Director Set for J.J. Abrams' 'Fringe' Pilot

Alex Graves has come on board to direct the high profile, two-hour pilot for "Fringe," a FOX drama created by J.J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci.

FOX won a bidding war for "Fringe" back in early October, giving a series commitment to the science fiction-inflected thriller and signing on for an ambitious pilot budget in the $10 million range, according to the industry trade papers.

The "X-Files"-esque pilot focuses on an odd trio of paranormal investigators -- A brilliant, eccentric research scientist, his estranged son and a young, female FBI agent.

In addition to "The X-Files," the pilot has been compared to early David Cronenberg films and Paddy Chayefsky's "Altered States."

The past two seasons, Graves has done pilot directing duties for ABC's "The Nine" and NBC's "Journeyman" and then stuck around as executive producer. He previously exec produced and directed on "The West Wing," winning a pair of Emmys as part of that show's creative team.

Graves' commitment to "Journeyman" runs through December (it's unclear if NBC's commitment to the show will last that long), leaving him free to direct the "Fringe" pilot early in the new year.

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