After picking up 3 comedy pilots this afternoon, ABC just gave the green light to 2 drama pilots, Americana and Nashville, both primetime soaps. The latter pickup is contingent on the project becoming a co-production between Lionsgate TV, which developed it, and ABC Studios.
Americana, from ABC Studios and studio-based Mark Gordon Co., is a soap set around a legendary fashion designer and his family and business. It was written by Michael Seitzman (North Country) who will executive produce with Mark Gordon and Mark Gordon Co.’s Nicholas Pepper. This is the third pilot order so far this season for Gordon’s company, along with the untitled Roland Emmerich drama and comedy White Van Man, both at ABC.
Nashville hails from Oscar-winning writer Callie Khouri and TV producer/documentary filmmaker RJ Cutler. Thelma & Louise scribe Khouri wrote the project, a family soap set against the backdrop of the Nashville music scene that follows one star at her peak and one on the rise. Cutler (The September Issue) is set to direct. The two will executive produce with Nashville-based Gaylord Entertainment, which is being represented by SVP of Media and Entertainment Steve Buchanan. This marks Khouri’s return to ABC where she wrote, directed and executive produced the 2006 pilot Hollis & Rae. It is the second broadcast pilot order this season for leading cable producer Lionsgate TV, which had most active broadcast development season ever under new head of development Chris Selak. The company is also behind NBC’s comedy Next Caller Please. This is the third drama pilot in the past 2 years to be set in Nashville, following Epix’s Tough Trade and FX’s Outlaw Country, neither of which went to series.
The pickups bring the number of drama pilots at ABC to 7, including supernatural dramas 666 Park Ave., fairytale Beauty and the Beast, the Shonda Rhimes-produced Gilded Lillys, Shawn Ryan’s Last Resort and the untitled Roland Emmerich project. The network is expected to greenlight more drama pilots on Monday.