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ABC Pilot Plans: What To Expect (Not Gina Torres Or Vampires, Apparently)

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BY March 2, 2021

Despite the fact that thanks to the novel coronavirus, the United States is in varying shades of quarantine, TV marches on. Much like film studios crossing their fingers and rescheduling again (e.g. Tenet’s release date), the networks are putting faith in future shows. They’ve ordered those pilots and goshdarnit, they’re going to use them. Or maybe not. But we’ll talk about that and the rest of the ABC pilot plans.

ABC Pilot Plans: What They’ve Ordered To Series

Dramas We’ll See

abc pilot plans Jade Pettyjohn will star in Big Sky, image via Hulu

First of all, ABC is going forward with several dramas. The most interesting to me is Big Sky, an adaptation of a C.J. Box book from David E. Kelley. I love a procedural, I love a murder story, and it’s surprising I haven’t read Box’s work yet. Maybe I’ll start with The Highway, which inspires Big Sky.

In addition, ABC ordered Wreckage, their latest attempt to recapture the Lost magic. This one will focus on two survivors of a plane crash who are found four years later. Miraculous, no? But what if I told you they were hiding something?! Because they are. Hiding something. And we’ll have to watch to find out what.

Me and all of your dads will be tuning in to see National Parks Service, a procedural about the Investigative Services Branch that handles crime within national parks. Despite the dry description, this could be interesting, considering how many people go missing in national parks. This show will be set in the Pacific Northwest, so there might be Twin Peaks vibes. (Kevin Costner is executive producing this. There will be no Twin Peaks vibes.)

Speaking of dry descriptions, though, Harlem’s Kitchen sure has one. It’s about a guy who runs a restaurant with his wife and daughters. But it’s really about the drama that ensues after someone suddenly dies. I can see this fitting in on Thursday nights with Grey’s Anatomy. Anyway, it stars heavyweights Delroy Lindo and Sheryl Lee Ralph and it’s from a guy–Zahir McGhee–who worked on shows like For the People, which I miss.

Other dramas they ordered include Rebel, the latest take on Erin Brockovich, and Triage, yet another medical drama. Woo.

And Some Comedies

abc pilot plans Topher Grace, image via CBS

They also picked up a number of sitcoms. Most of them sound like “yep, that’s a sitcom premise,” but there are some surprises. For example, Prospect, a Western comedy about a schoolteacher who moves to the frontier, sounds just unusual to make me tune in. It will star Hunter King (The Young and the Restless), along with David Alan Grier and Dale Dickey.

I’ll probably also check out the Topher Grace sitcom, Home Economics. It’s about a trio of siblings with wildly different incomes. Sounds pretty sitcom-y, but it could be clever. And the same goes for the Untitled Kaplan/Holland Project, formerly known as Wild Child, about a NYC teen who discovers a family secret.

Other sitcoms ABC is pushing forward include Bossy, which sounds like a 21st Baby Boom, and Work Wife, which Joshua has already set his DVR for.

But We Can’t Have Everything

abc pilot plans Debra Jo Rupp and Kurtwood Smith, image via Fox

However, much to my dismay, they didn’t pick up The Brides, a new twist on Dracula, that would have starred Gina Torres. They also passed on Thirtysomething(else), a reboot of late 80s boomer classic Thirtysomething.

In the comedy department, we’ll miss out on Valley Trash, which would have starred Dale Dickey’s My Name is Earl co-star Jason Lee. And while Topher Grace is returning to television, the show that would have reunited his That 70s Show parents, Kurtwood Smith and Debra Jo Rupp, is not. That was the Untitled Nate Bargatze Project.

It’s unclear, though, when any of these shows will start filming.

Do any of them pique your interest? Tell us what you’d like to see on our social medias or here in the comments.

featured image via NBC

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Salomé Gonstad is a freelance writer who grew up in the swampy wilds of south Alabama. When she's not yelling about pop culture on the internet, she's working on a supernatural thriller about her hometown. Also, we're pretty sure she's a werewolf. Email her at

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