We reported last week that Kiefer Sutherland was in talks to make a television return in Tim Kring's Touch. Sutherland has signed on to the project, and there's word that the pilot may have a director in Charles McDougall.
Touch is the latest spec script from Heroes creator Tim Kring. The only information available about the plot is that it follows a father (Sutherland) whose mute, autistic son develops the ability to tell the future. Fox has ordered the pilot, but has not yet pulled the trigger on a full series. But with Kring and now Sutherland's name attached to the project, it's very likely that Touch will receive an initial season order.
However, Sutherland's casting has thrown a wrench in Touch's development: the 24 headliner has previous commitments on Broadway that will occupy his time through the spring. That means that shooting won't begin until summer, giving Touch a mid-season (spring 2012) premiere at best.
There is also information available about Touch's off-screen talent - with Charles McDougall in negotiations to direct the pilot episode. McDougall has given dramatic shows like Desperate Housewives, The Tudors, The Good Wife, and The Chicago Code solid starts by directing the initial episodes (Screen Rant's Rob Frappier gave the latter an excellent review two weeks ago). He's also got comedies like The Office, Parks and Recreation and Sex in the City under his belt. McDougall is not yet confirmed, but expect news of his (and others) involvement to come fast in the next few weeks as pre-production ramps up.
As a big fan of Heroes' initial seasons, I'm excited to see Kring return to television. The same reputation that Fox has earned by cancelling promising science fiction shows implies that they'd be more likely to allow Touch to sink or swim, letting Kring have more creative control than NBC allowed.
There's only one pitfall that I can see from here: the role of the son. Assuming that the role calls for an actor who is teen-aged or younger, much of the drama implied in the premise will rest on his shoulders. Child actors are notoriously hard to cast and harder to work with, and talented ones are difficult to find.
Touch is currently in the pilot stage at FOX. Expect a last-minute season decision this summer.
Source: TV Line