EXCLUSIVE: While gearing up for the upfronts over the past few weeks, ABC also opened a second, slower track for projects it wanted to spend more time on off-cycle. I hear five hourlong scripts are on the so-called spring development list, which is expected to yield two pilot orders this summer. The list includes Charlie’s Angels, from Sony TV, with new writers Al Gough and Miles Millar, another Sony drama, Javier Grillo-Marxuach’s Department Zero, as well as three projects from ABC Studios: the Taye Diggs-produced family cop drama Behind the Blue; the ghost-themed Ghostworld, from Ghost Whisperer executive producers Ian Sander and Kim Moses; and the Matthew Gross-produced medical male buddy show Island Of Women. Additionally, Rand Ravich’s pilot Edgar Floats, which just received an order for six additional scripts, is also a major part of ABC’s midseason plans, which we may hear more about this week. (On the comedy side, the network had been mulling new pilots for Wright vs. Wrong and Awkward Situations For Men.)
Behind the Blue, from Diggs’ ABC Studios-based company O’Taye Prods was written by Scott Veach. The character drama is set in Austin and follows a family of police officers – a female Chief of Police and her four adult children, all of whom are in some facet of politics and/or law enforcement. Grillo-Marxuach is working on a second draft for Department Zero, which is based on the best-selling Joe Ledger novels by Jonathan Maberry. Described as is a high-octane techno-thriller, the project centers on the Department of Military Sciences – a special unit that fights enemies armed with cutting-edge technology. Ghostworld, written by What About Brian creator Dana Stevens, is about a ghost on the other side who helps an ambitious young female homicide detective solve crimes in the hopes of uncovering clues to his own life and death and centers on the mysterious, intense and sometimes infuriating connection the two feel toward each other. In addition to developing Ghostworld, ABC is still in talks with ABC Studios about possibly picking up the Sander/Moses produced Ghost Whisperer, which was canceled by CBS. Island of Women, written by The Days creator John Scott Shepherd, revolves around three male surgeons who share office space but nothing of their personal lives with each other until a perfect storm of romantic catastrophes and a lot of alcohol makes them finally turn to each other for support.