‘The Never Game’ Drama Starring Justin Hartley Lands CBS Pilot Order

EXCLUSIVE: CBS has given a pilot order to The Never Game, a drama series adaptation of Jeffery Deaver’s novel, starring and executive produced by Justin Hartley. The project, which received a pilot production commitment in September 2021, comes from director Ken Olin and 20th Television.

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Because of Hartley commitment to the final season of This Is Us, The Never Game had been targeted for the off-season. As Deadline reported yesterday, the project quietly underwent a writer change in the spring, with Ben Winters replacing Michael Cooney who had been attached when the pitch was sold last fall. Winters’ script was delivered to CBS last week and was very well received by the network brass, putting the project on a fast track for a pilot pickup.

Written by Winters, based on Deaver’s novel, and to be directed bu Olin, The Never Game features Hartley as lone-wolf survivalist Colter Shaw, who roams the country as a “reward seeker,” using his expert tracking skills to help private citizens and law enforcement to solve all manner of mysteries while contending with his own fractured family.

This Is Us alums Olin and Hartley executive produce alongside Winters. Julianna LaRosa and Roxy Olin serve as co-executive producers. 20th Television is the studio.

With the order, Hartley joins This Is Us co-stars Milo Ventimiglia and Chris Sullivan who also star in off-cycle 2022 broadcast pilots, The Company You Keep and The Son In Law, respectively, both at ABC. Hartley starred as Kevin Pearson on all six seasons of the NBC drama series.

“I couldn’t be happier that The Never Game is coming to CBS, and that Colter Shaw will be brought to life on screen soon,” said Hartley when the project was announced. “When I read the book, I was immediately drawn to the character and the story; developing this project with Ken has been a true labor of love. Colter is going to kick some serious ass, and I can’t wait for audiences to meet him.”

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