ABC is about to venture face first into the highly competitive world of professional make-up with new pilot order False Profits. Written and executive produced by Code Black's Kayla Alpert, the project is a comedic soap similar in style to Desperate Housewives and "follows a team of down-and-out women in suburban Arizona as they fight their way to the top of the cutthroat world of a multi-level marketing cosmetics business." Joining Alpert as executive producers are Jason Reed and Sabrina Wind, via Jason T. Reed Productions. ABC Studios will serve as the pilot's production studio.
Aside from her work as a supervising producer and writer on the CBS medical drama Code Black, Alpert's other television projects include Up All Night, Ally McBeal and Sweet Valley High. She also wrote co-wrote Confessions of a Shopaholic and wrote the teleplays for Lifetime's adaptations of Virginia C. Andrew's Flowers in the Attic and Petals on the Wind.
False Profits marks ABC's third pilot order for the 2018-2019 television season, with the first two having a direct connection to the network's long-running procedural Castle. The first pilot order was for executive producer Nathan Fillion's The Rookie, starring the actor as a middle-aged man who ends up becoming the youngest police rookie in the history of the LAPD. Take Two, the second pilot and one that hails from Castle creators Andrew Marlowe and Terri Edda Miller, follows a TV star (Rachel Bilson) who hits a rough patch and partners up with a private investigator (Eddie Cibrian).
At a press conference in 2009 promoting her work on Confessions of a Shopaholic, Alpert discussed the importance of characters the audience can connect with:
"I just think it was a really dynamic relatable character. I think everybody has a secret addiction. Some people's are more extreme. Some people are addicted to online poker, some people are addicted to shopping. A lot of women I know have soft addictions. I know I'm on Amazon.com a little more than I should be. All the books, the whole series of books spoke to me and I think they speak to a lot of people. Every time I told someone I was working on the movie, they would say, 'Oh my God. I love that book! I love that book!' So, I think it was just a matter of distilling the parts that were the most dramatic and relatable. The cast was amazing, so it was a very easy transition. I understand why Jerry Bruckheimer wanted to pounce on it."