pickup lines

ABC Goes Back to the Eighties With Latest Pilot Pickups

Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari.

It’s looking like new ABC boss Paul Lee has caught a case of eighties fever: The network today green-lit a pair of comedy pilots whose loglines sound a bit like they were rescued from a long-lost Brandon Tartikoff notebook. The most blatant throwback is a half-hour called Work It, in which two unemployed car salesmen “realize that it is now a woman’s world and decide that in order to find work again and succeed they are going to have to dress as women to get jobs as pharmaceuticals reps.” (Apparently these two schlubs skipped Love and Other Drugs.) So basically: It’s Bosom Buddies redux. Since we don’t think The Good Guys will be back next season, bonus points to Lee if he can somehow convince Colin Hanks to follow in his father’s footsteps and star in Work It, which is being written by Worst Week and Friends vets Andrew Reich and Ted Cohen.

Also potentially headed to ABC this fall is Lost and Found, a sitcom about a self-absorbed New York City bartender and party girl whose world is rocked when the conservative, now 18-year-old son she gave up for adoption shows up from out of the blue. The liberal parent/straitlaced son thing has a definite Family Ties vibe to it, mixed in with a little bit of the CW’s comatose (but well-done!) Life Unexpected. (Memo to Lee: Michael J. Fox’s son Sam, 21, is the perfect age for the male lead.) Both Work It and Lost and Found are being developed as multi-camera comedies (as opposed to the indie-film-like single-camera style used by Modern Family and The Office). That means they’ll both likely have laugh tracks and could work as part of a whispered-about TGIF comedy-block revival Lee may be planning.

Lee’s love for the old school apparently extends to dramas as well. The network today green-lit a crime-procedural pilot about, uh, Edgar Allan Poe solving mysteries in 1840s Boston. The network also officially gave the go-ahead to Pan Am, the Mad Men–in-a-plane drama we told you about last year. Since Lee is also moving ahead with a reboot of seventies stalwart Charlie’s Angels and is actively pursuing nineties icon Tim Allen for a sitcom, all that’s needed now is a remake of Leave It Beaver and ABC’s transformation into TV Land will be complete!

Here’s the Bosom Buddies’s credits, just for fun:

ABC Goes Back to the Eighties With Latest Pilot Pickups