Networks set to palm more pilots

Fox, UPN spring for dramas

In the latest round of pilot pickups, Fox has greenlit dramas revolving around Southern mobsters and a retired treasure hunter, while UPN is moving forward with a Palm Springs-set sudser from Kevin Williamson.

Meanwhile, Chris Brancato and Bert Salke have already scored their second pilot order of the season, as ABC said yes to “Drift,” a drama penned by John Glenn (“The Heaven Project”) and helmed by Paul W.S. Anderson (“Alien vs. Predator”).

Glenn, Anderson, Brancato and Salke will exec produce the Touchstone TV drama, which follows a New York detective who suffers a major emotional trauma, leaving him with insomnia and little long-term memory. While continuing to do his job, he hallucinates that his deceased daughter is with him at the crime scenes he’s investigating.

At Fox, the net’s drama roster now includes “Southern Comfort,” from scribes Joe and Tony Gayton, as well as the J.H. Wyman creation “13 Graves.” Both come from 20th Century Fox TV.

“13 Graves” revolves around Matthew McQueen, a former fortune finder who travels across the country looking for his missing brother. The story coincides with a search for Incan gold believed buried by Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro in 13 underground chambers throughout present-day U.S.

Wyman (“Keen Eddie”) is exec producer on “13 Graves.”

“Southern Comfort” follows the world of a Southern woman who takes over the family business when her husband, the mob kingpin, is sent to prison.

Joe Gayton (“Bulletproof”) and Tony Gayton (“The Salton Sea”) will also exec produce.

As for the Williamson drama, UPN had previously given a pilot commitment to the project (Daily Variety, Nov. 3). Net’s move now elevates it to full greenlight status. Drama revolves around a troubled teen who moves to a gated community in Palm Springs, where he uncovers dark secrets. Lionsgate is behind the show.

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