THE RUNWAY – YOUR 2016 PILOT SURVIVAL GUIDE: ABC DRAMAS

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Broken

Logline: Follows the personal and professional life of a ruthless divorce attorney in Dallas. Raised in the trailer parks of Texas, she has left behind a life of struggle amid squalor, working her way into a corner office and mansion in Dallas’s most prestigious neighborhood. But beneath her faced of togetherness, she’s plagued by self-destructive tendancies and long hidden family secrets that begin to unravel her life.
Cast: , T.R. Knight
Creators: (Writer / EP), (EP), (EP)
Studios: ABC Studios , Pacific Standard

I know I use the term “execution dependent” often. But this logline is the very definition of it. A Dallas lawyer with a self-destructive sister and long-hidden family secrets? That could go very right or very wrong.

We start with a flashback to childhood. Gemma is a serious eleven year old, taking care of her 3 year old sister. Their mother hustles them out of the house quickly, presumably to get away from a not great father or stepfather. In present day, Gemma is a seemingly successful lawyer. She’s with a guy named Oliver, an aspiring author from a rich family. By the end of the Act Break, we have younger sister Jules asking if she can move in.

Let me start off by saying I really like In Her Shoes. I’m sucker for sister stories, for some odd reason. But for television series, you need what I call the ‘plus factor’. Everything needs to be plussed up a little. Lucious Lyon on Empire isn’t just a music producer… he’s like the top producer in the world. Don Draper isn’t an average ad man… he’s brilliant, incisive, and hiding a major secret.

Broken was good, enjoyable, well-written. BUT… it feels like it’s missing any plus factor. Gemma is good, but the firm she works at is just good. Dallas is OK as a setting, but it doesn’t add much. Her sister is disruptive, but not crazily so. Everything is believable, but kinda muted. And muted doesn’t fly in this world of loudest person wins, unfortunately. Sucks, but that’s what society has evolved into.

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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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