As I reported in the most recent Pilot Buzz edition, ABC’s needs have gone down significantly since it ordered 23 pilots — the most of any broadcast network — earlier this year as the network just closed a deal for a new season of American Idol for next season and is in negotiations for the upcoming revival of the classic ABC sitcom Roseanne. With the two two last-minute additions to the schedule, I hear ABC may pick up as few as 6 new drama and 2 new comedy series though the numbers could go up a bit, especially on the comedy side.
The new wrinkle on the drama side is the ascendance of the biblically-themed The Gospel of Kevin. It had gotten some buzz early on based on the appeal of its lead Jason Ritter, and I hear Ritter again is a main driver behind the pilot’s recent rise. The Gospel of Kevin is joining the four drama frontrunners, David Shore’s The Good Doctor, futuristic immigration tale The Crossing, Shondaland’s Paul William Davies legal drama, and the illusionist FBI drama Deception, from Chris Fedak and Berlanti Prods.
Beyond that, things are pretty murky, with Marc Cherry‘s small-town project starring Reba McEntire mentioned on- and off-, along with the Kenya Barris-produced light CIA show Unit Zero starring Toni Collette, while Las Reinas has been quiet. ABC already has one new drama series picked up for next fall, Marvel’s Inhumans, and I hear the straight-to-series Ten Days In the Valley starring Kyra Sedgwick also is considered for a fall launch.
On the comedy side, it’s all abut the Tarseses this year. Producer Jamie Tarses and her brother, writer-producer Matt Tarses, are behind the two hottest pilots that appear locks for a pickup: the Jeremy Bronson-Daveed Diggs City Mayor workplace comedy, which Jamie Tarses executive produces via her new ABC Studios-based company with Scott Stuber and Dylan Clark; and the Matt Tarses-created comedy Start Up, starring and exec produced by Zach Braff, from Sony TV.
Beyond that, Emily Kapnek’s Splitting Up Together, from Warner Bros. TV, looks promising. with a few others a possibility, military family comedy Charlie Foxtrot and Kenya Barris-Vijal Patel’s Libby & Malcolm, from ABC Studios, the Carol Burnett starrer Household Name, from Uni TV, and The Goldbergs spinoff, from Sony TV