JJ Abrams Pilot Picked Up For A Series

Alcatraz is first new sci-fi show confirmed for the 2011-12 US season

The love-in between Fox and JJ Abrams continues. Not only has the network renewed Fringe despite falling ratings (not that we’re complaining, we love it, and it does have phenomenal catch-up figures for people who record it to watch later), but it has now picked up his new show, Alcatraz , for a series, Deadline confirms.

Alcatraz is a crime drama set in the State’s most infamous prison on Alcatraz Island and involves a current-day team investigating the mysterious reappearance of inmates who disappeared in the 1960s. Sarah Jones, Jorge Garcia ( Lost ), Jonny Coyne, Jason Butler, Sam Neill, Parminder Nagra ( ER ), Santiago Cabrera and Robert Forster co-starred in the pilot which was directed by Danny ( Judge Dredd ) Cannon, the man who also defined CSI ’s distinct visual style.

To be honest, it sounds like yet another of those long-winded, serialised mysteries that US audiences seem to be rapidly tiring off, so let’s hope there’s a unique twist or decent hook to prevent it becoming this year’s Flash Forward or The Event. Not that we’re saying either of those shows were bad exactly, they just didn’t captivate viewers in big numbers, so Fox may be taking a risky punt with this one.

Meanwhile, it looks like Locke And Key is definitely dead in the water, which is a shame as it sounded like one of the more promising shows to us.