ABC, FOX Hanging On to Pilots

The broadcast networks have pretty well set their lineups for the fall, but two of them aren't quite ready to let go of some of the pilots they made earlier this year.

ABC and FOX -- along with their corporately related studios -- have each extended the options on actors in pilots that weren't picked up at the May upfronts. The extensions allow the studios and networks to keep the option of resurrecting the project down the line.

The ABC shows still hanging on are "Secrets of a Small Town," "A House Divided" and "October Road," according to The Hollywood Reporter. FOX, meanwhile, has picked up options on its drama "Beyond" and for two key cast members in another, "Damages."

"Secrets of a Small Town" was considered a strong contender for a pickup in the spring but didn't make the cut. It stars Angie Harmon ("Law & Order") as a reporter who returns to her seemingly idyllic hometown to cover a sensational kidnap-murder. The cast also includes Denise Richards, Sean Patrick Flanery and Samantha Mathis.

"A House Divided" features former "Practice" star Dylan McDermott, Jason Wiles ("Commander in Chief") and Sarah Clarke ("24") in a drama about a conflict between residents of a Kansas farm town and the federal government that threatens to escalate into something larger. "October Road" is about a writer (Bryan Greenberg of "One Tree Hill") who moves back to his hometown.

Should ABC and sibling studio Touchstone decide to produce any of the three shows, they'll be added to a long list of new series on the network next season. The Alphabet picked up 10 new series for fall and has three more in reserve for midseason.

FOX's "Beyond" would follow scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab who are involved in a new space race. The cast includes Merrin Dungey ("Alias") and Adrian Lester ("Hustle"). "Damages" stars Cole Hauser ("The Cave") and Sarah Shahi ("Teachers") have also had their options extended on the drama, about how the personal lives of lawyers intertwine with their cases. Both are produced by FOX relative 20th Century Fox TV.

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