This week, ABC released new photos from its mid-season replacement series, Imaginary Mary, a quirky-looking live-action/cgi hybrid that boasts the involvement of Patrick Osborne, the director of Disney’s Oscar-winning Feast and the currently-Oscar-shortlisted Google film Pearl.
The show stars Jenna Elfman (Dharma & Greg, Friends With Benefits) as Alice, a “fiercely independent career woman” whose life is turned upside-down when her imaginary childhood friend, Mary, reappears to offer her advice on a relationship with a divorced father who has three kids. The imaginary friend, voiced by Rachel Dratch (Saturday Night Live), is a cg character designed by Osborne, who is an executive producer on the series.
The character can be seen in the trailer below , which includes footage from the pilot, but here’s something to keep in mind: per a report last fall in Deadline, ABC is in the process of retooling the cg character. Notably, the photos released by ABC this week were only of the live-action actors, but did not include the updated “Mary”:
ABC has cut the first-season order from 13 to 9 episodes, most likely due to the longer production time needed to incorporate a cg cartoon character into a live-action series. (FOX’s Son of Zorn, another recent series that integrates live-action and animation, also ended up with a nine-episode first season.)
The series idea comes from the team behind the ABC sitcom The Goldbergs: Adam F. Goldberg (writer/executive producer), David Guarascio (writer/executive producer) and Doug Robinson (executive producer). The pilot was directed by Shawn Levy (Night at the Museum, Cheaper by the Dozen), who is also executive producer. ABC Studios is co-producing the series with Sony Pictures Television and Happy Madison.