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ABC Greenlights Shondaland Show, Zach Braff Comedy, Freddie Highmore Medical Drama, Three More Series

ABC has officially jumped into its pickups for the 2017-2018 television season, greenlighting six new series, Variety has learned.

The network has ordered Shondaland legal drama “For the People,” action drama “The Crossing,” Freddie Highmore’s “The Good Doctor,” the lighthearted hourlong series “The Gospel of Kevin,” buzzy comedy “The Mayor,” plus a sitcom from Zach Braff.

For the People” hails from “Scandal” writer Paul Davies. This latest Shondaland drama follows brand-new lawyers working for both the defense and the prosecution, handling the most high-profile and high-stakes federal cases in the country — all as their lives intersect in and out of the courtroom.

Britne Oldford stars with Lyndon Smith, Ben Rappaport, Susannah Flood, Wesam Keesh, Regé-Jean Page, Ben Shenkman, Hope Davis, Vondie Curtis-Hall, and Anna Deavere Smith. Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers will executive produce with Davies. Shondaland multi-hyphenate Tom Verica directed the pilot. ABC Studios is producing.

The drama has been high up on ABC’s radar since the project went into development, and was said to be a favorite of ABC president Channing Dungey all through pilot season. “For the People” is the latest Shondaland show, joining “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal,” and “How to Get Away With Murder,” which have all been renewed for new seasons, plus romantic period drama “Still Star Crossed” is premiering this summer. “The Catch” was just canceled after two seasons.

The Crossing” hails from writers Dan Dworkin and Jay Beattie who are executive producers with Jason Reed. The cast includes Steve Zahn, Natalie Martinez, Sandrine Holt, Rick Gomez, Jay Karnes, Marcuis Harris, Simone Kessel, Kelly Missal, Rob Campbell, Grant Harvey, Bailey Skodje, Jon D’Leo, Luc Roderique, and Tommy Bastow.  The pilot was directed by Rob Bowman. The series is from ABC Studios.

Watch a teaser of “The Crossing” here:

“The Good Doctor” stars “Bates Motel” alum Highmore as Shaun Murphy, a young surgeon with autism and savant syndrome, who relocates from a quiet country life to join a prestigious hospital’s surgical unit. Alone in the world and unable to personally connect with those around him, Shaun uses his extraordinary medical gifts to save lives and challenge the skepticism of his colleagues.

The series hails from “House” creator David Shore and “Lost” star Daniel Dae Kim. Sebastian Lee is also executive producing with Seth Gordon, who directed the pilot. Along with Highmore, the stars are Antonia Thomas, Nicholas Gonzalez, Chuku Modu, Irene Keng, Beau Garrett, Hill Harper, and Richard Schiff. ABC Studios is producing with Sony Pictures Television.

Watch a teaser of “The Good Doctor” here:

“The Gospel of Kevin,” a lighter one-hour drama has been picked up to series. The show stars Jason Ritter as a cluelessly self-serving person on a dangerous path to despair. In a downward spiral, Kevin returns home to stay with his widowed twin sister (JoAnna Garcia Swisher) and niece. On his first night there, an unlikely celestial being named Yvette (Cristela Alonzo) appears to him and presents him with a mission — to save the world.

The series hails from Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters. J. August Richards, Chloe East, Dustin Ybarra, and India de Beaufort also star. The pilot was directed by Paul McGuigan. ABC Studios is producing.

THE GOSPEL OF KEVIN - ABC’s "The Gospel of Kevin" stars Jason Ritter as Kevin. (ABC/Ryan Green)

The Mayor has been one of the buzziest comedies throughout ABC all pilot season, especially with praise for star Brandon Micheal Hall, who plays the titular star.

Hailing from “Hamilton’s” Daveed Diggs, the sitcom is about a young rapper who needs his big break. For years, he’s toiled away in a small inner-city apartment, making music in his junk-filled bedroom closet. Tired of waiting for opportunity, Courtney cooks up the publicity stunt of the century: running for mayor of his hometown in California to generate buzz for his music career. Unfortunately for him, his master plan goes wildly awry, ending in the most terrifying of outcomes: an election victory. With the help of his mother (Yvette Nicole Brown) and friends, including Valentina (Lea Michele), Courtney will have to overcome his hubris if he wants to transform the struggling city he loves.

The cast is rounded out by Bernard David Jones and Marcel Spears. The single-cam comedy hails from writer Jeremy Bronson, who will executive produce alongside Diggs. Other executive producers are Jamie Tarses and James Griffiths, who directed the pilot. ABC Studios is producing.

THE MAYOR - ABC's "The Mayor" stars Brandon Micheal Hall as Courtney Rose, Yvette Nicole Brown as Dina Rose, Bernard David Jones as Jermaine Hardaway, Marcel Spears as T.K. Carter and Lea Michele as Valentina Flores. (ABC/Craig Sjodin)

“Start Up” is inspired by the podcast of the same name. The series stars Braff as a brilliant radio journalist, husband, and father of two who is about to do something crazy — quit his job and start his own company. He quickly discovers it’s going to be a lot harder than he thought.

Braff stars, directs, and is executive producer with writer Matt Tarses of “Scrubs,” John Davis, John Fox, Alex Blumberg, Chris Giliberti, and Matt Lieber. The cast also includes Tiya Sircar, Hillary Anne Matthews, Michael Imperioli, Elisha Henig, and Audyssie James. ABC Studios and Sony Pictures Television are behind the comedy.

START UP - ABC's "Start Up" stars Audyssie James as Soraya, Elisha Henig as Ben, Tiya Sircar as Rooni, Zach Braff as Alex, Hillary Anne Matthews as Deirdre and Michael Imperioli as Eddie. (ABC/Craig Sjodin)

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