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The Latest Pilot Pickup Buzz from Deadline



Designated Survivor starring Kiefer Sutherland had been wowing ’em at ABC, and just solidified its straight-to-series order with a formal pickup. Designated Survivor producer Mark Gordon Co. is looking to go 2-for-2 with its legal drama pilot Conviction, which is in serious contention, alongside The Death of Eva Sofia Valdez starring Gina Torres, and the Mark Geragos-inspired Notorious. Reaction to Marvel’s Most Wanted has been solid to mixed, and there had been a talk for potential tweaking, so the project is in consideration but not a shoo-in. Shondaland’s Romeo & Juliet sequel Still Star-Crossed, which is still filming, will only have a presentation ready for the upfronts but is considered a possibility for midseason. John Ridley’s female PI drama Presence came in OK but a renewal for Ridley’s praised ABC series American Crime appears more likely. Kevin Williamson’s time-travel drama Time After Time also has been getting an OK feedback and has a shot though there are questions how it would fit the ABC brand. Reaction to serialized murder-trial drama The Jury and Texas drama Broken has been divided though The Jury has fans and is considered a possibility.

It took two and a half years for The Exorcist series project to land at a network when Fox took it in with a pilot order in late January. Three and a half months later, the reboot of the horror franchise is in strong contention for a series order, looking to join recently picked up 24: Legacy and Lee Daniels’ music-fueled Star, a possible companion to his hip-hop flavored hit Empire. Also in the running are two cop shows, Lethal Weapon, based on the movie franchise, which is considered a relatively safe bet, and A.P.B., which is a little iffier after pleasantly surprising many. Dan Fogelman’s baseball drama Pitch was an early standout — it was submitted and approved for a tax credit before its pilot green light. There had been some concern about the tone of the show, which may be a little softer than the typical Fox drama, and there have been questions about its future direction, but the pilot has been well received and remains in contention.

We may have a repeat of 2014, when the two two CW pilots were a comic-based drama from Greg Berlanti, Flash, and a telenovela adaptation produced by Ben Silverman and directed by Brad Silberling, Jane the Virgin. This time, it is Berlanti’s Riverdale that is leading the pilot pack, followed by the Silverman-Silberling romantic tale No Tomorrow. Two other pilots, the paranormal drama from Kevin Williamson and the Frequency reboot, are very much in contention, with monster drama Transylvania behind and the Mars project cooling off.

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