Nellie Andreeva

What a horrible timing for ABC Family’s drama pilot Socio. The pilot had been gaining momentum and just started making if-come deals to writers — a promising sign that a series order may follow. But in light of today’s tragic killings in a Connecticut elementary school, will the project make it to the air?

Socio is already darker than the typical ABC Family fare. Referred to as “Dexter in high school”, it centers on a charismatic 16-year-old alleged sociopath who returns to his hometown after serving time for murdering his aunt to re-join his childhood friends, now in high school. He becomes the prime suspect when a fellow student is murdered. Socio is one of two ABC Family drama pilots that have been delivered, along with family comedy-drama The Fosters. (The third of the network’s current batch, Terminales, is wrapping post-production). I hear ABC Family brass have been high on Socio, thus the permission to start making offers to writers as the net nears greenlight decisions. But will a U.S. TV network (Disney-owned no less) proceed with a series order to a project about school violence and a young killer in the immediate aftermath of today’s massacre? (The real-life killer in Newtown, Conn., who murdered 27 people, including 20 children, was 20).

If Socio goes to series, it will join A&E’s upcoming Psycho prequel Bates Motel, about the teen years of series killer-to-be Norman Bates, which, also in unfortunate timing, released its first trailer this morning.

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