2007-08 comedy pilots: ABC


Larger-than-life characters are front and center in ABC's crop of comedy pilots.

"The successful shows are about really brilliant characters that feel fresh and yet completely accessible," says Samie Falvey, ABC senior vp comedy development. "We're developing a couple of big ideas, but every show (we have) really truly is very character driven."

Falvey is facing a challenge in her first development cycle as the head of ABC's comedy department. The network's serialized freshmen entries, including "The Knights of Prosperity" and "Big Day," earned largely positive reviews but have struggled to connect with viewers.

"They are great, fun shows, but wherever possible our (new) shows will have episodes that stand alone with full, complete 'a' stories or the 'c' story arcs will be general enough that audiences can still follow what's going on," Falvey says.

While all its recent comedy additions have been single-camera, ABC is not completely turning its back to the multicamera format that served it well over the years.

"I believe in the form, and I think that there is place for a new great multicamera comedy on our air," Falvey says.

American Family
Prod. Co.: Sony Pictures Television
Prod. Team: Jay Scherick (writer), David Ron (writer), John Fortenberry (director)
Family attempts to maintain appearances for the neighbors despite the chaos and challenges of 21st centurty family life (single-camera)

The Call
Prod. Co.: 20th Century Fox TV/Real Time Prods.
Prod. Team: Dave Hemingson (writer), Joel Surnow, Bob Cochran, Howard Gordon, Michael Spiller (director)
Action-packed comedy about a team of gifted yet unconventional Los Angeles paramedics who save people's lives while screwing up one another's -- all in real time (single-camera)

Prod. Co.: ABC Television Studio/DreamWorks TV/3 Arts Ent.
Prod. Team: Bruce McCulloch (writer), Justin Falvey, Darryl Frank, David Miner, Anthony Russo (director), Joe Russo (director)
Explores what it means to be a modern man; follows the lives of four men who carpool to work together each day (single-camera)

Family of the Year
Prod. Co.: 20th Century Fox Television
Prod. Team: Erica Rivinoja (writer), Pam Brady (writer), Michael Lehmann (director)
Revolves around 10-time family of the year winner the Holloways of Tatum, N.M. (single-camera)

Untilted Shana Goldberg-Meehan
Prod. Co.: Warner Bros. Television
Prod. Team: Shana Goldberg-Meehan (writer), Andy Ackerman (director)
Comedic soap that takes place in Washington

The Middle
Prod. Co.: Warner Bros. Television
Prod. Team: Eileen Heisler (writer), DeAnn Heline (writer), Chris Koch (director)
Middle-class Midwestern family show told through the eyes of the mother (single-camera)

Prod. Co.: 20th Century Fox TV/Katalyst Prods.
Prod. Team: Caroline Williams (writer), Gaby Allan (writer), Ashton Kutcher, Jason Goldburg, Karey Burke, Todd Holland (director)
Ugly duckling (Judy Greer) returns to her alma mater as a guidance counselor  (single-camera)

Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office
Prod. Co.: 20th Century Fox TV/Imagine TV
Prod. Team: Josh Sternin (writer), Jeff Ventimilia (writer), David Nevins, Brian Grazer, Gail Mancuso (director)
Centers on the struggles of a "nice girl" trying to make it in the cutthroat corporate world; inspired by Lois Frankel's book

Untitled Victoria Pile
Prod. Co.: CBS Paramount Network TV/ABC TV Studio
Prod. Team: Victoria Pile (writer, director), Chris Godsick
Follows the eccentric characters in a police precinct (single-camera)

Untitled Sachs/Judah
Prod. Co.: ABC Television Studio
Prod. Team: Gabe Sachs (writer), Jeff Judah (writer), Gary Halvorson (director)
Follows the dating and competitive work life of co-workers and friends at a top law firm; Ashley Williams co-stars

Sam I Am
Prod. Co.: ABC Television Studio/Brillstein-Grey TV
Prod. Team: Don Todd (writer), Cecilia Ahern, Peter Traugott, Robert McNeil (director)
Woman with amnesia has to rediscover her life (single-camera)

See Jayne Run
Prod. Co.: ABC Television Studio/Brillstein-Grey TV
Prod. Team: Alana Sanko (writer), Peter Traugott, Becky Clements, Will MacKenzie (director)
Alpha female in the male-dominated world of investment banking struggles to balance single motherhood and career (single-camera)

Untitled Ric Swartzlander
Prod. Co.: ABC Television Studio
Prod. Team: Ric Swartzlander (writer), Marc Buckland (director)
Workplace comedy set in a chaotic Phoenix TV newsroom (single-camera)

The Thick of It
Prod. Co.: Sony Pictures TV/BBC Worldwide Prods.
Prod. Team: Mitch Hurwitz (writer), Richard Day (writer), Paul Telegdy, Armando Iannucci
Follows the workers in the office of a low-level congressman in Washington; based on the BBC format (single-camera)

Traveling in Packs
Prod. Co.: Warner Bros. Television
Prod. Team: Jhoni Marchinko (writer), James Burrows (director)
Three women in their 30s find living together has benefits

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