ABC has ordered five more drama pilots. Four hail from sister studio ABC Studios — an untitled project from former CSI: NY showrunner Pam Veasey, Robin Roberts and Regina King; legal thriller The Fix from former O.J. Simpson prosecutor Marcia Clark; police dramas Safe Harbor, from Jason Richman, and Staties, from Matt Partney & Corey Evett and Maniac Productions. The fifth, dramedy A Million Little Things, hails from Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment, which will be the studio.
The Fix and Safe Harbor both are from ABC Studios-based Manveville, while Staties makes the first broadcast pilot order for Michael Seitzman & Christina Davis’s recently launched Maniac Prods., also based at ABC Studios.
Written by Veasey, the untitled Holmes Sisters, explores the lives of five African-American sisters, all officers in the NYPD, as they face the challenges of their high-risk jobs while juggling the responsibilities of marriage, motherhood and family.
Veasey executive produces with Roberts via Rock’N’Robin Productions and King via Royal Ties.
The Fix, (fka the untitled Marcia Clark), described as part legal thriller, part confessional and part revenge fantasy, is written by Clark, Elizabeth Craft and Sara Fain (The 100). After losing the biggest case of her career and being shredded by the media, former prosecutor Maya Travis has left Los Angeles for a quiet life in rural Oregon. Eight years after her devastating defeat, the murderer strikes again, forcing Maya to return to Los Angeles to confront him one more time. Will she play by the rules, or will she do whatever it takes to get him behind bars?
The drama is fictional — it’s a whodunit soapy, twisty thriller in the vein of Presumed Innocent and The Staircasethat examines a fictional case from all sides of the law, going home with the characters and exploring how the case is affecting their lives. Still, its starting point draws parallels to Clark’s real-life story of a prosecutor who presided over “the trial of the century”, finding herself in the eye of a media storm when O.J. Simpson was found not guilty of murder.
Following his 1995 acquittal, Simpson in 2008 was convicted for a 2007 kidnapping and robbery and sentenced to 33 years in prison. He was recently paroled and is slated for release in the fall.
Craft, Fain and Clark executive produce with Mandeville’s David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and Laurie Zaks.
The ABC project reunites the creative team behind a legal drama procedural based on Clark’s novel Blood Defense, which had a put pilot at NBC last season.
Richman is returning to the cop beat with Safe Harbor, moving from Motor City, where his ABC series Detroit 1-8-7 was set, to Los Angeles. Written and executive produced by him, Safe Harbor chronicles the colorful, complicated lives of cops on and off the beat as we follow them into harrowing, emotional and often humorous situations.
Richman, who was recently a writer on PBS’ Mercy Street, executive produces with Mandeville’s David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and Laurie Zaks.
Staties is written and executive produced by Matt Partney and Corey Evett. It centers on Eliza Cortez, a hard-charging NYPD detective who’s banished to the boonies after a high-profile mistake and is paired with a new partner, Oregon State Trooper Sam King. Sam’s investigative techniques don’t exactly follow protocol, as evidenced by his talking to trees for clues and his obsession with flying kites. Eliza is a fish-out-of-water in this police procedural set in an eccentric town of quirky characters in coastal Oregon.
Michael Seitzman & Christina Davis executive produce via their Maniac Productions. The company just landed a series order at Freeform for Cleopatra.
A Million Little Things, is a dramedy, which landed at ABC with a put pilot commitment in August. It is the second consecutive Nash-Kapital collaboration via ABC Studios to land a pilot order at ABC following last year’s single-camera comedy Losing It, starring Jon Cryer.
A Million Little Things, whose title stems from the popular adage,”Friendship isn’t a big thing – it’s a million little things,” is described as being in the tone of The Big Chill. It is about a group of friends who, for different reasons and in different ways, are all stuck in their lives, but when one of them dies unexpectedly, it’s just the wake-up call the others need to finally start living.
The hourlong drama with comedy elements — about a group of eight friends, four men and four women, in which the one whose life looked most put together commits suicide — is loosely based on personal experience. “It’s an optimistic look at how the loss of a friend is the impetus for the other seven to finally start living, to make a promise to him and to themselves to finally be honest about what’s really going on,” Nash said back in August. “I know in my own life, my friend’s passing is a constant reminder to keep things in perspective.
DJ Nash penned the script and executive produces with Kapital Entertainment’s Aaron Kaplan and Dana Honor.
A Million Little Things marks Nash’s first hourlong project. He came up with it following the half-hour Losing It, which mixed drama into the comedy. “Sometimes in comedy, you have to apologize for adding drama, which is why I was so thrilled to see ABC’s passion for a drama that has comedy,” he said.
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