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The network on Wednesday handed out a pilot order to drama The Brides, a Dracula-inspired drama from Riverdale creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and prolific producer Berlanti.
Originally developed for NBC in 2015 (when it earned a script order), The Brides is a family drama described as a sexy contemporary reimagining of Dracula. The drama revolves around a trio of powerful female leads and features strong horror elements. ABC describes it as a vampire soap about empowered, immortal women and the things they do to maintain wealth, prestige, legacy — and their nontraditional family. (That’s the same logline that sold to NBC five years ago.)
Aguirre-Sacasa will pen the script and exec produce alongside Berlanti and the latter’s production company topper Sarah Schechter. Maggie Kiley (American Horror Story, Riverdale and its upcoming spinoff, Katy Keene) will direct the pilot. The Brides will be a co-production between ABC Studios and Warner Bros. Television, where both Aguirre-Sacasa and Berlanti are under rich overall deals.
The news was revealed Wednesday during ABC’s day before the press at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour in Pasadena. The pilot order, which is technically the first of the 2020-21 broadcast season for ABC, arrives as the network’s entertainment president, Karey Burke, continues her mandate to bring women back to the Disney-owned broadcaster. This will be the exec’s first pilot season where she has made pickup decisions after taking over the network from Channing Dungey.
The Brides continues a banner week for Aguirre-Sacasa, who on Tuesday saw Riverdale score an early fifth-season renewal and its midseason spinoff, Katy Keene, earn an order for 13 additional scripts ahead of its debut next month. The showrunner already has three shows on the air, including The CW-turned-Netflix favorite Chilling Adventures of Sabrina — all of which are also exec produced by Berlanti.
Prolific producer Berlanti, meanwhile, already has a rapidly growing record of 21 scripted originals in the works. He has sold multiple scripts this development season at various broadcast (and cable!) networks. The Brides brings Berlanti back to the ABC fold, where he previously had a sizable overall deal with ABC Studios before decamping for Warners. During his tenure with ABC, he produced series including Brothers & Sisters, Dirty Sexy Money and Eli Stone. He currently has scripted originals on four of the five broadcast networks — save for ABC. And if The Brides moves to series and Fox renews rookie Prodigal Son and CBS returns God Friended Me, he would retain that stat given that his NBC show, Blindspot, is ending this season. Then again, he has sold multiple scripts to NBC and could wind up with at least one show on all five of the broadcast networks. What a slacker.
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