Tuesday, 3 May 2016

2016 ABC Program Development Guide - Comedy Series



What does ABC have in store for next season?



Chunk & Bean - PASSED
SHOW INFO
Brian, also known as Chunk is a hefty, teenage curmudgeon with ten percent of his ample girth devoted to the giant chip on his shoulder. Connie (Anna Gunn) will do anything to slim Brian down, whether he likes it or not. Her techniques include running him, weighing him, tossing his room for hidden candy (she always finds plenty), and calling the parents of classmates to make sure he isn't hustling them for food. Spoiler alert: he is. Connie's carefully controlled ecosystem and plans for Brian and her family are thrown into chaos when the handsome Jim Rogerson (Adam Rodriguez) and his son Ed (Simon Belz) move in next door. Ed, also known as Bean, is as small as Brian is wide. He's 14, but still shops in the children's section at Target. However, unlike Brian, who goes stormy to survive the hardships caused by his size, Ed goes sunny. He's the little engine that could - even though he usually can't. Connie and Jim instantly butt heads over their conflicting styles of parenting. While Connie believes in structure and discipline, Jim believes in high fives and cake for breakfast. Terrified of this easy-breezy new influence next door, Connie tries everything to contain Jim's impact on her family and her patients. But Jim's charm and Stuart's (Andy Daly) eagerness to make a friend thwart Connie's plans. Meanwhile, Brian and Ed are navigating their first day of high school as newly minted friends. Their bond instantly disintegrates, however, when Brian, confronted by a bully about his weight, turns on Ed to draw attention away from himself. Ed turns it around on Brian with devastating results and the two new friends become enemies, and earn the nicknames Chunk and Bean in the process. Back home, Jim discovers a distraught Brian on the verge of running away, and talks him out of it, thereby gaining his trust. At the same time next door, Ed seeks out Connie and Stuart to talk about his father's lingering grief. He reveals that his mother, Jim's wife, recently died and a quietly devastated Jim has not recovered. At the end of the night, these neighbors form an unlikely (if fragile) bond.


CAST LISTING
Cast
Anna Gunn
Cyrus Arnold
Andy Daly
Adam Rodriguez
Simon Belz
Hassie Harrison
Sofia Marie Gonzalez

CREDITS LISTING
Writers
Ed Herro
Brian Donovan
Executive Producers
Ed Herro
Brian Donovan
Production Company
ABC Studios

Downward Dog - PICKED UP
SHOW INFO
Martin is a philosopher of sorts and recently a lonely one. The woman he lives with, Nan (Emmy nominated Allison Tolman), just isn't giving him the attention he needs. Their daily walks are a thing of the past. He has a hard time telling her how he feels, so he has resorted to destroying her favorite boots. He actually chewed them up, because if you haven't guessed by now, he's a dog. A lonely, controlling, self-obsessed dog who lets us in on all his thoughts. He tries to set boundaries with Nan to make her feel safe. It has been hard on both of them since she broke up with her boyfriend, Jason (Lucas Neff), a musician, bartender and aging millennial. Now, she spends way too much time at work trying to impress her boss and co-workers, and Martin is left at home too much trying to imagine what could be more important than snuggling on the couch with him. Nan's not the most organized person, but wants her ideas to be heard at Clark and Bow Outfitters where she's worked for six years. Co-worker Jenn (Kirby Howell-Baptiste) gives her advice on how to impress the boss, Kevin (Barry Rothbart). After months of hitting a brick wall, Nan is finally making some headway, but in a few short moments Martin ruins everything. Is she really going to have to tell everyone at work that her dog ate her presentation? It's time for obedience school. As Martin says, "I think Nan just needs things to be kind of spelled out in really obvious ways." He feels like she's lost track of what's really important: him. One session at obedience school already makes them realize that even at their worst, they may be the best thing for each other.

CAST LISTING
Cast
Allison Tolman
Lucas Neff
Kirby Howell-Baptiste
Barry Rothbart
CREDITS LISTING
Writers
Michael Killen
Samm Hodges
Executive Producers
Michael Killen
Samm Hodges
Kathy Dubziek
Sam Hansen
Jimmy Miller
Production Company
ABC Studios
Legendary Television

Dream Team - PASSED
SHOW INFO
Kari Lizer and Bill Wrubel (Will & Grace) bring us Dream Team, based on their experiences as soccer parents. With documentary-style elements, Dream Team centers on club soccer coach Marty Shumacher (Justin Long), a diverse group of girls and their demanding parents. Marty took his last team to the national championships... where they lost in their final game. His misfortune doesn't end there, as his wife recently left him, taking all of the furniture with her. With no team and no wife, Marty decides to get back into the game. He loves being a coach and brings a unique passion and dedication to his team. As the girls train and compete to make the team, their parents are fighting a competition of their own, against other parents, their own spouses and the demands that club soccer makes on their family. While Marty begins coaching the girls into a cohesive team, he must overcome his self-doubt when his ex-wife questions his career path as respectable for a grown man, and then takes his last remaining piece of furniture. After the first game, Marty has to cut someone from the team, the first of many difficult decisions he'll have to make as he guides these girls and their parents through the next ten years of their lives.

CAST LISTING
Cast
Justin Long
Michelle Buteau
Carlos Leal
Michael Mosley
Wynn Everett
Wanda Sykes
Lindsey Kraft

CREDITS LISTING
Writers/Executive Producers
Kari Lizer
Bill Wrubel
Production Company
Warner Brothers Television


Hail Mary - PASSED
SHOW INFO
Meet Mary Wolf (Casey Wilson), the charismatic and charming Mayor of Bottom Heights. Mary's mother died in childbirth and her last words were, "Tell Mary she can do anything". . .and throughout Mary's life she has taken that mantra to heart. Though she has made some questionable life choices, like sleeping with a married man and making deals with the Canadian Mafia, Mary is currently following in her father's footsteps as Mayor and trying to keep the town's bankruptcy at bay. Even though Mary has a natural ability to make people feel confident and optimistic, she is nearing the end of her rope with the good folks of Bottom Heights. As her father lies on his deathbed, Mary vows to save their town by any means necessary. Unfortunately, her conspiracy theorist brother, Christopher, and flakey sister Janice aren't much help when it comes to saving their father or the town. With few options in front of her, Mary needs a miracle fast. . .so, she fakes one. No one could be more surprised than Mary when real miracles actually begin to happen.

CAST LISTING
Cast
Casey Wilson
Gareth Reynolds
Sarah Baker
Retta
Tom Stourton

CREDITS LISTING
Writer
Brian Gallivan
Executive Producers
Brian Gallivan
Seth Gordon
Tariq Jalil
Production Company
Sony Pictures Television
ABC Studios

Imaginary Mary - PICKED UP
SHOW INFO
When Alice (Jenna Elfman) was a little girl her family life was... downright crappy. Growing up in a broken home with no siblings, five-year-old Alice was on her own until the day she dreamed up her very own imaginary friend, Mary, a snuggly, fiercely loyal, foul-mouthed creature who would give Alice the love and support she needed. With Mary's help, shy little Alice grew into a kickass woman who rocks a karaoke mic, runs her own PR firm repping famous athletes and avoids relationships and commitments at all costs. No family life, pudgy husband or mom jeans for Alice, thank you very much. At least that was the plan Mary and Alice had agreed on many years ago, which is why Mary "disappeared" from Alice's life. But like any imaginary friend, Mary has been lurking in the back of Alice's mind. And Mary has decided it's time to come back, because suddenly... the plan is blowing up. If you ask Mary, Alice is now about to throw away EVERYTHING because she has "stupidly" fallen in love with Ben (Stephen Schneider), a good-looking, adorable, quick-witted divorced dad of three: Andy, 16, a kind hearted, outgoing neurotic whose biggest obstacle is himself; Dora, 14, a fan-girl super geek and the toughest nut to crack; and Bunny, 6, sweet and adorable but obsessed with life's darkest mysteries. So when Alice agrees to finally meet the kids, Mary returns to convince Alice to "dump the chump" and his "annoying" kids - she's a cuddly badass on a mission. Of course, even though Mary's looking out for Alice, she's also giving voice to Alice's deepest fears that were formed in her less-than-perfect childhood -- she won't be able to make a serious relationship last, she lacks the maternal instincts to be a "mom type person" to Ben's kids, families only end in disaster. According to Mary, there's only one option: run! But it doesn't look like Mary's misguided efforts, Alice's lack of mothering experience, or even Ben's kids can break apart true love. With Ben's help and the realization that there may be something special - maybe even joyous - about family life after all, Alice is ready to take small steps toward the next stage of her life. But since there is no guarantee that things will work out, Mary has decided she'll stick around so she can "help" Alice through this transition. And so in series Mary will give voice to the unfiltered, uncensored thoughts we all have about family life from time to time, while we root for Alice and this evolving family to find their way.

CAST LISTING
Cast
Jenna Elfman
Stephen Schneider
Jillian Bell
Nicholas Coombe
Matreya Scarrwener
Erica Tremblay

CREDITS LISTING
Writers
David Guarascio
Adam Goldberg
Executive Producers
David Guarascio
Adam Goldberg
Patrick Osborne
Doug Robinson
Shawn Levy
Production Company
Sony Pictures Television
ABC Studios

Pearl - TO BE REDEVELOPED
SHOW INFO
Pearl Foxton (Candice Bergen) is a self-possessed, opinionated force of nature. Charming and charismatic, she is the most sophisticated woman in her suburban New Jersey town. Widowed in her forties, Pearl is married to her second husband, Len, a kind, enthusiastic, frequently oblivious ? man, whom she grades a B+. Pearl has two grown children from her first marriage; Billy the overachieving "good son," and his older sister Olivia, the rebellious "bad" daughter. She plays obvious favorites with her children as well as her grandchildren. This powerful matriarch has just received grim news: she has cancer, and the doctors tell her she probably has less than a year left. Pearl has always done exactly what she wants to do, and she has nothing left on her bucket list. Her only bit of unfinished business is to sort out her family's lives to her liking... whether they like it or not. She tells Billy that his wife Sara, who wants a trial separation, must be having an affair. He denies it and storms out of their dinner - the first time that this tough literary agent has ever stood up to his mother. But Pearl decides to investigate her theory on her own. Pearl has strong opinions about her daughter's love life, too. Olivia lives with her unassuming fiancé Kurt out in the middle of nowhere on a farm. Her lifestyle rebels against everything Pearl values, and that may be what Olivia likes best about it. Pearl believes that Kurt is the wrong man for her, and wants to get Olivia back with her successful and handsome ex, Travis. She takes it upon herself to find out what his marital status currently is. Len is in such denial he's planning to take Pearl on a trip to the Galapagos in six months. But all Pearl wants to talk to him about is who he should marry after she's gone. She's worried that, left to his own devices, he will marry her arch-enemy Janet Gottshalk, who will redecorate the house in a manner that would be deeply offensive to Pearl. She's picked out a member of her Breast Cancer Survivors' Group who she feels is a more suitable mate for her husband. Pearl has a lot of work to do to get her family in shape with whatever time she has left. After all, she knows what's best for them way better than they know themselves, and good luck convincing her otherwise.

CAST LISTING
Cast
Candice Bergen
Zach Knighton
Richard Masur
Kathleen Rose Perkins
Ren Colley
Halina James

CREDITS LISTING
Writer
Andrew Reich
Executive Producer
Andrew Reich
Jim Field Smith
Production Company
ABC Studios

Randall & Hilda are Not a Couple - PASSED
SHOW INFO
Best friends and roommates Hilda and Randall (Andy Ridings) are in their late 20s and have been inseparable since college. When it comes to relationships, Randall is a neurotic, sensitive romantic looking for "the one"; while unapologetic, sexy, and unsentimental Hilda is much more non-committal. Hilda works at their favorite hangout, Austin's friendliest bar, and is still figuring out what she wants to be when she grows up. Randall works in insurance and longs for the day when he can own property and wear comfortable slacks without Hilda teasing him about it. Opposites really do attract and Hilda and Randall are almost perfect for each other. Only problem is, Hilda is gay. And annoyingly for Randall, her hit rate with women is way higher than his. After another morning when Randall helps Hilda get rid of her latest one night stand, then makes her breakfast, Hilda begins to worry that Randall hasn't had sex in over a year. She sets out to find him a date, but when she ends up finding a girl that Randall actually sees a future with, she starts to regret it. Is she losing her best friend? Spiraling out of control, she lets it slip in front of the new girl that she and Randall once drunkenly slept together years ago. This comedy explores Randall and Hilda's enviable yet dysfunctional co-dependent friendship as they navigate growing up and the world of dating.

CAST LISTING
Cast
Andy Ridings
Julie Goldman

CREDITS LISTING
Writers
Ed Weeks
Hannah Mackay
Executive Producers
Ed Weeks
Hannah Mackay
Andrew Reich
Siobhan Bachman
Production Company
ABC Studios

Speechless - PICKED UP
SHOW INFO
Speechless tells the story of the DiMeo family, a gang who's pretty good at dealing with the challenges it faces, and absolutely fantastic at creating new ones. At the heart of the action are Maya, a mom on a mission who will do anything for her family, and JJ, her whip-smart teen son with special needs. Maya's a no-holds-barred fighter of injustices both real and imagined. In her orbit are dry and smarter-than-he-seems husband, Jimmy, her no-nonsense jock daughter, Dylan, and middle child, Ray. Ray's the lone adult in the family, the voice of reason, the brains of the operation... if you ask him, that is. Our story begins as the family tours a run-down shack the kids learn will be their new home. This move, another in a long list of them in pursuit of the "perfect" situation for JJ, transports them from their middle-class roots to the upscale town next door. The very worst house in the neighborhood, with the freeway noise and cell tower in the yard to prove it. The DiMeos take to the move with gusto; there seems to be something for everyone at the new school. JJ will be assigned a full time aide, giving him independence and a spot in a mainstream class for the first time; for Dylan, there's a new, gazillion dollar track facility... But world-weary Ray begs Mom and Dad to stay, sure as he is that this move will disappoint just like the dozen others that came before. Ray's proven right, and quickly. Upon arrival, Maya's horrified to learn the "perfect" school turns out to have no wheelchair access, save a ramp in the back usually reserved for trash disposal. ("Oh, great! A garbage and my son ramp!") Throwing gasoline on Maya's fire is school groundskeeper, Kenneth, the most rare of creatures in Maya's universe: someone who's not afraid of her. JJ, too, sours on the place immediately, thanks to the drip of an aide he's been assigned and a classroom full of self-satisfied fellow students, all too eager to "celebrate" him. For uber-athlete, Dylan, no number of dollars poured into a track can make up for the indignity of a new, touchy-feely coach who goes waaaay too easy on Dylan's soft new teammates. After one day, all the DiMeos are ready to bail on the place and move on - all of them except Ray, who finds himself on the outs again. He wants - needs - to stay and give the place a shot, drawn by the siren song of the school's astronomy club and the girl-of-his dreams, Jillian, who counts herself as its sole member. Things come to a head when Ray defies Maya and sneaks out after he takes a stand and demands that the family stay put. For him, for once. JJ finds an unlikely new "voice" in Mom's adversary, Kenneth. In a way, Ray, in standing up, finds a voice for himself as well. In another far more real way, though, he better never do that again or he'll be grounded until he's thirty.

CAST LISTING
Cast
Minnie Driver
Micah Fowler
Mason Cook
Kyla Kenedy
Cedric Yarbrough

CREDITS LISTING
Writer
Scott Silveri
Executive Producers
Scott Silveri
Jake Kasdan
Melvin Mar
Production Company
20th Century Fox Television
ABC Studios

Square Roots - PASSED
SHOW INFO
Meet the Desais, a family who sees the world from a unique point of view. While others look to comic book superheroes to save the world, the Desais know who the real superheroes are: engineers. From creating Pyramids to iPads, they'll tell you the world would be nothing without them. Coincidentally, all the Desais are engineers, so they have some pretty big brains... which they may occasionally remind you of. India-born parents, Bina and Mukesh, believe so much in hard work, they don't even let their grandkids eat Lucky Charms. There's no such thing as luck, just hard work. Daughter Saleena, is considered the "hippie" of the family because she loves the environment, hates people, and has a PhD in Nuclear Waste Management from MIT. Regardless, her mother is determined to get her married. Or as she puts it, find a 'covalent bond'. Son, Daneesh "Dan", couldn't do more than one push-up as a kid, so he worked hard to build his mind as his weapon. He loves applying his engineering skills to everyday life to solve problems for friends and family, especially when they don't ask for it. Dan's wife, Ruth, is a fun-loving daughter of a biker who feels like the oddwoman- out in this family of brainiacs. But she really admires all the love they have for each other. Ruth has just discovered that, back when they met, Dan used an algorithm to see if they'd be compatible spouses, including categories like "Bladder Synchronization Frequency." It resulted in a definitive 'NO'. This revelation leads them to explore their very opposite views on just about everything, until Dan ultimately points out he still married her. Why? Because Ruth brings so much to his life that numbers could never express. Dan and Ruth's two children, Paige and Owen, have traits of both parents, but are still expected to become engineers by Dan's side of the family, whether they want to or not. Hint: they don't. Despite their logical approach to life, things often get illogical with the Desais. Like when Owen and his grandfather create a cereal called "Hardworking Charms" to sell at school, which gets Owen suspended. Or when Dan tries to persuade Paige to do Precocious Math, instead of Rock Camp, by engineering a simulated dystopia in their living room to show Ruth and Paige the doom that comes from trading "math for meth". It's moments like these when Ruth has to remind Dan that he's so smart, he circles back to stupid.

CAST LISTING
Cast
Adhir Kalyan
Katie Walder
Isabella Day
Callan Farris
Bernard White
Nina Wadia
Noureen DeWulf

CREDITS LISTING
Writer/Executive Producer
Vijal Patel
Production Company
ABC Studios

The Fluffy Shop - PASSED
SHOW INFO
Breakout comedian Gabriel "Fluffy" Iglesias is famous for his TV specials, Hawaiian shirts and self-proclaimed 'I'm not fat, I'm fluffy' physique. His new show takes inspiration from this real life. He plays Gabe, a touring standup comic, struggling to sustain his relationships at home while committed to being on the road four days out of every week. Gabe's long-time girlfriend, Carmen, runs the merchandise business out of "The Fluffy Shop," a custom warehouse Gabe built next door to the home they share with her 13-year-old son Frankie. Gabe's current success is a far cry from his background growing up without a dad. Gabe has helped raise his step-son Frankie overcompensating for his own deprived childhood, often spoiling the boy in an effort to provide him with the fun things little Gabe never had. Carmen is joined at the shop by Gabe's loving but incompetent best friend, Memo, and the shop handyman, Lance. When Gabe is off on the road performing he is often joined by his hustling manager, Reggie, who has worked with Gabe since the beginning and enjoys drafting off of Gabe's celebrity to try and meet women. This ragtag crew of friends are fiercely loyal to Gabe and, despite their many comedic failings, he is loyal to them, never forgetting his own humble origins. While excessive travel has built Gabe's career, it has also cost him in his relationship with Carmen. Forced to choose between his love of performing and spending more time at home, Gabe chooses his work and fans. This decision compels Carmen to break off their relationship. However, their mutual respect and love for Frankie now forces Gabe and Carmen to work out terms under which they will continue to co-parent her son together. This won't be easy since Carmen is a strict mom and Gabe tends to fly by the seat of his pants on parenting matters, but watching their give and take will be much of the fun in this show. Our stories will be told during the three days out of every week when Gabe is home in Long Beach facing up to his neglected responsibilities as a father, a boss and a friend.

CAST LISTING
Cast
Gabriel Iglesias
Gloria Garayua
Paul Walter Hauser
Juliocesar Chavez
Tommy Savas
Richard Gant

CREDITS LISTING
Writers
Tim Doyle
Jay Lavender
Gabriel Iglesias
Executive Producers
Tim Doyle
Jay Lavender
Gabriel Iglesias
Joe Meloche
Becky Clements
Marty Adelstein
Production Company
ABC Studios

The Second Fattest Housewife in Westport - PICKED UP
SHOW INFO
Until recently, opinionated, confident, unapologetic, plump Katie Otto (Katy Mixon) has been the third fattest housewife in Westport, Connecticut. This is exactly where she wants to be. So when her chubbier neighbor moves away and she becomes the second fattest housewife, Katie becomes determined to regain her title. On a mission, she tries to orchestrate a suitable buyer for her neighbor's house. But things don't go according to her plans. She lives in this wealthy neighborhood with her adoring and level headed husband, Jeff, who works in public television and their three less-than-perfect kids. The Ottos live in the only remaining split level house - complete with a single car garage - in a cul-de-sac filled with East Coast glamour mansions. Her Lululemon, green-juice loving neighbors with their fake boobs and perfect hair often give her backhanded compliments for being so "real." Their eldest daughter is 14 year-old Taylor who went through an awkward phase before emerging drop-dead gorgeous. Katie is worried that her daughter will turn into the typical Westport female. Meanwhile, 12 year-old Harrison is a mogul in training; a Republican saving his money to buy Apple stock and refusing to donate canned food for the school food drive... something Katie doesn't approve of at all. The youngest is sweet yet peculiar 5 year-old Anna-Kat, who is secretly Katie's favorite. She has multiple phobias, including a fear of germs, but needs to learn that, "Friends are more important than germs." As Katie navigates raising her flawed family in a wealthy town filled with "perfect" mommies and their "perfect" offspring she lets us in on her deepest, most unfiltered thoughts through voice-over in this comedy.

CAST LISTING
Cast
Katy Mixon
Diedrich Bader
Johnny Sequoyah
Daniel DiMaggio
Julia Butters
Carly Hughes
Ali Wong

CREDITS LISTING
Writer
Sarah Dunn
Executive Producers
Sarah Dunn
Aaron Kaplan
Production Company
ABC Studios

Toast - PASSED
SHOW INFO
From Shondaland, the new comedy Toast tells the story of engaged couple Max Leeds and Page Sanders, via the impromptu toasts given at their rehearsal dinner the night before their oversized Austin wedding. Even before the toasts kick off, Max finds himself overwhelmed by Page's wealthy, judgmental parents, Earl and Margie, by the scores of guests at the rehearsal dinner alone, and by the dawning realization of how much of an outsider he is in Page's world. Page reassures Max that her family really does love him and if they can just survive the next 24 hours, then they're on their way. Little do they know that these toasts will test the fortitude of their relationship. In the first toast, Page's notoriously unfiltered best friend, Arden, takes the floor after a few cocktails and dives into the story of how the couple met four years ago at the coffee shop that Max and Julie co- own. It becomes increasingly clear that this could go south FAST. As Arden toasts, secrets are revealed, embarrassing truths come out, and we discover, in flashbacks, the truth of how Max and Page first met. While dealing with the consequences of a past relationship, Page, her sister Toni, and Arden, find themselves out of their element in an artsy neighborhood in Downtown Austin. They end up in Max's coffee shop where, seeing an initial spark between Max and Page, Arden hooks up with Max's charming leech of a best friend to create time for Page to get to know Max. Meanwhile, back at the rehearsal dinner Page is holding her breath throughout this entire toast, terrified Arden will reveal the real reason they were waiting around that coffee shop. If her friends and family are scandalized by Arden's speech so far...what would they say if they knew the real story? And what would Max say if he found out? It's the first of many toasts that will help give us insight into Max, Page, and their tight knit group of friends and family.

CAST LISTING
Cast
Jerrika Hinton
Jono Kenyon
Punam Patel
Tessa Ferrer

CREDITS LISTING
Writer
Scott Foley
Executive Producers
Scott Foley
Greg Grunberg
Shonda Rhimes
Betsy Beers
Production Company
ABC Studios

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