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Friday, May 12, 2017

PILOT PICKUPS: For the People, The Crossing, The Gospel of Kevin, The Good Doctor, The Mayor, Untitled Zach Braff

ABC handed out six series orders today to dramas For the People, The Crossing, The Gospel of Kevin, and The Good Doctor and dramas The Mayor and the Untitled Zach Braff/Mark Tarses project.

For the People is the new Shondaland drama formerly known as Black's Law. It is set in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York and centers on new lawyers working for both the defense and prosecution. The question is will it land on TGIT in the fall? For the People stars Britne Olford, Lyndon Smith, Ben Rappaport, Susannah Flood, Wesam Keesh, Rege-Jean Page, Ben Shenkman, Hope Davis, Vondie Curtis-Hall, and Anna Deavere Smith.

The Crossing is a futuristic drama centered on a group of refugees who seek asylum from America for a war that hasn't happened in a small town in America. This convoluted plot sounds like the type of show ABC often falls in love with and has since Lost, but it rarely works. The Crossing stars Steve Zahn, Natalie Martinez, Sandrine Holt, Rick Gomez, Jay Karnes, Marcius Harris, Simone Kessel, Kelly Missal, Rob Campbell, Grant Harvey, Bailey Skodje, Jon D'Leo, Luc Roderique, and Tommy Bastow.

The Gospel of Kevin is a dramedy about a man heading down a path to despair until he goes to his sister's house and meets a celestial being who gives him a mission to save the world. This is another ABC type show with a quirky concept but it could also be a tough sell. The Gospel of Kevin stars Jason Ritter, Cristela Alonzo, JoAnna Garcia Swisher, J. August Richards, Chloe East, Dustin Ybarra, and India de Beaufort.

The Good Doctor is a new medical drama starring Freddie Highmore fresh off of Bates Motel. It centers on a surgeon with autism and savant syndrome who joins a prestigious hospital staff but has difficulty relating to his co-workers. Medical dramas can have a hard time but Highmore has been praised for his performance. Doctor also stars Antonia Thomas, Nicholas Gonzalez, Chuku Modu, Irene Keng, Beau Garrett, Hill Harper, and Richard Schiff.

The Mayor (formerly known as City Mayor) is centered on a rapper who runs for mayor of a small town for publicity but ends up winning. It fits the diversity of ABC's sitcoms but it's less of a family sitcom than the current lineup. The Mayor stars Brandon Michael Hall, Lea Michele, Bernard David Jones, Marcel Spears, and Yvette Nicole Brown.

Finally, the Untitled Zach Braff/Matt Tarses sitcom (formerly known as Start Up) stars Zach Braff as a radio journalist and family man who quits his job to start his own company and finds it more difficult than he expected. This seems right in the ABC comedy wheelhouse. It also stars Tiya Sircar, Hillary Anne Matthews, Michael Imperioli, Elisha Henig, and Audyssie James.

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