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A&E is moving into supernatural territory with a pilot order for a new drama from Michael Bay (Transformers) and James Wong, who wrote for The X-Files. Wong’s expertise should come in handy on the new project. Occult bears some major similarities to the X-Files; it’s focused on two FBI agents investigating paranormal activity.
Occult has a major uphill battle to live up to the legacy of the series that have come before it. The X-Files and Fringe have both already tread on this territory and done it well. With Fringe going off the air, the audience may be glad to see a potential replacement – but they’ll also be seriously critical of it, especially with the loss of their show still fresh in their minds.
The new project, which Deadline says has been given a cast-contingent pilot order from A&E, centers on an FBI agent who loses it while investigating his wife’s disappearance. After a leave of absence he returns to find himself paired with another agent and placed on the new occult crimes task force. His new female partner also brings her own baggage to the table.
A&E has added some interesting new original programming lately. They went straight to series with the Psycho prequel, Bates Motel, and have given a pilot order to Those Who Kill, based on the Danish format. Occult could be a good fit to the lineup if the pilot is successful – and if it manages to survive comparison to the hit shows that have already done this same plot before it.