Pickups include 'Castle,' 'Unusuals,' 'Cupid'
It felt a lot like May on Monday at ABC, which capped off an unusual pilot season with five series orders.
Among the pickups were two comedy-driven, New York-based police procedurals: the Nathan Fillion starrer “Castle” and ensembler “The Unusuals.”
ABC’s romantic comedy “Cupid” redux also earned a pickup. On the comedy side, the Victor Fresco-penned laffer “Better Off Ted,” which had been among the Alphabet web’s rumored faves, indeed scored an order, as did the Alyssa Milano sitcom “Single With Parents.”
Alphabet picked up a handful of new skeins in May — “Life on Mars” and animated half-hour “The Goode Family,” among scripted entries. But the net waited until its roster of pilots — delayed until summer because of the writers strike — was delivered in order to round out its series orders.
“It was worth taking the time to go through the pilot process to really do it right,” said ABC Entertainment prexy Steve McPherson. “They’re perfect additions to our dominant core slate of shows. These are the initial pickups, but there are a number of other pilots we feel will also get the go-ahead in some form moving forward.”
Among projects that weren’t yet screened, because of a late shooting schedule: the fantasy-driven “Captain Cook’s Extraordinary Atlas” and the Detroit-set “Prince of Motor City.”
Net has said that other pilots that weren’t ordered to series on Monday, such as the Damon Wayans comedy “Never Better,” the legal drama from David Hemingson and the dramedy “Good Behavior,” could still be picked up at a later date.
As for the series that did receive an order, “Castle” stars Fillion as a novelist who helps the NYPD solve homicide cases. Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Susan Sullivan and Stana Katic also star in the comedic procedural from ABC Studios. Andrew Marlowe wrote the pilot and exec produces with Armyan Bernstein, Rob Bowman and Laurie Zaks.
“The Unusuals,” another comedy-laden hourlong set inside the NYPD, centers on a quirky precinct; Harold Perrineau, Amber Tamblyn, Jeremy Renner, Adam Goldberg, Kai Lennox and Terry Kinney star. Sony Pictures TV is behind the show, and Noah Hawley exec produces. (Peter Tolan’s involvement is still to be determined.)
“Cupid” exec producer Rob Thomas hopes the second time’s the charm for the remake of his late 1990s ABC series. It again revolves around a man who claims to be Cupid (Bobby Cannavale) and the shrink assigned to his case (Sarah Paulson). Thomas, Danielle Stokdyk, Dan Etheridge, Bharat Nalluri and Jennifer Gwartz exec produce for ABC Studios.
Jay Harrington stars in “Better Off Ted” as the title character, an office worker attempting to move up the corporate ladder. Fresco exec produces the 20th Century Fox TV series. Portia de Rossi and Andrea Anders also star.
Then there’s “Single With Parents,” which stars Milano as a woman juggling her family, friends and career. Annie Potts, Beau Bridges and Amanda Detmer also star.
ABC Studios is behind the half-hour, which Kristin Newman wrote and will exec produce with Matthew Carlson and DreamWorks TV toppers Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank.
Projects will join a midseason bench that also include returnees “Lost,” “Scrubs” (new to ABC) and “According to Jim,” as well as newcomers “The Goode Family” and the untitled Ashton Kutcher/Tyra Banks reality project. Also to come: reality entry “The Bachelor” and ABC News’ “Primetime: What Would You Do?”