ABC made a late charge on the pilot pickup front to end what will likely be the busiest day this season. (For full list of all broadcast pilots, click here.) The network has given the green light to comedy Pulling, from Bad Teachers scribes Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky and producer Aaron Kaplan. On the drama side, picked up are dramas Betrayal from David Zabel; Venice from McG and Byron Balasco, with McG set to direct; and The Returned, from writer Aaron Zelman, Brad Pitt’s Plan B and Brillstein Entertainment Partners.
Single-camera comedy Pulling is based on the praised 2006 British series. Eisenberg and Stupnitsky wrote the adaptation, produced by ABC Studios and Kapital Entertainment. Sharon Horgan and Dennis Kelly, creators of the original series, executive produce with Eisenberg, Stupnitsky and Kaplan. Pulling revolves around three dysfunctional women in their 30s living their lives the way they want, even if society tells them they should have it all figured out by this point. This marks the second pilot order for Kaplan today, joining CBS’ Dana Klein comedy, and third so far this season, along with NBC’s The Gates.
With Red Widow about to premiere next month, ABC is betting on another drama project based on a Dutch format. Written by ER showrunner Zabel, Betrayal is a serialized drama based on the 2011 Dutch series Overspel, produced by and runs on Netherlands’ public broadcaster Vara. It centers on a beautiful but unhappily married female photographer who begins a torrid affair with a lawyer for a powerful family. When he turns out to be defending a murder suspect who is being prosecuted by her husband, the relationship and the case begin a spiraling series of betrayals with cataclysmic results for everyone involved. Zabel is executive producing Betrayal with Scripted World’s Rob Golenberg and Alon Aranya who are also behind Red Widow. ABC Studios is producing. This marks the second pilot order for Aranya who also co-executive produces the CBS drama pilot Hostages starring Toni Collette.
Venice, which echoes the classic tale of Romeo and Juliet, revolves around the haves and have-nots of one of California’s most seductive cities, Venice. It focuses on two rival families and a forbidden and dangerous romance emerging between them as the two families battle for control of Venice. McG’s Wonderland Sound and Vision is producing with Warner Bros. Television where the company is based. McG and Balasco are executive producing with Wonderland’s Peter Johnson.
The Returned is a serialized drama produced by Plan B, Brillstein and ABC Studios. Written by Aaron Zelman (AMC’s The Killing), The Returned is based on the debut novel by Jason Mott, which is slated to be published next September by Mira Books. The rights to the book sparked a bidding war among several production companies and studios. Brillstein and Plan B were able to land the property in their first teaming together, and the project was taken to ABC Studios where Brillstein is based. The drama explores what happens when the people you have mourned and buried suddenly appear on your doorstep as if not a day’s gone by? The lives of the people of Aurora are forever changed when their deceased loved ones, RETURN. Executive producing alongside Zelman are JoAnn Alfano and Jon Liebman from BEP and Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner from Plan B.