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If 2011-2012 was the season to differentiate Grimm from Once Upon a Time (or Pan Am and The Playboy Club), 2012-2013 could end up being the season that puts Beauty and the Beast up against Beauty and the Beast. And once again, ABC is involved.
Last week it was announced that the CW had given a pilot order for a reboot of the ’80’s TV series Beauty and the Beast, which originally starred Linda Hamilton and Ron Perlman. Tonight, Deadline reported that ABC has Beauty and the Beast plans of its own. The network has given a pilot order to a drama based on the classic fairytale, which will be written by Jericho co-creator Jonathan E. Steinberg. It’s described as, “a fantastical reimagining of the classic fairy tale set in a mythical, dangerous world wherein a beautiful and tough Princess discovers an unlikely connection with a mysterious beast.”
Given the success of ABC’s Once Upon a Time, not to mention the network’s affiliation with Disney, which recently rereleased a 3D version of the 1991 film in theaters this month, it’s not all that surprising that the network is looking to expand on its storybook-drama programming. As Deadline points out, the pilot is “eyed” as a possible pairing for Once Upon a Time on Sunday night.
?As for the possibility of there being two different Beauty and the Beast projects on TV next season, assuming both pilots go to series, it seems likely that the general tone and direction of these projects will be shaped to fit the networks’ current audiences. It already sounds like ABC’s pilot is aiming for a similar storybook-vibe, while it’s likely that the CW’s pilot, which is being written by Felicity's Jennifer Levin and Brothers and Sisters' Sherri Cooper, is geared toward a younger audience, considering that’s largely what the network caters to. Regardless, it's a classic story and the timing certainly seems right for some new adaptations. It’ll be interesting to see which of these (if either and if not both) makes it past the pilot stage.