Set in 1840, The Frontier follows a group of disparate travelers in Missouri as they go on an adventure through the mountains, deserts and plains of the West on their way to the coast. According to the script's logline, danger constantly stalks the group, and "as they struggle to survive, these strangers will be forced to band together and form a family, while they boldly press forward into the great unknown."
Schlamme knows a thing or two about period pieces, having just directed and executive produced the pilot to ABC's 1960s-set Pan Am. Cassidy and Schlamme previously worked together on the 2005 TV thriller Invasion. Cassidy created that short-lived ABC series, while Schlamme directed the pilot.
Cassidy's recent credits also include Ruby & the Rockits, The Mountain and Cold Case. Besides West Wing, Schlamme executive produced Mr. Sunshine and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, and he also directed the pilot to Parenthood.
Josh Barry and Jeff Kwatinetz are executive producers on The Frontier with Cassidy and Schlamme. Sony Pictures TV is the studio, along with Prospect Park.
As networks are already busy developing new projects for next season, the long-dormant Western genre has been garnering much interest. Ron Moore (Battlestar Galactica) has the project Hangtown set up at ABC, while TNT is developing the pilot Gateway, set in 1880s Colorado. And AMC is already set to premiere the transcontinental railroad-themed Western Hell on Wheels on Nov. 6.