UPDATE 5/9: ABC has also given a series order to Secrets & Lies. Description is below.
ABC has given a series order to Shonda Rhimes’ How to Get Away With Murder as well as Blackish and American Crime. Musical comedy Galavant and Alien drama The Whispers have also been picked up. Marvel series (and Captain America spinoff) Agent Carter and Forever have also been picked up. Comedies Selfie and Manhattan Love Story have been given series orders.
Secrets & Lies: Ben Garner (Ryan Phillippe) sets out on his early morning run through the woods. He normally runs every other day, but today is different. He’s hung over from drinking the night before. He’s stressed from his growing marital troubles. He’s devastated because his wife has asked for a divorce. Then he finds his neighbor’s young son lying on the trail. He tries to resuscitate him, but it is too late. The city of Charlotte, North Carolina is frantic at the news of this young boy’s death. Detective Andrea Cornell (Juliette Lewis) is assigned to investigate the murder. She is a tough, thorough investigator, and leaves no stone unturned. As she digs for the truth, all of the SECRETS & LIES that the community managed to hide for so long come to the surface. Accusations fly. Alliances are tested. Trust is gone. And soon, Ben is caught in the middle as the police, the press, and the world invade his untouched suburbia. Ben goes from Good Samaritan to murder suspect, as Detective Cornell searches his home, poke holes in his story, and demands a DNA sample. Reporters hound him and surround the house putting more stress on his failing marriage. The neighbors begin to look at him like he is the killer, while his teenaged daughter is harassed online. Only a few people have his back, like his youngest daughter Abby, or his best friend Dave, who freeloads in Ben’s guest house. Ben’s life will be turned upside down as he sets out on a complicated journey to prove his innocence in this thriller mystery. Yet the harder he fights for his innocence, the more the audience will wonder… did he really do it? From Barbie Kligman (Private Practice) based on the original Australian series of the same name.
Manhattan Love Story: A single-camera laugher described as this: Have you ever wondered what your date was thinking? This romantic comedy exposes the differences between men and women through the unfiltered thoughts, and often contradictory actions, of a new couple who have just begun dating.
Selfie: “Instafamous” Eliza Dooley (Karen Gillan) has 263,000 followers who hang on to her every post, tweet and selfie. But one lonely day she has a revelation: being friended is not the same as having actual friends. She asks marketing guru Henry (John Cho) to ‘rebrand’ her self-obsessed reputation and teach her how to connect with people in the real world. Loosely based on My Fair Lady, Selfie explores the modern struggles of Eliza and Henry, as he tries to teach her how to live life offline—whether she ‘likes’ it or not.
Agent Carter: Marvel’s Agent Carter,” starring “Captain America’s” Hayley Atwell follows the story of Peggy Carter. It’s 1946, and peace has dealt Peggy Carter a serious blow as she finds herself marginalized when the men return home from fighting abroad. Working for the covert SSR (Strategic Scientific Reserve), Peggy must balance doing administrative work and going on secret missions for Howard Stark all while trying to navigate life as a single woman in America, in the wake of losing the love of her life – Steve Rogers. Inspired by the feature films “Captain America: The First Avenger” and “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” along with the short “Marvel One-Shot: Agent Carter.” “Marvel’s Agent Carter” stars Hayley Atwell as Agent Peggy Carter. Executive producers are Michele Fazekas & Tara Butters, Steve McFeely & Christopher Marcus, and Jeph Loeb.
Forever: Doctor Henry Morgan (Ioan Gruffudd), New York City’s star medical examiner, has a secret. He doesn’t just study the dead to solve criminal cases, he does it to solve the mystery that has eluded him for 200 years—the answer to his own inexplicable immortality. This long life has given Henry remarkable observation skills which impresses his new partner Detective Jo Martinez (Alana De La Garza). Each week, a new case and their budding friendship will reveal layers of Henry’s long and colorful past. Only his best friend and confidant, Abe (Judd Hirsch) knows Henry’s secret.
American Crime: The humble city of Modesto is far inland from San Francisco, surrounded by farmland. Parts are pastoral, while others are grittier with rising crime due to gangs, drug trafficking and addiction. All over the news are reports about a young couple who were attacked in their home. Matt Skokie, a war vet, was killed and his wife, Lily, was raped and beaten unconscious. This tragedy sends shock waves into the community, stirring up tensions across racial lines, and connecting victims, suspects, and their families. Matt’s father Chuck (Timothy Hutton) has flown in from Arizona for the grim job of identifying his son’s body. He and his ex-wife Barb (Felicity Huffman) haven’t seen each other in a long time and she is still angry with Chuck for his gambling addiction that destroyed their family. Barb became a struggling single mom and regrets having to raise Matt and his brother in public housing – as the only white kids there, they were badly treated. Chuck got the help he needed to overcome his addiction, but it took a lot of time to repair his relationship with his sons. They are at the hospital with Lily’s parents, Tom and a tearful Eve, watching over their unconscious daughter. They still believe there is life in her, but doctors tell them that they are pessimistic that she will ever recover, even if she wakes up. The two couples have to decide whether they talk to the press. Tom and Eve are not ready, but Barb wants to keep the story front page so the people who did this to their children are arrested. It’s been several days and no arrests. But that will soon change. The police are about to arrest four suspects. There’s teenager Tony Gutiérrez raised by single father, Alonzo. He insisted that Tony and his daughter, Jenny, steer clear of gangs and trouble. But, Tony rented out a car from his father’s garage to a thug named Hector Tontz… mainly because he was too scared to refuse. Because that car was at the scene of the crime, Tony is arrested. Later, Hector is arrested with force after he was caught using victim Matt’s credit card. Police get Hector, who proclaims his innocence, to give up petty crook Carter. He and his 20-year-old white girlfriend, Aubry, are methheads and always looking to buy. They are broke and desperate, and have a knack for finding trouble, like at a club when black girls beat up Aubrey for being with a ‘brother.’ Cops burst into their apartment and arrest the couple. Is it possible they knew the victims? The investigation takes a turn when a search of the couple’s home reveals a disturbing secret. The case has just gotten bigger and the players will have their lives torn apart. A racially charged drama, from the point of view of the victims, the accused, and their families – written and produced by Oscar winner John Ridley (12 Years A Slave).
Black-ish: Andre ‘Dre’ Johnson (Anthony Anderson) is about to be promoted to Vice President of Relevant Advertising. He and his physician wife, Rainbow (Tracee Ellis Ross), are living the American dream: great careers, four beautiful kids, and a Colonial home in an upper middle class neighborhood. However, Dre starts to see his perfect life differently when he discovers that he’s being promoted to “Urban” VP at his firm and in the same week, his son announces that he wants to have a Bar Mitzvah. All of a sudden it hits Dre: Has success brought too much assimilation? Is his family of out of touch with their own identity? Dre’s opinionated, old school father, Pops (Laurence Fishburne), and his liberal wife have very different opinions about how Dre should handle the promotion and Dre Jr.’s birthday request. But Dre has it all under control. In order to prove that he hasn’t lost touch with his roots, he presents an extreme version of an “Urban” marketing campaign at work that raises more than a few eyebrows. He also decides to throw an African Rites of Passage ceremony for his mortified son. Ultimately, Dre’s family helps him realize that the best way to live is by embracing the new while honoring the past. He decides to throw his son a hip hop Bro Mitzvah and the successful event inspires him to create a multicultural ad campaign that wows everyone at the office. Living the American dream isn’t easy, but Dre is determined to find a way to hold onto his cultural identity while embracing a new future in this comedy that is written and loosely based on the life of Kenya Barris (The Game), and executive produced by Larry Wilmore (Bernie Mac).
Galavant: Dan Fogelman (Crazy, Stupid, Love; Tangled; Cars) teams up with Broadway and Hollywood’s award-winning musical team – composer Alan Menken (The Little Mermaid; Beauty and the Beast) and lyricist Glenn Slater (The Little Mermaid; Tangled) – for a musical comedy fairytale of epic proportions. Once upon a time, the dashing hero Galavant (Joshua Sasse) was a slayer of dragons, protector of the innocent, and defender of the less fortunate. But one day, the evil King Richard (Timothy Omundson) fell for Galavant’s ladylove Madalena and kidnapped her. On Madalena and King Richard’s wedding day, Galavant courageously fought his way back to the palace to rescue his love. And while this is where most fairytales end happily ever after, it’s where the tale of GALAVANT truly begins. Madalena stuns Galavant when she announces that she chooses fame, fortune, and the crown over Galavant and breaks his heart. Five years later we rejoin Galavant, heartbroken and drowning his sorrows in drink. Having given up on heroics, he’s a bit out of shape and flat broke. But his faithful squire Sid sees a momentous opportunity when Princess Isabella of Valencia arrives in search of “The Great Galavant.” She asks him to save her kingdom from its evil invader… none other than King Richard himself. Galavant must get back in the saddle, literally and figuratively, to take revenge on his nemesis, win back Madalena, and restore his “happily ever after.” But our fallen hero doesn’t realize that Isabella might not be revealing the whole story… Our hero’s quest for redemption will have many twists and turns along the way. And as one of the songs from Menken and Slater proclaims: “Huzzah And Tally-Ho! Sit Back And Here We Go!”
How to Get Away With Murder: Michaela, Wes, Laurel and Patrick are ambitious first year law students at a prestigious, cutthroat East Coast Law School where only the best students are given a shot at participating in real cases. They compete against each other at all costs for the attention of brilliant, charismatic, and seductive Professor Annalise DeWitt in Criminal Law 101 aka HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER. Professor DeWitt (Viola Davis) is a master litigator and invites all four of these students who want to work on a high profile murder case. She manipulates them into doing dirty legal legwork like seducing someone to gain insight in the prosecution’s case, or digging up dirt to discredit the star witness. Wes even witnesses Annalise having an affair, and soon learns her lover is actually an unwitting pawn on the witness stand. She wins her case with ease and the students question just how far they are willing to go to earn a seat next to her in a courtroom on the next case. Although they know this formidable professor is dangerous, they will need her help, four months later, when they find themselves arguing out in the woods standing over a dead body. Now they are all entangled in a masterful, sexy, suspense-driven legal thriller from Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers, executive producers of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal.
The Whispers: Parents have a soft spot for their children. In THE WHISPERS, an unseen alien force has figured this human weakness out. They have invaded earth and are using our most unlikely resource to achieve world domination – our children. In the country’s center of political power, Washington DC, several kids have been talking about their imaginary friend, Drill. What the parents don’t know is this friend is not as imaginary as they assume. Drill is able to entice the kids to play very dangerous games with very real consequences. FBI agent Claire Bennigan has been called in to investigate the case of a 6-year-old girl who almost killed her mother playing a game with her imaginary friend. She wonders if this girl is disturbed or is there something bigger at play. Meanwhile, halfway across the world, the defense department just sent Wes Lawrence to the Sahara Desert, where he witnesses what looks like an alien spaceship and something else even more inexplicable. Someone needs to start putting the pieces together to save humanity. As the game clock counts down, and the children unwittingly help the aliens, it’s a suspenseful race against an unseen enemy. Amblin TV is co-producing with Dawn Olmstead’s Grady Girl.