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There's no franchise quite like Star Wars when it comes to dominating in the entertainment biz. Even the most critically-panned theatrical installments are huge financial hits. All it takes is one mention of midichlorians or theatrical cuts vs. special editions or "Han shot first" to get Star Wars fans debating. Now, fans may get even more Star Wars to discuss in between big screen sequels. The franchise may be moving to network TV for a primetime series on ABC.
ABC entertainment president Channing Dungey revealed at the TCA press tour (via EW) the that talks are underway between ABC and Lucasfilm to bring Star Wars to network television. The possibility of a Star Wars show has been teased ever since Disney bought Lucasfilm and secured the rights to the franchise. Unsurprisingly, Dungey was cagey about any details about a prospective series.
Star Wars actually does already exist on the small screen, so a series on ABC isn't entirely far-fetched. In fact, there have been no fewer than eight TV shows based on Star Wars since 1985. Six of those shows haven't been directly connected to the main Star Wars cinematic story, but Star Wars: The Clone Wars (which ran from 2008 - 2014) and Star Wars Rebels (which is ongoing) are both considered canon. Still, Clone Wars aired on Cartoon Network and Rebels currently airs on Disney XD. Talks to bring a Coruscant-based story to HBO fell through early on. A Star Wars series in primetime on a major network would be something entirely new.
Clone Wars and Rebels were both designed as animated shows; Channing Dungey did not divulge whether or not an ABC Star Wars would be animated, as well. Given that ABC is not known for its animated programming and it has produced a number of live action Marvel series, a live action Star Wars seems more likely than yet another animated TV venture. If the network can do it for the Marvel franchise's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter, surely the network could do it for Star Wars. The big problem would almost certainly be budget. A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away wouldn't be cheap to bring to primetime.
With the Star Wars cinematic universe continuing to grow as more and more films are slated for release, it's hard to say where and when an ABC series could be set. Clone Wars and Rebels already covered post-Revenge of the Sith and pre-A New Hope. The upcoming Rogue One will take the timeline almost up to the events of A New Hope, and a young Han Solo spinoff movie is in the works. ABC would either have to stake claim on a different era or spin a story similar to Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which follows the adventures of characters who live in the background of the major heroes.
All in all, the odds are looking pretty favorable that we'll get to see a branch of Star Wars on ABC at some point in the future. Still, we shouldn't bust out the stormtrooper helmets and throw any Ewok-esque dance parties just yet. Nothing is set in stone. We'll have to just hope that the stars align like the twin suns of Tatooine and Star Wars makes the move to network. Check out our fall TV premiere schedule to see what you can watch during the wait for more Star Wars television news.