2007-2008 Drama pilots- ABC


Larger-than-life characters and self-contained stories are on the drama docket for ABC this year.

The network ? which sparked the recent interest in serialized dramas with the Emmy-winning "Lost" but saw its ambitious continuous-story-line dramas "The Nine" and "Six Degrees" fizzle in the fall ? is staying away from the genre this development season.

"This year, we concentrated on close-ended shows," says senior vp drama development Suzanne Patmore-Gibbs. "We don't have any intensely serialized pieces."

It was a conscious decision made in the summer ? before most networks struggled to launch a slew of nail-biter serial dramas ? that was aimed at a better schedule balance, Patmore-Gibbs says. But at the end of the day, it all came down to "responding to the best material."

"A year ago, we had a lot of strong serialized shows," she says. "This year, there's a lot of strong character procedurals and soaps. They rose to the top because they were great stories."

Indeed, Patmore-Gibbs notes that it was a good year for soaps with heavy dollops of humor ("Cashmere Mafia") ? a genre with which ABC found success this year with "Ugly Betty" and "Brothers & Sisters" ? and character-driven procedurals ("Suspect," "Marlowe," "Judy's Got a Gun," "Women's Murder Club").

For a second consecutive year, ABC is leading the network pack with the most drama pilot orders. ABC's total of 13 greenlighted projects is down from 16 one-hours picked up last season.

Nellie Andreeva