EXCLUSIVE: After working together last season on the ABC/ABC Studios cop drama Detroit 1-8-7, series creator/executive producer Jason Richman and executive producer/showrunner David Zabel have teamed for a new ABC Studios drama project, which has sold to ABC. Richman and Zabel will co-write the project, titled Two Roads, which is in the vein of Sliding Doors. It centers on a young woman who struggles with doubt on her wedding day whether to go through with it or not. The show asks the question, “What if I had made different choices?” and then answers it by following her down both paths. Zabel joined the Michael Imperioli starrer Detroit 1-8-7 at the pilot stage after he liked Richman’s script. Despite solid reviews, the series didn’t get traction in the ratings and was canceled after its 18-episode freshman season. Both Zabel and Richman have deals at ABC Studios — WME-repped Zabel is under an overall; Richman, repped by WME and the Collective, has a pact for two blind scripts. This is the second sale this season for Zabel, who also has Western Gunslinger set up at ABC.
For a third straight night, 8 PM shows showed declines across the board as viewers are adjusting to daylight saving time. Last night, TV usage was down 6% in the hour week-to-week, likely affecting Fox’s Glee and NBC’s The Biggest Loser, the only new offerings at 8 PM.
The mini-finale of Glee (4.0/13, 12.5 million), which goes on a month-long hiatus before returning for its last batch of episodes for the season, was down 13% from last week. Still, it was the highest-rated program of the night in the 18-49 demo. At 9 PM, Raising Hope (2.5/7) was down 7%, but struggling midseason comedy Traffic Light (1.6/5) reversed its ratings downslide, up 7% from last week. Fox (2.3/7, 6.6 million) won the night in 18-49.
Following a repeat of No Ordinary Family (0.9/3), the season finale of V (1.8/5) was up 6% from last week (though down 14% from last year’s finale.) Its depressing ending with the aliens turning all humans into zombies was in stark contrast with the uplifting conclusion of Glee an hour earlier. At 10 PM, Detroit 1-8-7 (1.3/4) was up 18%, likely too little too late to save the cop drama from cancellation.
NBC’s two-hour The Biggest Loser: Couples (2.7/8) was down 7% from last week. It was followed by a repeat of America’s Next Great Restaurant. CBS (10.8 million, 1.9/6) aired all repeats, topping the night in total …
ABC’s hourlong procedural Body of Proof starring Dana Delany will succeed Detroit 1-8-7 in the Tuesday 10 PM slot. In preparation for the move, the network last month gave the modestly rated freshman cop drama Detroit 1-8-7 a short, 5-episode back order. Body of Proof will premiere on March 29, following Detroit‘s 18-episode run, with the Dancing with the Stars result show as a lead-in. The series, created by Christopher Murphey and produced by ABC Studios, centers on Dr. Megan Hunt (Dana Delany), a brilliant neurosurgeon who takes on a new career as a medical examiner following a car accident. Body of Proof, originally slated to launch in late October in the Friday 9 PM slot, was held back by new ABC chief Paul Lee for a proper launch in a better time period.
Full Seasons For ABC’s ‘Better With You’ & ‘No Ordinary Family’, More ‘Detroit 1-8-7′ & ‘Brothers & Sisters’, No More ‘Whole Truth’
ABC today became the latest broadcast network to make its full-season pickups, handing out back-nine orders to freshman comedy Better With You and drama No Ordinary Family. Additionally, the network has picked up 5 additional episodes from freshman cop drama Detroit 1-8-7 and 4 from veteran family drama Brothers & Sisters. Missing from the list is new legal drama The Whole Truth, which already has been on shaky ground and is preempted again next week. The series will stay on the air but the network doesn’t plan to order more episodes beyond the original 13. The episodic orders follow the pickup of 4 additional scripts each for No Ordinary Family and Brothers & Sisters 2 weeks ago. It brings the order for Brothers & Sisters to a full-season 22 episodes, up from the 18 ordered in May, meaning that ABC is probably considering a change in its launch plans for midseason drama Off the Map, which was to premiere in Brothers & Sisters Sunday 10 PM slot. (Off the Map also recently received an order for an additional script.)
The New York Television Festival has announced the primetime lineup for its sixth annual event. Because of its September dates – this year it will take place from Sept. 20-25, overlapping the broadcast network’s premiere week – the festival regularly features premieres of new fall series. This year, the festival will open with the new ABC drama Detroit 1-8-7 starring Michael Imperioli and will close with the new Fox comedy from Mitch Hurwitz and Will Arnett Running Wilde. Also featured at this year’s event are the premiere of IFC’s “The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret” with David Cross, the US premiere of BBC America’s miniseries “Luther” as well as screenings of NBC’s “Short Cuts” hosted by Greg Giraldo. Previous series premieres at the festival have included ABC’s Modern Family and Pushing Daisies and NBC’s Chuck. The festival, which once again will feature the IFC/MTV independent pilot competition and the Fox comedy script contest, takes place at the SVA Theatre and Tribeca Cinemas in Manhattan.
Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage:
As a Detroit native, I can confirm that Detroit is an economically troubled, crime-ridden, racially polarized city that for decades hasn’t seemed able to catch a break. And at today’s TCA, it became clear that the fact ABC has set and is shooting its new crime series Detroit 1-8-7 in the Motor City, while a boon to the local economy, is already causing controversy there. Discussed today were the clashes
EXCLUSIVE: Peter Serafinowicz has joined the cast of the new Fox comedy series Running Wilde as a regular. Serafinowicz was made a regular after he popped in his guest-starring turn in the pilot as Fa’ad Shaoulin, the Oxford-accented neighbor and frenemy of Steve Wilde (Will Arnett). Similarly, Erin Cummings, who guest-starred in the pilot for ABC’s Detroit 1-8-7 as the medical examiner, was recently upped to regular on the new drama series. The Lionsgate TV-produced Running Wilde centers on Steve Wilde, a filthy-rich, immature playboy trying desperately to win (or buy) the heart of his childhood sweetheart and uber-liberal humanitarian (Keri Russell).