And cue the backlash. A writer for Time called the concept "racist," adding that the show reinforces negative stereotypes about Muslims.
The Guardian says the show, which was written by a U.S. Army veteran, is just the latest example of Hollywood films portraying "bad Arabs."
Just take Disney's 1992 hit "Aladdin" and the 1998 movie "The Siege," starring Denzel Washington. Both were accused of fueling anti-Muslim stereotypes. (Via Buena Vista Pictures / "Aladdin," 20th Century Fox / "The Siege")
Even "Sex and the City 2" was accused of being anti-Muslim. The movie's characters cracked jokes about the Muslim women while on a trip to Abu Dhabi, and the the Arab men in the film came off as misogynists. (Via The Telegraph, Warner Bros. Pictures / "Sex and the City 2")
On Wednesday Entertainment Weekly reported the Council on American-Islamic Relations had asked to sit down with ABC Family to talk about what was wrong with the show. A spokeswoman said the group hadn't heard back from the network.
Then on Friday BuzzFeed obtained a copy of a draft of the pilot and said by the looks of it, the script did fuel negative Muslim stereotypes.
"The heroine generically describes Muslim social views ... as 'extreme.' The script also describes veiled Muslim women as 'completely formless, anonymous.'"
ABC responded to the criticism, according to The Huffington Post, with a statement urging critics not to judge the show before they had a chance to see it.
But that apparently did little to quell the backlash, and within days of announcing the pilot, ABC Family decided to get rid of the series entirely.
Here's how an ABC Family spokesman described the decision in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter: "The current conversation surrounding our pilot was not what we had envisioned and is certainly not conducive to the creative process, so we've decided not to move forward with this project."
ABC Family says it still plans to move forward with the two other pilots it announced last Monday — "Recovery Road" and "Unstrung."