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ABC is jumping on the true-crime bandwagon.
The Disney-owned network has handed out a pilot order to scripted drama anthology The Jury, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Described as 12 Angry Men meets podcast Serial, The Jury follows a single murder trial as seen through the eyes of the individual jurors, exploring the biases and experiences that influence the jurors’ judgment and how their preconceptions change along the way. It’s unclear if the project is an anthology, with a different case every season.
The drama, which landed at ABC with a six-figure penalty, is written by Justified‘s VJ Boyd and Mark Bianculli (MTV’s Self Promotion). Boyd executive produces alongside CSI graduate Carol Mendelsohn and her production company topper Julie Weitz. Bianculli is set as a co-exec producer. The project hails from Sony Pictures Television, where Mendelsohn is under an overall deal. The news comes before NBC is poised to launch Mendelsohn’s first post-CSI Sony series with midseason drama Game of Silence.
For ABC, The Jury arrives as the nation continues to be swept up in Netflix’s 10-episode true-crime documentary Making a Murderer and after HBO’s The Jinx experienced a similar moment in pop culture. True-crime fare has been all the rage following the breakout success of podcast Serial, which is also in development as a scripted series at Fox 21 Studios. The genre has been one of the five hottest trends of development season.
The Jury becomes ABC’s fourth pilot order and third drama. The network is also readying Agents of SHIELD spinoff Marvel’s Most Wanted and John Ridley PI drama Presence (unlic).
ABC’s pilot pickup comes an hour after NBC officially kicked off pilot season by ordering four comedies.
The Jury becomes the latest anthology as broadcast and cable networks look for short-order fare in a bid to attract star power and ratings in a competitive landscape where delayed viewership is increasingly becoming the norm. This week, History added a cult anthology drama produced by Jake Gyllenhaal. ABC, for its part, also has anthologies American Crime and Secrets & Lies.
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