ABC Picks Up Two Comedy Pilots From Zach Braff, ‘Hamilton’ Star Daveed Diggs

ABC is continuing its pilot season momentum, picking up another two pilots, Variety has learned.

The network that has already picked up eight pilots has now ordered projects from Zach Braff and Daveed Diggs.

“Start Up,” based on the podcast of the same name, would bring Braff back to network television, as the “Scrubs” alum is set to star, executive produce and direct the pilot. The single-camera comedy follows Alex Schuman (Braff), an inquisitive journalist, husband and father, who dives headfirst into the brave new world of entrepreneurship when he quits his stable job and starts his own business. “Scrubs” writer/producer Matt Tarses wrote the pilot and will also serve as executive producer, along with John Davis, and Gimlet Media’s Chris Giliberti, Alex Blumberg and Matt Lieber. Sony Television and Davis Entertainment are producing.

Should “Start Up” go to series, it would mark Braff’s return to ABC, which was home to “Scrubs” for its eighth and ninth season, after the popular show was axed by NBC.

ABC has also ordered an untitled pilot that hails from writer Jeremy Bronson, who will executive produce alongside “Hamilton” Broadway star Daveed Diggs, Jamie Tarses, Scott Stuber and James Griffiths, who is on board to direct the pilot. The single-camera comedy is about an outspoken, idealistic rapper runs for office as a publicity stunt and actually gets elected, then surprising everyone, including himself, when he has a natural knack for the job and slowly transforms City Hall. ABC Studios is producing.

The two pilots join ABC’s growing slate with two other comedies “Libby & Malcolm,” starring Felicity Huffman and Kenya Barris, and “Raised By Wolves” from Greg Berlanti and Diablo Cody. On the drama side, ABC has ordered pilots for a Shondaland legal drama, time-travel series “The Crossing,” magician vehicle “Deception,” Carol Mendelsohn’s “Doomsday,” Daniel Dae Kim’s “The Good Doctor” and a project from Marc Cherry starring Reba McEntire. The network also picked up “Marvel’s The Inhumans” straight-to-series.

UPDATE, Jan. 26: Brandon Michael Hall has been cast as the lead in Diggs’ pilot. The “Search Party” actor is repped by Paradigm.

To stay updated with pilot season, check out Variety Insight’s Pilot Scorecard.

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