Move signals 20th TV still sees project having a shot at ABC

Twentieth Century Fox TV has taken the unusual step of screening a pilot to international buyers in town for the L.A. Screenings that hasn’t yet been picked up by a network.

Studio is screening “Gotham,” creator Michael Green’s supernatural drama about a division of the NYPD that looks into crimes that have a magical twist. Decision is a sign that 20th TV feels the show still has a strong shot at an order from ABC, possibly as a short-order event series.

It’s understood that 20th TV toppers Gary Newman and Dana Walden are meeting with ABC prexy Paul Lee in the coming days to discuss the pilot’s fate. Brian Cox, Lennie James, Megan Ketch and Barry Sloane star.

“Gotham” was seen as a strong contender for a series order as ABC began winnowing its pilots in advance of the upfronts but faced competition from another supernatural-themed project, “666 Park Avenue,” which did land on the fall sked. A strong response from foreign buyers could bolster 20th TV’s pitch to ABC for a pickup.

The L.A. Screenings, held annually the week after upfronts, are an important showcase for studios to drum up interest in new series in the larger international markets so crucial to funding scripted primetime skeins these days. TV buyers from around the world descend on L.A. and make the rounds of the major studios for screenings and parties. Because the schedule is so intense for the buyers, who are asked to screen dozens of pilots in a few days, observers said they were surprised to see an as-yet unsold property added to the mix.

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