6:30pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Shondaland's 'Romeo and Juliet' Follow-Up Lands ABC Pilot Order
ABC is ready to formally explore Romeo and Juliet with Shonda Rhimes.
The network has handed out a pilot pickup to Shondaland drama Still Star-Crossed, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
The period drama picks up where Romeo & Juliet left off, charting the treachery, palace intrigue and ill-fated romances of the Montagues and Capulets in the wake of the young lovers’ tragic fate.
Based on the book by Melinda Taub, Heather Mitchell will pen the script and exec produce alongside Shondaland's Rhimes and her ABC Studios-based production company topper Betsy Beers. Michael Goldstein will also exec produce.
Still Star-Crossed continues Mitchell's relationship with Shondaland. Mitchell was a co-producer on Grey's Anatomy before moving to Scandal, where she has climbed the ranks and served as a writer, co-executive producer, supervising producer and more.
Still Star-Crossed comes as Rhimes' Scandal often has had elements compared to Shakespeare, including multiple themes and its rapid-fire dialogue.
Still Star-Crossed was one of Shondaland's multiple sales this development season — all at ABC. The network is also readying scripts for a brides of Christ drama; an Army medical soap set in Baghdad from Grey's Anatomy's Zoanne Clack; and Splitsville, a divorce comedy from the creators of Trophy Wife.
Still Star-Crossed becomes the latest Shondaland project to reunite Rhimes with one of her disciples. Sophomore drama How to Get Away With Murder was created by Pete Nowalk, and alum Jenna Bans has ABC drama The Family due midseason. Rhimes' Shondaland next has The Catch, due after How to Get Away With Murder wraps its second season. That series was developed by Jennifer Schuur and now is overseen by Grey's Anatomy and Scandal veteran Allan Heinberg.
Primetime soap operas have been the top trend this development season, as broadcast networks have been heavily influenced by the success of hip-hop sudser Empire.
Keep up with all the latest pilot news with THR's handy guide to pilot season.