Nellie Andreeva

After having the gals covered next summer with soap Mistresses, ABC also is setting up a show for the guys. The network has given a 13-episode straight-to-series order to mystery supernatural/UFO drama Weird Desk for summer 2013. The show hails from Christina Jennings’ Canadian production company Shaftesbury, which has a U.S. division.

Written by Carl Binder (Stargate) and David Titcher (The Librarian), Weird Desk is in the vein of The X Files. Based on the alleged real-life mysteries from this world and beyond, it centers on the workings of a clandestine organization rumored to be named “Weird Desk.” Working above the levels of top secret and above the office of the President, the unit is the destination for mysterious intelligence rerouted from the CIA and NSA. Tasked with investigating and solving occurrences of the paranormal, supernatural and sometimes extra-terrestrial, “Weird Desk” is led by Morgan, an obstinate, socially inept and brilliant man who would now be dead if it weren’t for his special forces trained partner, Rosetta. Produced by Shaftesbury and distributed by ABC Studios, Weird Desk is executive produced by Shaftesbury US co-heads Tom Mazza and Maggie Murphy.

This marks the first major US network deal for Shaftesbury since launching a U.S. unit in August 2011. In going for a straight-to-series order, the company follows in the footsteps of other international production companies with U.S. outposts like Gaumont, which is behind NBC’s Hannibal and Netflix’s Hemlock Grove, Cineflix, which produces BBC America’s Copper, and the Reliance-backed Georgeville TV, which has Crossbones at NBC.

Next summer is shaping up to be one of the strongest in terms of original scripted series offerings on the broadcast networks. At ABC, Weird Desk joins Mistresses and the fourth season of Rookie Blue. (The network also may air left over episodes of comedies Happy Endings and Don’t Trust The B—-) CBS has the high-profile Stephen King-Steven Spielberg drama Under The Dome as well as Season 2 of Unforgettable. NBC has not made any formal summer scheduling announcement but the network has three new scripted series that are yet to be slotted, dramas Hannibal, Crossbones and Dracula and comedy Save Me, so it is conceivable that some original scripted content will make it to the summer.

TV Editor Nellie Andreeva - tip her here.