John Ridley PI Drama Scores ABC Pilot Order

'Presence' marks the latest collaboration for Ridley and 'American Crime's' Michael McDonald.
Courtesy of ABC

ABC is getting an early jump on pilot season.

The network on Thursday handed out a pilot order to John Ridley drama Presence (unlic), The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

The project centers on a former Army veteran who finds herself interacting with a widely divergent and highly colorful cross-section of Los Angeles as she unintentionally begins a career as an unlicensed private investigator.

Ridley will pen the script and executive produce the drama alongside his American Crime collaborator Michael McDonald. The project hails from ABC Studios, where Ridley's International Famous Players Radio Picture Corp. is under an overall deal, and McDonald's Stearns Castle.

The drama was the first script ABC bought for the 2016-17 development season and now is the first traditional pilot order of the year. (Presence is the network's second pilot order overall and joins Marvel's Most Wanted, the former Agents of SHIELD spinoff that was ordered off-cycle in August after being redeveloped from last year.)

For Ridley, Presence becomes the 12 Years a Slave writer's latest collaboration with ABC. In addition to the upcoming second season of anthology American Crime (set to return Jan. 6), Ridley also is prepping a top-secret drama for Marvel described as a reinvention of an existing superhero character.

On the comedy side, meanwhile, the network has already begun casting Downward Dog, with Allison Tolman and Lucas Neff attached to star.

Military and crime dramas have been hot this past development season on both broadcast and cable networks following the box-office success of American Sniper.

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