In one of the biggest commitments ever for HBO, the pay cable network has nabbed Westwood, a drama series inspired by Michael Crichton’s 1973 sci-fi movie that hails from J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot, Person Of Interest creator Jonathan Nolan and producer Jerry Weintraub.

The Warner Bros. TV project, which has received a pilot production commitment, marks the first major cable sale for Bad Robot, which had been focused on broadcast TV for the past few years with such series as Fringe, Person Of Interest, Revolution and the upcoming Believe. Written by Nolan and Lisa Joy (Burn Notice), Westworld is described as a dark odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness and the future of sin. Nolan is set to direct the pilot, which he and Joy will executive produce with Abrams, Weintraub and Bryan Burk. Kathy Lingg is co-executive producing, while Athena Wickam serves as a producer. Warner Bros. TV is producing with Bad Robot,  Jerry Weintraub Prods. and Kilter Films.

This marks the second series inspired by Westworld, which starred  Yul Brynner, Richard Benjamin and James Brolin and introduced new digital visual techniques. (trailer below) The first, the short-lived 1980 drama Beyond Westworld, was a continuation of both Westworld and its movie sequel, Futureworld.

* More like reputation purchase order than anything else. Everything Abrams touches is currently turning to gold. He's quite a director and big idea man (which always seems to come back to alternate reality gimmick). Abrams's STAR TREK are pretty entertaining though they are not the STAR TREK I grew up with (Next Generation). Very 'blockbustery'. I don't want to sound like a petty f*ck but Abrams is a bad, bad choice for STAR WARS franchise. There is a separate identity - characters, plot and tone - between ST and SW. Abrams going to merge it with his trademark way-too-serious sci-fi outlook.