Abrams picks pal Pinkner

Fox's 'Fringe' gets showrunner

"Lost" executive producer Jeff Pinkner has been tapped to run "Fringe," Fox's high-profile sci-fi drama from J.J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci.

Meanwhile, Emmy winner Thomas Schlamme has come on board to direct and executive produce "Captain Cook's Extraordinary Atlas," Tom Wheeler's drama pilot for ABC.

In pilot castings, CCH Pounder and Cole Hauser have been tapped to star in CBS' drama presentation "The Tower." Michael Trevino and newcomer Cassidy Freeman havebeen cast in the CW drama "Austin Golden Hour."

Additionally, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Molly Stanton, Jolene Purdy and Brando Eaton have joined Niecy Nash in Fox's comedy "The Inn," from 20th TV, Reveille and Principato-Young.

On the Warner Bros.-produced "Fringe," Pinkner will serve as exec producer/showrunner. The project centers on an FBI agent (Anna Torv) who teams with a guy (Joshua Jackson) and his scientist father (John Noble) to confront the spread of unexplained phenomena.

Endeavor-repped Pinkner's relationship with Abrams extends beyond serving as exec producer/ writer on "Lost," Abrams' ABC series. He also served in the same capacity on Abrams' "Alias," also for ABC.

"Atlas," from WBTV, centers on a young girl who finds a magical atlas that reveals a secret world. Schlamme will exec produce the pilot with Wheeler. Endeavor-repped Schlamme most recently directed "Life on Mars," David E. Kelley's pilot for ABC.

"Tower," from CBS Par, revolves around a group of Chicago reporters who treat breaking news as cases to be investigated and solved. Hauser will play a crime reporter. "The Shield" alumna Pounder will play the paper's managing editor.

"Austin," from CBS Par, follows young emergency room surgeons. Freeman, repped by attorney Geoff Oblath, will play Charlie, an easy-on-the-eyes but tough country girl in her first day as a paramedic in the Shock Trauma Unit.

Trevino ("Cane") will play an aspiring musician who works as a part-time CTU medic.

He is repped by Michael Greene & Associates.