ABC takes the ‘Case’

Greenlight comes after an intense bidding war

ABC has given a six-episode series commitment to “In Case of Emergency,” a half-hour comedy from Emile Levisetti and scribe Howard Morris. Beyond the episodic order, Alphabet has picked up an additional 12 scripts for the series.

Greenlight reps one of this development season’s larger pacts and comes after an intense bidding war between ABC and NBC.

“In Case of Emergency” revolves around a group of friends who come together after a crisis and realize their lives didn’t turn out as planned. Show’s title was inspired by the doctor’s office form in which you’re asked to provide emergency contact information.

Morris and Levisetti first came up with the idea after exchanging stories about their own lives. After getting a divorce, Morris said he realized for the first time he didn’t know whose name to provide for the “in case of emergency” contact.

“I laughed, and told him, ‘If you collected my 20 years of doctors’ sheets, there would be 15 or 20 different people on it — parents, ex-girlfriends, friends,’ ” Levisetti said.

Set in West L.A., show centers on four thirtysomething friends, one of whom is reunited with the other three in the pilot.

The exec producers, inspired by the new generation of serialized hits like “Desperate Housewives,” also decided to create the show with open-ended story arcs. “We wanted to tell big stories that wouldn’t be wrapped up, that would keep you on the edge of your seat and invested,” Morris said. “We’ll follow their stories, some of which are quite extreme, and the bombshells that change the characters.”

Project was originally delivered to Touchstone, but a deal wasn’t made. The studio allowed Levisetti and Morris to shop the project around town; ABC and NBC both showed interest.

Now, in a twist of events, the project (packaged by CAA and BWCS) likely will be set up at Touchstone again — but on very different terms than the original offer.

Levisetti has spent the past three years in New York exec producing and running ABC’s “Hope & Faith.” Morris’ credits include “According to Jim,” “Home Improvement,” “My Wife and Kids” and “Danny.”

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