It may be time to stop with the CBS-isn’t-cool jokes: Vulture has learned that the Eye has all but closed a deal for the rights to Person of Interest, the new hour-long drama being developed by J.J. Abrams and Dark Knight/The Prestige co-writer Jonah Nolan (brother of Christopher, and often credited as “Jonathan”). Nolan is penning the pilot for the crime thriller, which first hit the network market earlier this month via Abrams and partner Bryan Burk’s Bad Robot (based at Warner Bros. TV). It attracted strong interest from multiple networks, but CBS stepped up with a pilot commitment and won out, according to insiders.
If Person makes it to series, it will be the first time Abrams will produce a project for CBS; he’s previously had shows at ABC (Lost, What About Brian), Fox (Fringe and a just-sold Alcatraz drama), NBC (Undercovers), and CW predecessor the WB (Felicity). While we’re still trying to dig up details on Person, Nolan’s work (he also wrote the short story that Memento was based on) makes a twisty ride likely. In addition, since Nolan is a TV newbie — and Abrams is a very, very busy man these days — it wouldn’t be surprising if another seasoned producer ends up joining Abrams, Nolan, and Burk as an executive producer on the project. CBS and Warner Bros. declined comment.