Primetime Pilot Panic: New ABC Hot List; 'Modern Family' Picked Up; Lots Of Dramas And Comedies Looking Good

This updates my previous Primetime Pilot Panic: The Hot List 


OVERVIEW: Sources are telling me that ABC had the “ballsiest”  development and one of the most expensive this pilot season, and the result is that a lot of shows, including 5 comedies (Modern Family, Cougartown, The Bridget Show, Romantically Challenged, and The Law) and 4 dramas (Flash Forward, Happy Town, Inside The Box, Eastwick, V, though the latter 2 Warner Bros shows just came in), are looking good. As of today, Disney CEO Bob Iger is still in the middle of screening pilots with the other execs.

MODERN FAMILY (previously My American Family) (Twentieth Century Fox TV) has now been officially picked up by ABC, I’m told. It’s from Steve Levitan/Chris Lloyd and is a single-camera mockumentary following three families with very different styles of a child raising. Levitan did Just Shoot Me. It’s very unusual for ABC to order a show this early.

FLASH FORWARD (ABC-TV Studio/Created By) already has a giant commitment, I’m told, even though Bob Iger isn’t seeing it until May 11th. It was shot a while ago but this scifi drama is now making writer deals. It’s also being promo-ed on Lost during this sweeps. Makes sense since it could easily pick up the Lost audience that loves a good mystery series.

COUGAR TOWN (ABC TV StudioDoozer/Coquette) is with Courtney Cox and generally regarded as ABC’s #2 comedy pilot and is considered a lock. The brass really loves it.  

THE BRIDGET SHOW (Sony TV/Tantamount/Hagada Hey) with Lauren Graham also has real heat and is getting high marks. Call it #3. 

ROMANTICALLY CHALLENGED (formerly the untitled Ricky Blitt Project) (Warner Bros) has Jim Burrows directing so it’s probably in 4th place.

THE LAW (ABC TV Studio/DreamWorks) has Cedric The Entertainer and ranks about #5 among the hot comedies.

CANNED (ABC TV Studio/BGTV) was described as “horrible” at first but now it’s said to be well received. But it probably only has an outside chance with so many stronger comedies in front of it.

UNTITLED DAVE HEMINGSON LEGAL SHOW (Twentieth Century Fox TV) is a hot drama that was shot last year and then the network bought a new version of it that came in very strong. It’s said to be Entourage meets LA Law and is very much in the mix right now. ABC execs are said to be very pleased with it.

HAPPY TOWN (ABC TV Studio) is a Twin Peaks-style show and that has scared off Bob Iger in the past from pilots with that vibe. But it’s considered one of ABC’s Big Five drama pilots.

EASTWICK (Warner Bros) is based on the movie and it’s been knocking around a long time as a TV series idea so therefore has a higher profile than some other dramas. It stars Rebecca Romjin and it’s time may have finally come even though it was the last pilot to come in because a lot of work was being done on it. “It’s slipped a little”. 

V (Warner Bros) is another pilot that came in late. This is based on the old miniseries about aliens trying to take over Earth. Therefore, it too has a higher profile.

THE FORGOTTEN (Warner Bros/Bruckheimer) only now starting to get talked about even though it’s from Jerry Bruckheimer. One source tells me it’s “rising to the top because ABC liked that a lot”.

INSIDE THE BOX (ABC TV Studio) would make it three series on the air for Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice showrunner Shonda Rhimes. It’s about a guy who works in a Washington DC newsroom from a former journalist who’s ex-NBC Universal TV exec Katherine Pope’s husband. One source tells me, “There are issues. It’s pretentious.”

SOLVING CHARLIE (ABC TV Studio/Francie Calfo Prods) had heat, then wasn’t talked about much, and now is being mentioned again. Showrunner is Daniel Cerone and it’s based on an Argentinian format. :”It didn’t go over so hot.”

EMPIRE STATE (ABC TV Studio/Mark Gordon Co) getting some buzz now.

LIMELIGHT (Warner Bros/Wonderland) has a new cut which ABC brass were seeing only recently.

SEE CATE RUN (ABC TV Studio/Gross Entertainment) is dead.

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