EXCLUSIVE: NBC has given a pilot order to Beautiful People, a character-driven futuristic drama spec by Cougar Town co-executive producer/director (and occasional actor) Michael McDonald. ABC Studios and Universal TV are producing. Beautiful People is described as an imaginative and thematically rich ensemble “what if” drama set 10 minutes into the future where families of mechanical human beings exist to service the human population… that is until some of the mechanicals begin to “awaken.” UPDATE: ABC Studios has released an updated logline for the project: “Set in the near future, Beautiful People is about a society where humans co-exist with mechanical androids that look like us but are treated like second-class citizens.” Former Mad TV co-star McDonald wrote Beautiful People 10 years ago. About two-and-a-half years ago, the script was set up at ABC and ABC Studios. ABC ended up passing on it, but ABC Studios kept rights to the spec, which was recently taken out with the studio attached. Beautiful People will mark NBC’s third off-cycle pilot order this season, along with comedies Isabel and Save Me, which are now casting. Additionally, the J.J. Abrams/Eric Kripke adventure thriller Revolution and crime drama Blue Tilt have pilot production commitments at the network. Beautiful People marks the first major foray into drama for actor-writer-director McDonald, who directs half of the episodes of ABC’s Cougar Town each season. UTA-repped McDonald also directed a slew of episodes of Bill Lawrence’s previous comedy series, Scrubs.