In its first major announcement of the 2014 upfront season, NBC has placed series orders for four pilots -- the romantic sitcom "Marry Me," in addition to three dramas, "Odyssey," "State of Affairs" and "Allegiance," revolving around spies and terrorism.
From "Happy Endings" creator David Caspe, "Marry Me" stars Ken Marino ("Eastbound & Down," "Party Down") and Casey Wilson (also of "Happy Endings") as Jake and Annie, a long-term couple who have remained inseparable since they first bonded over a shared love of nachos six years ago. Jake plans to propose to Annie after returning from a romantic vacation, but before he can do so Annie unleashes on him for his failure to make it official, and the pair decided to postpone their engagement. The ensemble cast includes Sarah Wright, John Gemberling, Tymberlee Hill and Tim Meadows. The project is said to be based loosely on Caspe and Wilson's real-life relationship.
In "State of Affairs," Katherine Heigl plays top CIA analyst Charleston "Charlie" Tucker, charged with assembling a daily intelligence briefing for the president (Alfre Woodard). In addition to the difficult moral and political decisions she must make as a part of the job, Charlie was also engaged to the president's son, until he was killed in a terrorist attack. She is now determined to bring his killers to justice. The series comes from executive producer Joe Carnahan ("The Blacklist") and costars Adam Kaufman, Sheila Vand, Cliff Chamberlain, Tommy Savas and Leslie Odom Jr.
"Allegiance," from executive producers George Nolfi and Avi Nir, also centers on a CIA analyst. In this case, it's a young specialist in Russian affairs named Alex O'Connor (Gavin Stenhouse) who discovers his parents are Soviet spies deactivated decades ago. After years of silence from Moscow, the pair are reactivated by the Kremlin to help pull off a massive terrorist plot on U.S. soil -- and to recruit their son as a spy. Scott Cohen ("Necessary Roughness") and Hope Davis ("The Newsroom") star as the erstwhile KGB agents.
The network's other drama order Tuesday also dabbles in international intrigue. Billled as a "'Traffic'-like action drama," "Odyssey" explores a sprawling international conspiracy that ties together three very different characters -- a female soldier, a corporate lawyer and a young political activist. Anna Friel ("Pushing Daisies") plays Sgt. Odelle Ballard, an American soldier in north Africa who discovers evidence indicating that a major U.S. corporation has been funding the jihadists in the region -- just as the rest of her unit is wiped out by U.S. Special Forces. Peter Facinelli ("Nurse Jackie") is a former U.S. attorney, Peter Drucker, working on a merger deal for the company in New York, while Jake Robinson ("The Carrie Diaries") stars as a young political activist who meets a hacker who may have uncovered the conspiracy. Writers Adam Armus ("The Following") and Nora Kay Foster ("Heroes") and director Peter Horton ("Grey's Anatomy") serve as executive producers on the series.
Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun