ABC is rounding out its pilot orders, adding four comedies — including Shondaland’s first ever — and a crime drama based on the career of attorney Mark Geragos.
Among the projects picked up to pilot is Toast, written by Scandal star Scott Foley and pal Greg Grunberg and executive produced by Shondaland’s Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers. The ABC Studios hybrid comedy takes place over the course of Max & Page’s wedding rehearsal dinner, which sees their eclectic family and friends give toasts recalling anecdotes about the couple — but flashbacks reveal the toasts don’t always get it right, as the show tracks the real story of their complicated, funny and relatable road to marriage. Foley and Grunberg came up with the story, with Foley penning the teleplay. The comedy is Shondaland’s second pilot order this season and joins ABC’s Romeo and Juliet follow-up Still Star-Crossed. Toast is the first Shondaland comedy to go to pilot after multiple seasons spent trying to enter the space.
Second is single-camera comedy Hail Mary, based on the Australian series Braunschlag. The comedy hails from The McCarthys creator Brian Gallivan and Sony Pictures Television-based Seth Gordon and Tariq Jalil’s Intrigue. The ABC Studios/SPT co-production centers on a young, small-town mayor named Mary Wolf, who has dysfunctional siblings, a dying father, disgruntled citizens, a nearly bankrupt town and the mafia breathing down her neck. Only a miracle can help her — so she fakes one. The ABC pilot is a switch on the Aussie original, created by David Schalko, which had a male lead. The comedy was developed last season at Fox with Rob Riggle attached to star in the 20th TV entry but did not move forward. Jalil’s Intrigue took the project to Sony, which connected Gallivan and Gordon to the comedy. Gallivan, Gordon and Jalil will executive produce the SPT series alongside ORF-Enterprises, which oversaw the Aussie original that ran for eight episodes in 2012. Gordon will direct the pilot.
Third is an untitled comedy from Ed Weeks and Hannah Mackay that centers on an unapologetic lesbian and her best friend, a neurotic straight male, as they navigate their dysfunctional, co-dependent friendship and the world of dating. The single-camera entry hails from ABC Studios, with Weeks and Mackay penning the script and on board as co-executive producers. Andrew Reich will supervise and exec produce. Siobhan Bachman, Annie Brogan, Val Ames and Melanie Stokes of London-based Kindle Entertainment also will exec produce.
Fourth is The Fluffy Shop, a semi-autobiographical effort starring Cristela alum Gabriel Iglesias. The multicamera comedy will see comedian Iglesias play a stepfather and boss to his family and friends, while he navigates his home life during the few days he spends off the road each week. Last Man Standing‘s Tim Doyle and Jay Lavender will pen the script for ABC Studios and exec produce alongside Iglesias, Joe Meloche, Becky Clements and Marty Adelstein.
On the drama side, the network has ordered Notorious, which rides the true crime wave and is inspired by the true-life stories of criminal defense attorney Geragos and cable news producer Wendy Walker. The project is described as a provocative look at the unique, sexy, and dangerous interplay of criminal law and the media. A co-production of Sony Pictures Television and ABC Studios, Josh Berman (The Mob Doctor) will pen the script alongside Allie Hagan, with the latter set to co-exec produce. Geragos, Walker, Meiselas, The Firm’s Jeff Kwatinetz and Josh Barry will exec produce.
Keep up with all the latest pickups, castings and eventual series orders with THR’s handy guide to pilot season.