ABC has given an early pilot order to John Ridley’s new crime drama titled “Presence," with next season eyed as a premiere – assuming it goes to series eventually.
"Presence," which is being fast-tracked, follows a former Army Counter Insurgency Operative named Presence Foster, beginning a new career as a private investigator in Los Angeles. A search is now underway for an actress to play the lead, who Deadline says is expected to be African American or Latino.
Ridley, who previously inked an overall deal with ABC that will see the writer/director/producer develop new projects for the studio, is writing, and will direct and exec produce "Presence," which ABC Studios will produce.
With his "American Crime" anthology series already a hit on ABC (winning an Emmy for Regina King), Ridley is a creative in demand (post his Oscar win for scripting "12 Years a Slave"); There’s also the scripting he’s doing for MGM’s remake of the classic sword-and-sandals epic "Ben-Hur;" and he’s also developing a new Marvel series also for ABC, which is being described as a "reinvention" of an existing Marvel superhero character; although no word on who that character is, as details are being kept under wraps. In addition, he’s attached to direct the long-in-development L.A. Riots film for Imagine Entertainment, and recently optioned author Kim Reid’s award-winning 2007 book “No Place Safe,” for ABC to produce an adaptation of.