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ABC Family Adds Paranormal Drama Pilot 'Stitchers'

The procedural hails from "Overruled's" Jeffrey A. Schechter and will replace the since scrapped pilot "Alice in Arabia" at the network.

ABC Family has picked up a new drama pilot to replace the since-scrapped Alice in Arabia.

The younger-skewing cabler announced Friday that it has ordered Stitchers, a pilot written by Overruled's Jeffrey A. Schechter.  

Stitchers centers on a young woman recruited into a covert government agency to be "stitched" into the minds of the recently deceased, using their memories to investigate murders and decipher mysteries that otherwise would have gone to the grave. 

Schechter will executive produce the drama alongside Jonathan Baruch and Rob Wolken. Production will begin production in June.

The pilot joins dramas Recovery Road and Unstrung (and comedy Work Mom, which was rolled from last year) on the network's development roster. The pickup comes a month after ABC Family scrapped drama Alice in Arabia following a very public outcry from the Muslim community about their depiction in the pilot script. 

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ABC Family scrapped that drama less than a week after the network ordered that -- as well as Recovery Road and Unstrung to pilot.

For her part, Alice in Arabia writer Brooke Eikmeier -- an Arabic-speaking U.S. Army veteran -- defended her script and said the intended series "could have been a step in the right direction for all cultures and all women, sparking greater tolerance, understanding and empathy," in an essay she penned for The Hollywood Reporter.

Schechter's credits also include Strange Days at Blake Holsey High, in which he shared two Daytime Emmy Award nominations for writing in a children's series. His children's script for 1998's Brink also earned a WGA nomination. He's repped by Resolution and Rain Management.

Paranormal fare has becoming increasingly popular this development season. ABC is exploring immortality with drama pilot Forever, while NBC has regeneration entry Babylon Fields. Meanwhile, ABC has found a midseason hit with drama Resurrection, with Sundance Channel importing the similarly themed entry The Returned. The latter of which is also being remade for U.S. audiences by Carlton Cuse and A&E.

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@THR.com
Twitter: @Snoodit