J.J. Abrams has reconceived his ABC drama pilot about bounty hunters, partnering Orlando Jones with previously announced star Greg Grunberg.
Project remains an ensemble actioner about a pair of bounty hunters. But the drama — working title “The Catch” — will now focus on the buddy relationship between Grunberg’s and Jones’ characters.
The bounty hunter pilot is currently under consideration for a midseason pickup. Show had to be pushed back due to Abrams’ other commitments; besides his ongoing oversight of “Alias,” the exec producer also has the Alphabet drama “Lost” (along with Damon Lindelof) in the works for fall.
Thom Sherman, president of Abrams’ Touchstone-based Bad Robot shingle, said the retooling came after Abrams met with Jones.
“J.J. had a general meeting with Orlando, and it was love fest,” Sherman said. “J.J. thought he’d be great partnered in ‘The Catch,’ that he and Greg would make a great team. It was a great opportunity for the show, which is still in the formulation stage.”
Should “The Catch” make it to air, it would give Jones two primetime series on two different networks: Thesp also provides the voice of “Snack” in the upcoming NBC CGI-animated laffer “Father of the Pride.”
In addition, Jones created, exec produced and voiced the animated project “Chico & Guapo,” currently in development at MTV. And he’ll star in the feature “House of D.” Past credits include “Mad TV” and “Drumline.”
Grunberg is an Abrams favorite, currently starring as Eric Weiss in “Alias.” He first hit it big as Sean on Abrams’ “Felicity.”
Meanwhile, in other pilot casting news, Justine Bateman (“Family Ties”) has joined the cast of UPN sitcom pilot “Humor Me.”
Project, from Sony Pictures TV, stars comedian Dane Cook as a standup who loses it all and is forced to move in with his brother. Bateman plays Cook’s sister-in-law, Paula, who’s not a big fan of his childish behavior. Michael Curtis and Ken Mok exec produce.
Bateman most recently starred in Showtime’s original series “Out of Order.” She was also a cast member on NBC’s “Men Behaving Badly.”
Also, add Lindsay Price to the list of “Coupling” stars landing pilot gigs this season. She’ll star as Gina Gershon’s sister Dana in ABC’s “Hot Mom.”
“Hot Mom,” from Warner Bros. TV, is exec produced by Suzanne Martin and Andy Ackerman. Show stars Gershon as a cool mom raising a conservative teenage daughter.