Alphabet web shutters its ABC Pictures wing

Five current projects will be the unit's last

In a move that completes the dismantling of ABC Prods., the Alphabet web is shutting down ABC Pictures, its inhouse telefilm production arm.

The five longform projects currently in the works at ABC Pictures will be completed, but no films will be developed after that. Senior VP of ABC Pictures Didier Pietri and his staff of about eight are expected to exit the network.

Earlier this month, Brian McAndrews, the exec VP of production at ABC who oversaw ABC Prods., ankled that post to take a job at ABC Sports (Daily Variety, March 9). Aside from ABC Pictures, ABC Prods. encompassed the inhouse series production entity, Greengrass Prods., which has been folded into ABC Entertainment.

The shuttering of ABC Pictures is the final step in moving ABC’s inhouse development and production duties to parent studio Disney, a process that began two years ago.

ABC Pictures has developed and produced films for ABC, the Lifetime TV cabler and other networks, but Disney has emerged as the main supplier of ABC movies because of its weekly Sunday franchise “The Wonderful World of Disney.”

The closure of ABC Pictures is unrelated to ABC’s recent hiring of a new longform chief, Susan Lyne, the executive VP of movies and miniseries at ABC Entertainment.

(Chris Petrikin contributed to this report.)