ABC Looks Into Pilots For HOPSCOTCH And FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS

     September 24, 2009

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Sometimes it feels like I open ABC’s home page, and there’s a new show there to greet me, or more often than not, two. Well, now there are two new shows, and they’re not “Defying Gravity” or “Flash Forward.” Variety reports that ABC is toying around with pilots for Jerry Bruckheimer’s drama “Hopscotch” and David Dobkins (“Wedding Crashers”) comedy “Friends With Benefits.” More on the two shows and the various names attached to them after the jump.

Jerry Bruckheimer 44.jpgFirst, “v.” Bruckheimer’s “high-concept police procedural” is being penned by Chris Levinson, best known for his work on “Charmed” and various iterations of “Law and Order.” I happen to have a lot of faith in Levinson’s ability to craft a smart, edgy story, I’m just not sure I can get behind another cop drama. ABC wouldn’t have greenlit it if there wasn’t some interesting catch, but I’m still wary.

As for “Friends With Benefits,” I’m very wary–and stoked! Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber are penning the project. This pair is best known for my favorite flick of the year thus far, “500 Days of Summer,” and since that picture rested heavily on its amazing writing, I think it’s safe to say the project is in good hands. I’m just a little antsy about the subject matter. Granted ABC is a more risque offshoot of the Disney corporation, I still find it hard to believe that they’re making a show about actual friends with benefits. The synopsis on Variety says, enigmatically enough, that the show will be about two pairs of twenty-somethings who are more than friends, but aren’t dating.

Now ABC has only commissioned Neustadter and Weber to write a pilot for “Friends With Benefits.” The show hasn’t been greenlit yet. And I’m sure if they go too far on the dirty side, the project will be kaput. But who wants that to happen? I want to know how far these two can push the Disney envelope. And if the script gets OKed, Dobkins will be on board to direct, so you know if Neustadter and Weber don’t make it raunchy, he will. But I won’t hold my breath until the show is formally put on a fall line-up.

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