‘Emergence’: “Incredible Diplomacy” Helped ABC Bring NBC Pilot To Series

Emergence’s move from NBC to ABC happened due to “incredible diplomacy” between the two companies, according to ABC Entertainment President Karey Burke, something she added would not have happened ten years ago.

The drama, which stars Allison Tollman as a sheriff taking in a young girl, moved from being piloted at NBC to series at ABC. Many industry execs praised NBC chiefs Telegdy and George Cheeks for not standing in the way of the ABC Studios-produced show. Burke, speaking at the HRTS The Network Chiefs lunch, said, “There was really an incredible diplomacy and partnership that happened between our two companies. The way the two companies worked together to bring Emergence over to ABC was really instructive and incredibly talent friendly.”

The former Freeform boss alluded to some of the back and forth with other shows; ABC was still to make a decision as to whether to pick up Universal Television’s romantic dramedy The Baker and The Beauty. Elsewhere, 20th Century Fox TV had a strong comedy pilot at NBC, Perfect Harmony, which had not yet been picked up to series and the network had come in with an ask on the distribution side, and increased ownership.

“Ten years ago, I don’t think we ever would have transactionally figured out a way to help that show find its way to ABC for the fall schedule,” she said.

The fact that each of the studio’s production divisions have been increasingly diversifying their client bases to score more orders has also paved the way for deals such as Emergence. “The walled gardens exist, but us all being in business at some level is making it easier.”

Emergence comes from Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters.

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