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Allison Tolman Pilot ‘Emergence’ Moves From NBC to ABC With Series Order

The drama pilot “Emergence” has been ordered to series at ABC, though the project had originally been developed at NBC.

The series, which hails from ABC Studios, centers around a police chief (Allison Tolman) who takes in a young child (Alexa Swinton) that she finds near the site of a mysterious accident who has no memory of what has happened. The investigation draws her into a conspiracy larger than she ever imagined, and the child’s identity is at the center of it all.

In addition to Tolman and Swinton, the series also stars Owain Yeoman, Ashley Aufderheide, Robert Bailey Jr., Zabryna Guevara, Donald Faison, and Clancy Brown. Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters will write and executive produce. Paul McGuigan directed the pilot and is an executive producer.

Sources say that ABC was somewhat dissatisfied with its own development slate this year and moved on “Emergence” after NBC passed on the project. This year also represents a transitional one for ABC, with current network head Karey Burke taking over for Channing Dungey at the end of 2018 and Dana Walden assuming her post-21st Century Fox-Disney merger role as chairwoman of Disney Television Studios and ABC Entertainment in March.

“Emergence” is also one of only three series orders thus far that is solely under the ABC Studios banner, all of which are set up at ABC. The others are the Cobie Smulders drama based on the “Stumptown” graphic novel series and the “Black-ish” prequel “Mixed-ish.” The studio does have two co-productions on tap for next season with Sony Pictures Television, namely the legal drama “For Life” and multi-cam comedy “United We Fall,” both of which are also at ABC.

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