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NBC Picks Up New Drama Series from Tony Award-Winning Playwright

Deadline reports that NBC has given a pilot production commitment to the new drama SALVATION, from Tony Award winning playwright Warren Leight, CRASH's Paul Haggis and Sony TV.

Leight, whose 1998 play SIDEMAN won the Tony Award and was a finalist for the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, will pen the project, to be directed by Haggis. The playwright, screenwriter, film director and television producer is best known for his work on Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Lights Out and served as the showrunner for In Treatment and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

Commenting on the new drama yesterday, NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke noted, "There are still people who love network television and have passion for the (NBC) brand. We have to be talent-friendly and make the case why the show should be on NBC. The longer we stay strong and aggressive the better we will do."

According to the description, "Salvation begins on Fourth of July weekend. A summer storm unexpectedly intensifies and changes track to New York Harbor. Power goes out. Flood waters rise. Most Brooklyn hospitals are forced to evacuate. With few doctors on call, and without any warning, the recently downsized Our Lady of Salvation now becomes the borough's last viable trauma center. Salvation, the first real-time hospital "extreme event" drama, will capture the life-and-death choices nurses, PA's and other front-line caregivers make as they struggle to provide care and triage."

Leight's other stage work includes the musical "Mayor", inspired by Ed Koch and his dealings with Leona Helmsley and Bess Myerson. It ran for 185 performances at the Top of the Gate in Greenwich Village starting on May 13, 1985. The musical transferred uptown to the Latin Quarter on October 23, 1985, running to January 5, 1986 for another 70 performances. He received a 1986 Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding Book.

The author's Stray Cats is , a collection of musically influenced monologues about men, was presented by All Season Theatre Group on May 14, 1998, directed by Kevin Confoy.

In 2001, his play Glimmer, Glimmer & Shine was produced by the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. It was produced Off-Broadway by the Manhattan Theatre Club from May 24, 2001 to July 8, 2001.

No Foreigners Beyond This Point had its world premiere at Center Stage in Baltimore, Maryland in November 2002, directed by Tim Vasen. The play opened Off-Broadway on September 17, 1995. The play was inspired by Leight's experiences teaching English in Guangdong (Canton), China. He received a nomination for the 2006 Drama Desk Award, Play, for the Off-Broadway production.

His play James and Annie premiered at the Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati in March 2003.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos

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