The Smart One focuses on a clever and successful woman (de Rossi) who unhappily begins working for her sister, who is not as intelligent but is more popular.
The sister, a former beauty queen, ends up being elected as a mayor.
De Rossi previously starred as Lindsay in Arrested Development. Her other credits include parts in Ally McBeal, Nip/Tuck and Better Off Ted.
The Smart One has been written by Donald Todd, who has worked on shows such as Ugly Betty, Samantha Who? and Hart of Dixie. It is being executive produced by de Rossi's wife Ellen DeGeneres.
Other pilots currently in the works at ABC include Last Resort, a drama about the crew of a nuclear submarine starring Andre Braugher and Daniel Lissing; a comedy starring Reba McEntire; Judy Greer project American Judy; and Devious Maids, a new show from the creator of Desperate Housewives.