News Briefs: J.J. Abrams Sells a Pilot to The CW

By Tim Surette

Feb 01, 2012


... J.J. Abrams is executive producing a pilot for The CW. So what crazy sci-fi mystery will unfurl before our eyes in Shelter? It follows the staff at a New England summer resort as they tend to the needs of the guests! Wait, that's it? Is the resort a portal to Hell? Are we looking at the guests from another dimension? Is the hotel a giant sentient robot that's stealing everyone's dreams? No, no, and no. In fact, Shelter was actually written by One Tree Hill creator Mark Schwahn, so it looks like it will be exactly what it sounds like. [Deadline Hollywood]

... ABC has picked up the latest project starring Judy Greer, who in another universe is my wife and the deservingly successful star she should be (gotta take the bad with the good, Judy!). Greer, who has been known as a bit of a Black Widow when it comes to TV shows from her time on Arrested Development, Miss/Guided, and Mad Love, among others, will star in the single-camera comedy American Judy. The show is loosely based on Greer's life and is about a woman who moves out to the suburbs for marriage. I'm crossing my fingers for you, Judy. [Deadline Hollywood]

... NBC will shoot a pilot for Bad Girls, an NBC drama executive produced by John Wells (ER). Based on a U.K. show of the same name, Bad Girls explores the fertile world of women's prisons, where soap-dropping isn't really an issue at all. [Deadline Hollywood]

... ABC is moving forward with a pilot for Scruples, based on the 1978 book by Judith Krantz. A woman who loses a lot of weight, marries a wealthy man, and opens a clothing boutique in Beverly Hills is the subject. It will be produced by Natalie Portman. Hey Natalie, don't you have enough stuff going on in your life!? [EW]

... But ABC still isn't done! The network is also moving forward with four more hour-long dramas. Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry has Devious Maids, about a quartet of Beverly Hills cleaning ladies who aspire to make it big, in the pipeline. Zero Hour follows the editor of a skeptic's magazine who stumbles onto a huge conspiracy (oh, one of those shows again). Gotham, from Heroes executive producer Michael Green, is about a magical world that exists within New York City. And Penoza revolves around a woman whose organized-crime-boss husband is killed, forcing her to take over his role. [THR]


... Last night, the highest-rated and most-watched episode during primetime was a repeat of Two and a Half Men. [TV By the Numbers]


... TLC has ordered Preacher Wives, which is about the wives of preachers. It's set in Atlanta, so I'm sure it will be very mellow. [Deadline Hollywood]


... Saturday Night Live's Paul Brittain has decided to leave the sketch show to pursue other projects. He's the guy who played "Sex" Ed Vincent and Lord Wyndemere and did impersonations of James Franco and Ron Paul. [EW]

... Vivica A. Fox will guest-star on Raising Hope as the head of the church's community service group. When her position goes up for election, Burt runs against her. As you can guess, it won't go well. [EW]

... John Stamos is in talks to join Fox's comedy pilot Little Brother, a new pilot from Men of a Certain Age creator Mike Royce. Stamos would play a man who finds out that he has a half-brother who is an ex-con. [Deadline Hollywood]

Follow writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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  • Miss_Mouse88 Feb 07, 2012

    RIP Lord Wyndemere, you were my favourite sketch.

    I'm interested to hear more about that Gotham show.

  • shocker713 Feb 03, 2012

    No more Little Lord Wyndemere? Thank god.

  • TrueTvWatcher Feb 03, 2012

    I look forward to Devious Maids, Zero Hour and Gotham and Penoza! I hope they are good!

  • rye06p Feb 03, 2012

    Bad Girls is a show that belongs on cable, I'm thinking FX or Showtime would be best for it. How are you suppose to create a show about a womans prison but not feature swearing, violence or sex? Smarten up NBC.

  • GilmoreFan86 Feb 02, 2012

    I haven't seen any of J.J. Abrams work other besides the first two seasons of Lost (until it bored me), but with Mark Schwahn as a writer I can't wait for Shelter!! That man is a genius!!!

  • JT_Kirk Feb 02, 2012

    JJ Abrams started out making TV with Felicity, so the idea that he's some mad sci-fi twist-genius is ludicrous, his first show was killed by a bad haircut.

    Judy Greer hasn't killed Archer, of which she's one of the main voice actors.

  • vicbjones Feb 02, 2012

    That J.J. Abrams blurb sounded very familiar, Tim. Did you cut and paste it from an earlier posting a couple months ago? And wasn't Scruples already a TV series with Lindsay Wagner or the actress who played Laura on General Hospital?

  • skyermay00 Feb 02, 2012

    Genie Francis... I don't know anything about what you're refering to but that's who played laura.

  • klotensen Feb 01, 2012

    Latest news : JJ Abrams sells 15 shows, 9 movies, his soul and some fries ...

    Maybe he's like A.W.E.S.O.M.O.

    Maybe baby

  • BarryDalton Feb 01, 2012

    all of this sounds pretty drab...nothing too promising

  • DavidJackson8 Feb 01, 2012

    JJ Abrams probably thought that having his name on so many sci-fi projects puts too much pressure on them to succeed, so he decided to try, uh, some sort of normal drama?

    I love Judy Greer, but that show sounds like it's going to be canceled. Yes, I can HEAR future cancellation.

    Gotham sounds pretty cool -- probably wont be executed well, though. Hooray for pessimism.

  • LauraBecker Feb 02, 2012

    Actually his first tv series was a drama that didn't have sci-fi or much mythology until the last five episodes. --Felicity is just as good as many other of Bad Robot's works, because when it comes down to it, "Felicity" is what is under every work, A drama about people who have life changing experiences, sci-fi, or not.

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