UPN Orders Three Drama Pilots

By Caillan
January 22, 2003 - 9:40 AM

Enterprise network UPN yesterday ordered pilots for three of its drama projects currently in development.

The first pilot pickup is Hotel, a remake of the 1980s series of the same name, Variety reported. Based on the book by Arthur Hailey, the show followed the lives of guests and staff at the upmarket St. Gregory's Hotel in New Orleans.

Former Earth: Final Conflict scribe Cory Tynan wrote the pilot and will serve as executive producer with Denise DiNovi (The District), E. Duke Vincent and Aaron Spelling. Vincent and Spelling, whose credits include 7th Heaven and Charmed, worked as supervising producer and executive producer, respectively, on the original Hotel series.

Silvio Horta, executive producer of the axed Sci-Fi Channel show The Chronicle, penned the second pilot order, entitled Weapon X. The series centres around a "National Security Agency geek who turns into a superhero when he's injected with computer chips." Husband and wife team Gina Matthews, producer of 'What Women Want,' and Grant Scharbo ('The Wishing Tree') will serve executive producers with Horta.

Weapon X is said to be significantly different from ABC's spy series, Alias. "Our hero is completely unlike Sydney Bristow," Matthews told Variety in December. "He would never be recruited by the CIA. Silvio likes to write about underdogs, and that's what this guy is."

The network's final pilot order is Newton, reported to be about "a family that tests technologies." Craig Silverstein (The Dead Zone) and David Nadelberg created the series, while Joel Silver, producer of 'Lethal Weapon' and 'The Matrix,' will executive produce.

Although many pilots are commissioned each year, only a handful ever make it to the series stage. If UPN greenlights any of these concepts to proceed to series, they will likely debut in fall 2003, possibly as a replacement for genre staple Buffy The Vampire Slayer, which could be on its last legs.

The original Variety article can be found here.

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