It’s been a busy day at ABC.
The network has handed series pickups to pilots The Wonder Years, Queens, Maggie and Abbott Elementary and passed on pilots including Sam Esmail’s Acts of Crime and comedies Black Don’t Crack and Bucktown.
But there are five pilots that are still in consideration for the 2021-22 broadcast season, including Kevin Costner’s National Parks Investigation, that will be considered for midseason.
Dark Hose, Epic and Promised Land have yet to be filmed and will be considered after the upfronts, while the off-cycle Triage pilot was produced and went through a rollercoaster ride of a poorly received first cut, highly testing second cut and so-so screening response. National Parks Investigation was considered a wildcard for fall consideration but a final, broadcast-length cut of the pilot, was not delivered in time.
National Parks Investigation, which was co-written and executive produced by Yellowstone star Kevin Costner, follows a small group of elite national parks service agents as they solve crimes while protecting the parks — which, while being known for their sweeping, beautiful landscapes, also attract a vast array of criminal activity.
Produced by Costner’s Territory Pictures Entertainment, 20th Television and A+E Studios, written by Costner, Aaron Helbing and Jon Baird with the pilot directed by Anthony Hemingway. It stars Tiffany Dupont, Billy Campbell, Angel Parker and Gerardo Celasco, Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut and Blu Hunt
Epic is a fairytale drama from Once Upon a Time creators Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis and ABC Signature. Epic, headlined by Brittany O’Grady and also starring Sarah Hyland and Eleanor Fanyinka, is a romantic anthology series that reinvents fairy tales for a new audience. The pilot was penned by former Once Upon a Time writer Brigitte Hales, who executive produces with Horowitz, Kitsis and director James Griffiths.
Dark Horse is a remake of controversial Australian series Total Control. It comes from Stumptown story editor William Jehu Garroutte with The Path creator Jessica Goldberg set as showrunner. Produced by Keshet Studios, Universal Television, where the U.S. arm of the Israeli company has a first-look deal, and ABC Signature, the drama follows Alex Irving, a passionate Indigenous woman, on her unconventional journey into politics. As Alex reckons with her own troubled past, she juggles obligations to her family, to her culture, and to a political system that’s never seen anybody quite like her.
Promised Land is a Latinx family drama from Matt Lopez. Previously known as American Heritage, the project is an epic, generation-spanning drama about two Latinx families vying for wealth and power in California’s Sonoma Valley. It stars John Ortiz and newcomer Rolando Chusan and is written by Lopez and directed by Michael Cuesta. ABC Signature is the studio.
Medical drama Triage was given a second cycle pilot order back in February 2020. The project, told in three different time frames, comes from David Cornue, Erica Messer, Jon M. Chu and 20th Television and stars Kathleen Robertson, Parisa Fitz-Henley and Michael Ealy.
Created by Cornue, Triage is a character-driven medical drama that follows pioneering surgeon Finley Briar (Fitz-Henley) over three distinct decades at the same hospital. With the evolution of medicine as the backdrop, the show explores the interconnected careers, friendships and romances of Finley and her colleagues, and their tenuous relationship with time.
Deadline understands that the pilot did not fare well with the first cut, fared better with the second cut, which had promising testing results, but faced new challenges during screenings. It, like the rest of these pilots, will be considered for midseason.
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