×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

ABC Picks Up Two Pilots Including Toni Collette Spy Dramedy

ABC has picked up two more pilots, including “Unit Zero,” an action spy dramedy starring Toni Collette from “Black-ish” creator Kenya Barris, Variety has learned.

The network also ordered the thriller “Salamander,” based on the Belgian format.

“Unit Zero” follows Jackie Fink (Collette), a brilliant but unassuming CIA engineer and single mom, as she leads a team of desk jockeys into the field as secret agents. Overlooked in the workplace, their invisibility makes them perfect for the CIA’s most covert missions.

The hourlong dramedy was created by “Black-ish” writer/producer Lindsey Shockley, who will serve as executive producer with Barris. “Pineapple Express” director David Gordon Green has signed onto direct the pilot. ABC Studios is also behind “Unit Zero.”

For Barris, “Unit Zero” marks his second pilot pickup at ABC, following the comedy “Libby & Malcolm,” which will star Felicity Huffman and Courtney B. Vance. Barris attached talent to both of his projects early during development season, which helped push them along to formal pilot orders. Barris also has a third project in contention for the 2017-2018 season: a “Black-ish” spinoff focused on Yara Shahidi’s character, which will be introduced this spring as a backdoor pilot during the flagship series.

“Salamander” follows a brilliant but misanthropic engineer who recruits a skeptical Homeland Security agent to help him track a mysterious bank robber whose theft of 66 specific safety deposit boxes, belonging to the elite and powerful, sets in motion a series of blackmails that may be linked to a greater conspiracy.

The pilot was penned by Jeff Pinkner, Andre Nemec, Josh Applebaum and Scott Rosenberg of Midnight Radio. The four scribes will all serve as executive producers. ABC Studios is producing, along with Keshet and Beta Film.

“Salamander” and “Unit Zero” join a hefty slate of pilots at ABC, which has ordered the most pilots of any broadcast network, at this point.

On the comedy side, the network has greenlit pilots for “Libby & Malcolm;” “Start Up,” starring Zach Braff; “Raised By Wolves” from Greg Berlanti and Diablo Cody; a series about a city mayor from “Hamilton” star Daveed Diggs; plus female buddy cop sitcom “The Trustee” from exec producer Elizabeth Banks. On the drama side, ABC has picked up 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;” a project from Marc Cherry starring Reba McEntire; and a light-hearted hourlong, “The Gospel of Kevin,” from Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters.

More TV

  • Deadwood

    'Deadwood' Movie Drops First Trailer, Premiere Date (Watch)

    HBO is taking fans back to Deadwood. Nearly 13 years after the hit Western series ended, HBO Films has released the first look at “Deadwood: The Movie.” The film will premiere on the network on May 31. Series regulars Ian McShane, Timothy Olyphant, Molly Parker and John Hawkes will reprise their roles in the film, [...]

  • Drew Goddard

    Oscar-Nominated Drew Goddard Inks Exclusive Overall Deal with 20th Century Fox TV

    Writer, director and producer Drew Goddard has signed an exclusive, multiyear overall deal with 20th Century Fox Television, under which he will write, create, direct and develop new TV series for the studio across all platforms. Goddard’s deal, announced by Disney Television Studios and ABC Entertainment chairman Dana Walden, is the first to close since [...]

  • AVOD streaming video OTT users -

    Comcast Unveils 'Flex,' a Streaming Service for Internet Customers

    Comcast said it would unveil “Flex,” a hub for its Internet-only customers that allows them to stream and purchase shows and movies, the latest effort by a traditional cable provider to latch on to customers who are migrating to broadband services, The Philadelphia cable giant will also make free, ad-supported services available via the service, [...]

  • Imagine, Zero Point Zero Produce Doc

    Imagine, Zero Point Zero to Produce Doc on Teen Skateboard Star Brighton Zeuner (EXCLUSIVE)

    Fourteen-year-old skateboarding star and two-time world champ Brighton Zeuner will be the focus of a feature documentary by Imagine Documentaries and Zero Point Zero, Variety has learned exclusively. Described as a coming-of-age story, the film will document Zeuner’s childhood, personal and professional relationships, and road to earning a spot as a member of the 2020 [...]

  • Smithsonian Handmaids Tale Costume

    Why the Smithsonian Chose to Enshrine 'Handmaid's Tale' Servant Costume

    The iconic red-caped, white-bonneted outfits worn by Elisabeth Moss and the other childbearing servants in Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” created by costume designer Ane Crabtree, have become that show’s signature visual.  Hulu immediately knew it had a good thing, hiring groups of women around the country to parade in the garments to promote the show. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content