EXCLUSIVE: That was quick — a week after ABC gave a 13-episode straight-to-series order to paranormal investigation drama Weird Desk, the network has put the project on hold. It will no longer be produced for summer as planned, and its status will be revisited after pilot season. While ABC brass had liked the Weird Desk concept and script for awhile, by the time the project got a green light, it proved hard to get production up and running fast enough for a summer launch while keeping the cost low, an important factor for a summer original series. Additionally, I hear there was concern, at Marvel and internally at ABC, that Weird Desk may be similar to Joss Whedon’s high-profile ABC pilot S.H.I.E.L.D., an offshoot of blockbuster vengers franchise. There is speculation about objections from Marvel, one of Disney Co.’s most prized possessions, to the new project. As a result, the network decided to put a pin in Weird Desk. ABC still has soap Mistresses on tap for summer.
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.