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Pilots take major shape at Big Four

'Jericho,' 'Red,' 'Faceless,' 'Degrees' ready for takeoff

In a busy day for drama pilot pickups, CBS greenlit the dramas “Jericho” and “Orpheus,” NBC said yes to “Seeing Red” and “Heroes,” Fox went for “Faceless,” and ABC threw in “Six Degrees.”

Meanwhile, UPN is developing a script based on the life of R&B ingenue Alicia Keys, while Pamela Fryman is close to signing on to direct the Eye pilot “Sex, Power, Love & Politics.”

“Jericho,” penned by Stephen Chbosky (“Rent”), is a post-apocalyptic thriller about a small Kansas town that struggles to survive after being shut off from the rest of the world as most of America is destroyed.

Project comes from Paramount Network TV and Jon Turteltaub’s Junction Entertainment. Pilot is the fruit of Turteltaub’s three-for-one deal at CBS, which he signed late last year (Daily Variety, Dec. 16). Turteltaub’s other two projects at the Eye are still under consideration for pilot orders.

Turteltaub will direct the “Jericho” pilot and exec produce with Chbosky.

Also at the Eye, “Orpheus” revolves around a man who falls in love and is drawn into a modern-day cult. Nick Meyer will write and exec produce for Paramount Network TV and Scott Free Prods.

Scott Free principals Ridley Scott, Tony Scott and David Zucker are also exec producing.

Over at NBC, Peacock is reuniting with Tim Kring (“Crossing Jordan”) and Graham Yost (“Boomtown”) for two new pilots.

The Yost project, “Seeing Red,” revolves around a cop who’s “eccentric but brilliant.” Yost will exec produce.

That pilot comes from NBC Universal TV, as does “Heroes,” exec producer Kring’s ensemble drama about regular people who discover they harbor superhero-style powers.

Fox’s “Faceless” follows a federal prosecutor who goes undercover inside the mob and must tap into his criminal side.

Dario Scardapane (“The Darkling”) wrote the pilot, which comes from 20th Century Fox TV. Flame TV’s Tony Krantz exec produces with Joe Carnahan (who will direct), Daniel Rappaport and Evelyn O’Neill. Scardapane is set as a co-exec producer.

Then there’s “Six Degrees,” ABC’s pilot from J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot shingle. Sudsy project follows strangers in New York whose stories somehow interconnect.

Stu Zicherman and Raven Metzner, whose credits include “Elektra” and Abrams’ “What About Brian,” wrote the pilot and will exec produce with Abrams, Bryan Burk and Thom Sherman. Touchstone TV is the studio.

As for the Keys script, Felicia Henderson (“Moesha”) and Jeff Robinson are exec producing a skein loosely inspired by the singer’s life growing up in a multiracial household. Keys will also exec produce the project, which is not yet attached to a studio.

And Fryman, always a sought-after comedy helmer during pilot season, has signed on to lense “Sex, Power,” a pilot at CBS from Greg Malins and Sony Pictures TV about a group of thirtysomethings who work in Washington politics.

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