‘Believe’ Shakeup: Third Showrunner Named for J.J. Abrams-Alfonso Cuarón Series

'Believe' Shakeup: Third Showrunner Named for J.J. Abrams-Alfonso Cuarón Series

New showrunner Jonas Pate. (Getty Images)

Jonas Pate is replacing the NBC drama's second showrunner, Dave Erickson

J.J. Abrams and Alfonso Cuarón's NBC drama “Believe” hasn't aired yet, but is on its third showrunner.

The series’ second showrunner, Dave Erickson, is out, and Jonas Pate will take his place, individuals with knowledge of the situation told TheWrap. The show's production company, Warner Bros. Television, confirmed Pate's appointment.

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Pate (pictured) is also being promoted from a co-producer to executive producer. Formerly an executive producer on “Deception,” Pate also directed the second episode of “Believe.”

TheWrap was the first to exclusively report back in July that “Believe” co-creator and original showrunner Mark Friedman had stepped down from the post over creative differences. Erickson was then tapped to replace him.

Creative differences are also the reason Erickson is on his way out now, according to those familiar with the matter. Apparently, there's a lot of disagreement about the direction of the series after the pilot. For writing purposes, the production will go on holiday hiatus earlier than planned and resume production in January.

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The individuals close to the situation tell TheWrap that Erickson is in negotiations for an exit package. WBTV was unable to confirm those talks.

Series co-creator Cuarón, Abrams and Burk will remain as executive producers. Executive producer Hans Tobeason also remains with the show and will now serve as the on-set producer in New York.

NBC hasn't set an airdate for “Believe.” Despite the shakeup, individuals with knowledge of production said that the show is still on track for a midseason premiere date once it's set.

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NBC entertainment president Jen Salke told TheWrap in October that she was pleased with “Believe” and Erickson as its showrunner. She also said she's impressed with how involved Cuarón and Abrams are in the production.

“Dave Erickson's doing an incredible job running that show, and both J.J. and Alfonso reached out to me yesterday to tell me how excited they are. And given that they're both incredibly busy right now, they are still reviewing, looking at all the material,” she said.

“Believe” follows Bo (Johnny Sequoyah), a young girl with mysterious powers who's destined to change the world, and her protector Tate (Jake McLaughlin). Both being hunted down by assassins.

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The drama was co-created by Friedman and Cuarón (“Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,” “Children of Men”) and is being produced by Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions (“Revolution,” “Person of Interest”) with Bryan Burk.

In July, the series was undergoing rewrites, which led to actress Sienna Guillory, who played a hit-woman on the original pilot, being written out as the series in order to focus on multiple international assassins pursuing Bo and Tate.

Since then, the series has cast “Spartacus” alum Nick Tarabay and “Rome” actress Kerry Condon in recurring roles.

Watch the trailer below:

  • iceblast

    Looks very interesting… It's a shame that behind the scenes, that everything is screwed up, and they didn't plan good enough on what the show is going to be about. It's possible to make something huge, with great meaning, or they could chicken out, and make something forgettable, and very disappointing. But since most of hollywood are chickens, and believe in the wrong things, I would expect them to make another failure.

    Here's hoping I'm wrong!

    • lovethisbusiness

      Easy to take pot shots on H'wood creative/business process when you have no idea what's involved, or how difficult it is to get it right. What may seem disorganized and dysfunctional to you may actually be very talented and opinionated people doing their best to make something innovative and entertaining at a price & on a schedule.

      • iceblast

        I've seen enough shows start off really good, and a few episodes later it crashes and burns. I've seen great shows get canceled because someone in the higher ups wouldn't keep their nose out of it.

        Pot shots huh, you think hollywood doesn't deserve a shot or two. I'm a huge collector of tv shows and movies. I know how badly hollywood screws up a good idea, how they jump the gun, and not have anything but the pilot made, and not sure how to continue the idea. So, they try to wing it. Happens to often, and you get tired of watching a good show that goes bad, or is canceled without a ending.

        I did say, let's hope I'm wrong. I would love to be wrong, and love this series. Time will tell it out.

  • NewPines

    What's a “Showrunner”?

    • Approved

      what it sounds like, they run the show. responsible for the major creative decisions and overall arc of the show.