The TV pilot season that networks usually use to determine which projects have the potential to become the next hit shows has been turned upside down by the same production shutdowns that cut the 2019-2020 TV season short, but ABC has some good news for a handful of its potential projects. Katey Sagal's Rebel, Topher Grace's Home Economics, and three more have gotten official pilot orders, while others weren't so lucky. Here's the latest.
The five shows to receive pilot orders from ABC are Katey Sagal's Rebel, Topher Grace's Home Economics, Bossy, Harlem's Kitchen, and Work Wife, according to THR. Rebel is a drama based on the true story of Erin Brockovich, with Katey Sagal attached to star since back in January.
Rebel is also executive produced by Grey's Anatomy showrunner Krista Vernoff, who obviously has a history of success at the network. Sagal has appeared on a couple of ABC series in recent years, with a recurring role on The Conners and three episodes of Grand Hotel.
Topher Grace, who built a comedic name for himself as star of Fox's That '70s Show, is attached to the single-camera comedy Home Economics as star and executive producer. If ordered to series, Home Economics could center on three siblings of three very different economic statuses. It would mark Grace's first regular broadcast TV show since That '70s Show.
Bossy (which Deadline reports was previously known as Kids Matter Now) is a multi-camera comedy about a diva boss who adopts a baby and then asks her assistant, who has three kids of her own, to become her motherhood mentor. Work Wife is a single-camera comedy inspired by the partnerships of Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest of Live with Kelly and Ryan. Ripa and Seacrest also serve as executive producers on the project.
On the drama front, Harlem's Kitchen is a potential series that follows an executive chef, his wife, and their three daughters after an unexpected death puts the future of their fine-dining restaurant in jeopardy. The cast options for these five projects have been extended through the end of September, with the goal of filming as soon as production can resume.
ABC has already resumed production on another one of its shows, but that doesn't necessarily indicate that these pilots will be able to shoot any time too soon. If that's the case and the pilots can't film by the end of September, ABC can pick them up one more time, with an end date of December 30.
The hope for these pilots is that they will lead to some series pickups that can film and be ready to launch in midseason. ABC has already announced its plans for the fall TV season, with a lineup that includes two new shows that have already been ordered to series.
That said, there are no details available at this point about when production will be able to pick up in the entertainment industry across the board, so it's not 100% certain what fall TV season will look like. ABC did pass on three prospective pilots that definitely won't lead to a fall or midseason series.
The Brides, which would have been about the brides of Dracula with Suits alum Gina Torres as star, won't become a pilot. ABC also passed on Thirtysomething(else), which would have been based on the kids of the original Thirtysomething characters and starred a Vampire Diaries veteran. A Jason Lee comedy project, called Valley Trash, is out as well. Three pilots have been pushed back: Kevin Coster's National Parks Service, a comedy called Adopted, and medical drama Triage.