THE RUNWAY – YOUR 2016 PILOT SURVIVAL GUIDE: ABC DRAMAS

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Spark

Logline: Steampunk reality circa 2016, is set in an alternate history where gas and coal fuel the world, the drama centers on the battle for power between two rival families and a rebellious young woman with a spark of invention that could level both their empires.
Cast:
Creators:  (W/EP), Ian Sanders (EP), Moses (EP),
Studios: Sander/Moses

Oh boy. If you aged down the leads in the logline, this would be a CW show or a bad YA movie. But no, this is an ABC show.

Alternate history is a viable set up, as evidenced by Man in the High Castle. We open on voiceover filling us in on the big gas and coal companies ruling the world (is this that different than reality?) Captain Aidan O’Connor is with a girl named Pin, and in a trope that’s as old as television, we see he has a ring in a desk drawer for her.

The world is dystopian, where people have to scrape by to pay for precious coal. Pin’s got some cool skills, like being able to fix cars. There’s a lot of talk of what companies are going to do with land. And things end with a somewhat novel look book at what stuff will look like in this alternate future reality.

I’m going to be honest — I had a hard time following this one. Maybe it was all the things that were slightly off because of the alternate history. Maybe it was because I didn’t really connect with the main characters. Maybe it’s because I don’t watch CW shows, so this isn’t really my wheelhouse.

Regardless, this would take a leap of faith for Dungey to greenlight. This is a spiritual cousin to the failed series from Fall 2015. Plus a bunch of YA movies like the latest Allegiant movie have underperformed. I can understand the swing to give this the pilot greenlight, but series greenlight is a whole nother beast.

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1 Comment

  1. Something tells me ABC will go with Broken, Presence, Conviction, Time After Time, The Death of Eva Sofia Valdez and, already picked-up, Designated Survivor. Channing Dungey apparently wants to go towards procedurals, so I’m saying pickup 3 producedurals and 3 other series that are more “on brand” with ABC.

    ABC picked up 6 new series last series and it’s safe to assume they’ll pickup 5-6 new series. I just can’t understand in what world (Marvel) ABC would pickup Marvel’s Most Wanted, it has failure written all around. Why not avoid going down that road when all the signs are showing it won’t work?

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