4TH UPDATE 6 PM: Also getting a pass is nearly frontrunner and Disney-friendly drama Big Thunder, based on the Disney Parks ride, and dramas Reckless and Doubt. Venice aka Westside is not going forward either. It started off well but was eventually overshadowed by fellow soap Betrayal. Also dead is multi-camera comedy Divorce, so ABC ended up passing on both of its multi-cam pilots, including King John, which will make it harder for such pitches next year. Comedy pilot Bad Management is not going for fall but is alive.
3RD UPDATE FRIDAY 5:30 PM: Welcome to Part 2 of ABC’s “pass” calls. Not going forward are comedies Spy, Middle Age Rage and Pulling. I hear Pulling was well liked but ABC brass felt it was too cable in sensibility. I hear ABC Studios plans to shop it elsewhere.
2ND UPDATE 7 PM: Dramedy Murder In Manhattan, about a mother-daughter sleuthing duo, also is not going forward. However, I hear that ABC Studios, which produced the pilot starring Bridget Regan and Annie Potts, is high on it and plans to shop it to cable. With its premise, Murder In Manhattan appears suitable for Lifetime, where ABC Studios successfully migrated another dramedy pilot that narrowly missed at the cut at ABC last year, Devious Maids. ABC is expected to continue with the pass calls tomorrow when it also will pick up its new series and decide the fate of its existing series.
UPDATE, 3:35 PM: Also not going forward at ABC is gothic soap Gothica and the John Leguizamo comedy King John. Gothica had a good cast and had some early buzz, but I hear its premise of mixing famous horror literary characters didn’t quite work. Meanwhile, King John had been looking promising early on, with high marks for star Leguizamo. This marks the second year that Leguizamo’s pilot didn’t go at ABC, following last year’s Only Fools And Horses, later retitled The Kings Of Van Nuys.
PREVIOUS, 3:10 PM: To all producers with pilots at ABC: If the phone rings, you may not wanna pick up. The network just started notifying the pilots that are getting a pass. They include comedy Keep Calm And Karey On starring Kelly Preston, which never got traction.