick off our upcoming Upfront development announcements," said Jeff Gaspin, chairman of NBC Universal Television Entertainment, in a statement. "J.J. has delivered another signature series along with our partners at Warner Bros. and we couldn't be happier."
OK, maybe "realized" isn't the best word to use. More like "remembered." NBC chairman Jeff Gaspin tells The New York Times that the network is changing its strategy and will pay to get some good shows on the network.
For starters, they've ordered almost 20 new pilots this season -- scripted dramas and comedies -- up from ten last season. Instead of strictly going by the numbers and looking for a big profit margin and trying to cut costs in every way possible, they're looking for good shows they can stick with.
It doesn't hurt that these pilots are also among the highest profile projects on offer this season; 'Undercovers,' the 'Mr. and Mrs. Smith'-esque spy show from J.J. Abrams will feature Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Boris Kodjoe as its central couple (and a very attractive couple, at that), while Oscar winner Forest Whitaker will take the lead for CBS' 'Criminal Minds' spin-off.
Hunky Laz Alonso, last seen (kind of) as belligerent Na'vi warrior Tsu'tey in 'Avatar,' is set to front the Fox action-drama 'Breakout Kings,' which is directed and exec-produced by 'X-Men: Origins' helmer Gavin Hood. Freddy Rodriguez, last spotted on prime time as 'Ugly Betty' love-interest Gio, has been tapped to star in CBS' CIA drama 'Chaos,' from director and executive producer Brett Ratner.
More casting news after the jump.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Boris Kodjoe, who is best known for playing Damon Carter on Showtime's popular drama 'Soul Food,' has been tapped to play the lead role in 'Undercovers,' the latest project from 'Lost' and 'Fringe' mastermind Abrams.
The Hollywood Reporter brings news that Gerald McRaney has accepted the mission offered to him by NBC. 'Undercovers' will chronicle the adventures of a husband-and-wife spy team, and McRaney will play their boss, a CIA operative who recruited the couple.
He's been picked for a pilot called Undercovers, a spy action show described as a cross between Mr. and Mrs. Smith and The Bourne Identity.
McRaney will play a CIA boss overseeing a husband and wife spy couple. Abrams wrote the pilot with TV scribe Josh Reims who's also written scripts for ABC's Brothers & Sisters and Dirty Sexy Money. Abrams may also step in the director's chair for the pilot episode commissioned by NBC.
First of all, NY Magazine seems to confirm that Abrams is indeed directing the pilot. However, the earlier description of the show, which suggested it was to be 'Mr. & Mrs. Smith' meets 'The Bourne Identity,' seems to have been somewhat inaccurate...
While Abrams is preparing the next 'Star Trek' and a fourth installment in the 'Mission: Impossible' franchise, he's also got one eye on the tube. The Hollywood Reporter reports his next TV endeavor will be 'Undercovers,' described as a cross between 'Mr. and Mrs. Smith' and 'The Bourne Identity.' Abrams will executive produce the series and is in talks to direct the pilot episode.
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