ABC takes in 'The Forgotten'
Grammer, Heaton series picked; 'True Beauty' renewedABC is officially in the Jerry Bruckheimer business.
ABC on Friday night handed out a series pickup to the Bruckheimer-produced drama "The Forgotten," marking the uber producer’s first scripted series on the network.
Also on Friday night, ABC picked up drama "Eastwick," two comedies toplined by sitcom veterans -- "Hank," starring Kelsey Grammer, and "The Middle," starring Patricia Heaton -- and renewed reality series "True Beauty."
All five series hail from Warner Bros. TV and its reality/cable division Warner Horizon.
The orders wrapped a busy Friday for ABC, which also picked up drama "Happy Town" and comedy "Cougar Town," "V" and "The Deep End" (formerly "Associates") and renewed "Scrubs," "Castle and "Better Off Ted."
The order for "Eastwick" extends the perfect record for its director David Nutter, whose every pilot so far has been ordered to series.
Written by Mark Friedman, "Forgotten" revolves around a team of amateur detectives working on cases of unidentified victims.
Friedman and Bruckheimer are exec producing with the pilot's director Danny Cannon and Jonathan Littman.
The cast includes Anthony Carrigan, Michelle Borth, Bob Stephenson, Rochelle Aytes, Rupert Penry-Jones and Reiko Aylesworth.
Loosely based on the John Updike novel and the feature film "The Witches of Eastwick," the Maggie Friedman-penned "Eastwick" follows three young witches (Rebecca Romjin, Jaime Ray Newman, Lindsay Price) who come into their powers when a mysterious man comes to town.
"Hank" (form. untitled Kelsey Grammer), a co-production with Grammnet and Good Humor TV, stars Grammer as a hot-shot Wall Street exec loses his job and is forced to reconnect with his small-town family.
"Everybody Loves Raymond" alum Tucker Cawley penned the script and is exec producing with Tom Werner, Mike Clements and Grammer.
This was ABC's second stab at "The Middle," originally ordered to pilot two years ago with Ricki Lake as the lead.
DeAnn Heline and Eileen Heisler penned the project, about a middle-class Midwestern family through the eyes of the mother (Heaton).
The series co-stars Neil Flynn of "Scrubs," which also was renewed Friday. For him, "Middle" is in first position.
"True Beauty," exec produced by Ashton Kutcher and Tyra Banks, had a solid midseason run behind "Dancing with the Stars."