ABC has picked up a second new original scripted series for next summer: Missing (aka Safe aka Hall of Mirrors). The project, from feature writer Greg Poirier (National Treasure: Book of Secrets) and Grant Scharbo and Gina Matthews, the producers behind ABC’s 2010 summer series The Gates, was put on fast-track development in early fall with an order for 3-5 backup scripts. Missing, produced by ABC Studios and Matthews and Scharbo’s Little Engine Prods., centers on a worried mom who, after her son disappears in Italy while overseas for a summer internship, takes it upon herself to travel to Europe and track him down. It soon becomes clear that this isn’t any ordinary woman, but a former CIA agent who will stop at nothing to bring her son home alive. Steve Shill, who won an Emmy last in August for his directing work on Dexter, is on board to direct multiple epidodes of the series, including the opener. He will also executive produce with Poirier, Scharbo and Matthews.
ABC is looking to get back in the event mini-series business with Wicked, an eight-hour mini-series produced by Salma Hayek, TVLine‘s Michael Ausiello reports. The project is not based on the highly-successful Broadway musical but on Gregory …
Two players from NBC’s Thursday comedy block, Parks & Recreation co-star Adam Scott and Community co-executive producer Hilary Winston, have teamed to produce My Son Gomez, a new single-camera comedy project for the network. Meanwhile, actor-turned-writer Ryan Raddatz (This Might Hurt) has sold Change of Plans, a multi-camera comedy to ABC with veteran Marsh McCall as showrunner.
EXCLUSIVE: Following her brief stint as head of programming for OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network, Jamila Hunter is returning to the broadcast side as VP comedy development for ABC. Meanwhile, Tracy Underwood has joined ABC Studios as VP drama development. Hunter will report to ABC SVP comedy Samie Kim Falvey; Underwood to ABC Studios SVP drama Patrick Moran. The hires appear to be a result from the restructuring to restore the network and the studio’s current departments, which ABC started just before president Steve McPherson’s sudden departure. ABC’s VP comedy Lynn Barrie was tapped to lead the network’s current department, and ABC Studios’ VP drama Stephanie Leifer took over current at the studio, creating vacancies in the 2 development departments.
EXCLUSIVE: In their first development season following the end of Ghost Whisperer‘s 5-year run on CBS, the series’ executive producers Kim Moses and Ian Sander of Sander/Moses Prods. have set up 3 new drama projects — 2 at ABC, Afterwives and Inhuman, and 1 at CBS, Chicago Fire. The 3 shows are in addition to Ghostworld, a drama about the intense connection between a ghost and an ambitious young female homicide detective from What About Brian creator Dana Stevens and director Alan Taylor (Mad Men), which was put on fast-track development by ABC in May. All 4 dramas are produced by ABC Studios where Sander and Moses recently signed a new overall deal.
EXCLUSIVE: Kelly Ripa is ready for more daytime-primetime double duty with Port Love, a new comedy project at ABC. Ripa and her husband, actor Mark Consuelos, will co-write the story for the single-camera project, with Consuelos set to star and Ripa to recur. Both will executive produce through their production company Milojo Prods. Port Love, from ABC Studios, is a workplace comedy set at a formerly popular network series and revolves around the cast and crew who have more backstage drama in their lives than in the actual show they’re working on. Jeffrey Hodes and Nastaran Dibai (According to Jim) will co-write the story with Ripa and Consuelos. Hodes and Dibai will write the script and will executive produce with the 2 actors and Aaron Kaplan of Kapital Entertainment. Ripa and Consuelos’ producing partner Albert Bianchini also is expected to produce the project, which has received script commitment.
EXCLUSIVE: After ordering contemporary versions of Romeo & Juliet set in New York and Chicago the last two pilot seasons, ABC is going for the real thing this year, picking up for development a retelling of William Shakespeare’s classic tale set in Renaissance Verona. Catherine Hardwicke, who directed the feature adaptation of another story about star-crossed lovers belonging to clans that are at odds with each other, Twilight, is in talks to direct the potential Romeo & Juliet pilot in what would mark her TV directorial debut. Feature producers Todd Garner (Paul Blart: Mall Cop, the upcoming The Zookeeper) and Wyck Godfrey & Marty Bowen (the Twilight franchise, Dear John) are behind the series adaptation, which is being written by World Trade Center scribe Andrea Berloff. Romeo & Juliet, which is produced by ABC Studios, follows the famous love story while also pealing away the curtain on the impetuous, incestuous, bloody and violent relationships during the Renaissance in Verona. In addition to Garner, Godfrey and Bowen, Sean Robin will also executive produce the project.
Sony Pictures TV has set up 3 half-hour projects – one at ABC and 2 at NBC – with script commitments that all have penalties attached to all. The ABC project reunited the studio’s non-writing producer Jamie Tarses with Betsy Thomas, creator of the recently canceled TBS sitcom series My Boys, which the two executives produced for Sony TV. Thomas is writing and exec producing the untitled ABC workplace relationships comedy.