Director signs on for J.J. Abrams' Fox pilot

Helmer Alex Graves is set to direct “Fringe,” the Fox drama pilot from J.J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci.

Production is set to begin in February on the two-hour pilot for “Fringe,” which revolves around paranormal mysteries, as seen through the eyes of a crazy research scientist, his estranged son and a female FBI agent (Daily Variety, Oct. 5).

Fox has given a series commitment to the project, which comes from Warner Bros. TV and Abrams’ Bad Robot shingle. Budget for the pilot is in the $10 million range.

Graves will serve as an exec producer on “Fringe,” joining EPs Abrams, Kurtzman, Orci and Bryan Burk.

The script for “Fringe” had already been written when Fox picked it up, meaning it could still be produced even if a Writers Guild strike continues.

Graves is a director and EP on NBC’s freshman entry “Journeyman.” His credits also include “The Nine” and “The West Wing,” both of which he also exec produced. Other director credits include “Boston Public,” “Gideon’s Crossing,” “The Practice” and “Ally McBeal.”

Graves is wrapping his duties on “Journeyman,” where he’s committed through December; after that, he’s free to start working on “Fringe.”

(Josef Adalian contributed to this report.)

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