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ABC meets ‘Beast’

Drama of a cable news service could be ready by April

ABC has climbed into the belly of “The Beast,” ordering six episodes of the drama series about an edgy cable news service.

“The Beast,” which comes from Imagine Television and Touchstone Television, will go into production immediately and could be ready for air by April. ABC may also decide to hold the show for fall as strike-contingent programming.

Imagine re-shot the series pilot earlier this fall, this time with Mimi Leder directing; Frank Langella was the only holdover from the original cast, which also featured Courtney B. Vance.

Skein stars Langella as media mogul Jackson Burns, whose news channel not only covers events but turns the cameras on the reporters behind the scenes. Jason Gedrick, Peter Riegert, Elizabeth Mitchell, Wendy Crewson, Naveen Andrews, April Grace, Harriet Sanson Harris and Michael Riley Burke also star.

“The Beast” is exec produced by Imagine’s Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Tony Krantz, as well as Leder, Ian Sander, Kim Moses and Kario Salem.

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