The new NBC series from writer David Applebaum will start production in Australia, Universal Studio Group announced.

In La Brea, a massive sinkhole mysteriously opens up in Los Angeles, tearing a family apart by separating mother and son from father and daughter. Part of the family finds itself in an unexplainable primeval world, alongside a disparate group of strangers. They must work to survive and uncover the mystery of where they are and if there is a way back home.

Chiké Okonkwo (Birth of a Nation; Burning Sands) has been cast as Ty Coleman one of the strangers who must find their way home alongside Natalie Zea, Eoin Macken, Jon Seda, Nicholas Gonzalez, Karina Logue, Zyra Gorecki, Jack Martin, Veronica St. Clair, Rohan Mirchandaney, Lily Santiago, Josh McKenzie, and Chloe De Los Santos.

The Universal Group said the upcoming drama series is moving to Down Under for principal photography, visual effects and post-production. The overseas cross is part of a larger effort by the USG to invest in high-end scripted series in the country.

USG chairman Pearlena Igbokwe said after having a positive experience with production last fall for Young Rock in Queensland, the Group is excited to bring more production to Australia. “Being able to tap into the creative infrastructure in Australia has been incredible and we are proud to invest back into our global production community. Now, we are delighted to continue our alliance with the Australian government and Hon Paul Fletcher MP for our latest series ‘La Brea’ in Victoria and look forward to broadening our partnership,” Igbokwe said.

Thor Freudenthal is directing the pilot and several more episodes. He is represented by Gersh, The Gotham Group, and attorney Rob Szymanski.
Writer David Appelbaum (“NCIS: New Orleans”) produces with Avi Nir, Alon Shtruzman, Peter Traugott, Rachel Kaplan, Steven Lilien, Bryan Wynbrandt and Ken Woodruff. Adam Davidson serves as an executive producer. Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group, is the studio, producing with Keshet Studios.

Okonkwo is a Nigerian English actor known for portraying PC Clark in New Tricks and DC Callum Gada in Paradox. He also starred as Lee Truitt, the love interest of the title character on the BET series Being Mary Jane.