Fox Orders JJ Abrams’ Alcatraz Pilot

Star Trek producer/director JJ Abrams, co-creator of Lost, is putting together another mysterious TV series about an island – this time one in the middle of San Francisco Bay. According to the reports, FOX has ordered a pilot from Abrams about the infamous prison Alcatraz.


JJ Abrams Alcatraz pilot at Fox + shopping show with J. Nolan

J.J. Abrams’ latest top-secret project is a TV series about the island prison Alcatraz. According to The Hollywood Reporter Fox has ordered a pilot for the unnamed series which Abrams is developing with Lost veteran Elizabeth Sarnoff. The only description thus far is "A show about mysteries, secrets and the most infamous prison of all time: Alcatraz." The show will be produced by Abrams’ Bad Robot production company under his TV deal with Warner Brothers. Abrams is executive producing along with fellow Star Trek producer Bryan Burk.

In addition to the new Alcatraz show, Abrams is also reported to be shopping around a crime thriller TV series with Jonah Nolan (co-writer of The Dark Knight).

Abrams show premieres next week

If Fox picks up the series, it will join Abrams’ Fringe at Fox, which starts its third season next Thursday. Abrams newest show is the married spies drama Undercovers, which premiers next Wednesday on NBC.

Here are promos for Abrams current shows on TV.



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Gaahh. Too much Bad Robot!!


Cool. I wonder if the show will involve the mystery of whether those three inmates survived their escape back in the ’60s (as seen in the Clint Eastwood movie “Escape from Alcatraz”). Mythbusters recreated the makeshift raft the inmates used and rowed it all the way to the Golden Gate—without springing a leak!

Anyway, I wish Abrams all the best, especially when it comes to that certain sci-fi movie coming out in 2012… :)

Captain Conrad

Who’s ready for a STAR TREK TV series? I know I am!

Adam C

this guy is just ****ing out tv shows aint he


Another television show? How does he do it. Just the thought of doing 1 movie makes me feel tired



It seems he takes the one idea and does it different ways.

Like this really sounds original and interesting.

Also been told by a friend that Undercovers is style over substance.

I want Star Trek back on TV as well, I miss weekly new episodes but I would prefer if Abrams wasn’t behind the show.

He made a great movie but I would love a different hand on the show.


Haha! He’s the one who made this other mystery show called Lost, isn’t he? Well, that tells a lot.

Third Remata'Klan

The man never stops, does he?



Sounds like the same idea but tweaked slightly. Is this the secret to his overdose of TV shows?

Why not think of JJ like a songwriter? Songwriters can write many, many songs and sometimes there are songs that sound similar. Consider some of the great songwriters who have a tremendous body of work: Elton John, Billy Joel, Lennon & McCartney, etc. and you could say ‘this song is similar to that song.’ It doesn’t detract from each song, and while one song may sound similar to another, some people will prefer one song over another.
I think it’s somewhat unfair to harp on Abrams. He’s obviously a guy who loves to work, and loves what he does. Creative people tend to keep pumping out the ideas because they simply have to. I’ve said it a gazillion times, I don’t believe any creative person creates something on the basis of “Will anyone like this?” or “How can I make a million bucks?”
It seems that the industry operates by someone having an idea, that idea gets pitched to someone with $$$ (the studio), and then the idea is either accepted or rejected based on the $$$’s belief that it will be a success or a flop. And then some ideas are a success and some ideas are a flop. Abrams is simply playing the game. Nothing wrong with that.
Perhaps the surface description of Alcatraz may seem similar to Lost, but I’m willing to bet the two shows will be completely different in content and approach.

Harry Ballz

It would seem that JJ must look upon show business as a COW, because with this many projects on the go, he sure is MILKING IT!

MOOve over, competition!


I too would like a new TV series. While I really like JJ’s take on Trek, I get the feeling that he’s really spread himself a bit thin with all of the projects that he’s taken on lately. Brian Fuller and Ron Moore have talked about doing a new series in the past, there is also a Facebook campaign to make the fan production Phoenix the next series. (I would love to see this option happen, it’s kind of reminiscent of the first letter writing campaign in 1967.)

Crypter Crypter Crypter

LOST was an exercise in audience manipulation, but it was entertaining despite being overly drawn out. Alias’s first and third seasons were the only memorable things about the entire 5 yr run. Undercovers is getting bad press for its formulaic preview. Fringe, to me, is a total bore, and a blatant X-Files ripoff. They only good thing is Anna Torv. Mission Impossible 3 was underwhelming…

JJ is stretchin himself thin…stick with MI:4 and Trek 2/2…

I AM looking forward to Super 8 (Loved the teaser)!! And would relish a Cloverfield (pre)sequel!!

TV is a dying medium…there are so few quality shows on anymore. Too expen$ive…


I just hope that with his energies scattered all over the place, the next Trek movie doesn’t just become ‘another project’ that’s cranked out in a perfunctory fashion.

That’d be a real crime, since JJ Abrams and company got the last one so damn right.

Capt Mike of the Terran Empire

I think J.J is what T.V needs. he is putting out some great stuff. #13. There are some good quality shows out there. N.C.I.S and L.A and Fringe and Smallville and a few others. Yes. I would also love a new Star Trek Series.

Kirk, James T.

I think he’s being very clever. upping his profile and putting his name out there. He’s definitely becoming “the next Spielberg”

As for Trek on TV? Not until Abrams has done at least 2 more Trek movies unless the TV series is animated and shown on Nickelodeon.


The next Spielberg? No, more like the next Stephen J. Cannell!

Gorn Fishin'

does anyone think of Rick Moranis in Ghosbusters when they see JJ or is it just me?


Star Trek Sequel JJ Abrams!!!! …..PLEASE!!!!!!!


How long till a custom Alcatraz Dharma station logo appears? On the show or fanmade? :)

Anthony Thompson

Another nail in the ‘JJ directing Star Trek 2’ coffin.

Anthony Thompson

14. Did you find your dream girl at Trek Vegas??? : )

Shinzon's Lover

Who cares if he is creating new shows? As of now, he is able balance out his schedule. Also, do keep in mind that these shows tend to have have different creative staffs behind them and that JJA, while creator and exec. producer, tends to back off from a show after a year or so, leaving the majority of show running to others.


It’s the rush of being an artist. The creative juices never stop flowing. And he usually does a pilot and concept then moves on leaving it in the hands of other creative people. I think the last show he worked on alot was Alias cause he had nothing else going at the time.



If you’re post was directed at me? : o
Well, er… I’ve been happily married these last eleven years, but thanks all the same!

; )

Starbase Britain

You wont beat Clint Eastwoods Movie ‘Escape from Alcatraz’. Love that film.


Anthony Thompson


Sorry. I guess you’re a different Sebastion from the lovesick one who was featured on this site a couple of months back! : )


27. AT

No worries. Gave me a chuckle! ; )

About 13 or so years ago that might’ve been an accurate description of me!
Hee hee….

Alcatraz? Clint Eastwood’s Escape From is the standard, and there’s no reason to go back to it.

A new Star Trek tv show would be great.

It should also be centered on the original crew and follow the five year mission that took place between The Voyage Home and The Undiscovered Country when Kirk was demoted to captain and given back the enterprise.

That would please the fans and as long as the stories and casting were strong may prove to be the biggest rating trek of all time.

William Macey as Bones

Matt Damon as Captain James T Kirk

Guy Pearce as Mr Spock



Oh, I would love to see a show set in the TOS movie era! And to see the Enterprise-A in action again!—Too bad it’ll probably never happen… sigh…

I know. Smart decisions are rarely made by those who know better. How good would it be though?


It would be freaking awesome, Chris! Then again, ANY new Trek TV show would be awesome right now. Heck, I’d settle for an adaptation of IDW’s Leonard McCoy: Frontier Doctor series…

I agree with you that William H. Macy would make a good Bones. But Karl Urban ain’t bad neither! ;)


Sounds like Eureka meets Fringe…been there, done that…


JJ also got a pilot ordered from CBS today called Point of Interest. If I count right that’s 4 TV Series his name is attached to, then you have Star Trek 2, Super 8… and I thought he was doing another movie. Seriously, not many people in this industry are capable of tackling that much work.


I am actually interested in a Alcatraz tv-show. It would be nice to watch. Lets see where they take this one…

Chain of Command

No insult intended towards anyone: but I don’t understand the whole “J.J. Abrams thing”.

What’s a JJ Abrams thing?


Rumor is he had it removed.


Paramount should wait another five years before thinking about doing a new Star Trek tv series or even longer.

Chris White

40. I disagree with you we need a new Star Trek Show NOW!!! Not in 5 year.

Red Dead Ryan


The tv rights belong to CBS. But I do agree we don’t need a new Trek series (as much as I’d like one) at least until after the sequel comes out.
But seeing as how Les Moonves hates Star Trek (but is still willing to profit from it) we’ll have to wait until he dies or sells it off.

Splitting the franchise among rival companies was a really short-sighted and idiotic idea.