Why J.J. Abrams' Undercovers isn't just Alias 2

Undercovers—J.J. Abrams' upcoming spy pilot for NBC—won't be a clone of his hit ABC spy series Alias.

At least that's what Angela Bromstad, president of prime-time entertainment at NBC and Universal Media Studios, told us Sunday at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour in Pasadena, Calif.

Bromstad announced that Abrams would direct the pilot to Undercovers, a new series about married spies and the first television pilot Abrams has directed since ABC's Lost.

Bromstad confirmed that the show would approach the James Bond territory of gadgets and supervillains. But she added that it is not a new Alias, referring to his previous spy show on ABC.

"I think it's very different," she said. "I think it has a much more sort of grounded tone. It's based in reality, but it has definitely a lighter tone and a banter between the husband and wife. It's not a dark CIA operative show. It definitely has a little bit of Hart to Hart in it."

Undercovers episodes will also stand alone more than the continuing mythology of Alias. "It really is a closed-end procedural each week," Bromstad said. "They'll have a specific mission that they go out on."

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