Pilot season is officially underway, and ABC is getting a strong start. Over the last month, the network has ordered a slew of drama and comedy pilots for potential pickup in the 2015-16 season, including a spinoff of Agents of SHIELD called Marvel’s Most Wanted, and two half-hour comedies from ShondaLand’s Shonda Rhimes. Here’s a look at each of the developing projects.
1. Time After Time
ABC is jumping on the time travel bandwagon this season with the pilot, Time After Time. Written and executive produced by Kevin Williamson, the show is based on the 1979 novel by Karl Alexander, chronicling the epic adventures of young H.G. Wells and his time machine. According to Deadline, the series will use both the book and its feature adaptation as inspiration for the TV version.
Time After Time is only one of several high-profile time travel projects to get a network pilot order this season. NBC and Fox also both have time travel-centered pilots in the works.
2. The Meaghan Oppenheimer project
Written by Oppenheimer (the scribe behind We Are Your Friends), the still untitled project follows the personal and professional of a ruthless divorce attorney in Dallas, which starts to unravel when her emotionally damaged sister shows up. Her appearance triggers self-destructive tendencies and exposes long-hidden family secrets. Oppenheimer will executive produce. Reese Witherspoon and Bruna Papandrea will also co-executive produce via their Pacific Standard banner.
3. The Death Of Eva Sofia Valdez
Written by Cuban-American playwright Charise Castro Smith, this project is described as a “sexy revenge drama with a supernatural twist.” It follows the story of Eva Sofia Valdez, an immigrant who rose from rags to riches and is now a celebrated Miami entrepreneur and a champion for immigrant rights. But what people don’t know is that her success is fueled by an insatiable ambition that could destroy her family, a vendetta against the lover who betrayed her, and ghosts from the past who threaten to reveal the dark sacrifices she made in the past.
Marvel’s Agent Carter executive producers and showrunners Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters (above) will executive produce alongside Castro Smith.
Set in an alternate history where gas and coal fuel the world, this developing drama centers on the battle for power between two rival families and the rebellious young woman with an inventive streak that could level both their empires. The show is described as “a lavish primetime genre soap of passion, greed, and hope.” Michael Cooney (Identity) wrote the script and will also serve as an executive producer alongside Ian Sander and Kim Moses (above).
5. The Second Fattest Housewife in Westport
ABC recently ordered a pilot of the single-camera family comedy from novelist and television writer Sarah Dunn (Manhattan Love Story). According to Deadline, The Second Fattest Housewife In Westport tells the story of Katie, a (slightly) larger, strong-willed mother who is raising her flawed family of three in a wealthy town filled with “perfect” wives and their “perfect” offspring. Dunn is set to serve as an executive producer alongside Aaron Kaplan, above.
ABC has issued a put pilot commitment to Notorious, a drama inspired by the relationship between famed criminal defense attorney Mark Geragos (above) and long-time Larry King Live executive producer Wendy Walker. Written by Drop Dead Diva creator Josh Berman and blogger Allie Hagan, the show is described as “a provocative look at the interplay of criminal law and the media.” It will follow the professional and personal relationship between a charismatic attorney and a powerhouse television producer as they attempt to control the media, the justice system, and ultimately – each other.
Geragos and Walker will executive produce with Berman. Notorious is one of three legal drama pilots currently in development at ABC this season.
Shondaland is expanding into comedy with this half-hour pilot, which was written by Scandal‘s Scott Foley and Greg Grunberg. The show centers on engaged couple Max and Paige who have their eclectic family and friends give toasts at their wedding rehearsal dinner, recalling anecdotes about the couple — but flashbacks reveal that the toasts don’t always get it exactly right and the true story of their road to marriage is much more complicated, funny, and relatable.
The project was originally developed during the 2014-15 season, but was rolled to this season. Foley and Grunberg will executive produce alongside Shonda Rhimes and producing partner, Betsy Beers.
8. Hail Mary
This half-hour adaptation of the hourlong Austrian series Braunschlag follows a young small-town mayor named Mary Wolf, who has dysfunctional siblings, a dying father, disgruntled citizens, a nearly bankrupt town, and the mafia breathing down her neck. Only a miracle can help her. So … she fakes one.
The original series had a male lead, but ABC decided to put a spin on it for their version. The project was written by The McCarthys creator Brian Gallivan (above), who also executive produces alongside Seth Gordon (The Goldbergs) and Tariq Jalil.
9. Untitled Weeks/Mackay project
The developing comedy centers on an unapologetic lesbian and her best friend, a neurotic straight male, as they navigate their dysfunctional, co-dependent friendship and the world of dating. The project hails from The Mindy Project co-star Ed Weeks and Hannah Mackay (Peep Show), who co-wrote the script and will also serve as co-executive producers. Andrew Reich will also be an executive producer alongside Anne Brogan, Val Ames, Melanie Stokes, and Siobhan Bachman.
10. The Fluffy Shop
ABC gave a put pilot commitment to this comedy project, which was inspired by the real life experience of comedian Gabriel Iglesias. The show stars Iglesias as a stepfather and boss to his family and friends, who must learn to navigate his home life during the few days he’s not on the road each week. Tim Doyle and Jay Lavender co-wrote the script with Iglesias and the three will also co-executive produce alongside Joe Meloche and Tomorrow Studios’s Becky Clements and Marty Adelstein. Doyle will also serve as showrunner for the developing series.
11. Model Woman
ABC has given a pilot order to the period drama inspired by Robert Lacey’s book, Model Woman: Eileen Ford and the Business of Beauty. Set in the late 1970s during the notorious Model Wars, the show centers on Bertie Geiss, a tempestuous matriarch and uncompromising businesswoman at the helm of an internationally renowned modeling agency.
Reality Bites scribe Helen Childress penned the script and will serve as an executive producer along with Anonymous Content’s Rosalie Swedlin and Lacey’s daughter Scarlett.
The developing legal drama chronicles the story of Carter Morrison, the brilliant but ne’er-do-well daughter of a former president, who is blackmailed into taking a job as the head of Los Angeles’s newly created Conviction Integrity Unit. She, along with her team of lawyers, investigators and forensic experts, work together to examine cases where there’s credible suspicion that the wrong person may have been convicted of a crime.
The series was co-created by Liz Friedman (Elementary, Marvel’s Jessica Jones), who also penned the script, and Liz Friedlander (The Following), who will direct the pilot. The two will executive produce alongside Mark Gordon (above) and Nick Pepper.
13. Dream Team
ABC has given the green light to this soccer comedy pilot, which hails from comedy writers Kari Lizer (above, left) and Bill Wrubel. The show centers on Marty Schumacher, who coached his last club soccer team for 10 years, ultimately taking them to the National Championships. He now has to start from scratch with a diverse group of 8-year-olds and their disparate parents. Per Deadline, the project draws on the personal experiences of Lizer, who is a soccer mom on the weekends. The show is expected to have documentary-style elements similar to that of fellow ABC comedy series, Modern Family. Lizer and Wrubel will executive produce via their respective production banners, Kari’s Logo Here and Here Comes Scrappy.
14. Still Star-Crossed
One of ABC’s first pilot orders of the season went to this Romeo and Juliet sequel drama, courtesy of Shondaland. The developing series, based on the book by Melinda Taub, is set in 16th century Verona, and picks up where William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet left off. It charts the treachery, palace intrigue, and ill-fated romances of the Montagues and Capulets in the wake of the young lovers’ tragic fate. Heather Mitchell, co-executive producer on Shonda Rhimes’s Scandal, wrote the script and is executive producing with Rhimes and Betsy Beers.
15. Marvel’s Most Wanted
The Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. spinoff will center on the characters of Barbara “Bobbi” Morse aka Mockingbird and Lance Hunter, played by Adrianne Palicki and Nick Blood respectively. Details of the series are being kept under tight wraps, but casting for the pilot is already underway. Delroy Lindo was recently cast to play Dominic Fortune, a rogue, adventurer and handgun aficionado in the 1930s who embarks on globe-trotting odysseys seeking wealth and excitement.
The show was created and written by S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Jeffrey Bell and Paul Zbyszewski, who will executive produce alongside Marvel’s Jeph Loeb.
16. The Jury
Described as being in a similar vein to the popular podcast Serial, The Jury follows a murder trial through the eyes of the individual jurors, exploring the biases and experiences that influence the jurors’ judgment and how their pre-conceptions change along the way. The project hails from co-writers Mark Bianculli and VJ Boyd (Justified). Both will also serve as co-executive producers with CSI veteran Carol Mendelsohn (above) and her producing partner Julie Weitz.
American Crime‘s John Ridley expands his relationship with ABC with the new drama detective pilot Presence. The developing show centers on Presence Foster, a former Army Counter Insurgency Operative who finds herself navigating a widely divergent and highly colorful cross section of L.A., as she unintentionally begins a career as an unlicensed private investigator.
According to Variety, Ridley will write, direct, and executive produce the pilot. Michael McDonald will also serve as an executive producer via his Stearns Castle company.
ABC has issued a pilot order for this single-camera sitcom, which follows a family with a special-needs child that is good at dealing with the challenges it faces — but also excellent at creating new ones. Friends alum Scott Silveri will pen and executive produce the project. Jake Kasdan (above) and Melvin Mar will also serve as executive producers.
The single-camera comedy will center on a larger-than-life family matriarch who finds out she has cancer and becomes intent on controlling and orchestrating every aspect of her family’s life before she dies. According to Variety, the pilot hails from another Friends vet, Andrew Reich, who wrote the script and will also executive produce.
20. Downward Dog
In September, ABC gave an off-cycle pilot production order to Downward Dog, a single-camera, half hour comedy about a woman and her dog. The project, which will be a co-production between Legendary TV and ABC Studios, was originally conceived as a web series from Animal Media Group and co-creators and writers Samm Hodges and Michael Killen. Hodges and Killen will also executive produce the series with Mosaic Media Group’s Jimmy Miller and Sam Hansen and Animal’s Kathy Dziubek.
21. Imaginary Gary
ABC has given a formal pilot order to a comedy blending live-action and CGI animation (previously titled Imaginary Gary and Imaginary Friend). The comedy centers on a 30-something bachelorette whose life is turned upside-down when she finally meets the love of her life — a divorced father with three kids. This triggers even more upheaval when the slightly unhinged imaginary friend she created as an only child suddenly reappears in her life to help her navigate the transition from single girl to a woman ready for a family.
The show was created and written by The Goldbergs duo Adam F. Goldberg and David Guarascio. Oscar-winning former Disney animator Patrick Osborne is also a co-creator. All three will executive produce alongside Happy Madison’s Doug Robinson.
22. Chunk & Bean
ABC has issued a pilot order to single-camera project, Chunk & Bean. The dual-family comedy centered on the unlikely friendship of two misfits, Chunk and Bean, who benefit from having two very different sets of parents living next door to each other. Ed Herro and Brian Donovan (The Neighbors) penned the script, which was inspired by their own childhood. The two will also executive produce alongside Dave Hemingson (above, right).
23. Square Root
The single-camera comedy pilot centers on a man from a family of logic-driven engineers who is determined to use his “gift” to help the people he loves with their everyday issues…whether they like it or not. Vijal Patel (Black-ish) penned the script and will also serve as executive producer on the project.