Fringe, a spooky series from the minds of J.J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci is coming to FOX, according to Variety.
The network has made a series commitment to start off with a two-hour pilot budgeted at more than $10 million. Abrams, Kurtzman and Orci, the screenwriters behind Paramount's new Star Trek feature, wrote the project and will executive produce along with Bryan Burk (Lost). A search has begun for a pilot director.
Fringe mixes elements of The X-Files and Paddy Chayefsky's Altered States with what Abrams calls "a slight The Twilight Zone vibe." It will focus on brilliant but possibly crazy research scientist Walter Bishop, his estranged son and a female FBI agent who brings them together. Episodes will explore self-contained mysteries of the paranormal, as well as the relationships between the three leads.
"So much of the story is relatable people in extraordinary situations," Abrams said. "The show is definitely a nod to Altered States and Scanners and that whole Michael Crichton/Robin Cook world of medicine and science."
There'll also be an overriding mythology that will come into play from time to time, as well as a healthy dose of humor.
"It does the stuff my favorite TV shows and movies do, which is to combine genres that shouldn't fit together," Abrams said. "It's definitely meant to scare the hell out of you, but it's also meant to make you laugh... It pushes all the buttons of things we loved from our childhood."
Driving the show will be the Walter Bishop character, a larger-than-life figure who bears some resemblance to the titular character in Fox's House. In the pilot, he's in a mental hospital.
"Imagine that your father is Frankenstein mixed with Albert Einstein," Orci said. "He's someone who has the mental ability to solve so many problems but is so different that communicating with them is almost impossible."