It's pilot season! As we speak the big TV networks are planning out their fall schedules through the time-honored tradition of filming one episode of every pitched show and choosing the strongest examples (or the most marketable, or the one based on something that was a hit 30 years ago). The list is published by the press -- here are 15 of the more...interesting ideas TV execs are thinking about.
I promise you that, no matter how fake some of these sound, they are all 100% real and all of them are in contention for the Fall 2018 season.
|Cool Kids (FOX)
Logline: Cool Kids revolves around three guy friends in a retirement community (David Alan Grier, Leslie Jordan, Martin Mull) who are the top dogs until theyre blown out of the water by the newest member of the community, a female rebel (Vicki Lawrence) whos ready to challenge their place. Described as high school with 70-somethings.
Cast: Vicki Lawrence, David Alan Grier, Leslie Jordan, Martin Mull
Team: W Charlie Day, Paul Fruchbom; EP/showrunner Kevin Abbott, EP Charlie Day, Rob McElhenney, Glenn Howerton; Nick Frenkel; EP/D Don Scardino; co-EP Paul Fruchbom
Studio: 20th Century Fox TV, FX Productions, 3 Arts
Every year I try to guess which new obnoxious Fox live-action comedy is going to be shoehorned into the Sunday Night lineup between all those cartoons where it won't fit at all. My bets are on this one.
|Man of the House
Logline: A multi-camera hybrid family comedy about two recently divorced sisters who decide to move in together to raise their kids under one roof. The oldest kid and only son is left to figure out what manhood means in a world where hes now completely surrounded by females.
Cast: Alyson Hannigan
Team: W/EP Frank Pines (Baby Daddy), Vijal Patel (Black-ish); EP Gail Berman, Joe Earley, Kerry Washington, Pilar Savone
Studio: ABC Studios, The Jackal Group, Simpson Street
Format: Hybrid multi/single-camera
I already knew about this one because of Hannigan's involvement, but I swear she filmed it a year ago. I thought this had been abandoned, but here it is again. Maybe ABC dusted it off because Last Man Standing is now cancelled and they have room for a new "women, am I right?" sitcom to fill space on Fridays.
As much as the more educated among us wish shows like this didn't exist, the truth is, misogynists buy cars and cell phones too.
|Untitled Austen Earl and
Tim McAuliffe (CBS)
Logline: A 30-something couple, tired of their mundane life, start to reconnect with their younger, cooler selves when an emerging pop star (Felix Mallard), who is drawn to their super normal suburban life, moves in.
Cast: Damon Wayans Jr., Felix Mallard
Team: W/EP Tim McAuliffe, Austen Earl; EP Ben Winston, Michael Rotenberg, Jonathan Berry
Studio: CBS Television Studios, Fulwell 73, 3 Arts
Location: Los Angeles
Wait....what? How? Why is he there? How'd he get there? He's...drawn to their life? What?
I think they should actually call this show "Untitled Austen Earl and Tim McAuliffe." Has the perfect ring to it.
|God Friended Me
Logline: Questions of faith, existence and science are explored in what is described as a humorous, uplifting drama about an outspoken atheist (Brandon Micheal Hall, The Mayor) whose life is turned upside down when he is "friended" by God on Facebook. Unwittingly, he becomes an agent of change in the lives and destinies of others around him.
Cast: Brandon Micheal Hall (first position to ABC's The Mayor), Joe Morton (Scandal), Javicia Leslie, Suraj Sharma
Team: W/EP Steven Lilien, Bryan Wynbrandt (Alcatraz); EP Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter; EP/D Marcos Siega
Studio: Warner Bros. Television, Berlanti Productions
Location: New York
Someone explain to me why God would be using a website invented by the Devil.
|I Mom So Hard (CBS)
Logline: Based on the popular web series of the same name, two moms show how their friendship gets them through being wives and mothers.
Cast: Kristin Hensley, Jen Smedley, Freddie Prinze Jr., David Flynn
Team: W/EP Michelle Nader (2 Broke Girls); co-writers Kristin Hensley, Jen Smedley; EP Rob Thomas, Danielle Stokdyk, Dan Etheridge; EP/D Don Scardino
Studio: Warner Bros. Television, CBS Television Studios, Spondoolie Productions
Location: Los Angeles
If anything, you have to admire CBS's commitment to never change the title of any program based off a web series, no matter how strange it looks on a TV schedule (to the point they would title something "$#@% My Dad Says").
|Murphy Brown (CBS)
Logline: A current-day 13-episode revival of the network's classic comedy. As the series approaches its 30th anniversary, the revival returns to a world of cable news, social media, fake news and a very different political and cultural climate.
Cast: Candice Bergen, Faith Ford, Joe Regalbuto, Grant Shaud
Team: W/EP Diane English; EP Candice Bergen; EP/D Pam Fryman (pilot)
Studio: Warner Bros. Television, Bend in the Road Productions
Location: New York
If there's anything people can agree on about Murphy Brown, it's that it's more a product of its time than any other series. It was a hit that ran many years, but due to how specifically the show tied into the current events of the day, it was impossible to rerun and the DVD sets never got past Season One. The end result was that Murphy and her crew were essentially erased from popular culture and younger generations have no idea the show even existed.
Normally when you see series revivals like this, it's because the brand was strong enough that it's a safe bet to make more. What's the thinking this time?
Also, does this mean Candice Bergen Sprint ads are coming back? 1-800-PIN-DROP
|The Greatest American
Logline: Inspired by the 1980s TV show the comedy centers around Meera (New Girl's Hannah Simone), a 30-year-old woman who loves tequila and karaoke and has spent her life searching and failing to find meaning, much to the chagrin of her traditional Indian-American family. An inexplicable event occurs that will change the course of Meeras life forever: She is entrusted with a super suit to protect the planet. Meera may have finally found purpose, but the world has never been in more unreliable hands.
Cast: Hannah Simone (New Girl), George Wendt, Gia Sandhu, Zenobia Shroff, Shoniqua Shandai, Dennis Andres, Ellie Reed, Humphrey Ker
Team: W/EP Rachna Fruchbom; EP Nahnatchka Khan, Mandy Summers, Tawnia McKiernan; EP/D Christine Gernon
Studio: 20th Century Fox Television, ABC Studios, Fierce Baby
Location: Los Angeles
The other way to bring a show back is to just reboot it. Typically I scoff at these but....this time it is about Cece from New Girl getting superpowers; how can it go wrong?
Perhaps the most famous thing about this show is the theme song, but who's going to record it this time? I'm going to echo what I heard someone else say: it HAS to be Jason Alexander.
|The Passage (FOX)
(redeveloped from last season)*
Logline: Based on the best-selling trilogy by Justin Cronin,
Cast: Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Vincent Piazza, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Saniyya Sidney, Brianne Howey, Jamie McShane, Caroline Chikezie
Team: W/EP Elizabeth Heldens (Friday Night Lights); EP Matt Reeves (Felicity, Let Me In), Ridley Scott, David W. Zucker, Adam Kassan; co-producer: Justin Cronin;
Studio: 20th Century Fox Television, 6th & Idaho, Scott Free
I love this so much. I love that the copy editor didn't bother to delete the alternate "vampire" version of this and just crossed it out instead. That's totally what I would've done too.
|In Between Lives
Logline: A mysterious young woman (Harriet Dyer) reluctantly uses her gift of clairvoyance to help a veteran LAPD detective and a damaged ex-FBI outsider solve the most unnerving and challenging cases the city encounters. This eerie ability also opens the door for her to see and talk to the dead, who are seeking help for unresolved problems, whether she likes it or not.
Cast: Harriet Dyer
Team: W/EP Moira Kirland (Madam Secretary); EP David Heyman, Nancy Cotton
Studio: NBC International, Universal Television, Heyday Television
sounds familiar. I could have sworn I'd seen this somewhere
Maybe a Party of Five actress will show up in this one.
|So Close (NBC)
Logline: At crossroads in their separate lives, hopeless romantics Riley (Sasheer Zamata) and Kyle (Sean Kleier) are close to settling for the wrong partner, unaware that they live only blocks apart and may be each other's soul mates.
Cast: Sasheer Zamata, Sean Kleier, Punam Patel, Sabrina Carpenter, Dan Bucatinsky
Team: W/EP Greg Malins (Friends, Life in Pieces); EP Sean Hayes, Todd Milliner
Studio: Universal Television, Hazy Mills
Location: Los Angeles
When do you think they're going to realize they love each other? Season 4? Season 5? I don't caaaaaare. Some of these sound so boring. Save me, CW!
|The End of the World
as We Know It (CW)
Logline: When a prison spaceship carrying the universe's most deadly aliens crashes in Southern California, two young women (Gage Golightly) with bigger dreams than working at a kids' pizza place in the Valley are recruited by a space cop to hunt down the escaped criminals, who have camouflaged themselves as eccentric Angelenos. Based on the book The End of the World as We Know It by Iva-Marie Palmer.
Cast: Josh Helman, Gage Golightly, Quinta Brunson
Team: W/EP Justin Halpern, Patrick Schumacker (Powerless); EP Rob Thomas, Danielle Stokdyk, Dan Etheridge, Leslie Morgenstein, Gina Girolamo
Studio: Warner Bros. Television, Ehsugadee Productions, Spondoolie Productions, Alloy Entertainment
Wow -- this may be the most CW thing I've ever read. Not that that's a bad thing.
The CW is gaining back Sunday evenings this fall, so they have more room to play with. This is also the first time in a while their pilot season doesn't have one single DC superhero series guaranteed to take up space.
Logline: Described as a fierce, funny and feminist reboot of the original series, the drama centers on three sisters in a college town who discover they are witches. Between vanquishing supernatural demons, tearing down the patriarchy, and maintaining familial bonds, a witch's work is never done.
Cast: Melonie Diaz (Fruitvale Station), Sarah Jeffery (Shades of Blue), Ser'Darius Blain, Rupert Evans
Team: W/EP Jessica OToole, Amy Rardin (Jane the Virgin); EP/story by Jennie Urman; EP/D Brad Silberling; EP Ben Silverman
Studio: CBS Television Studios
Please be good......please be good.....please be good.....
All I ask for is something better than the original and that can't be hard. All they have to do is try this time. Give me something better!
The fact that they've highlighted "FEMINIST" in red marker suggests at least one improvement; I never cared about the men the Charmed Ones were seeing, but the show was obsessed with showing me. If they hate men now, maybe they won't go out with them.
Logline: The drama revolves around hard-charging NYPD detective Eliza Cortez (Annie Ilonzeh), who is banished to the boonies after a high-profile mistake and is paired with a new partner, Oregon state trooper Sam King (Andy Karl). Sams investigative techniques dont exactly follow protocol, as evidenced by his talking to trees for clues and his obsession with flying kites. Eliza is a fish-out-of-water in this police procedural set in an eccentric town of quirky characters in coastal Oregon.
Cast: Andy Karl (Law & Order: SVU), Annie Ilonzeh, David Zayas, Jennifer Aspen, Alexander Sokovikov, Ava Capri
Team: W/EP Matt Partney, Corey Evett (Code Black); EP Michael Seitzman, Christina Davis; EP/D Rob Bowman
Studio: ABC Studios, Maniac Productions
NNNNGH....you can't say a TV show is set in "Coastal Oregon" if you're filming it in Portland! They're two separate locations! They look completely different! Also, none of the Coastal Oregon communities I've been to (Astoria, Cannon Beach, Seaside, Newport, Lincoln City) are known for their "quirkiness" -- not even remotely the way Portland is! This might blow your mind, ABC, but not every single place in a state looks and feels the same!
|History of Them (CBS)
Logline: A multicultural ensemble about how two friends, Luna (Ana Villafane) and Adam, meet and fall in love, using the couples social media as a guide.
Cast: Ana Villafane, Lisa Vidal, Felix Solis, Amit Shah, Caitlin McGee, Chris Powell
Team: W/EP Gloria Calderon Kellett (One Day at a Time), EP Marc Provissiero, EP/D Pam Fryman
Studio: Sony Pictures Television Studios, CBS Television Studios, Glo Nation, Odenkirk Provissiero
the perfect title for our new show: The Story Of Us."
"That's already taken. That was a movie in the 90s."
"Okay....we'll have to go with our backup."
|Dan the Weatherman (FOX)
Logline: After getting fired from his cushy job as a weatherman at the local TV station, Dan finds its not enough to be a charming white man in this world. He reluctantly ends up at the neighboring Spanish TV station.
Team: W/EP Steve Dildarian (Life and Times of Tim); EP Marty Adelstein, Becky Clements; EP/D Seth Gordon
Studio: 20th Century Fox Television, Tomorrow Studios
Location: Los Angeles
This can't be as
racist as I'm picturing in my mind or FOX would have their entire
studios burned down.
Guess we'll see, won't we?
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