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Pilot Watch: Witches, Ghostly Riders, and Sole Survivors

By July 23, 2012

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Some big names are involved in pilots that got commitments this week, based on books from three different centuries.

Armageddon is in the air this year. TNT ordered an adaptation of William Brinkley's post-apocalyptic 1988 novel The Last Ship, a global catastrophe occurs that nearly wipes out the earth's population which forces the crew of a naval destroyer to realize they are among the only survivors left. The action/drama pilot has filmmaker Michael Bay (Transformers) on board as an executive producer. Hank Steinberg (Kings, Without a Trace) will serve as show-runner for producing partners Brad Fuller and Andrew Form (A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre).

Lifetime is edging into the supernatural, ordering an adaptation of Melissa de la Cruz's 2011 novel Witches of East End from Maggie Friedman, whose none-too-promising previous developing credit is Eastwick. The story involves the adventures of a mother and her two adult daughters, who unbeknownst to them are their family's next generation of witches. The threesome lead quiet, uneventful modern-day lives in a small town on Long Island though when one daughter becomes engaged to a young, wealthy newcomer, a series of events force the mother to admit to her daughters they are actually powerful, immortal witches.

Meanwhile, Fox is reaching back to much older tales: they've committed to a pilot for adaptation of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow from Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, creators of Fringe. The project will be a modern-day take on the famous 1820 short story where Ichabod Crane partners with the town's local female sheriff to bring peace to a besieged community. An iteration of Sleepy Hollow might or might not involve the supernatural--the headless horseman can be read as a ghost or as a disguise for a villager; we'll have to see where Kurtzman and Orci decide to take it.
Tags: The Last Ship, Witches of East End, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
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