Pilots A to Z: ABC gets 'Cutthroat,' beams 'Mr. Sunshine'

matthew-perry-roselyn-sance.jpgThis pilot season is shaping up to be an especially busy one -- more than 80 new comedies and dramas are in development at the five broadcast networks. Over the next couple of weeks, we'll be spotlighting some of the projects that have caught our eye, either because of who's in them, who's making them or some combination of the two.

First up: ABC, which is taking its usual deep dive into the development pool. The network has two dozen shows in the works, and if recent history is a guide, a good third of those could end up on the air next season. Here are six we're curious to see.

"Cutthroat"

What it is: A single mom (Roselyn Sanchez) in Beverly Hills finds that the world of Beverly Hills society dovetails nicely with her job: running an international drug cartel.

Why we're interested: It sounds like a spiritual successor to "Desperate Housewives" (with a little bit of "Weeds" thrown in), with plenty of opportunities for satire mixed in with drama. Creators Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters also brought "Reaper" to life, so we're happy to see them back in the game.

"Mr. Sunshine"

What it is: The manager of a run-down sports arena (Matthew Perry) turns 40, takes a look at his life and decides he doesn't like what he sees. It's a comedy.

Why we're interested: Perry does comedic self-loathing extremely well, and he's got an excellent cast around him in Allison Janney, "Better Off Ted's" Andrea Anders and his "Studio 60" co-star Nate Torrence. It should look good too, since "West Wing" and "Sports Night" veteran Thomas Schlamme is directing the pilot. (It's not an Aaron Sorkin show, by the way; it just involves a lot of people who've worked with him.)

"No Ordinary Family"

What it is: A family drama with superpowers -- think of a live-action "Incredibles" but with everyone, including mom and dad, just discovering their abilities.

Why we're interested: Primarily for the cast: Michael Chiklis and Julie Benz as the parents, and Romany Malco, Autumn Reeser and Christina Chang as their friends and co-workers. With "Heroes" having faded, we're curious to see what other writers -- Greg Berlanti ("Brothers & Sisters," "Green Lantern") and Jon Harmon Feldman ("Reunion"), in this case -- do with similar material.

Untitled Richard Hatem drama

What it is: A detective (Katee Sackhoff) works a former cop to solve cases -- including the one that got him bounced from the force.

Why we're interested: ABC is making several crime dramas this year, but Sackhoff's presence pushes this show up the curiosity meter for us. Creator Richard Hatem -- who's also got another pilot at ABC called "The Gates" -- has some interesting work to his credit, including the 2003 show "Miracles" and "Supernatural."

"Who Gets the Parents?"

What it is:
A couple that's been married for 30 years (Jane Kaczmarek and Adam Arkin) decides to divorce, upsetting their adult children more than them.

Why we're interested: Because Arkin and Kaczmarek are both great, and we're very intrigued by the thought of them playing off one another.

"It Takes a Village"

What it is: A divorced couple, and their respective new partners, try to work together to raise their teenage son.

Why we're interested: ABC has put together three very solid shows about off-kilter families this year in "Modern Family," "Cougar Town" and "The Middle," and "It Takes a Village" feels like it's of a piece with those shows.

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