May 10, 2014

NIELSENWAR 2014-15: ABC and 20th Make Their Deal: 2 Pick-Ups, “Last Man Standing” Back


Only those involved will likely ever know the details, but ABC and 20th Century Fox Television worked out whatever they needed to, and the result was a pick-up of LAST MAN STANDING and orders for 2 additional 20th sitcoms:

CRISTELA has a  nice backstory:  ABC had originally made a script deal with comic Cristela Alonso (and co-writer Kevin Hench) for her semi-autobiographical story, but passed on the script when they saw it and paid the contractual penalty instead of producing the pilot.  20th took the penalty and made its own bare-bones presentation (using the sets and crew from Last Man Standing), and the result was impressive enough to garner renewed enthusiasm at the network.  Expect to hear that story about a million more times between now and the show’s premiere.

FAR EAST ORLANDO is another semi-autobiographical sitcom, based this time on Eddie Huang’s memoir of his Taiwanese-American family’s life in Orlando.  The TV version was created by Nahnatchka Khan (of Don’t Trust the B____), and the pilot was directed by indie filmmaker Lynn Shelton.

That probably closes the book on ABC’s pre-Upfront decisions, and we’ll find out the network’s schedule on Tuesday.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."