ABC has has given pilot orders to two more drama projects, Deception, an FBI crime drama procedural from Chuck co-creator Chris Fedak, magician David Kwong, Blindspot creator Martin Gero and Berlanti TV and a timely futuristic sci-fi project The Crossing, from Dan Dworkin and Jay Beattie (Criminal Minds) and producer Jason Reed, which touches upon the issue of refugees.
Deception, from Warner Bros. TV and Greg Berlanti’s studio-based Berlanti TV, had been an early standout at ABC and had a big production commitment behind it. This marks the first pilot order to an outside studio for a broadcast network so far this season. The Crossing hails from ABC Studios where Dworkin and Beattie have an overall deal.
Deception was written by Fedak, with WBTV-based helmer David Nutter, who directed the pilots for Berlanti TV’s CW series The Flash and Arrow expected to direct. The drama centers on superstar magician Cameron Black. When his career is ruined by scandal, he has only one place to turn to practice his art of deception, illusion, and influence — the FBI. He’ll become the world’s first consulting illusionist, helping the government solve crimes that defy explanation, and trap criminals and spies by using deception.
Fedak, executive producer on DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, executive produces Deception with Blindspot executive producers Gero and Berlanti TV’s Berlanti and Sarah Schechter. Blindspot consultant, puzzle creator and writer/producer Kwong, serves as co-producer.
At ABC, Berlanti TV also has CIA action drama Criminal, which Gero is writing with Brendan Gall and comedy Raised by Wolves, written by Diablo Cody.
Written/executive produced by Dworkin and Beattie and executive produced by former Disney executive-turned-producer Jason Reed, The Crossing revolves around refugees from a war torn country who start showing up to seek asylum in an American town. Only the country these people are from is America and the war they are fleeing is 250 years in the future. The local sheriff with a past, a federal agent, and a mother in search of her missing refugee daughter drive this allegory with a surprising conspiracy at the center.
Dworkin and Beattie co-created with Roberto Orci and executive produced/ran action drama series Matador for El Rey. They also wrote the original pilot script for MTV’s Scream series. Reed also executive produces the untitled ABC/ABC Studios drama project, written/exec produced by Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters (aka Hyperion), which is based on the Disney theme park mythology.
ABC is ahead of the pack in pilot pickups this season. So far, it has ordered four drama pilots, today’s two, the Marc Cherry project starring Reba McEntire and Shondaland’s Paul Davies project, in addition to the straight-to-series Marvel drama The Inhumans, and comedy pilot Libby & Malcolm .