As pilot season lumbers toward its dream-shattering end, ABC bent down today to scoop a few more potential morsels into its champing, omnivorous mouth. The Disney-owned network was apparently in a comedic mood this Thursday, snapping up three new sitcoms, alongside a single new drama.
Restraining itself mightily, ABC managed to add only a single new show from Shonda Rhimes and her Shondaland company to its slate; Toast, from actors-turned-writers-who-don’t-want-to-act-in-the-thing-they-wrote Scott Foley and Greg Grunberg, which joins that hour-long Romeo & Juliet “sequel series,” Still Star-Crossed, that we’ve been doing our damnedest to ignore. The new series sounds kind of like a riff on the How I Met Your Mother formula, with a series of toasts at a couple’s wedding rehearsal spinning off into a season’s worth of flashbacks and anecdotes.
Other comedies picked up today include a yet-untitled “Can a lesbian and an uptight straight guy make it as friends in this crazy world?” premise from The Mindy Project’s Ed Weeks and British writer Hannah Mackay, and an American remake of a show about a beleaguered mayor who fakes a miracle to drive tourism to her town and get the mob off her neck. (That one goes by the a-little-on-the-nose Hail Mary, which is at least more appetizing than Braunschlag, its Austrian basis.)
In the world of comedian-driven sitcoms, meanwhile, massively popular comic Gabriel Iglesias has sold a pilot to ABC, playing off of his friendly “Fluffy” persona. The Fluffy Shop—which sees Iglesias as a dad and boss trying to do typical-sounding sitcom dad stuff while also being Gabriel Iglesias—is the comic’s second project with the network in as many years; he had a recurring role on Cristela Alonzo’s Cristela, which was canceled last May.
Finally, ABC picked up one new drama today, Notorious, the previously discussed lawyers-and-TV-people-manipulating-each-other-for-mutual-sexy-gain series from real-life couple/media manipulators Mark Geragos and Wendy Walker. The series is ABC’s third legal drama pilot this year; they’ve also got The Jury, which is about people sitting in a box, and the wrongfully-accused drama Conviction, all the better to give viewers their choice in an all-you-can stomach buffet of TV justice.