LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- NBC is on track to give series orders to its drama pilots "Heroes" and "Friday Night Lights," as staffing reportedly has begun on both projects.
Jesse Alexander ("Alias") has been named a co-executive producer on the former entry, about a group of ordinary people who wake up with incredible powers. Tim Kring created the NBC Universal Television-based project, which is also executive produced by Dennis Hammer and David Semel, the two-hour pilot's director.
The show's ensemble cast includes Greg Grunberg ("Alias"), Hayden Panettiere ("The Book of Daniel"), Leonard Roberts ("Buffy the Vampire Slayer"), Masi Oka ("Scrubs"), Milo Ventimiglia ("The Bedford Diaries"), Noah Gray-Cabey ("My Wife and Kids"), Santiago Cabrera ("Empire"), Sendhil Ramamurthy ("Numb3rs"), Tawny Cypress ("Jonny Zero"), Adrian Pasdar ("Desperate Housewives") and Ali Larter ("Final Destination 2").
As for "Lights," Jason Katims ("Pepper Dennis") has been tapped as the project's showrunner/executive producer. He'll serve alongside fellow executive producers Brian Grazer, David Nevins, John Cameron, Sarah Aubrey and creator Peter Berg.
Adrianne Palicki ("South Beach"), Aimee Teegarden ("Cold Case"), Connie Britton ("24"), Gaius Charles, Jesse Plemons ("Grey's Anatomy"), Kyle Chandler ("Grey's Anatomy"), Minka Kelly ("What I Like About You"), Scott Porter, Taylor Kitsch and Zach Gilford ("Law & Order: Special Victims Unit") all star in the NBC Universal Television/Imagine Television/Film 44-produced hour, which is based on the feature film/book of the same name.
Meanwhile in other pilot news, Glen Mazzara ("The Shield") has signed on as an executive producer of FOX's newcomer "Primary." The network ordered 12 additional episodes of the series, about hostage negotiators (Ron Livingston and Rosemarie DeWitt) who try to balance their budding relationship and their job, on Monday. Craig Silverstein created the 20th Century Fox Television-based hour while director Tim Story also serves as an executive producer.
Lastly, working titles have emerged for several previously unmonikered projects: "Rules of Engagement" (Tom Hertz's sitcom for CBS), "The Nine" (Hank Steinberg and K.J. Steinberg's ensemble drama for ABC), "Separated at Worth" (Shana Goldberg-Meehan's sitcom for ABC), "Let Go" (Bonnie Hunt's single-camera comedy for ABC), "The Sunshine State" (Brad Copeland's comedy, also for ABC) and "The Great Malones" (Chris Sheridan's half-hour for NBC).
In addition, ABC's "Sisters in Law" has been rebranded "High Bar"; "The Guys," also at ABC, is now "American Men"; Danny Comden's "Jump" is now running under the title "Learning to Fly"; and Carol Mendelsohn's "In the Shadow of the Law" at CBS is now "Capital Law."