It's Pilot Season at ABC
'Castle,' 'Never Better' among contenders for midseason
A couple of dramas, including the Nathan Fillion crime show "The Castle" and Rob Thomas' "Good Behavior," and comedies from Victor Fresco and Damon Wayans are reportedly strong contenders for pickup, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Most of the shows being considered now would join the schedule early next year, although one or two could debut before the end of 2008.
The writers' strike forced changes to the development cycle across the TV landscape, with some networks opting to go straight to series with several projects -- NBC in particular went with that strategy -- and others doing shorter presentations. ABC decided to do full pilots for most of its shows but delayed the process until the summer.
"The Castle" stars Fillion ("Firefly,""Desperate Housewives") as a novelist who consults with the NYPD. "Good Behavior," from "Veronica Mars" creator Thomas, stars Catherine O'Hara as the matriarch of a law-breaking family who wants her kids to go legit. The "Hamlet"-inspired drama "Prince of Motor City" might also have a chance.
Fresco's untitled comedy about a moral man (Jay Harrington) who works for an amoral corporation is considered a good bet -- particularly since ABC Studios just signed Fresco ("Andy Richter Controls the Universe") to a new deal. "Never Better," starring Wayans as a recovering alcoholic, and an Alyssa Milano vehicle by writer Kristin Newman ("That '70s Show," "How I Met Your Mother") have some buzz as well.
ABC is launching only two new shows in the fall: the drama "Life on Mars" and game show "Opportunity Knocks." Animated comedy "The Goode Family" and NBC import "Scrubs" are on deck for midseason.