Cabler in exploratory talks for possible pickup of ABC pilot

Lifetime is taking a look at “Devious Maids,” the drama pilot from Marc Cherry that didn’t make the cut at ABC.

The cabler is in negotiations to pick up the ABC Studios series, which revolves around a group of maids who work for mega-rich families in Beverly Hills. The complicated talks involve downscaling the show’s production budget and salaries to make it more feasible for basic cable, and there’s no certainty that the sides will come to a deal.

The project was said to be a strong contender for an order up until the final hours as Alphabet execs finalized their picks for the 2012-13 sked earlier this month. The decision to pass, at least on a fall series pickup, caught Cherry’s camp by surprise as ABC had continued to invest in refinements to the pilot’s music and other elements until the 11th hour.

It’s understood that Cherry had a meeting with Lifetime execs last week. The cabler is said to be looking at a few pilots that didn’t make the cut for the broadcast upfronts.

Cherry penned “Devious Maids” and exec produced the pilot with helmer Paul McGuigan. “Desperate Housewives” star Eva Longoria was also among its exec producers.

The cast of the pilot includes Ana Ortiz, Rosalyn Sanchez, Judy Reyes, Dania Ramirez, Grant Show and Susan Lucci.

Reps for Lifetime and ABC Studios declined comment.

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