Pilots taking the direct route

Networks looking to big-name helmers for comedies and dramas

Stephen Hopkins has been tapped to direct Fox's drama pilot "Maggie Hill," and Mark Pellington has signed on to direct CBS' drama pilot "Back."

Additionally, Thomas Schlamme is in negotiations to direct NBC's dramedy pilot "Parenthood," Todd Holland is set to direct Fox's comedy pilot "Sons of Tucson," and Mimi Leder will helm CBS' U.S. Attorney drama project.

"Hill," from 20th TV and Imagine, centers on a brilliant female surgeon who has schizophrenia.

CAA-repped Hopkins, an Emmy winner for "The Life and Death of Peter Sellers," also directed the pilot of Showtime's "Californication."

"Back," from CBS Par and Storyline, centers on a man who returns home to discover he was reported missing eight years earlier, after 9/11. It marks Pellington's first television gig since he directed the pilot and multiple episodes of CBS' "Cold Case."

In feature films, Pellington, repped by UTA and 3 Arts, recently directed Overture's "Henry Poole Is Here."

Penned by "Friday Night Lights" creator Jason Katims, "Parenthood" is one of the hottest projects this pilot season. Based on the 1989 movie, it is produced by UMS and Imagine.

Schlamme, repped by CAA and Industry, most recently helmed the ABC pilot "Captain Cook's Extraordinary Atlas."

"Tucson," from 20th TV, is about a charming but misguided hustler hired by three brothers with considerable resources to act as their father while their real father serves prison time for a white-collar crime.

Holland, a three-time Emmy winner for "The Larry Sanders Show" and "Malcolm in the Middle," is repped by Endeavor and 3 Arts.

The untitled U.S. Attorney drama, from CBS Par, is a legal ensemble revolving around a team of federal prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney's office in Manhattan.

WMA-repped Leder recently directed the upcoming thriller "Thick as Thieves." (partialdiff)