When the pre-upfront dust settled at ABC last week, the network opted not to proceed with two high-profile drama pilots, NYPD Blue and Heart of Life, keeping both in the hopper for reworking (NYPD Blue) and redevelopment (Heart of Life). Additionally, ABC brass continue to be high on Katey Sagal in the comedy Nana, which also is eyeing potential redevelopment. The remaining ABC 2019 pilots are dead.
Meanwhile Bermuda Triangle drama pilot Triangle, which had a late shoot in New Zealand, is still not finished. I hear the sizzle reel, which the project delivered for consideration, was well received by ABC brass but they will wait for the final cut to make a pickup decision.
At the Disney upfront press event on Tuesday morning, ABC Entertainment president Karey Burke addressed the decision not to proceed with the NYPD Blue reboot in its current form.
“The bar is incredibly high, particularly on reboots,” she said. “It would be disservice to fans if we put it on before it’s ready.”
For that reason, “in concert with the producers, we decided to slow down and get it right — particularly NYPD Blue, which was an groundbreaking drama on this network,” she said.
Both Heart of Life, inspired by singer-songwriter John Mayer’s song, and Nana were developed on spec at 20th Century Fox TV and sold to ABC in January, going straight to pilot at the network without development there. The Nana pilot underwent a recasting of the male lead opposite Sagal, while there reportedly were issues with the execution of the soapy Heart of Life.
Still, ABC executives are very bullish on the premises of both shows and on Sagal as the brash and bawdy title character in Nana.