ABC Entertainment president Susan Lyne certainly has a flair for the dramatic: Her network has 70-80 drama scripts in development for fall 2003 — substantially more than NBC (40), Fox (55), and CBS (which has at least 60). The reason for the script binge is simple: ABC has already canceled two freshman dramas (”That Was Then” and ”Push, Nevada”), and critics are trouncing its latest, ”Dinotopia.” Says UTA cohead of TV Jay Sures, ”Comedy is really working at ABC this year, so the next logical step is to get their new dramas in line. The network needs to take many more chances and have a larger development pool to choose from.” Besides a prequel to ”Speed” and a spin-off of the Jennifer Lopez starrer ”Out of Sight,” ABC is developing a jury drama from Tom Fontana (”Oz”), a gay ”Hart to Hart” from Steve Martin, and a superhero drama from Mike Tollin and Brian Robbins (”Smallville”).
”[Drama is] a priority because we really have three dramas on our network right now that are working, and two of them have been around for a long time,” says Lyne of ”NYPD Blue,” ”The Practice,” and ”Alias.” ”God bless ‘The Practice’ and ‘NYPD Blue,’ but we need to develop the next generation of dramas.” We’d suggest a ”Bachelor” spin-off starring Brooke. That girl’s got spunk.