The Disney-backed broadcaster has passed on dramas The Hurt Unit and Judgment as well as comedies Keeping It Together (formerly Drop-Off) and Public Defenders, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter. Of the four drama and two comedy pilots that ABC developed this season, only The Good Doctor spinoff, The Good Lawyer, remains in contention as Kaitlin Olson drama High Potential was previously ordered to series.
Also remaining on the bubble are comedy Home Economics (awaiting word on a fourth season) and The Rookie spinoff, Feds (awaiting word on season two). Sources say producers ABC Signature is expected to shop medical drama The Hurt Unit, which counts Ben McKenzie and Michelle Ortiz among its cast.
Reps for ABC declined comment.
The decisions come as options on the cast for pilots are nearing their expiration dates and as networks must make decisions on whether to pay to extend the stars or pass altogether. NBC did the same earlier Friday when it canceled two of its three bubble comedies, Young Rock and Grand Crew.
Of the bubble shows and pilots, networks are taking a wait-and-see approach to them given Hollywood’s labor unrest. The writers strike is heading into its sixth week with no return to the bargaining table planned and the performers union has overwhelmingly voted to authorize a strike should talks with the studios and streamers break down. The longer a work stoppage continues, the bigger impact it will have on the broadcast networks and their fall and midseason schedules.
For its part, ABC has taken a realistic approach to its fall schedule and has set a lineup of all unscripted fare — along with repeats of Abbott Elementary as its lone scripted series. That has produced less of a need for expensive homegrown scripted fare. To this point, ABC has only ordered one new scripted series for the 2023-24 broadcast season, High Potential, from exec producer Drew Goddard. Fox’s 911 will also move to ABC for the upcoming season.
Judgment was described as a high-stakes legal soap from writer Joey Falco and EP Melvin Mar with Sarah Shahi (Sex/Life) attached to star. Keeping It Together was an ensemble comedy about parenthood starring Ellie Kemper, Judy Greer and Michaela Conlin. Public Defenders was a legal comedy that starred Black-ish alum Anthony Anderson. Judgment and Public Defenders are also expected to be shopped by Disney’s 20th Television.
Home Economics and The Rookie: Feds remain on the bubble alongside The CW’s All American: Homecoming, Gotham Knights and Superman & Lois, Fox’s animated Housebroken and Welcome to Flatch and NBC’s American Auto. Several broadcast pilots also remain in contention. Decisions on all of them — be it extending cast options or outright passes/cancellations — are expected to come by month’s end as cast options expire.