EXCLUSIVE: A&E will not be moving forward with their hour-long drama pilot Occult. I’ve just learned that the network has quietly passed on the project which hailed from X-Files alum James Wong, Transformers producer Michael Bay and ABC Studios.
Occult had been in development at A&E since mid-2012 and received a cast-contingent pilot order in September 2012. At the time the project did not have a studio attached, but was eventually laid of at ABC Studios. Production got underway this year and the pilot was recently delivered to the network. According to my sources, Occult was well received by executives but following the pick up of Those Who Kill, and the renewals of Longmire and Bates Motel, A&E brass felt that the proposed project was not in “a direction we wanted to pursue.” The news comes after A&E announced last month that they are developing an adaptation of the French series The Returned (AKA Les Revenants), which is being produced in house by the recently launched A+E Studios.
Created by James Wong, Occult centers on a FBI agent who returns from administrative leave after going off the deep end while investigating his wife’s disappearance. Eager to be back on the job, he is paired with an agent with her own complicated backstory who specializes in the occult. Together, they will solve cases for the newly formed occult crimes task force. The pilot was produced by ABC Studios & Platinum Dunes and starred Josh Lucas, Lynn Collins, Agnes Bruckner, Daniel Henney, Brennan Brown and Sarah Jane Morris. James Wong, Michael Bay, Andrew Form and Brad Fuller served as the executive producers.