ABC trims development slate



UPDATED 6:58 p.m. PT Jan. 24

ABC on Thursday became the latest network to trim its 2008-09 development slate, citing the effects of the writers strike on this year's pilot season.

ABC went for a deep cut, releasing about 35-40 scripts, roughly one-third of its slate and the most of any network. Most of the projects are said to hail from the network's sister studio, ABC Studios, and about 15 are believed to be comedy scripts.

ABC's list of dismissed projects is said to include Alana Sanko's "Get Out" and Rob Lotterstein's "One Big Happy." Both are executive produced by ABC Studios-based producers, Salma Hayek and Emile Levisetti, respectively.

Also let go are untitled scripts from Laurice Elehwany, Todd Graff and the duo of Dave Lampson and Andrew Leeds. Graff had been developing his project with non-writing producers Nina Wass and Gene Stein, whose overall deal with ABC Studios was terminated earlier this month, also as a fallout from the strike.

"The ongoing strike has caused us to reevaluate our development needs, and we've made the difficult decision to reduce the number of scripts under consideration," ABC said in a statement.

ABC joins CBS, Fox and the CW, which have reduced their slates in the past week by releasing up to two dozen scripts each. Meanwhile, NBC said Wednesday that it will stick with all of its script orders.

Disney has enforced some of the strongest cost-cutting measures on the TV side during the strike. Two weeks ago, ABC Studios terminated nearly 30 overall deals, the most of any TV studio.