Shaun Cassidy on board to write

The Western genre is continuing to heat up in TV development circles as Sony Pictures Television has sold NBC on a period drama from Shaun Cassidy.

Set in the 1840s, “The Frontier” centers on a diverse group of people who set out from Missouri on an adventure across an uncharted American landscape, following dreams of riches and reinvention in the West.

The renewed interest in Westerns comes as AMC is set to launch series “Hell on Wheels” and pilots from A&E and TNT derived fromderived from the genre are also being considered.

Cassidy (“Invasion”) will executive produce “The Frontier” with Josh Barry and Jeff Kwatinetz at Prospect Park and Thomas Schlamme, the helmer who is on board to direct the pilot should it be ordered. Sony is producing with Prospect Park.

“Frontier” is actually the second Western NBC has lined up this season, coming on the heels of a script ordered from Universal Media Studios and the “Friday Night Lights” producing team of Peter Berg, Sarah Aubrey and Liz Heldens that approaches the genre from a female perspective.

ABC has also ordrered two Western scripts: another Sony-sold “Hangtown” from Ron Moore and “Gunslinger” from David Zabel and ABC Studios.

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