Month: May 2015

UPDATE: FOX pilot “Studio City” picked-up to series… elsewhere?

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UPDATE: Seems like the rescue plan didn’t work after all, since leading man Eric McCormack just tweeted about “Studio City” : “No, that one’s pretty much dead.”

After FOX surprisingly passed on musical dramedy pilot « Studio City », Warner Bros. Television may have successfully shopped it elsewhere…

The OC meets Shameless US written by Grey’s Anatomy’s Krista Vernoff and starring Eric McCormack, Heather Graham and revelation Florence Pugh was the most surprising no-go of this pilot season since it was red hot at FOX during the whole process. Then Lucifer pilot came stronger than expected and was more in the vein of the procedural trend FOX new bosses were looking for, despite Studio City being a better fit with Empire, at least on paper, and picked-up Minority Report, Rosewood & The Frankenstein Code already being procedurals. It was briefly eyed for a midseason launch but FOX definitely passed on it a few days ago. So Warner Bros. Television did what they often do: they tried to shop it elsewhere. And this time, they may have succeeded!

There’s no word yet on which network (or cable channel? Or streaming platform?) Studio City has landed. Feel free to speculate! Details are being kept under wraps for now, since the negotiations are still going on, but an announcement is expected within days. The cast should not change, with actress Diane Farr joining.

Read the pilot preview

The 10 pilots that didn’t make it but were worth it!

None of the pilots I was really really rooting for were passed on (except the first three I’m gonna talk to you about in a minute but I knew they were hard sells so I expected it). Quantico, my favorite script of the year, a no-brainer for ABC, was picked up (and the trailer didn’t disappoint). Same goes with Original Sin, now called The Family, Blindspot, Oil (aka Boom), Game Of Silence, Life In Pieces, The Catch, The Grinder, The Player & Lucifer. My top 10. But among my worst 5, Rush Hour, Rosewood & Hearbreaker were ordered (and I predict them a dark future). Thank God, Unveiled & Warrior didn’t make it at NBC!

 

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1. THE BROAD SQUAD (ABC)

In 1978, the graduating class of Boston’s first female patrol officers was dubbed “The Broad Squad” by the local press. Eileen, Molly, Joanne & Lisa arrived at a tumultuous time in Boston’s history, marked by corruption within the police force and a heightened organized crime presence in the city. Navigating rival neighborhoods as well as the conflicting attitudes toward them from everyone, they find themselves tested both on and off duty.

A period drama is always a hard sell on a network and ABC surely remembers Pan Am failed not so long ago. The Broad Squad had the advantage to take place in a precinct, and when police is involved on a TV project, it always helps. But it’s not your straight crime-solving procedural, it’s a female character-driven drama, heavy serialized, that is both entertaining and intelligent and tells a lot about how things evolved since then. The cast was great (Lauren Ambrose, Rutina Wesley, Charlotte Spencer, Cody Horn). It was that close to be ordered (Runner was also very much in contention until the very end). ABC is allegedly considering a redevelopment for next season. Let’s hope so!  There’s a little work to do to make the male characters more interesting and the female ones maybe more appealing to the masses.

 

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2. LFE (CBS)

Joe, Ryan, Chelsi, Trevor Mae & Anj are New York City’s wildest, brilliant and most promising doctors. As they start their second year of residency in the city’s most prestigious hospital, they attempt to balance their god complexes with their humanity. Julie, their den mother, give them guidance in their lives and share with them the relationship she wishes she had with her own children…

The medical drama battle at CBS couldn’t have ended differently. I knew from the get-go, even before reading the scripts, that Code Black would always have the hedge over LFE. Not because Code Black seemed better -and it turns out it was not on the page- but because it was a better fit with the network. LFE was more cable-y, more ambitious, more modern, more stylized and would have appealed to a younger audience. Code Black has a respectable chance to become something. LFE was too much of a wild card for CBS. They hesitated a lot but ultimately a miracle didn’t happen. Since it was produced by CBS Television Studios (that doesn’t sell outside CBS & The CW) it was deadly dead when it didn’t get picked up.

 

DELORES

3. DELORES & JERMAINE (ABC)

Jermaine is a millennial with big ideas, but very little drive. When he has no other choice but to move in with his estranged grandmother Delores, a strict, football-loving, former DC cop, he brings his youthful enthusiasm into her life as much as she helps him grow up thanks to her old-school parenting methods. Soon enough they’ll become inseparable…

Loved this script because I laughed out loud while reading it and having the great Whoopi Goldberg in the cast was certainly a big advantage. I wanted to believe it was possible ABC gave it a try but the truth is, with so little place to offer for multicamera comedies, and with Last Man Standing as the only companion, Dolores & Jermaine was not the most natural fit. Dr Ken was and it’s the one which was ordered in the end (and it looks pretty good too). ABC Studios tries to sell it elsewhere but I don’t really see where it could land. Plus this is not a good year for comedies. No other network is looking for more.

 

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4. STUDIO CITY (FOX)

After her alcoholic mother totally lost it, Catalina Evans, 17, is sent to L.A to live with her songwriter father and her stepfamily. What she thought would be an easier life doesn’t turn out exactly the way it should when she discovers her dad is a drug dealer to the stars and haven’t sell a single song for years. With her own dreams of stardom in mind, she starts her new life full of hope and songs to give…

The OC meets Shameless US is the most surprising no-go of this pilot season! Studio City was more than a strong contender, it was red-hot and it looked like a sure thing until the end, especially since its musical component would have fit well with phenomenon Empire. Why FOX didn’t give it the thumb up? It’s safe to assume they wanted to order only one Warner Bros. pilot Vs. all the 20th Century FOX Television they had. So it was either Lucifer or Studio City. I’m a big fan of the first one so I can’t blame them to have made that choice. But still, it’s hard to understand and it’s a missed opportunity. But maybe not for so long. FOX insists that the show is still in contention for midseason (but they already said that for Cabot College and Sober Companion last year… and we’re still waiting). We’ll see…

 

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5. STRANGE CALLS (NBC)

An affable but down on his luck young police officer is transferred to a rural town where — with the help of a peculiar, elderly night watchman — he starts to realize the town has a bizarre supernatural underbelly.

When you look at what NBC ordered on the comedy department, there is on one side latina fueled Hot and Bothered and Superstore, and on the other side multicamera comedies People are talking and Crowded. Most of them will only debut at midseason and won’t get much of a chance to shine on a network that decided it was about time they find a drama hit. Strange Calls clearly was the odd man out. It’s really fun, but it’s a supernatural comedy, it’s quirky. What to pair it with? Maybe NBC found the right solution but a little too late: they’re working on making it a 42 minutes dramedy, and pairing it with Grimm would make a lot of sense. But I’m not sold on the idea honestly if it means adding a procedural element to the mix. It would lose what made it different.

 

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6. FOR JUSTICE (CBS)

Natalia Chappel, an FBI agent who works in the Criminal Section of the Department of Civil Rights Division investigating crimes based on civil rights violations across the country, finds herself caught between the radical family she was born into and the professional family she has chosen…

It was reportedly a CBS President Les Moonves’ favorite. But it was not enough to get the precious order to series so it seems. CBS passed on the opportunity to be relevant to the world we are living in, because that’s what this show was meant to be. It was smart and important. The cast was great (Anika Noni Rose! Please Shonda give her a show already!) and the pilot was directed by Selma‘s Ava DuVernay. They clearly made a mistake here, but to be fair it wasn’t right with their objectives this year: attract younger viewers with pop-corn fares. It’s just the opposite of that. But why ordering it in the first place then? Maybe Supergirl & Limitless were enough. They could have found a place for For Justice if they really wanted to…

 

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7.  SNEAKY PETE (CBS)

Marius, a thirty-something con man, upon leaving prison, takes cover from his past by assuming the identity of a cellmate. “Sneaky Pete” then hides out from his debtors while working for his new “family’s” bail bond business. There he uses his considerable charm and criminal prowess to take down bad guys far worse than himself, partnering with a female “cousin” who has her suspicions about his real motives

Not a pop-corn fare either. Not shiny and beautiful. Procedural but with no police involved. If ordered, I’m sure Sneaky Pete would have gotten the Battle Creek treatment: no promotion and a doomed timeslot. It’s a good thing CBS passed on it, in spite of a huge commitment. Now Sony Pictures Television can sell it to a cable channel where it would have a real chance to find the audience it deserves. They’re actively trying to find it a new home so let’s cross our fingers.

 

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8. CHEVY (ABC)

Two fun and relevant baby boomers are living a selfish retirement until their world is turned upside down when their eldest daughter die. They are suddendly left to raise their grandchildren. If as they say the golden years are starting when the fun begins, then their golden years and the greatest adventure of their life start right now…

Chevy not ordered, that’s another surprise of this pilot season. I really liked the script, that I found funny and sweet, and more importantly it seemed to be a perfect fit with the other comedies ABC already has on the air and distinctive enough not to be just The Middle 2.0 or something. Since ABC decided to keep its Wednesday intact and give The Muppets a try, there was simply not a place for it anywhere on the schedule. And I’m glad ABC chose The Real O’Neals over Chevy! But last year or the year before last year, I’m sure Chevy would have made it. It’s unfair.

 

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9. THE CURSE OF THE FUENTES WOMEN (NBC)

When Salvador, a magical and mysterious young man inexplicably emerges from the ocean during a violent storm, he breathes new passion into the lives of the Fuentes women who own a Cuban restaurant on Miami Beach: the beautiful but lonely Lola, who instantly falls in love with him, her mother Esperanza, who’s losing her mind since she’s been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer, and her troubled daughter Soledad, who’s secretly pregnant. The curse that ruined their lives for so long finally breaks…

Blindspot, The Player, Game Of Silence, Chicago Med, Shades Of Blue… NBC went with very serious dramas this year (but some are entertaining too) while the lighter series are represented by the outdated Heartbreaker. The Curse of the Fuentes Women from Ugly Betty‘s creator was ridiculously fun and hot and really worth a try. I think they made a mistake, but it seems they only do that now. Mistakes. And the same ones over and over again. Their loss! Warner Bros. is trying to sell it elsewhere. Not easy. ABC doesn’t need it and it’s the only place I can see it go.

 

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10. NERD HERD (ABC)

Through a combination of genetics and dynamic home schooling, Kip and Mona Lisa Mitchell find themselves raising extraordinarily intelligent kids. When Kip returns home from the military to be a stay-at-home dad, he experiences firsthand the challenges of parenting kids who have genius IQs but limited life and social skills, especially in the Orange County, where looks is the only religion…

I don’t know what happened with this one. I was really high on it after reading the script and I was pretty sure it was a safe bet. As I already said about Chevy, there was just not enough space for it on the schedule but it seems like it was never considered as having a real shot. Maybe they didn’t find the right actors for the children and ultimately the result was bad because of that. Or it’s something else. That being said, I’m still annoyed by the fact FOX didn’t keep it for themselves (it was 20th Century FOX Television produced). How come they are not able to find one broad comedy for them while they produce Modern Family for ABC or now Life In Pieces for CBS? It doesn’t make sense.

 

BONUS : CHEERLEADER DEATH SQUAD (The CW)

A disgraced CIA agent-turned-teacher at an elite Washington D.C. prep school realizes that his students have high-level access through personal connections. So he trains a select few to be his eyes and ears into the world of international espionage and help him earn his way back into the agency.

The surprising order of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, originally set up at Showtime, is probably what doomed the Marc Cherry’s show in the end, whereas it seemed like a sure thing for a longtime. I haven’t read it so I won’t elaborate on it but among the DC Comics’ series it would have been a fun breath of fresh air…

The CW’s Fall Schedule revealed / Trailers

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CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND – MONDAY – 8pm

JANE THE VIRGIN – MONDAY – 9pm

THE FLASH – TUESDAY – 8pm

iZOMBIE – TUESDAY – 9pm

 

ARROW – WEDNESDAY – 8pm

SUPERNATURAL – WEDNESDAY – 9pm

 

THE VAMPIRE DIARIES – THURSDAY – 8pm

THE ORIGINALS – THURSDAY – 9pm

 

REIGN – FRIDAY – 8pm

AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL – FRIDAY – 9pm

 

MID-SEASON

THE 100

DC’S LEGENDS OF TOMORROW

CONTAINMENT


CBS’s Fall Schedule revealed / Trailers

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MADAM SECRETARY – SUNDAY

THE GOOD WIFE – SUNDAY – 9pm

CSI: CYBER – 10pm

 

THE BIG BANG THEORY / LIFE IN PIECES – MONDAY – 8pm (September)

SUPERGIRL – MONDAY – 8pm (Novvember)

SCORPION – MONDAY – 9pm

NCIS: LOS ANGELES – MONDAY – 10pm


NCIS – TUESDAY – 8pm

NCIS: NEW ORLEANS – TUESDAY – 9pm

LIMITLESS – TUESDAY – 10pm

 

SURVIVOR – WEDNESDAY – 8pm

CRIMINAL MINDS – WESNESDAY – 9pm

CODE BLACK – WEDSNESDAY – 10pm

THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL (September)

THE BIG BANG THEORY / LIFE IN PIECES  – THURSDAY – 8pm (November)

MOM / ANGEL FROM HELL – THURSDAY – 9pm

ELEMENTARY – THURSDAY – 10pm

THE AMAZING RACE – FRIDAY – 8pm

HAWAII 5-0 – FRIDAY – 9pm

BLUE BLOODS – FRIDAY

 

MID-SEASON

CSI (2-HOUR SERIES FINALE)

PERSON OF INTEREST

THE ODD COUPLE

MIKE & MOLLY

2 BROKE GIRLS

RUSH HOUR

CRIMINAL MINDS: BEYOND BORDERS

ABC’s Fall Schedule revealed / Trailers

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ONCE UPON A TIME – SUNDAY – 8pm

OIL – SUNDAY – 8pm

KINGS AND PROPHETS – SUNDAY – 10pm



DANCING WITH THE STARS – MONDAY – 8pm

CASTLE – MONDAY – 10pm

 

THE MUPPETS / FRESH OFF THE BOAT – TUESDAY – 8pm

AGENTS OF SHIELD – TUESDAY – 9pm

QUANTICO – TUESDAY – 10pm

 

THE MIDDLE / THE GOLDBERGS- WEDNESDAY – 8pm

MODERN FAMILY / BLACKISH –  WEDNESDAY – 9pm

NASHVILLE – WEDNESDAY – 10pm

 

GREY’S ANATOMY – THURSDAY – 8pm

SCANDAL – THURSDAY – 9pm

HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER – 10pm

 

LAST MAN STANDING / DR KEN – FRIDAY – 8pm

THE SHARK TANK – FRIDAY – 9pm

20/20 – FRIDAY – 10pm

 

MID-SEASON

THE FAMILY – SUNDAY – 10pm (when KINGS AND PROPHETS ends)

 

GALAVANT – SUNDAY – 8pm d(during OUAT hiatus)

AMERICAN CRIME – SUNDAY – 9pm (during OIL hiatus)

THE REAL O’NEALS – TUESDAY – 8.30pm (when THE MUPPETS ends)

 

AGENT CARTER – TUESDAY – 9pm (During AGENTS OF SHIELD hiatus)

WICKED CITY – TUESDAY – 10pm (During QUANTICO hiatus)

 

SECRETS AND LIES – WEDNESDAY – 10pm (During NASHVILLE hiatus)

THE CATCH – THURSDAY – 10pm (after HTGAWM ends)

 

UNCLE BUCK – FRIDAY – 8.30pm

CBS | 2015/2016 – Fantasy Schedule

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 Those are predictions based on feelings and NBC final schedule may end up very differently! It will be announced on Wesnesday. Stay tuned and until then, enjoy the read!

Dramas renewed: CSI – NCIS – CRIMINAL MINDS – THE GOOD WIFE – BLUE BLOODS – NCIS: LOS ANGELES – HAWAII 5-0 – PERSON OF INTEREST – ELEMENTARY – SCORPION – MADAM SECRETARY – CSI: CYBER

New dramas ordered: SUPERGIRL – CODE BLACK – LIMITLESS – CRIMINAL MINDS: BEYOND BORDERS – RUSH HOUR

Comedies renewed: THE BIG BANG THEORY – MIKE & MOLLY – 2 BROKE GIRLS – MOM – THE ODD COUPLE

New comedies ordered: LIFE IN PIECES / AMY FROM HELL

MONDAYS

September / 8pm- THE BIG BANG THEORY / AMY FROM HELL

November / 8pm- 2 BROKE GIRLS / AMY FROM HELL

9pm- SCORPION

10pm- NCIS: LOS ANGELES

Scorpion did well the past season at 9 and it was not an easy bet since CBS put sitcoms there for decades. They shouldn’t mess with that, keep the momentum, especially since they’ll have a new comedy to launch just before, first helped by relocated The Big Bang Theory during football, then paired with -more compatible- 2 Broke Girls, which lost steam. NCIS: Los Angeles stay put at 10. It would be a mistake to move it again. Too soon. Plus, Castle is no longer a threat but Blindspot on NBC could be. Too risky to launch something new against it.

TUESDAYS

8pm- NCIS

9pm- NCIS: NEW ORLEANS

10pm- RUSH HOUR

I’m not sure CBS care that much about Rush Hour. Yes, they ordered it but it’s a Warner Bros. production. I don’t think they’re betting a lot on it. They’ll give it a try there. It will bomb and then they will be able to bring back CSI: Cyber and it will be a special night dedicated to old people. CSI: Cyber wanted to skew young, but it’s a big miss! It doesn’t work and it skews old. For a first season, it’s really concerning. CBS decided to renew it nonetheless and reboot it a little bit. It won’t change anything. This one’s gonna be dead long before the syndication gods can help it. I don’t see where to put it else than Tuesday at 10, with a decent lead-in though. Will Patricia Arquette do better than Person Of Interest? It would be sad, but it’s likely. CSI: Cyber is way more compatible with the NCIS franchise than Person Of Interest was or Rush Hour is…

WEDNESDAYS

8pm- SURVIVOR

9pm- LIMITLESS

10pm- CRIMINAL MINDS

It’s about time CBS stops using Survivor, which is still a decent lead-in, to help Criminal Minds. The show is old and it begins to show. Plus, it’s too expensive, CBS co-owns with ABC Studios, they don’t make that much money out of it. Put it at 10! I see Wednesday working the same way as Monday: an old show at 10, with something new at 9. Limitless is CBS’s new pop-corn series after Scorpion, it deserves to get that chance. Rush Hour is another option, but let’s use this strategy with the best one.

THURSDAYS

September / THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL

November / 8pm- THE BIG BANG THEORY / THE ODD COUPLE

9pm- LIFE IN PIECES / MOM

10pm- ELEMENTARY

Life In Pieces is some kind of new Modern Family. If it’s as solid as it should be, CBS can try it at 9. Pairing it with The Big Bang Theory wouldn’t make sense because 1/ They wouldn’t really work together 2/ The Odd Couple is renewed and it can’t move and become The Millers 2.0Life In Pieces & Mom is a pair that works better, even if I hate pairing a multicamera comedy with a single-camera comedy. But CBS doesn’t leave us much of a choice! At 10, I’m sad to report I couldn’t come up with a better idea than keeping Elementary there. Code Black was my first idea but I thought putting Code Black against How to Get Away With Murder would be kind of stupid. They’re trying to reach the same feminine audience… Rush Hour or Supergirl wouldn’t make sense. So here we go with another year of low-rated Elementary!

FRIDAYS

8pm- UNDERCOVER BOSS

9pm- HAWAII 5-0

10pm- BLUE BLOODS

At 8, scripted shows will continue. Undercover Boss first, The Amazing Race then but for just one edition this year. Hawaii 5-0 & Blue Bloods stay put, but one of them will have to go sooner or later to give its place to NCIS: Los Angeles for example.

SUNDAYS

8pm- MADAM SECRETARY

9pm- CODE BLACK

10pm- THE GOOD WIFE

This year, CBS successfully launched Madam Secretary on Sunday right behind 60 minutes and just before The Good Wife. Assuming The Good Wife‘s 7th season will be its last -as its creators want to- the show can move at 10 where its low ratings on the demo won’t be a concern anymore, plus it’s no longer a decent lead-in (Battle Creek learnt it the hard way). But was it ever? They need to give a shot of fresh blood to the night and medical drama Code Black seems the perfect way to do so! The Marcia Gay Harden-driven show would fit well with the so-called “prestige” night and its feminine vibe. It will prevent Code Black from being a huge it, but the expectations are so low that it can also be protected and with a 55-yearl old lead, it ‘sad but it’s the truth: CBS knows exactly it will be weak on the demo.

MID-SEASON

PERSON OF INTEREST / CSI / CSI: CYBER / CRIMINAL MINDS; BEYOND BORDERS / MIKE & MOLLY / SUPERGIRL

CSI will probably be back for just a 2-hour movie. Put it on a Sunday around December and you’re good to go. Person of Interest‘s fifth and expected final season will get The Mentalist treatment: an uninterrupted run during winter. Where? On Wednesday at 8 when Survivor is on hiatus? Doesn’t look good but why not? Regarding Supergirl… Gosh. I don’t know what to do with that. That’s why I decided to keep it for midseason (summer would be better…). I doubt CBS will give it the post-Superbowl slot since they don’t produce it in-house, it’s Warner Bros. but it may be the only way for it to work and tell the work: you wre wrong, we are young, look at us ! But in which regular timeslot then? I have no idea… It has to be at 8 to reach the younger viewers… Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders looks more like a midseason back-up. As always, Mike & Molly will be used as a midseason replacement if one of the new comedies fail. It would be fun that someday they can’t find a slot to put it because their new comedies would have worked! Who know? Maybe this it!


What do YOU think?