NBC has ordered a pilot that will star Katherine Heigl as a CIA analyst who communicates directly with the president about world crises.

The project has been described as a procedural by Alexi Hawley (The Following). Heigl has been working on it with feature producer Robert Simonds (This Means War) and a team of senior CIA suits. It generated quick interest at both the broadcast and cable nets.

The project — if it goes the distance — should not see the light of day until fall 2014.

NBC will pay a significant penalty if the pilot doesn’t air, which means the project has a good chance at a pickup — and Heigl will get her TV comeback.