ABC went crazy last night with a total of 11 pilot orders for both dramas and comedies. Here’s the list! Brass yourself.
First is a medical/legal hybrid drama called The Advocate, from Warner Bros. Television. It tells the story of a tough, resourceful, type-A business woman at the top of her game who has a medical scare, only to be dangerously misdiagnosed, and experiences firsthand the hazards of our healthcare system. Shocking her friends and family, she leaves her career behind, becoming instead a brilliant and relentless advocate for anyone caught in the chaotic and ever-changing maze that is modern medicine.
Then you have… Boom! An old drama project developped at ABC several seasons ago, which went to USA Network before coming back to ABC, produced by ABC Studios. Written by Surface creator Josh Pate, it tells the epic pilgrimage of a young, ambitious couple to the oil fields of the Bakken seeking their fortune and a better life. As we follow their trials and tribulations in a modern day “Wild West”, they negotiate a colorful ensemble of roughnecks, grifters, oil barons, criminals and fellow prospectors against a stark and beautiful backdrop.
Third one is The Adversaries from David Zabel, who worked on ER before offering many flops to ABC such as Detroit 1-8-7, Betrayal and Lucky 7. Not sure why he’s always given a chance… This time, it centers on the patriarch of a New York legal dynasty who becomes embroiled in a trial of his own, and his federal prosecutor daughter must decide which side she will fight on. A soap legal drama that doesn’t sound very original.
Fourth one, maybe the most exciting, is called Kingmakers, from Revenge producer Sallie Patrick for ABC Studios. It centers on a young man whose sister is found dead during her freshman year at an elite Ivy League university. He adopts a new identity to infiltrate the school and its century-old secret society – consisting of privileged students, ambitious faculty, and high-profile alums – in order to investigate her death. Sounds a bit How To Get Away With Murder-y.
On the comedy side, family is still an important subgenre with The Brainy Bunch, from 20th Century FOX Television. It tells the real story of Kip and Mona Lisa Mitchell who, through a combination of genetics and dynamic home schooling, find themselves raising extraordinarily intelligent kids. When Kip returns home from the military to be a stay-at-home dad, he experiences firsthand the challenges of parenting kids who have genius IQs but limited life and social skills. Not very different, an Untitled Judah Miller Project, from 20th Century FOX Television too, centers on a Tony Award-winning mother and a risk-averse, cerebral father who are blessed with a son who is a natural born competitive athlete. They are forced outside their parental comfort zones and into the high-octane world of youth sports. Much different, The Untitled Johnny Knoxville Project based on the real youth of the Jackass star follows the exploits of 12-year-old Johnny navigating the “outlaw culture” of his family and small hometown of Knoxville, TN, and documents the childhood experiences that inspired him to become one of the greatest pranksters of a generation. It is written by Victor Fresco, an expert about white trash family because he was a producer on My Name is Earl.
ABC also bets on “Odd Couple” comedies, with Dolores & Jermaine, a multicamera comedy with comedian Jermaine Fowler, based on his life, about a millennial with big ideas, but very little drive, who moves in with his estranged grandmother, a strict, football-loving, former DC cop who needs his youthful enthusiasm in her life as much as he needs her old-school parenting. There’s also an Untitled NBA Comedy, produced by Dan Fogelman (The Neighbors, Galavant), which is a top priority for ABC & ABC Studios. Set in the world of the NBA, it’s about a rookie who doesn’t speak English and a translator who doesn’t speak basketball. The hunt for leading men has already started even before the order. Dan Fogelman also produces The King of 7B, a single-camera ensemble comedy about an agoraphobic recluse who ventures outside for the first time in 20 years when he spies what could be his soulmate moving into the building across the street. Prentiss Porter will embark on an incredible journey of discovery right outside his front door.
Last comedy order goes to single-camera comedy The 46 Percenters, described as “anti-romantic” (which sounds good since romantic comedies like Manhattan Love Story, Marry Me, Selfie and A to Z didn’t work this year). It’s bout the 46 percent of the population who choose to stay married, told through the point of view of three couples.