'Criminal Minds' Showrunner, 'Crazy Rich Asians' Director Set Medical Drama at ABC

Erica Messer and Jon M. Chu are executive producing 'Triage,' which is the first pilot in a second development cycle for the network.
Craig Sjodin/ABC; Amanda Edwards/Getty Images
Erica Messer, Jon M. Chu

Criminal Minds showrunner Erica Messer and Crazy Rich Asians director Jon M. Chu are teaming on a medical drama at ABC.

The duo will executive produce Triage, which has landed a pilot order at the network. The project is the first in ABC's second development cycle, meaning it's not under time pressure to be ready by May's upfronts. ABC Entertainment president Karey Burke has said in the past she wants to transition to more year-round development, avoiding the crush of the traditional pilot season when possible.

Triage, from Disney's 20th Century Fox TV, is a time-spanning, character-driven medical drama centered on pioneering surgeon Finley Briar, following her over three distinct decades at the same hospital. With the evolution of medicine as the backdrop, the show explores the interconnected careers, friendships and romances of Finley and her colleagues and their tenuous relationship with time.

David Cornue wrote the pilot, with Messer set to serve as showrunner. Chu will direct the pilot through his overall deal with 20th. All three will be executive producers. Steven Marrs and Courtney Hazlett of OutEast Entertainment and Caitlin Foito also will exec produce.

Messer is coming off the series finale of CBS' long-running Criminal Minds on Feb. 19. She renewed her overall pod deal at ABC Studios — which, like 20th TV, is part of Disney Television Studios — late last year. She continues to develop at ABC Studios via her Erica Messer Productions.

Chu directed the film adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda's musical In the Heights, which is due for release in June. He also helmed episodes of Apple's Home Before Dark, as well as executive produced the drama. It is set to debut in April.

The order for Triage brings ABC's drama pilot count to seven, including the straight-to-series order for David E. Kelley's The Big Sky. Overall pilot volume at the broadcast networks now stands at 59, down from 66 a year ago.