Earlier this year, one of ABC’s more promising and ambitious pilots was Hallelujah, from producer Marc Cherry. Although it had amassed an impressive and star-studded cast, with a biblical good vs. evil theme, the show somehow failed to find a spot ABC’s fall schedule.
All is not lost, however, as ABC is reportedly still interested in turning Hallelujah into a series – just not before Cherry has an opportunity to tweak it, and make it more palatable.
The series, set in the small Tennessee town of Hallelujah (of course), followed the brewing trouble between a small family man and business owner Rye Turner (Donal Logue), and ruthless millionaire Del Roman (Terry O’Quinn) who controls nearly every aspect of the titular town. As events begin to spiral out of control, a stranger, Jared O’Neal (Jesse L. Martin of Law & Order), comes to bring peace to the troubled town.
One of the more unique aspects of the show was the gospel choir, which was to help illustrate the violence between the two men through song (think the two-man band from There’s Something About Mary, but less cheeky).
Of course it’s difficult to say what Cherry plans (or has been asked) to change, but one or more of the elements could certainly be altered to improve Hallelujah‘s chances at production.
A good sign that the network believes in the series comes from the fact that Martin was recently signed to a year-long talent contract – essentially keeping him on tap for when the project is ready to begin rolling again. Should ABC say no to Hallelujah a second time, Martin’s deal will have him first in line for other projects with the network.
Additionally, reports have surfaced that Cherry is expected to scale back his responsibilities as producer on what is widely believed to be the final season of his hit series Desperate Housewives. The move is intended to allow the creator ample opportunity to make sure Hallelujah is up to snuff – especially since so few series are ever given a second chance like this.
The question of Logue and O’Quinn may be more difficult to pin down, however. Aside from Martin, the remainder of the cast saw their options expire in June, which may effectively mean the series needs to be recast. O’Quinn recently took a part on CBS’s Hawaii Five-0, as Jack McGarrett’s former mentor. That role, however, is a recurring role – not a series regular, so O’Quinn would be free to pursue his duties on Hallelujah, should Cherry come calling once more.
There’s no word on whether Logue will stick with the show, or if the role will have to be recast. There is the possibility to consider that through Cherry’s tinkering, Logue’s role may be significantly different, and require the presence of another performer.
This is good news for those who were looking forward to seeing this impressive cast work together around an intriguing premise. Whether or not Hallelujah 2.0 will work out any better than the first go-round will remain to be seen.
Screen Rant will have more updates on Hallelujah, as news becomes available.