the vine


ABC's note to writers: tick, tick

The clock is ticking for writers who have projects in development at ABC. Sources said the network has set a Wednesday deadline for all scripts — drama and comedy — to be turned in. That is close to the March 1 mark generally perceived by TV studios as target date for submitting scripts in order to allow time for completing pilots and presentations before the upfronts. In an interesting twist, ABC is said to be eliminating the notes stage this year. Traditionally, networks give writers and studios notes on the pilot scripts and make a decision whether to pick up a project after seeing the revised draft. In a compressed pilot season this year because of the strike, ABC plans to eliminate that process and instead give each writer a thumbs up or thumbs down, sources said. That puts even more pressure on scribes — who are racing to finish their scripts put on hold by the work stoppage — to knock it out of the park with their network draft that will seal the projects' fate. ABC declined comment. (Nellie Andreeva)