Pilot Scoop: ABC Eyes Marc Cherry's Modern Phantom of the Opera Drama


ABC alone can make his song take flight, and help Marc Cherry make the music of the night…

Now that we have your attention, Broadway fans, this just in: ABC has ordered a pilot script for the Desperate Housewives mastermind’s modern reimagining of Gaston Leroux’s gothic novel The Phantom of the Opera, one that will be set “in the sexy and cutthroat world of the modern-day music business.”

The potential series will not — we repeat not — be a musical, but the one-hour scripted drama will contain musical elements (a la the network’s country-music sudser Nashville), according to ABC reps.

The Phantom of the Opera pilot script will be written by Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner (Broadway’s First Date), with Cherry and partner Sabrina Wind serving as Executive Producers on the project.

Earlier this month, Cherry scored a pilot script deal for Cheerleader Death Squad at The CW.

Does a Phantom of the Opera TV project strike your fancy? Any immediate ideas for who you’d cast as the leads? (Hello, Zachary Levi and Megan Hilty!) Sound off in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Moment says:

    Phantom of the Opera seems like a Sunday show to me. With Resurrection collapsing and Revenge not doing that great either, ABC will need 2 hours of new programming for the 9 and 10pm slots and this would somewhat work after OUAT next year.

    • roaddog#5 says:

      Let’s see “Modern Day Music Business” equates to either Beyonce & Jayzee, or Kanye & Kartrashian, or Lady Gaga tagteaming with Nikki Minage? No thanks, I’ll pass.

      • Moment says:

        I think its a bit early to judge the show, there’s not enough information available to say if it’ll be bad or not. Nothing about casting either. ABC wouldn’t be silly enough to make it like Nashville, considering how poorly Nashville is doing at the moment.

  2. JudybGsul says:

    How about Patrick Wilson.

  3. Mandie says:

    I adore “The Phantom of the Opera” – both the stage [Toronto] and film versions [as well as that old miniseries that aired on tv a million years ago]. But this…I’m not completely sold on it. I need more info [but it could be considered a given that I’d check out the pilot regardless] before I make my verdict.

  4. Rob Hardie says:

    Wasn’t that concept Brian DePalma’s Phantom of the Paradise?

  5. Linda Secor says:

    James Maslow would make a charmingly wicked phantom of the opera!!

  6. Jeanne Marie Wallace says:

    I just do not know as like where or what time slot would it be considered I see some shows are on in the Summer time like the “Blake Box” which was Great, and of course the mistresses, I really like both of those so is that what you would to the Phantom? Break it up between winter and summer,,?! Just thinking out load Jeanne Marie

  7. Kelly Deeny says:

    Given that I’m both a Broadway and TV drama fan, I’ll have to wait until we get more details before I decide if I’ll tune in.

  8. cdhaskell says:

    I can’t wait to see how Marc Cherry will developed Phantom into the modern period. I wanted to wish him all the luck in the world.

  9. Dennis says:

    “in the sexy and cutthroat world of the modern-day music business.”
    someone hurry up and flush it before starts stinking up the place

  10. thisismenow says:

    I’ll watch it, if the show makes it to TV

  11. MattySi. says:

    I’m not a big Phantom fan having seen it on Broadway and bring disappointed. But I love modern takes on classic stories. With the right actors this me be fantastic.

    ABC is actually the network where I watch the most shows so they know know what they are doing. I’m also a big Marc Cherry fan so it would be great for this to work out.

  12. Linda says:

    I love Phantom and would certainly give it try. Hopefully, it will not ruin the story.

  13. christine says:

    I wish it were modern opera or broadway. Not Rock or R&B

  14. Daya says:

    I want to know how exactly Resurrection is supposedly failing. What, just because it doesn’t get the ratings of some of my other favorite shows, that means it’s a stinker?

    • Jerry says:

      Well, average ratings will show that Resurrection is doing well. But for many shows, you are only as good as your last rating. Resurrection has fallen quite dramatically to the point where it is just a tenth higher than Revenge in the ratings last Sunday. Considering Revenge is a show in a 4th season, and Resurrection is only in its second (and furthermore only its 12th episode, due to the super short 1st season), it can be considered to be pretty bad. Among the dramas, it is now on par with Revenge, Forever and Nashville, so that is not a good sign.

      • Daya says:

        You get a like for a well-reasoned, polite answer. I understood that completely.

        What I also failed to mention is that, being a fan, I may have missed any “this show is flailing” news–fandom tends to put your head in the sand.

    • Moment says:

      Resurrections numbers are terrible and after this season it will have 21 episodes, 67 episodes away from syndication. The chance of renewal at this point is very low, it simply isn’t worth the effort. I apologize to any Resurrection fans if the truth hurts, I don’t really cater to fandoms when giving an opinion on ratings, I’m simply neutral.

      • Daya says:

        If the ratings are all that horrible, it either (A) wouldn’t have been given a second season or (B) would’ve been canceled by now.

        Networks are hardly averse to canceling if the ratings are all that bad, you know.

  15. Jerry says:

    For some reason this does have Sundays 9/8 written all over it. ABC is desperate to have some ratings traction in that prime slot. And something that doesn’t get affected by The Walking Dead or Football either. Revenge managed to do survive for a while, but it brought itself down. Resurrection is not doing well due to the incredibly slow pace (plus I have a suspicion that the Resurrection is a lot less female-skewing than Revenge, so it is hurt a lot more by The Walking Dead and Football).

  16. My film studio is also doing a Phantom based tv pilot, however, it’s Not modern day, but rather set turn of the century and is based on various versions. We are not sure at this time what network will pick up the show, but we are hoping true Phans will give our show a chance. I love modern shows myself, but I don’t like when shows claim to be something they are not just to gain publicity. From what I’ve read, it appears the show is just about a recording studio. Im guessing their names will be the same, but I doubt much of the original story will be in it. Our show, Coney Island, will have an HBO feel to it as well and yep it will feature freaks.

  17. weberfan2003 says:

    I don’t think I like the idea. The Phantom of the Opera is a beautiful musical. It sounds like they are changing the setting and they are just trying to use the name. They should try coming up with something original.

    • Davey Elmer says:

      The Phantom of the Opera existed LONG before Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical (which, as you said, IS beautiful); the story is based on a 1911 French novel by Gaston Leroux.

      As was made clear in the article, though, this won’t be based on that musical, but instead directly on the novel.

      It also won’t be the first non-ALW musical take on the material (there have been two others; Ken Hill’s Phantom of the Opera, which came out in 1976, a decade earlier than ALW’s and was based much more closely on actual Operas, and Phantom, a 2001 musical with music by Maury Yestin and lyrics by Arthur Kopit that, while being overshadowed by ALW’s version and never appearing on Broadway, has still received over 1,000 productions in the years since it was released).

      • TheHopefulLerouxFan1881 says:

        THANK YOU for having an knowledgeable comment! I was ready to choke before I read that someone actually pays attention to the fact that the novel exists and PotO didn’t begin with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical (As wonderful and beautiful as it is). I’m not sure about others, but I am terribly excited about a Leroux-based interpretation- it’s been a while since one has come out.

  18. peddy says:

    Don’t, , i have a feeling your going to reck The phantom of the opera plot.

  19. tsevca says:

    That would be interesting. What I missed about the musical, there was no twist. Phantom was obviously bad person from the start, the whole time we knew who is love of the main character and that tragedy and mystery that was hinted from the start never happened. Modern version can´t afford that, so it might be better.

    • Coney Island will also be good. It has lots of Stars already lined up including Aaron Jackson from NBC’s California Dreams. Not sure if it’s going to air on NBC, but we will see. It will also be set during 1911 Coney Island and have a nostalgic feel to it, plus have characters that were deleted from the original book. It will def give ABC a run for it’s money.