The pilot lights were flashing green at ABC Thursday as the net gave the thumbs up to four drama projects, including hours from J.J. Abrams and Rod Lurie.
Warner Bros. TV-based companies John Wells Prods. and Class IV Prods. also snagged pilot orders from the Alphabet.
It was a particularly big day for Bad Robot, the Touchstone-based Abrams production shingle headed up by Thom Sherman.
ABC picked up Bad Robot’s “What About Brian?,” an hour from scribe-exec producer Dana Stevens about a single man in his 30s still trying to figure out his life after all his friends have gotten hitched. Abrams and Sherman will exec produce, along with Bryan Burk.
Pickup came just hours after Abrams got word of blockbuster ratings for the Wednesday premiere of “Alias” and series-high numbers for lead-in “Lost.” ABC’s flurry of pilot orders also included a cast-contingent OK for a two-hour drama pilot to be penned by Lurie (“The Contender”). He’s returning to Washington for “Commander in Chief,” a politically themed drama about the first woman to serve as president of the United States. Lurie will exec produce with Marc Fydman via his Touchstone-based shingle.
Pilot will explore West Wing issues but will spend more time examining the president’s family life.
Also securing a go-ahead from ABC is a sort of “Nip/Tuck” meets “L.A. Law” set in the cutthroat world of real estate that comes from scribe Silvio Horta (“Jake 2.0”) and Warner Bros. TV-based Class IV Prods. Steve Pearlman and Andrew Plotkin will exec produce the project, which began as a script last summer (Daily Variety, Aug. 3).
Class IV snagged its first pilot order last month when Fox picked up the format-busting “Reunion” (Daily Variety, Dec. 17).
Finally, ABC on Thursday OK’d “Evidence,” a crime drama from scribe-exec producers Dustin Thomason and Sam Baum (“The Rule of Four”). John Wells Prods. and Warner Bros. TV are producing; Wells will not take an exec producer credit.