CW Orders Kevin Williamson Drama, 'Frequency' Reboot to Pilot

The pickups give Williamson three pilots this season — each at different networks.
Courtesy of Everett Collection; AP Images
"Frequency" with Jeremy Carver (inset)

The CW threw its hat into the pilot ring late Friday, picking up a drama from Kevin Williamson and a reboot of feature film Frequency.  

First, Williamson's untitled paranormal drama centers on a young woman who seeks help from a parapsychologist when she begins to experience paranormal phenomena. Williamson will pen the script and exec produce alongside David Nutter who will direct the pilot. Lauren Wagner will produce. The drama hails from Williamson's Warner Bros. Television-based Outerbanks Entertainment banner.

The drama gives Williamson three pilots in the works this season — each at different networks — and expands his relationship with The CW, where he is an exec producer on The Vampire Diaries. He also has ABC's H.G. Wells reboot of Time After Time and Fox's Recon, which reteams him with Vampire Diaries' Julie Plec and Caroline Dries.

Frequency, meanwhile, was originally developed for NBC during the 2014-15 season; the drama moved to The CW earlier this year. The remake of the 2000 sci-fi thriller hails from Supernatural showrunner Jeremy Carver, who will pen the script for the Warner Bros. Television drama (where he is under an overall deal). Feature film writer Toby Emmerich is on board to exec produce alongside Carver, John Rickard and Lin Pictures' Dan Lin and Jennifer Gwartz.

The CW's take is described as a reimagining of the New Line Cinema film and flips the lead's gender. It revolves around a female police detective in 2016 who discovers she is able to speak via a ham radio with her estranged father (also a detective) who died in 1996. They forge a new relationship while working together on an unresolved murder case, but unintended consequences of the "butterfly effect" wreak havoc in the present day.

Emmerich's feature took place in New York in 1999 and starred Jim Caviezel as a homicide detective who strangely makes contact with his late father (Dennis Quaid) exactly 30 years in the past on the day before his death. The film grossed $68 million worldwide on a budget of $31 million.

Frequency is one of a plethora of remakes and reboots in the works this season as broadcast networks look for proven franchises with name recognition and built-in fan bases in a bid to cut through the increasingly cluttered original scripted landscape. Key to their success is having the original producers attached, which Frequency does thanks to Emmerich's involvement. For The CW's part, the network was also developing a remake of The Notebook, which insiders say is not moving forward.

Keep up with all the latest pickups, castings and eventual series orders with THR's handy guide to pilot season.

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