Cyber Command Goes Hollywood

Marg Helgenberger has been cast as the "director" of Cyber Command in a new TV pilot. At right, the real-life CyberCom chief, Keith Alexander. (Helgenbeger photo s_bukley /

CBS has ordered a pilot for a new TV drama set at US Cyber Command, the homebase for the military’s cyber defense and warfare activities. The show, called “Intelligence,” is based around a man who has a microchip implanted in his brain that lets him sense the electromagnetic spectrum. I’m thinking Sneakers meets “The Mentalist.” I love it already. 

Deadline has news today that the producers have cast the role of CyberCom director. And she looks nothing like the real one. 

Marg Helgenberger, formerly of “CSI,” will be playing what appears to be the fictional version of Gen. Keith Alexander, the real head of CyberCom, and also the director of the National Security Agency. Deadline reports Helgenberger is playing the “director.” The head of CyberCom goes by “commander.”  

The cast is coming together now, and I don’t know much more about the plot than what’s in the trades. The show’s creator, Michael Seitzman, is a writer probably best known for the screenplay of North Country. “Intelligence” is described as a procedural in the vein of another CBS techno-drama, “Person of Interest,” which is about data-mining and has some connections to my book, The Watchers. The creators of that show had read the book and gave it to some of their cast.  

CBS still has to decide to pick up “Intelligence.” But this looks to be one of the more timely dramas on the slate of upcoming pilots, and it would appear to fit with Hollywood’s recent appetite for national-security themed shows. More to come–I hope.