ABC has firmed up the bulk of its summer lineup, which will feature three original scripted series — Canadian crime imports Motive and returning Rookie Blue as well as homemade soap Mistresses. That is more than the 1-2 scripted originals each of the broadcast networks has offered in the last couple of summers. Motive, from The Mentalist‘s Daniel Cerone, is getting a boost with a special premiere after the Dancing With The Stars The Results Show finale on May 21 before the thriller drama moves into the high-profile Thursday 9 PM slot, leading to Rookie Blue. Also joining ABC’s summer schedule is Whodunnit?, a new mystery reality competition show from CSI creator Anthony E. Zuiker, which will air in the Sunday 9 PM slot as the network is resting its serialized dramas that traditionally don’t repeat well — Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and Revenge. Also set to take a break are Castle, replaced for some of the summer by Mistresses, whose previously announced premiere is being pushed by a week, and Once Upon A Time, by Celebrity Wife Swap. Other returning unscripted series this summer include The Bachelorette, Wipeout, Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition and What Would You Do? There are still a couple of holes on ABC’s summer schedule which are expected to be filled soon. Here are ABC’s summer premiere dates: READ MORE »
At a morning TCA panel, ABC entertainment chief Paul Lee said that ABC is high on soap operas, saying he’s delighted that General Hospital is “rocking and rolling” in daytime and adding that the series Scandal has reinvented the genre. (He also offered that the important Latina audience “loves that genre.”) “But you want to do something that breaks the rules,” the executive said.
Lee did not mention ABC’s new primetime soap Mistresses in his remarks about soaps, but at an afternoon panel the cast and producers had plenty to say about flawed women, the show’s abundant nakedness, adultery as a dramatic premise and how to “break the rules” without offending the audiences and the Standards department.
ABC’s The Neighbors - Comedy
Produced by ABC Studios. From writer/executive producer Dan Fogelman and executive producers Aaron Kaplan, Jeff Morton and Chris Koch. Directed by Chris Koch (pilot):
ABC’s 666 Park Avenue – Drama
Produced by Bonanza Productions in association with Alloy Entertainment and Warner Bros Television. From writer/executive producer David Wilcox and executive producers Matthew Miller, Leslie Morgenstein, Gina Girolamo. Directed by Alex Graves (pilot):
Originally ordered for next summer but also considered for the upcoming season, ABC‘s racy new soap Mistresses will launch next May for a summer run, ABC’s Paul Lee said during a press call this morning. It will likely premiere on Monday after The Bachelorette.
Also on the call, Lee addressed the decision to move Happy Endings and Don’t Trust The B— to Tuesdays against Fox’s New Girl after the two launched in the protected post-Modern Family slot. Lee said both shows have passionate audiences that would follow them to the new night. As for pitting them against other comedies, especially New Girl, Lee said, “I do think there is room on the networks for big ratings” for multiple series in the same slot. Opting not to put a comedy against New Girl last year but to do it this fall with Happy Endings is not a suggestion that ABC feels New Girl is getting weaker but confidence that Happy Endings “can open a comedy block at 9 PM on Tuesday,” Lee said.
(RE-POSTED FROM FRIDAY): Back by popular demand: Deadline’s Pilot Buzz lists. We’re earlier than normal this year while pilots have generally been late, with only a handful of them having cuts by now and the vast majority still in various stages of production. Therefore, everything on this list has to be taken with a gigantic grain of salt as a lot could change between a table read and a final cut. Take NBC’s comedy pilot SAVE ME for example. After some mixed and even negative chatter early on, mostly related to the tone of the show, originally developed for Showtime, the tide changed completely over the last two days when people saw the completed pilot, which is getting high marks. The list also doesn’t cover every pilot as some of them have not gotten into production yet or feedback has been insufficient:
The network already has one new scripted series on tap for next season, HANNIBAL, which I hear may go for midseason. With the network in such bad shape after years of neglect and bad decisions by previous regimes, NBC seems to have cast a very wide net this season, developing a vast range of projects that are all over the map, making it harder to handicap. On the drama side, mystery MIDNIGHT SUN and the Jekyll & Hyde-esque DO NO HARM are getting some solid early buzz. The Jason Katims/Jason Ritter medical drama COUNTY, which just wrapped, also has been getting positive feedback. Western-esque THE FRONTIER, which is shooting in Australia, is getting notices for its rich look. Comedy-wise, ANIMAL KINGDOM is hot, as is White House family comedy 1600 PENN, despite a last-minute recasting, as well as the Matthew Perry starrer GO ON and Greg Daniels’ FRIDAY NIGHT DINNER. The network also is high on a couple of multi-camera comedies, the untitled KARI LIZER and JIMMY FALLON projects, with TABLE FOR THREE also looking encouraging so far. The Ryan Murphy/Ali Adler blended family comedy THE NEW NORMAL is still shooting but, with the auspices involved, it is considered a strong contender. NBC brass seem to like the SARAH SILVERMAN pilot, which had an early order, but Silverman is considered acquired taste, so a lot will depend on testing.
The KEVIN WILLIAMSON project was very strong at the script stage, got even stronger with the casting of Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy, and seems to be sailing through production. Meanwhile the untitled KARYN USHER teen-spy drama, which also was an early standout during the script phase, then hit a speed bump in casting the lead, which took a very long time, now appears to be in great shape, with newcomer Saxon Sharbino getting strong reviews. The Williamson and Karyn projects seem to be the top drama contenders at the moment,
Lost alumna Yunjin Kim has landed a lead opposite Rochelle Aytes and Jes Macallan in Mistresses, ABC’s drama recently greenlighted straight to series for a summer 2013 launch. The soap, written by KJ Steinberg and based on the British format, is described as a provocative drama about four women — three of them played by Kim, Aytes and Macallan — with scandalous romantic lives, caught in storms of excitement and self-discovery, secrecy and betrayal. Kim will play Katie, a therapist who slept with one of her patients, John, before his death. Also cast on the series are Erik Stocklin in the regular role of Sam, John’s son, who finds himself falling in love with Katie; and Cameron Bender in the recurring role of Richard, a recently divorced man who hires April to re-decorate his new apartment and starts a romance with her. Stocklin is with JC Robbins, Bender is with Metropolitan and Justice & Ponder.
Erin Moriarty has been cast in ABC’s drama pilot Penoza, written and executive produced by Twilight scribe Melissa Rosenberg. Based on a Dutch format, it centers on Martha (Radha Mitchell), the widow of an assassinated criminal who is forced to adopt her husband’s role in a crime syndicate in order to protect her family. Moriarty, repped by ICM and 3 Arts, will play Martha’s daughter. She will next be seen in Neighborhood Watch.
Rochelle Aytes (ABC’s The Forgotten) and up-and-comer Jes Macallan have landed two of the four leads in Mistresses, ABC’s drama recently greenlighted straight to series for a summer 2013 …
EXCLUSIVE: After a decade at Warner Bros TV, writer-producer Rina Mimoun is moving to ABC Studios where she has signed a two-year overall deal. Under the rich seven-figure pact, Mimoun will develop new projects for the studio and join its upcoming series Mistresses as an executive producer. The soap, based on the British format, was recently given a straight-to-series order for a summer 2013 launch. It was written by The Nine co-creator KJ Steinberg, who is executive producing with Bob Sertner, Ecosse Films’ Douglas Rae and now Mimoun. With Steinberg busy working on her ABC/ABC Studios pilot Gilded Lilys, Mimoun and Sertner will oversee day-to-day operations on Mistresses for the time being. Mimoun’s deal with ABC Studios starts in June, but I hear she is been loaned out by Warner Bros TV so that she can start work on Mistresses right away.