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Justin Hartley is solidifying his future post-This Is Us.
The actor behind Kevin Pearson will star in and exec produce The Never Game, based on the novel by Jeffrey Deaver, for CBS. The drama, which reunites Hartley with This Is Us director/EP Ken Olin, has scored a pilot production commitment from the network. Hartley and Olin teamed to secure rights to the book in January, and CBS has since landed rights to the drama and earmarked it as its first pilot order for the 2022-23 broadcast season.
The Never Game revolves around survivalist Colter Shaw (Hartley), who roams the country as a “reward seeker” and uses his tracking skills to solve mysteries as he contends with his own fractured family.
The potential series hails from Disney’s 20th Television, where both Hartley and Olin are based with overall deals. Both will exec produce The Never Game via their respective companies. Olin will direct the pilot, which will be written and exec produced by Michael Cooney (Identity).
“I couldn’t be happier that The Never Game is coming to CBS, and that Colter Shaw will be brought to life on screen soon,” said Hartley. “When I read the book, I was immediately drawn to the character and the story; developing this project with Ken has been a true labor of love. Colter is going to kick some serious ass, and I can’t wait for audiences to meet him.”
Additional castings for The Never Game will be announced in the coming weeks.
This Is Us, also from 20th Television, is heading into its sixth and final season with Hartley’s fellow castmembers expected to generate significant interest for broadcast, cable and streaming shows once the Dan Fogelman family drama wraps its run next year.
The Never Game was one of multiple announcements CBS made during its virtual time with the Television Critics Association on Thursday. Other news included the return of Big Brother: Celebrity Edition for winter 2022 (with cast being announced later); Usher, Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Julianne Hough to host Global Citizen competition series The Activist; and a New Year’s Eve special set to air live from Nashville and feature some of country music’s biggest stars.
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