Former ‘Lost’ Star Is J.J. Abrams’ ‘Person of Interest’

Michael Emerson picks up the lead role in Abrams and Jonathan Nolan's new crime thriller.

Blair Marnellby Blair Marnell

Former 'Lost' Star Is J.J. Abrams' 'Person of Interest'

Last week, CBS gave the greenlight for "Person of Interest," a collaboration between screenwriter Jonathan Nolan and veteran TV producer, J.J. Abrams. And now the potential series has its first star, from one of Abrams’ most memorable creations.

Deadline is reporting that Michael Emerson has been cast as one of the lead characters in "Person of Interest." Emerson will portray a mysterious billionaire who recruits a former (and presumed dead) CIA agent to stop crimes in New York City before they happen. The report also indicates that Emerson was offered a part in the ABC drama "Once Upon A Time," which was rejected in favor of this project.

Emerson is best known for his scene stealing role on Abrams’ "Lost" as Benjamin Linus; which earned Emerson an Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama in 2009. Prior to that, Emerson appeared in several guest roles on "The Practice," "The X-Files," "Without a Trace," "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" and "The Education of Max Bickford."

However, Emerson’s latest casting does throw some doubt on the future of "Odd Jobs," the NBC pilot that would have reunited him with his "Lost" costar Terry O’Quinn as a pair of retired spies. Recent reports indicate that the script for "Odd Jobs" came in late, which resulted in the project getting pushed back to next year’s pilot season. It’s not currently clear if Emerson’s new role means that he won’t be able to star in "Odd Jobs" as well.

Back in the fall, the networks engaged in a bidding war for "Person of Interest," primarily because it will be Nolan’s first TV project. In film, Nolan collaborated with his brother Christopher Nolan on "The Prestige" and "The Dark Knight," as well as the upcoming "Superman" reboot and "The Dark Knight Rises."

The pilot of "Person of Interest" will be directed by David Semel ("Heroes") and it is widely expected to get a pickup for next fall.

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