Upfronts 2013: Fox Greenlights M. Night Shyamalan‘s ‘Wayward Pines’ & ’24’ Limited Series

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In announcing their fall schedule this morning, Fox also announced that they had greenlit two limited event series M. Night Shyamalan’s Wayward Pines starring Matt Dillon and a 24 continuation titled 24: Live Another Day. Wayward Pines is being targeted for a Fall 2014 launch, while 24: Live Another Day is expected to premiere in May 2014. While both are envisioned as self contained event series, Fox topper Kevin Reilly hasn’t ruled out each becoming franchises with multiple entries over the years.

Based on Blake Crouch’s best-selling novel Pines, Wayward Pines comes from M. Night Shyamalan and follows US Secret Service agent Ethan Burke as he arrives in the bucolic town of Wayward Pines, ID, on a mission to find two missing federal agents. But instead of answers, Ethan’s investigation only turns up more questions. What’s wrong with Wayward Pines?  Each step closer to the truth takes Ethan further from the life he knew, from the husband and father he was, until he must face the terrifying reality that he may never get out of Wayward Pines alive. Based on a spec-script written by Chad Hodge, Wayward Pines is produced by FX Productions with Shyamalan, Hodge, Donald De Line and Ashwin Rajan serving as executive producers.

24: Live Another Day is set several years after season 8 and will feature 12 episodes, spanning 24 hours. Some hours of the day will be skipped allowing for “tighter” story telling. Howard Gordon and David Fury are penning this reboot. “It’s great to have Jack back. ‘24’ redefined the drama genre, and as we reimagine the television miniseries, this iconic show will again break new ground for the network,” said Kevin Reilly. “The series remains a global sensation, and everyone at FOX is thrilled to be back at work with Kiefer, Howard and the incredibly creative ‘24’ team.”

The pick up of these two limited even series Fox is part concerted effort made by the network over the past few month to get back into the longform game. Fox teamed with FX to create a new longform division and hired former HBO exec Gina Balian to run it. The network is also developing The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson, Shogun and Blood Brothers as potential entries in that direction.