In June, ABC made its first script buy for the next development cycle with John Ridley’s Presence (unlic). Now the drama from the American Crime creator has received an early pilot order, the first for a drama targeted for next season at ABC. The project had been on a fast track, with preliminary work done on identifying possible candidates for the young female lead who will likely be Latina or Black.
Presence is described a stylish update of the classic detective genre. It follows Presence Foster, a former Army veteran who finds herself interacting with a widely divergent, and highly colorful cross-section of Los Angeles as she unintentionally begins a career as an unlicensed (unlic) Private Investigator.
Like his praised anthology drama American Crime, which is returning for a second installment on January 6, Ridley wrote and will direct and executive produce the pilot for Presence through his International Famous Players Radio Picture Corporation. Also like with American Crime, Ridley is executive producing Presence with Michael McDonald through his Stearns Castle company. ABC Studios, where Ridley is under an overall deal, is the studio.
In addition to working on the second season of American Crime and on Presence, 12 Years a Slave writer Ridley had been developing a comic book-inspired series for Marvel Studios and ABC.