ABC Orders Pilots for Soapy Drama ‘Venice,’ Steamy ‘Betrayal’ and More

Photo: ABC

ABC entered into the pilot fray on Tuesday, ordering three dramas ranging from the supernatural to a modern-day Romeo and Juliet, and a comedy from the writers of Bad Teacher.

Venice, described as a “modern day Romeo & Juliet,” revolves around two rival families embroiled in a battle for control of Venice, California. A forbidden and dangerous romance emerges between the families, causing an all-out war. Byron Balasco (Without a Trace, Detrioit 187) will write and executive produce the drama from Warner Bros. Television with McG’s Wonderland Sound and Vision and Peter Johnson attached to executive produce. McG (Nikita) will direct the pilot.

Betrayal, from ABC Studios, is a based on the 2011 Dutch series Overspell. It centers on a beautiful woman, an unhappily married photographer, who begins a torrid affair with a lawyer for a powerful family. Things take a wrong turn when she discovers her lover is defending a murder suspect who is facing prosecution from her husband. The case and relationship has a series of twists, turns and betrayals for all involved. ER’s David Zabel will helm the pilot and executive produce the series with Alon Araya and Rob Golenberg.

Based on the upcoming novel by Jason Mott, The Returned explores what happens when the people you have mourned and buried suddenly appear on your doorstep as if not a day’s gone by? The lives of the people of Aurora are forever changed when their deceased loved ones, return. The Killing’s Aaron Zelman will write the pilot from ABC Studios. In addition, Zelman will serve as executive producer with Brillstein Entertainment’s JoAnn Alfano, Jon Liebman and Plan B’s Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner.

The network also picked up single-camera comedy, Pulling, from Bad Teacher writers Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky. Pulling is an adaptation of a 2006 British series of the same name.