Month: January 2018

2018 PILOT CHARTS

Click to the read the entire previews

 

    

A MILLION LITTLE THINGS (ABC)

MIXTAPE (FOX)

   

ABBY’S (NBC)

BELLEVUE (NBC)

DADDY ISSUES (FOX)

FALSE PROFITS (ABC)

FRIENDS-IN-LAW (NBC)

GUESS WHO DIED (NBC)

HISTORY OF THEM (CBS)

I MOM SO HARD (CBS)

MAN OF THE HOUSE (ABC)

MOST LIKELY TO… (ABC)

MURDER (CBS)

OUR PEOPLE (FOX)

PANDAS (CBS)

PLAYING DEAD (The CW)

ROSWELL (The CW)

SINGLE PARENTS (ABC)

STEPS (ABC)

THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT (The CW)

THE FIX (ABC)

THE ROOKIE (ABC)

THE VILLAGE (NBC)

UNTITLED BOBBY BOWMAN PROJECT (ABC)

WHISKEY CAVALIER (ABC)

  

25 (CBS)

BRIGHT FUTURES (NBC)

CHARMED (The CW)

THE COOL KIDS (FOX)

FAM (CBS)

F.B.I. (CBS)

GET CHRISTIE LOVE (ABC)

GOD FRIENDED ME (CBS)

GONE BABY GONE (FOX)

HAPPY TOGETHER (CBS)

HOW MAY WE HATE YOU (ABC)

I FEEL BAD (NBC)

IN THE DARK (The CW)

L.A.’S FINEST (NBC)

LIKE FAMILY (NBC)

MAGNUM, P.I. (CBS)

MANIFEST (NBC)

NO APOLOGIES (FOX)

REL (FOX)

THE RED LINE (CBS)

SALVAGE (ABC)

ALL AMERICAN (The CW)

PROVEN  INNOCENT (FOX)

TAKE TWO (ABC)

THE CODE (CBS)

THE ENEMY WITHIN (NBC)

THE FINEST (ABC)

THE GREATEST AMERICAN HERO (ABC)

THE PASSAGE (FOX)

SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY (ABC)

UNTITLED BARRIS & BEAN COMEDY (ABC)

UNTITLED TIM DOYLE COMEDY (ABC)

WELCOME TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD (CBS)

 

CAGNEY & LACEY (CBS)

CHIEFS (CBS)

DAN THE WEATHERMAN (FOX)

DEAD INSIDE (The CW)

GRAND HOTEL (ABC)

NO WAY BACK (NBC)

SO CLOSE (NBC)

STATIES (ABC)

THE INBETWEEN (NBC)

FOR LOVE (ABC)

No pilot yet.

ABC’s 20 most exciting projects for 2018/2019 pilot season

The following article is based on descriptions mixed wih talents attached ONLY. None of the scripts have been read at this point. 

 

ABC had two priorities this fall: The Good Doctor and the comedy duo Blackish/The Mayor. The Good Doctor became the new drama hit of the season, on live ratings and also delayed viewings with rare numbers these days for a 10pm slot, while Blackish lost some steam and The Mayor flopped despite good reviews. They have every reason to be both happy and sad. Other new fall entries Ten Days in the Valley, Marvel’s Inhumans and Kevin (Pobably) Saves The World did terrible, as expected, while the friday night block where Once Upon a Time and Agents of SHIELD are now paired is a black hole. TGIT is doing okay, with Grey’s Anatomy still being an incredible beast in its 14th season. The wednesday comedy block has had better days but still does solid business, despite a weakened Speechless. Designated Survivor and How To Get Away With Murder are struggling but managed to keep their heads out of the water.

Pretty much every new show with big or moderated potential were kept for a midseason lauch, to bank on the Oscars’ usual big promotion push and the American Idol revival that may or may not do great for ABC. The kind of big bet where you can be rewarded tremendously or lose a lot. We’ll see. The Grey’s Anatomy firefighter spin-off as well as the Roseanne‘s return are the two shows with the biggest chance to work, while Deception, The Crossing and comedy Alex, Inc. are given a satisfying shot with good scheduling. But then again, if American Idol is a flop, it will be harder for them to survive. For The People and comedy Splitting Up Together are given death slots, while the third season of Quantico will mostly air in the summer.

Next season will be crucial for the Alphabet Network for many reasons. First because they won’t have The Middle and Scandal which are both in their final seasons right now. Also because Modern Family should end in may 2019, with no spin-off in sight at this time. And since Shonda Rhimes has signed an exclusive deal with Netflix, she won’t be there to launch new buzzy dramas. President Channing Dungey made it clear she wanted to focus more on light procedural dramas like The Good Doctor & Deception. Let’s see if their development season reflects that:

 

DRAMAS

ADULT BEHAVIOR (ABC Studios)

What? described as a sexy, multi-generational, comedic drama” inspired by Russell T Davies’s U.K. entries “Cucumber” and “Banana”

Why? Anyone who saw Cucumber and Banana, which are excellent shows by the way, will have a hard time picturing such a series on network television in America. The UK series was groundbreaking and racy. What this very short pitch doesn’t say it’s that it is about the LGBTQ community. At least the original was. Will this version be opened to heterosexuals too? I wouldn’t mind, as long as it’s not gay-washed. I don’t think ABC would but who knows? Oh and by the way, it’s produced by Shonda Rhimes. In fact, since she left ABC Studios for Netflix a few months ago, it’s her last show in development at ABC. Which means they may want to pick it up no matter what, to make sure they have more Shonda one more year. It’s The Catch/Wonder Woman writer Allan Heinberg who’s adapting. I’m very curious to see how it will turn out, though honestly, it’d be better on Netflix. If ABC doesn’t go with it, maybe Shonda will bring it with her…

 

AFTERLIFE (20th Century FOX Television)

What? A small mid-20th century social-service-style office is a waystation for the souls of the recently deceased, where they are processed before entering their personal heaven – a single happy memory re-experienced for eternity. Every Monday, a new group of recently deceased people check in, and the “social workers” in the lodge explain their situation. Once the newly-dead have identified their happiest memories, workers design and replicate each person’s chosen memory, which is staged and filmed. At the end of the week, the recently deceased watch the films of their recreated happiest memories in a screening room. As soon as each person sees his or her own memory, he or she vanishes to whatever state of existence lies beyond and takes only that single memory with them. 

Why? It sounds like a very positive concept for a Black Mirror episode. It’s a beautiful, feel-good idea. I don’t see how it would work on a weekly basis without becoming boring very soon, unless the system starts to go wrong at some point but we probably shouldn’t count on it. So I’m on the fence with Afterlife but there’s a part of me who thinks there may be an audience for it. Plus, it’s one of the few projects produced by 20th Century FOX Television that ABC has in store, so maybe they’d want to give it a chance…

 

BLACK WIDOWS (Sony Pictures Television)

What? about three wives and best friends trapped in abusive marriages to husbands who all work at the same company; when all three husbands die in a mysterious explosion during a group vacation, the wives are pulled into a spiral of lies and crime

Why? I have my eyes on this project for a few years now. It’s CBS that got it the first time and they didn’t pick it up to pilot. A good thing probably: they wouldn’t have known what to do with it. On the contrary, ABC is the best place for it so I’m happy they snatched it, with Leonardo DiCaprio now as producer. Hope it will help it get an order. It’s not exactly a light drama, but they should keep a few darker ones too. With three diverse and strong actresses, it could turn out very well. It’d be their own Big Little Lies.

 

FLIGHT 410 (ABC Studios)

What?  after a commercial flight vanishes over the Atlantic Ocean, a disgraced journalist whose wife was on the plane is driven to solve the mystery as he leads an unconventional group with other family members left behind

Why? It would be “fun” if both NCB & ABC ordered to pilot their “Lost in reverse” dramas. May the best win! But since Lost was an ABC show, I’d prefer this one to survive pilot season and succeed on the air. It’s hard to tell which one is the most promising though… Flight 410 doesn’t have Robert Zemeckis or any big name attached to it. Other than that, we’ll have to wait and see. It would be cool if Carlton Cuse, who signed a rich overdeal with ABC Studios, came on board!

 

GET CHRISTIE LOVE (Universal Television & Lionsgate)

What? Christie Love, an African American, female CIA agent, leads a highly trained elite ops unit. Beautiful and charismatic, Christie transforms into whoever she needs to be in order to get the job done especially when it’s down to the wire and the stakes are life and death…

Why? With Scandal ending, ABC is looking for a new drama with a strong black female character at the center and they already chose the great Kylie Bunbury (Pitch) to star. Meaning it’s a sure thing, at least for a pilot order. Get Christie Love is based on a cult 1974-75 blaxploitation-themed TV movie/series so I’m hoping it won’t only be about dangerous missions and weekly investigations but that it will also have things to say about being a young black woman in America today. Something that some other shows did but mostly on cable or streaming (Insecure, She’s Gotta Have It…).

 

HARMONY (ABC Studios)

What? set in the town of Harmony, NY, where residents have the most unique dialect in the world: they sing their feelings and dance their emotions; when a brutal murder rocks this thriving tourist destination, a repressed detective must return to the musical town he left as a teen – to solve the crime and confront the ghosts that have haunted him since he fled.

Why? I know a lot of people think this concept is shitty and that it would never work. It resembles one of ABC’s biggest flop ever: Cop Rock in the 90s. That show was ahead of its time in my opinion and I think the audience would be more open to something similiar these days. That being said, it would have to be very very well-made to work. As a big Eli Stone fan, I want it bad, so sorry if I’m biased! One thing we can all agree on: it’d be a nice way to spin the usual boring cop show…

 

MAVERICKS (ABC Studios)

What? about the cut-throat world of the start-up gold rush, where three young entrepreneurs share this obsession with greatness in an elite shared workspace known as “The Forge”; a hotbed of competition and sexual tension where no one is safe from elimination

Why? And now, let’s welcome a start-up version of Grey’s Anatomy (or Quantico)! That’s a bit how it sounds like and it’s a good thing I think. That’s a show millenials would watch it it’s any good. Competion, sex, money, fresh faces… I’m in!

 

A MILLION LITTLE THINGS (KAPITAL Entertainment)

What?  dramedy about a group of friends, 4 women and 4 men, who, for different reasons and in different ways, are all stuck in their lives, but when one of them dies unexpectedly by comitting suicide, it’s just the wake up call the others need to finally start living…

Why? This project is THE project I love the most in this development season. I’d be very very sad if we never hear about it again. The interesting story behind it is that creator DJ Nash did a comedy pilot for ABC last year, called Losin’ It’ -which was pretty good and almost got a series order but was considered too dark to match the rest of the network’s comedy line-up- and it’s this “failure” that gave him the idea and the courage to work on this other one, based on a personal experience. “Sometimes in comedy, you have to apologize for adding drama, which is why I was so thrilled to see ABC’s passion for a drama that has comedy” he said. I have a feeling the “next This Is Us” is hiding here. I already see it paired with The Good Doctor!

 

NEW WORLD (ABC Studios)

What? about two estranged brothers who, after the death of their father, try to reconnect by taking their families on a trip together; but when their boat crashes, the two families find themselves trapped on a deserted island and must battle the elements (and their secrets) to not only survive but to build a life for themselves in this new home

Why? Even though it’s not official, this is clearly a rip-off of the cult novel Swiss Family Robinson! And why not after all… It’s a good premice and you can do a very strong and emotional family drama with such a starting point. One thing I’m wondering though: how long can the island stay deserted before it becomes boring? I mean… unless this family is incestuous, no love stories are possible. And if people actually live on this island, are they called “the others”? Do they whisper in the forest? Are they from the Dharma Initiative? You know where I’m going…

 

THE ROOKIE (ABC Studios) picked-up to series

What? about the oldest rookie in the LAPD: at an age where most are at the peak of their career, Nolan cast aside his comfortable, small town life and moved to L.A. to pursue his dream of being a cop

Why? Without any script to read, ABC ordered this project straight-to-series, with ex-Castle star Nathan Fillion attached to it. The same way it happened with Designated Survivor. I feel like it’s too soon to welcome back the actor on the network, especially on a new cop show -though this time he’s the cop!- but if ABC said no, it would have gone to CBS or NBC probably so they didn’t really had a choice quite frankly. Plus, it fits perfectly with what they’re looking for.

 

TWO CITIES (ABC Studios)

What?  billed as a modern update of Dickens’ novel, “A Tale of Two Cities,” set against the backdrop of a society on the verge of revolution, where the tensions between the haves and have-nots has reached a breaking point…

Why? Dystopies are too rare on television in my opinion, especially when you look at all those books that are made. So it may be a little weird to make one based on a novel that was not a dystopy at the time when there is so much material out there just waiting to get adapted, but why not? It’s a strong base to create something great. You can’t do something more timely than that. And The Handmaid’s Tale, which is exceptional, proved that there’s an audience for it. Of course, Two Cities will never be that good. My main concern is: do the Americans want to watch something that will remind them their own society, their terrible president and all those things that are going wrong right now? Not sure.

 

VOWS (Sony Pictures Television)

What? told through the POV of four diverse and interconnected couples [and] explores the whirlwind road to the altar and the profound journey that begins after we say, “I do”

Why? Another This Is Us wannabe that sounds good, especially if there are strong ties between the couples, that they are not just neighbours or something. We could also see it as a drama version of Modern Family… It’s almost suspicious that it hasn’t been tried yet.

 

Among other projects ABC has a legal drama called Big Law produced by Ellen Pompeo; a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice named Elligible from Pretty Little Liars creator I, Marlene King; The French Detective from Luc Besson starring Jean Dujardin about a Parisian detective who moves to New York and joins the NYPD in order to leave his previous life behind and start fresh; the soap Grand Hotel based on a popular spanish series championed by Eva Longoria; an action drama by Felicity Huffman about a New York City public school teacher-turned-FBI agent, Kristy Kottis; a new Ghost Whisperer called Spirited with Laverne Cox playing a fake psychic who realizes she can really communicate with the dead; and finally a comedic espionage show from Bill Lawrence named Whisky Cavalier starring Scott Foley.

 

———–

COMEDIES

BLACK DON’T CRACK (ABC Studios)

What? about three former sorority sisters who lost touch after college reunite during a pivotal point in each of their lives and realize that now that they are of a certain age sometimes it’s okay to crack and no one will be there for you like your sisters

Why? Okay, let’s be clear: it’s off-brand for ABC since it’s not a family comedy at all but it’s totally on-brand if you think about ABC dramas. The tittle suggets that it will feature an all-black female cast so putting it behind Blackish could make sense (and could end up as another The Mayor, yeah…). Viola Davis is producing. She might as well keep the project for her and star in it once How To Get Away With Murder is done in one or two years… Alongside Kerry Washington & Octavia Spencer?! Okay, stop. I’m going crazy.

 

BORING, OR (ABC Studios)

What? about a small town with a serial killer on the loose. It follows Jonna, a police officer who is determined to stop the killings while the rest of the townspeople remain dead set on not letting it affect their day-to-day lives

Why? Sounds like something that’d be a better fit with NBC’s brand. Jack Black, who’s done some crazy shit, is producing. Could be their “totally off-brand but fuck it!” pick up of the year, that will end up in the summer with no life support.

 

MOST LIKELY TO (Warner Bros. Television)

What? In high school, Liz Cooney had everything and Markie McQueen had nothing. 20 years later, they’re reunited under the same roof as single moms and unlikely housemates.

Why? ABC has yet to provide a comedy with single parents at the center, whether they are mothers or fathers (Suburgatory is long gone now). Other networks don’t have any either. And I think it’s a problem in a world where single parents are more numerous than ever! If they want to keep on broadening and diversifying their family brand, it might be a good one to do so. It’s produced by Greg Berlanti, who had a good comedy pilot last year in Raised by Wolves that was unfortunately not picked-up.

 

THE JETSONS (Warner Bros. Television)

What? live-action take on the 1960s Hanna-Barbera animated series, a multi-camera sitcom which is set 100 years in the future and looks at America’s favorite future family through a modern filter

Why? ABC is pretty high on this multicamera project produced by Robert Zemeckis, that could fit well with Roseanne if the revival gets another season. Despite being filmed in front of a live studio audience, there are plans to incorporate futuristic visual effects. No brainer.

 

NEIGHBOURS OF NORTH SYCAMORE (Kapital Entertainment)

What? about a millennial couple who buy their first house only to discover they’re living on a block where privacy is a myth, and everyone’s drama plays out 24/7 on the street’s secret Facebook page

Why? A millennial couple? That’d be interesting to have one on ABC for once. But it’d be even greater if they had kids to fit the brand better. At least a very little one… Something in the vein of Desperate Housewives tonally could make miracles for them. It’s produced by the same team as American Housewife, which is good news I guess.

 

THE REAL FAIRY GODMOTHER (Universal Television)

What? about a self-absorbed “real housewife” who learns that she’s descended from a secret order of Fairy Godmothers and has an inescapable destiny to use her magical abilities to help those in need

Why? Okay, it’s a little too crazy. BUT they have Kristin Chenoweth starring! And you can’t say no to Kristin Chenoweth, right? Plus, it would be very Disney of them to order such a project… It could be reallt fun to watch. That’s all I’m saying.

 

SUPER CHALLENGED HEROES (ABC Studios)

What? about the Sharif family, an ordinary Middle Eastern American family with two superhero parents at a time when it’s illegal to be a superhero, so they are forced to save the world in secret

Why? A family of superheroes in the comedy format? ABC doesn’t have that. Or any other network for instance. We have superheroes everywhere, way too many in my opinion, but this concept should be given a try, especially with a Middle Eastern American Family at the center, ‘cos we don’t have this either on the air. There’s an irony in this pitch that I like. It’s a smart way to be timely and send important messages. Plus, Larry Wilmore is behind it.

 

UNTITLED ROB SUDDUTH PROJECT (ABC Studios)

What? about a man who, along with his husband and son, moves back in with his Mexican-American family in the heart of Texas, where he struggles to navigate his family’s deep-rooted traditions

Why? Since The New Normal failed on NBC, networks develop family comedies around a gay couple every year but they never go beyond the script stage, as if they were afraid. Maybe it’s time to try again? After all, Cam & Mitchell from Modern Family may soon be gone… It’s important to keep on showing gay couples founding a family on TV.

 

ABC also have a straight-to-series multicam sitcom starring Alec Baldwin as stuck-in-his-ways, opinionated, fading TV star who moves in with his progressive daughter, her girlfriend and the child they are raising together; a female version of The Greatest American Hero from Fresh Off The Boat creator starring a 30-year-old Indian-American woman; Bright Futures from Kenya Barris (Blackish, Grownish) about  a group of friends who are stumbling through the transition from the clueless, immature 20-somethings they are now, to the successful professionals they have the potential to be; a comedy based on the life of Indian actress and global icon Madhuri Dixit, produced by Quantico star Priyanka Chopra; and White Dave, from Gabrielle Union & Lebron James about a young African-American teenager, who has grown up in an all-white suburb, and suddenly moves to an all-black neighborhood when his mom remarries.

 

What projects are you the most interested in among these? Take your picks!

 

NBC’s 20 most exciting projects for 2018/2019 pilot season

The following article is based on descriptions mixed wih talents attached ONLY. None of the scripts have been read at this point. 

 

We can’t say NBC is having a bad season so far. But we can’t say they’re having a great one either. Mostly because they made a very bad scheduling for fall, keeping their strongest pieces for spring, betting on an Olympics push that rarely provides longterm results, as history points. Was The Brave the best choice for the post-The Voice slot? It’s the one that made the most sense at the time, but the show was not strong enough (and The Voice is not the beast it once was). Other than that, at least on the drama side, it’s a mess.

Their worst decision? Giving Law & Order: True Crime the post-This Is Us slot! It was just not compatible at all, any dummy knew that. Was they forced by Dick Wolf to do it? It’s the only acceptable explanation. The Chicago franchise took a hit and it’s partly their fault too. Chicago Med, already a little fragile, shouldn’t have been benched. Chicago Fire shouldn’t have been moved to the thursday 10pm death slot. And The Blacklist shouldn’t have been given an 8pm slot. Chicago PD is the only one doing a good job where it is, considering the circumstances. Blindspot was sent to die on friday and well, death will come rather sooner than later. We’ll see what’s gonna happen with midseason entries Good Girls & Rise but both, especially the latter, have potential. Reverie is not scheduled yet but it’s gonna be tough…

On the comedy side, it’s sunnier than the previous years, thanks to Will & Grace. The revival did more than expected the first weeks of the season and even though it fell a lot since then, the numbers are still great for NBC. It’s their number one comedy right now. The sad news is Great News, which was not worth a second season, does horrible despite the Will & Grace lead-in. Meanwhile, Superstore is doing an okay job to start thursday night facing The Big Bang Theory & Grey’s Anatomy, and The Good Place, thanks to Netflix probably, is doing slightly better than everyone expected. NBC still have AP Bio & Champions to premiere. But only the first one seems to have a chance…

For next season, NBC may want to concentrate their efforts on strenghtening their comedy line-up while finding buzzier new dramas than this year’s. I let you judge by yourself if they have what they need in their development slate:

 

DRAMAS

 

ACCIDENTAL CANDIDATE (Sony Pictures Television)

What?  based on the life of former Democratic congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, which explores what happens when after a small-town mother’s passionate town hall confrontation with a politician goes viral and she becomes thrust into the spotlight, opting to launch a career she never saw coming

Why? After Designated Survivor & The Mayor, both on ABC, the novelty of this type of pitch has worn off. But if it’s treated as a real political drama and not an action-packed thriller or a comedy, Accidental Candidate could tell a very inspiring story. Also, the woman it’s based on is co-writing the pilot. I find this interesting and rare.

 

AMERICAN DISASTER (Universal Television)

What? anthology series tackling different natural disasters with the inaugural season revolving around a Midwestern community that holds itself together in the wake of a catastrophic tornado

Why? The anthology genre is having a hard time working on networks: American Crime, Law & Order True Cime and The Exorcist are not what we can call successful attempts. On cable, especially on FX, it’s another story (American Horror Story, American Crime Story, Feud…). Can NBC break the curse with American Disaster? If it has something to say about climate change and helps raising conciousness on this important matter, other than being a fine entertainment, well then maybe it’s worth a try. What is considered a disaster though? Tornado, earthquake, tsunami… Every season could look the same if they don’t change the angle or the perspectives it’s told from…

 

BELLEVUE (Universal Television)

What? set at New York City’s Bellevue Hospital, about the new enigmatic medical director hired to disrupt and tame this mighty Manhattan institution, all while facing his own battle with cancer.

Why? Writer David Schulner’s last medical drama for NBC Do No Harm was not exactly an unforgettable piece of television, neither was his Emerald City on a totally different genre. So his name is kind of putting me off but there’s something dark and intriguing about Bellevue that makes me want to know more.

 

CRUSHERS CLUB (Universal Television)

What? about a struggling boxing gym, which serves as a second home for kids in one of Chicago’s toughest neighborhoods; the gym gains an unlikely ally in Sonia, a single mom from the suburbs who has found new purpose in her life…

Why? How come Rocky became such a big thing, and still is nowadays, while no boxing drama ever worked (not that there were so many attempts) on television? That’s a mystery Crushers Club may solve. Vin Diesel is producing. Of course, the most exciting thing here is not the boxing part but everything around. If somehow musical drama Rise becomes big on NBC, this one could be a perfect companion.

 

DELIVERY (ABC Studios)

What? about a group of doctors with deep familial ties who must navigate their personal and professional lives in a high volume perinatology unit

Why? Between Grey’s Anatomy & The Good Doctor, ABC didn’t need another medical drama for next year, maybe that’s why they decided to sell this project to NBC. Reese Witherspoon is producing this mix between medical and family drama, that would be fine near This Is Us. Delivery has a heartwarming behind-the-scenes story: writers Kristin Newman and Rob Wright, who are married and new parents, teamed for the first time to write this script on spec during the three months they spent living in a hospital labor and delivery ward following the birth of their daughter 10 weeks early. Unless it’s not that good a script, I think NBC has a winner here…

 

FIND THE GOOD (Freemantle)

What?  about an obit writer and mother of four living in small-town Alaska, and how writing about death each week teaches her how to live

Why? They had me at “living in small-town Alaska”. Do I have anything more to add? Not really. I don’t think this one will get a pilot order, it doesn’t seem to be distinctive enough, especially when they already have This Is Us, Good Girls and Rise on the air. But I want it anyway.

 

GREENLIT (20th Century FOX Television)

What?  about a highly-skilled task force comprised of five federal agents with backgrounds in the FBI, Secret Service, IRS, and SWAT responsible for protecting members of law enforcement who have been targeted for murder, or “greenlit,” by different criminal organizations

Why? Milo Ventimiglia is producing this action-packed procedural that seems to be in the vein of The Blacklist, Blindspot or Taken. So nothing really new here but among the projects NBC have in this particular genre, Greenlit stands out.

 

LIFE AFTER (Universal Television)

What?  about six friends who, each winter, spring, summer and fall, bond and retreat together from their lives and careers, which are forever linked by a life-changing event from their past

Why? Labelled by the network as “an emotional character drama”, Life After is written by Ringer creators (ugh) and tries to be the This Is Us of friendship. At least, that’s how I understand it and I think it’s a beautiful idea. BUT I’m also concerned by the concept, which seems a bit too complicated for its own good. And with those two in charge, I’m even more worried. Ringer was really too twisted to the point it became impossible to follow…

 

LOVE AFTER LOVE (Universal Television)

What?  an extramarital affair is exposed in a car crash that leaves the man in a coma and the woman missing – soon to be found dead of a gunshot wound; as their spouses try to piece their lives back together, police struggle to solve an ever-deepening mystery

Why? Honestly, I don’t think NBC is the right place for it. Plus, there’s already The Affair on Showtime and this one looks like a less emotional but more thriller-oriented version of it that may not be able to sustain its premise. It’s based on an Argentinan series. That being said, it’s hard not to get excited by such a pitch…

 

MANIFEST (Warner Bros. Television)

What? a plane disappears from radar and returns five years later after being untraceable and presumed lost at sea; no time has passed for those on the plane but, for their loved ones at home, a long five years have gone by

Why? More than three years after the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 over the South China Sea, the mystery of what happened to it remains while most of the aircraft hasn’t been found. Some crazy theories exist and when you start reading about them, it’s hard to stop. Will this Manifest show be as fascinating and gripping? Robert Zemeckis, who did the excellent movie Flight in 2012, is producing this project NBC paid a lot of money to get. The series will follow the personal lives of the survivor as well as the larger mystery and purpose that is their destiny. Yeah, it’s a bit like Lost in reverse and it could be HUGE if it’s properly done. Fingers crossed!

 

REUNITED (Universal Television)

What? inspired by the life of Pamela Slaton, the country’s foremost investigative genealogist, who uses her wits, detective skills and take-no-prisoners attitude to track down long-lost loved ones and reunite broken families

Why? This one screams “feel-good procedural”, which is exactly what the networks are looking for right now. And noboby should die this time! Plus, genealogy is something some people are really fond of. Mainly old people, okay. It could skew ancient but the concept really has potential.

 

SHATTERED GLASS (Warner Bros. Television)

What? set in the world of Wall Street in which a trio of modern women come together to shatter their respective glass ceilings, taking no prisoners along the way

Why? This project produced by Margot Robbie, who just launched her production company, is described as House of Cards meets Revenge, an empowering post-feminist revenge fantasy. It’s hard not to root for it! But let’s be realistic at the same time: a show set in Wall Street doesn’t seem to be broad enough for a network…

 

A Bad Boys small screen incarnation is in the works, which would follow Marcus Burnett’s sister Syd Burnett (Gabrielle Union), last seen in Miami taking down a drug cartel, now an LAPD detective; a new Miami Vice reboot of the signature 1980s action crime drama about two Metro-Dade Police Department detectives working undercover in Miami, produced by Vin Diesel; another version of Nancy Drew after CBS passed on its one two years ago; a drama that follows an elite unit of LAPD motor cops on their dangerous assignments produced by Josh Duhamel & Chris Morgan (Fast & Furious); and finally a Blue Crush series based on the 2002 movie about a surfer in the wake of a tragic accident.

 

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COMEDIES

 

A&R (Universal Television)

What? about a young, hip music label, along with its young, hip boss, is thrown into disarray when the owner brings back a hard-partying, middle-aged “mastodon” from the industry’s past to help guide them into the future

Why? We can’t say The Mayor on ABC made a case in favor of this project that feels a bit similar, at least regarding its central figure being a hip hop artist. Music will be a big part of this show and it’s hard to imagine it fitting with what’s currently on the network. It’s a tough sell, but an interesting one nonetheless.

 

AMERICAN ALIEN (Universal Television)

What? about Denise “Dee Dee” and Sonny Mendoza, a small-town brother-and-sister team who struggle to keep their working-class jobs while also protecting vulnerable space aliens from everyday pitfalls in their hometown of Tucson, Arizona

Why? It sounds like a comedy that could fit well with The Good Place, with the same kind of semi-supernatural high-concept, though I’m not sure NBC is looking for a companion show since it’s already paired with Superstore quite successfully. Maybe it could takeover for The Good Place once the short season is done… Talking about Superstore: American Alien is also produced by America Ferrara! What if it was the missing piece of NBC’s current thursday night?

 

GUESS WHO DIED (Sony Pictures Television)

What? described as a humorous and inspiring look at the shared joys and challenges we all experience at any stage of life

Why? This one is comedy veteran Norman Lear’s longtime passion project. The 95 year-old legend is behind successful and well-reviewed Netflix’s One Day at A Time so he could get away with anything right now. NBC paid big money to have it. Meaning a pilot order at the very least is more than likely. We don’t know much about what it will really be about -old people will be involved- but let’s be confident and hope for the best.

 

LIFE FAMILY (Universal Television)

What? two twentysomething friends who met as foster children and now try to figure out what they want from life and each other in New York City

Why? This multicamera comedy is coming from Sean Hayes’ production banner. It’s no coincidence since NBC is actively looking for a compatible show to pair with Will & Grace, which will be coming back next year. So the actor tried his luck with this project written by Hot In Cleveland‘s creator Suzanne Martin, who also wrote recent episodes of Will & Grace. Nothing about it screams originality but wait and see.

 

THE MUNSTERS (Universal Television)

What? follows members of an offbeat family who are determined to stay true to themselves but struggle to fit in in hipster Brooklyn

Why? After failing to reboot this 1960s comedy series a few years ago with Bryan Fuller (Hannibal, American Gods) as a drama -it was called Mockingbird Lane and NBC aired the rejected pilot anyway for Halloween- they’re trying again but this time keeping the original format. Seth Meyers is producing (he’s also behind midseason entry AP Bio). The offbeat tone might be exactly what NBC needs right now.

 

TOO CLOSE TO HOME (Warner Bros. Television)

What?  about two sisters who came from very humble beginnings. One of them bettered her circumstances through education and hard work, which paid off in the form of a relatively good life; that “good life” is upended when her much lazier sister strikes it rich by winning the lottery and comes crashing into her world

Why? NBC almost ordered The Sackett Sisters last year -starring Busy Phillips & Casey Wilson- and this one has the same feel and a similar pitch. With 2 Broke Girls gone, a comedy led by a women duet would be much appreciated. Please NBC, make it a reality this time! And you can cast Busy Phillips & Casey Wilson again, we’re very okay with that.

 

UNTITLED JOSH MALMUTH PROJECT (Universal Television)

What? centers around an unlicensed bar that a woman runs out of her backyard

Why? Okay, this is a very short description but there’s something a bit crazy about this idea that I like a lot. It’s simple, but efficient. And more importantly, it’s supervised -but not written- by Mike Schur (Parks and recreation, The Good Place). So something tells me it should not be overlooked!

 

UNTITLED LANG FISHER (Universal Television)

Whatabout the dedicated diplomats of a small U.S. embassy in the Caribbean who are suddenly thrown into chaos when an unqualified, ignorant and hard-living oil man is appointed as their new ambassador

Why? Mindy Kaling is co-producing this comedy project that has a Parks and recreation vibe, as well as an original and exotic location that would make it stand out from the crowd a little but (unless the characters stay indoor). While reviving The Office doesn’t sound like an idea I like very much -especially without Steve Carell- I think they should give a chance to shows like this one, that could be as good.

 

NCB also has a new IT Crowd remake in store; as well as a The Office comeback and they may get the Mad About You revival that is in early stages of development with Paul Reiser & Helen Hunt returning.

 

What projects are you the most interested in among these? Take your picks!

CBS’s 15 most exciting projects for 2018/2019 pilot season

The following article is based on descriptions mixed wih talents attached ONLY. None of the scripts have been read at this point. 

I’m getting tired of saying the same things about CBS every year and I could do a simple copy-paste: the Eye network is losing more and more viewers every season, especially the younger ones, and do nothing about it. They repeat the same mistakes over and over again and it shows now. Once the best network at the scheduling game, they became the worst. NCIS on the drama side, The Big Bang Theory on the comedy side and Survivor on the unscripted side can’t hide all the flops or semi-flops all around.

Their comedy line-up on monday is horrendous, both creatively and ratings-wise. It looks so old-fashioned. Kevin Can Wait holds the fort the best he can but it’s not enough: Man With a Plan and Superior Donuts are already dead in their second seasons while new entries Me, Myself and I & 9JKL are already cancelled in everyone’s mind. Sunday is not the prestige night it once was when The Good Wife was still around: NCIS Los Angeles is doing okay business, but Madam Secretary is dying while Wisdom of the crowd, the worst series of the year, is leaving soon. It’s becoming a syndication farm like friday. Isn’t CBS a giant syndication farm anyway?

It wouldn’t be a bad thing if they were able to create strong new shows, here to stay on the air for a long time. But Bull, Navy SEAL, MacGyver or SWAT are young shows that are already very weak and they’ll soon become a burden, unless CBS accepts the fact that’s the best they can do right now and drag them for years to come with abysmal numbers. Older shows like Criminal Minds, NCIS New Orleans, Blue Bloods or Hawaii 5-0 still have some life in them but at some point not so far away, they will have to go. Thursday is looking better this year thanks to Young Sheldon, which is a really big success, and it helps Mom and Life In Pieces stay at decent levels.

My best advice to them is still the same as least year and the year before: they need to rejuvenate their dramas and comedies by bringing more diversity. In their casts with more people of colour, more women at the center, more gay/bi/transgender characters with stories of their own. Avoid the same old white man temptation they’re always falling for. That’s the best way to be relevant again and attract the millenials before old people die and no one watch the network anymore.  In other words: they need to stop playing it safe and embrace modernity once and for all like the others do. Their development slate looks once again very weak but let’s see what they have:

 

DRAMAS

CHIEFS (Sony Pictures Televsion / CBS Television Studios)

What? about the professional and personal lives of three driven, successful, but very different women who are each Chiefs of Police of their own precincts in L.A. County; they band together to create a task force to catch a dangerous serial killer…

Why? Is it a dream or is this project exactly what CBS avoids to do usually? There is not one, not two but three women at the center AND a pitch that suggets that it would not -only- be a procedural but a serialized cop show! Sorry for the ironic tone but all of those things make it hard to believe they’d give it a chance. Let’s cross our fingers and pray! It has a pilot production commitment so it makes it a real serious candidate for a pick-up…

 

FAMILY BUSINESS (CBS Television Studios)

What? a multi-generational CIA spy family show told through the eyes of its youngest generation: three adult siblings – who all struggle with rivalry, secrets, and making their mark in the Intelligence Community…

Why? What’s the best way for CBS to bank on the family trend without losing its identity? This! This kind of pitch comes back every year and I remember vivdly the Boomerang one at FOX a few years ago, starring Felicity Huffman, it was unique and great. It was rejected for reasons unknown. If they can do something in the same vein, that doesn’t take itself too seriously, with a bit of comedy, that’d be great! You know, something more modern and entertaining than Blue Bloods… Barbara Hall (Madam Secretary, Judging Amy) is the creator.

 

MURDER (Warner Bros. Television)

What?  takes the audience inside the emotional journey of an investigation, allowing them to discern the truth and judge the suspects’ guilt or innocence for themselves; each episode serves as a standalone story and describes the events leading to and immediately after a murder has taken place…

Why? This drama is based on a BBC true crime anthology series that I never heard of before. It would be a good complement to the other CBS cop or action shows, that have a tendency to care very little for the victims’ and suspects’ journey and are all about the investigation and the detectives. Here, the focus is different. It could become boring after a few episodes though and since they don’t produce it in-house it will be treated like shit. Maybe it would be best taken care of somewhere else…

 

TRIDENT (CBS Television Studios)

What? centers on a mysterious death aboard an American nuclear submarine that tests the mettle of the crew, the White House, the Pentagon and the CIA and causes a crisis that threatens to expose a conspiracy that could trigger World War III

Why? Probably the only ambitious project CBS has in store this year. It sounds more like one of their summer treats (Zoo, Salvation) and maybe that’s where it will end up -and it would be the sign that it’s not very good- but for the time being, let’s be optimistic. It’s a thrilling idea from people who worked on Fringe, Star Trek Discovery and well… Scorpion and Limitless too.

 

UNTITLED CARRIE GOLDBERG PROJECT (Sony Pictures Television / CBS Television Studios)

What? based on the life of attorney Carrie Goldberg, a young lawyer in Brooklyn who, after enduring vicious online and offline attacks herself, opens her own firm to place herself and her team on the front lines of defending victims of crimes in the age of the Internet where the law hasn’t yet caught up with technology

Why? The word “technology” in a pitch makes me afraid these days. Pure Genius, APB & Wisdom of the Crowd (two of them were on CBS…) all flopped with similar ideas. The difference here is that it’s not about using new technology to solve crimes but defending people who were victims of technology, and it sounds way more interesting. But won’t the case look all the same at some point? That’s my main concern. It will need to rely on the charm of the main character and her collaborators, and not just cases, a little soap too, which is not CBS’s strongest suit.

 

UNTITLED GALL & GERO PROJECT (Warner Bros. Television)

What?  revolves around five multi-racial adopted siblings who fight for justice in the courtroom amid wildly different legal careers as they delve into the mystery of a family tragedy that exposes the sins of their father

Why? In what world would 5 brothers & sisters, even adopted, all make a career in the law? I mean… at least one would be the black sheep and do something else entirely, right? It starts as something totally unbelievable BUT the fact that they are not all lawyers could fuel interesting interactions and battles. Plus, it’s produced by Greg Berlanti and he knows how to make a good family drama (Brothers & Sisters, Everwood) so I want to believe in it no matter what.

 

WHISTLEBLOWER (CBS Television Studios)

What? about a former whistleblower who lost everything – career, family, reputation – when he stood up against a conglomerate to expose wrongdoing; he now runs a firm dedicated to exposing wrongdoers while protecting those who have the courage to stand up for what’s right

Why? Last year, CBS passed on a similar pilot, Perfect Citizen starring Noah Wyle, and it was a good one. They prefered Widsom of the crowd and Navy SEAL to it, well… This time, it’s not written by someone from The Good Wife, but it’s produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. It’s worrying when you look at what he worked on recently, but the idea is still interesting and I hope they manage to make something good out of it.

 

After ABC last year, CBS is now developing a Magnum, PI reboot from their expert Peter Lenkov, who’s already responsible for Hawaii 5-0‘s and MacGyver‘s, but of course this one won’t be female centric; a small screen take on James Ellroy’s noir L.A. Confidential that is not a good fit at all with prude CBS, plus it’s a period drama set in the 1950s; and F.B.I, already ordered to series, about the inner workings of the New York office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, produced by… Dick Wolf, for the first time in years not on NBC.

 

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COMEDIES

CLASS ACTION (CBS Television Studios)

What? about a law student looking for the easy way out who gets more than he bargained for when he finds himself in a class where he and an eclectic group of fellow law students are required to argue actual cases in court

Why? It sounds a bit like a comedic version of How To Get Away With Murder, without the actual murders. And I kinda like it. A workplace comedy with aspiring lawyers sounds like something that could attract millenials, if there is no battle between the old generation and the new one (like there was in the terrible The Great Indoors).

 

DADS & DAUGHTERS ((CBS Television Studios)

What? about a reserved math teacher with Midwestern values and an outgoing personal trainer who must bite the bullet and move in together rather than splitting their daughters up when their common ex-wife heads to prison for credit card fraud

Why? Is it me or does it sound a lot like Two and half-men? The premise is totally different but it should end up exactly the same: two straight men raising kids together while the mother is away. Oh and Jon Cryer is attached to star! What a coincidence… Why did I pick it up then? Because it looks like a multicam that could work for them and they badly need one.

 

HISTORY OF THEM (Sony Pictures Television / CBS Television Studios)

What? a multi-cultural romantic comedy about how two friends fell in love, narrated by their future daughter, using the couple’s social media from present-day as a guide

Why? This project is CBS trying to modernize How I Met Your Mother (could have been named How My Parents Met) and we can’t blame them. Apart from The Big Bang Theory, it’s their last big success in the genre. I’m very optimistic about the outcome since it’s written by Netflix’s One Day at a Time creator Gloria Calderon Kellet and produced and directed by Pam Fryman, who did every HIMYM episodes.

 

I MOM SO HARD (Warner Bros. Television)

What? follows two moms who show how their friendship gets them through being wives and mothers

Why? This one is written by three women! Yeah, you read it right. It’s a rarity. One of them is Michelle Nader, who was an executive producer on gone-too-soon 2 Broke Girls. It’s based on the popular web series of the same name with creators/stars Kristin Hensley and Jen Smedley reprising their roles. CBS desperately needs something like this on their lineup: fresh feminine faces.

 

LADDER 54 (CBS Television Studios)

What?  about a big-city firehouse: stuck there for long shifts, a crew of firefighters eat, sleep, live, laugh and fight with each other, their relationships made more intense by the fact that at any moment, they’ll be risking their lives for one another

Why? Between Chicago Fire, 911 and the Grey’s Anatomy spin-off, there may be enough firefighters on TV but none of them are a straight comedies so maybe there’s a place for it anyway. The popular Cedric the Entertainer -who looks nothing like a firefighter- is attached to star.

 

PERFECT 10 (Warner Bros. Television)

What?  about a group of former high school classmates who become indispensable parts of each other’s lives after reconnecting at their 10-year reunion

Why? Some of you may remember CBS sitcom The Class from 10 years ago. The network cancelled it after one season because of poor performances but it was really good and even getting better and better. I hope this Perfect 10 with the same idea will be some kind of revenge!

 

QUALITY OF LIFE (CBS Television Studios)

What? set at a family-run funeral home, tackling life through the unique perspective that growing up in a funeral home gives you

Why? Jamie Lee Curtis is attached to star in this comedic Six Feet Under that sounds like something different, both funny and touching, that could do well around Young Sheldon & Mom. Those three could save monday paired all together!

 

WELCOME TO MAINE (CBS Television Studios)

What?  about a ninth-generation Maine family and a recent immigrant – believed to be a Syrian refugee – and his daughter who all must learn to embrace change when they share the same workplace in a tiny rural town

Why? Greg Garcia (My Name is Earl, Raising Hope, Yes Dear) is behind this project, which is a good reason to give it a chance. It would help bring some diversity to the network on a timely subject in the Trump Era, with a more liberated voice.

 

What projects are you the most interested in among these? Take your picks!

FOX’s 20 most exciting projects for 2018/2019 pilot season

The following article is based on descriptions mixed wih talents attached ONLY. None of the scripts have been read at this point.

This pilot season will be very weird for FOX. Why? Because the network as we knew it is about to die. As Disney bought 20th Century FOX Television -among other 21st Century FOX assets- which was their principal content provider with big names attached to it (like Ryan Murphy’s or Seth MacFarlane’s), the network will soon be without any in-house studio. Except if Sony, Lionsgate or god knows what other television studio becomes part of FOX, but it’ll take months before it becomes effective. Since the deal between 21st FOX Television & Disney has yet to be approved, it’s a season of transition and the executives may be very picky about their orders, while they may not be there next year. The more they pick-up 20th Century FOX Television projects, the more money they’re giving to Disney… It’s hard to know what’s really gonna happen so let’s see what they have in store regardless.

FOX is not having a bad year per say, but only their Empire/Star pairing is doing really good business for them. Everything else nagivates between big flops (virtually every comedy including their best hope The Mick, The Exorcist…), little flops (Gotham, Last Man On Earth) and okay performers (Lethal Weapon, Lucifer). Supernatural comedy Ghosted is doing okay on sunday while Seth MacFarlane’s The Orville is compensating its so-so live ratings with important gains on live+7. The Gifted, which was supposed to be their biggest new asset, disappointed and didn’t generate any buzz, despite being part of the X-Men universe, and has yet to be renewed. But with Ryan Murphy’s 911 and the new season of The X-Files coming, they may witness a ratings surge in the new year. Not all is lost… yet!

 

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DRAMAS

 

THE BAD DECISIONS PLAYLIST (20th Century FOX Television)

What?  focuses on 16-year-old Austin, who’s always messing up and then joking his way out of tough spots. The sudden appearance of his allegedly dead father, who happens to be the very-much-alive rock star Shane Tyler, spins his entire world out of orbit. Austin, a talented musician himself, is sucked into his newfound father’s alluring world while he discovers more about himself, his friendships and what it means to have this new modern version of a family.

Why? Is FOX turning into an all-musical network? If they add another music-fueled show to Empire & Star, it will start to look like it. But how can we blame them? It’s currently what works best for them… Writer and producer Lee Daniels is not involved in this one, but there’s still potential, especially if they bet more on the family part than the behind-the-scenes of the music industry. This Is Us lead the way for more family dramas, and this one may have what it takes to be different enough and somehow similar too.

 

BEING JUDGED (20th Century FOX Television)

What? No one likes being judged, least of all Josephine Graves, who is struggling to figure out this thing called life, while balancing her demanding career, social life, and family responsibilities; unfortunately for her, she has to do it all under the biggest, brightest, spotlight because at 27 years old she is the youngest judge in the history of America…

Why? FOX is out of the legal drama business for quite some time now. This project may be a interesting way in, though it doesn’t sound particularly original. But hey, as we’ve been proven multiple times the past few years, the simpler ideas can often lead to the best shows. Look at The Good Doctor and This is Us… If Being Judged has an Ally McBeal vibe to it, it’s a yes! Plus, we’re still waiting for women-led dramas on the network…

 

EAST OF HOPE (20th Century FOX Television)

What? set in an All-American working class town which centers around two families divided by a past event, and reconnected by blood; both tie their hopes and dreams to the high school basketball team, which they see as their ticket to a better life…

Why? Other than being musical shows imagined by Lee Daniels, Empire & Star have something else in common: they’re about black people coming from a poor environment trying to get better lives. That’s also the case with East of Hope but with basketball in the background. And guess who’s producing? Yes, Lee Daniels again! No-brainer, right?

 

KENTUCKY BLOOD (ABC Studios / 20th Century FOX Television)

What? Inspired by the revelation that the recipe for Jack Daniels whiskey was developed by a slave, Kentucky Blood is a heartland, family drama set in the bourbon business about deep, family secrets bubbling up to the surface. It follows two families intertwined by a complex history and a secret epic romance between two star-crossed lovers. One white. One black. A perfect storm of circumstance brings them back into each others lives as business partners, changing the old dynamic between them and disrupting their families lives.

Why? Am I the only one thinking it’s a bit odd FOX haven’t tried another big soap since Empire? If there’s a network that is in the best place to launch one right now, it’s FOX. This one is particularly interesting for multiple reasons : the setting, the “Romeo & Juliet” vibe, the multiracial love story… but it will need to be modern to work because the pitch sounds a bit old. I’m wondering why ABC didn’t keep it for themselves honestly.

 

MIDNIGHT LAWYER (20th Century FOX Television)

What? about a lawyer who gets his clients out of trouble they get into after dark. He used to live the NYC after-hours life and now he’s always striving to save people the way he saved himself – but this business comes with temptation…

Why? Another legal drama but this time with this particularity: it starts after dark and ends right before dawn. Is it enough to make it special? It will also need a good central character and as it is written here, we can imagine another anti-hero à la Dr House. Is this type of character a thing of the past now? Maybe. But it should be given a chance, just in case.

 

MIXTAPE (20th Century FOX Television)

What? drama that looks at a disparate group of interconnected people in contemporary Los Angeles through the lens of the music that defines who they are…

Why? Busy Quantico creator Josh Safran -he works on three pilots at the same time- is back to its musical roots after his stint on the second season of Smash that didn’t end well. Mixtape is reminiscent of critical darling La La Land, which is a good thing I guess. The worrying part is “a disparate group of interconnected people” because this type of concept rarely works on television. Remember Six Degrees or even Heroes. It’s really hard to sustain and it may not do well on a network. But it’s definitely intriguing.

 

OFF-SITE (20th Century FOX Television)

What? about a former “chaos agent” for the CIA who’s recruited by a UN investigator to help recover a missing artifact that surprisingly contains clues to a mythical reservoir said to be overflowing with an incredibly rare and immensely valuable fossil fuel, instantly igniting a pulse-pounding chase across the desert

Why? Adventure dramas are rare on television, probably because it’s a very hard thing to do, it needs big budget, but I’m always hoping for a good one. Maybe Off-Site will be it… Len Wiseman (Sleepy Hollow, APB, Lucifer) is involved as writer, director and executive producer. I’m not sure it’s a good thing though.

 

PROXY (20th Century FOX Television)

What? centered on a technology that allows online followers to live voyeuristically through the experiences of hedonistic young “Proxies” on a remote island paradise…

Why? John Francis Daley (Bones) is behind this very interesting sci-fi project developed by Anonymous Content (Mr Robot, True Detective, 13 Reasons Why…). It may not be such a good fit with a network but since that’s where it is at this time, let’s just cross our fingers so we get the chance to see it from our own eyes.

 

SURVEILLANCE (20th Century FOX Television)

What? A lens into the least understood organization in the United States the NSA. Its a high stakes, serialized, character-driven political thriller set in a world we really haven’t seen before all through the eyes of our hero and the NSAs secret keeper Madeline Yardley.

Why? The NSA storylines were not the best part of The Good Wife, and a spin-off about this world would not have worked, but I still think there’s a show to do about the NSA and it’s the only one in this pilot season that I know of. Matt Reeves (Planet of the Apes, Cloverfield) is involved as producer, which reassures me. That being said, there’s a reason why it’s “the least understood organization”: it’s always very complex and can easily become boring…

 

UNTITLED LAVENDER & ULIN PROJECT (20th Century FOX Television)

What? After twenty years of marriage, a couple try to reignite their passion and strengthen their family by starting over in paradise on earth: Hawaii; they move their two teenage kids to the island of tourist fantasies, but the reality of paradise is not all sun, surf, and sex on the beach – dark family secrets, a complicated social structure they don’t understand, old mistakes, and messy new relationships threaten to tear the Campbell family apart, even as they struggle to find their way back to each other

Why? As a big supporter of family dramas, I find this one particularly interesting thanks to the Hawaii setting and the culture attached to it. Escapism and emotion, that’s a really good plan, isn’t it? If it’s as good as Alexander Payne’s movie The Descendants, we have a winner! But let’s not set the bar too high already…

 

UNTITLED L.A. WOMEN PROJECT (20th Century FOX Television)

What? Longtime friends Reza, June, Amelia, and Indie who have climbed to the top of the Hollywood ladder together as a lawyer, an actress, a writer-producer, and an entrepreneur. It all looks pretty enviable from the outside, and they all enjoy the many perks of their high-flying lifestyles – but there’s no such thing as having it all, at least not all at the same time. Each of them has made significant sacrifices to get where they are. When a face from their past resurfaces in the pilot, they have to confront some ugly buried secrets and protect their lives from being destroyed.

Why? Eva Longoria can’t get over Desperate Housewives after Devious Maids apparently, with this project that she’s producing that takes one aspect of it -4 women friends- to another environment: Hollywood! It’s timely, especially if those women are confronted to very bad men like Harvey Weinstein and so many others… There’s potential, as long as it’s not just another funny dramedy with cartoonesque characters that are mostly here to make us laugh and cry easily. Make it a profound feminist soap or don’t do it at all.

 

VICTORY (20th Century FOX Television)

What? set in the world of competitive gospel choirs which tells the inspirational story of a prodigal son and a group of forgotten young people who must rise above their personal hardships to save a church and heal a broken community through the power of song

Why? Well… Yeah, of course it’s from Lee Daniels again. What can I say? He certainly has deep obsessions and Victory is exactly what we could expect from him, no surprise here. But I can’t help thinking that this gospel choirs idea is good and it’s something that could touch people’s hearts as long as it’s not too preachy. Gospel is empowering and an amazing thing to witness in a church, if you get the chance. Would it work on a weekly basis? Yeah, if the community the characters form is well-defined and relatable, not on the “bigger-than-life” side.

 

FOX is also developing a small screen take on James Cameron’s 1994 feature True Lies about a super-spy whose family discovers his real job, by McG; a new anthological take on the 24 franchise which would center on a female prosecutor who uncovers a legal conspiracy and has to work against the clock to save a death row inmate facing imminent execution whom she had helped prosecute but may be innocent; a retelling of the King Lear story produced by Milo Ventimiglia called Cordelia; a sequel to the 1970s David Carradine-led TV series Kung-Fu produced by Greg Berlanti (?!); more Lee Daniels projects; The Nice Girls, a contemporary gender flipped TV series based on Shane Black’s 2016 feature film The Nice Guys, about two very different PIs; many cop show…

 

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COMEDIES

COOL KIDS (20th Century FOX Television) – picked up to pilot

What?  about three guy friends in a retirement community who are the top dogs until they’re blown out of the water by the newest member of the community, a female rebel who’s ready to challenge their place – it’s high school with 70 somethings…

Why? I like old people having existential crisis and also a lof of fun in the process. If it can be as good as The Golden Girls or Grace and Frankie, I’m in. If it’s as shitty as FOX last attempt Dads: definitely out!

MS. PAT (20th Century FOX Television)

What?  the story of a most unlikely suburban mom; her hustle and entrepreneurial spirit were forged on the mean streets of Atlanta, but she now finds herself in conservative middle America alongside her loving husband and two distinct sets of kids raised under very different circumstances

Why? Redeveloped leftover from last year – Empire‘s Lee Daniels & Brian Grazer are behind this family comedy project that could be great if Ms. Pat is as hilarious a character as Cookie. I don’t know a thing about stand-up comedian Patricia Williams who’s attached to play the role but I feel very confident about this one.

 

MURDERTOWN (20th Century FOX Television)

What?  about a New York radio journalist who, after a career-ending gaffe, returns to her hometown in Cape Cod and takes a job at the local newspaper, hoping to uncover a headline-grabbing true crime story that will get her back in the spotlight…

Why? It could have been the pitch of a drama but since it’s a comedy, we can expect a true-crime parody in the vein of Trial & Error or American Vandal. There’s still time but not so much before this type of projects become outdated so it’s now or never, FOX.

 

ONE HIT WENDY (20th Century FOX Television)

What? about Wendy, a one-hit wonder who peaked at 18, who tries to guide her talented niece, Jordan, through the music industry and keep her from making the same mistakes she made… 

Why? If FOX develops so many music-fueled dramas, there’s no reason why they wouldn’t try it on the comedy-side too. This one sounds like the best of the crowd and it has one advantage: Julianne Hough, a popular judge from Dancing With The Stars -who won twice the competition before getting the gig- is attached for the lead role.

 

RESERVATIONS (20th Century FOX Television)

What? about a Native American family that trades their impoverished reservation for Los Angeles, a move inspired by the dreams of a 14-year-old boy to live in Hollywood

Why? Yet another family comedy but with an original angle. It makes me think of the best part of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Jacqueline and her native american parents. Curious to see how funny this cultural clash can play out.

 

REVIVAL (20th Century FOX Television)

What?  about Elliot, formerly the little kid from a beloved ’80s family sitcom and now living a normal life, who reluctantly gets sucked back into the show’s revival with his old TV family

Why? These days, with so many revivals on the air –Roseanne, Fuller House– this fake-family comedy from TV is simply genius! And the good news is Nahnatchka Khan (Fresh Off The Boat, Don’t Trust the B) is producing. I want it badly!

 

SPACEBOUND (Jackal Prod)

What? about an alien who goes on an intergalactic coffee run and finds herself stranded on “the worst planet in the universe”: Earth; a group of eccentric friends takes her in and she discovers she might actually be the most functional person in the world

Why? Similar projects are developped every year or so, I won’t tell you it’s incredibly original but instead of a 3rd Planet From The Sun reboot -that is not in the cards at this time- or worst an Alf one, why not?

 

STEP STRANGERS (Warner Bros. Television)

What? about five 20-something adults who are forced to become step-siblings after their overbearing divorced mother and oblivious widower father meet on a singles cruise and fall in love

Why? Elizabeth Banks is producing this one. I kinda like the premise. Think it’s like Happy Endings but if they were suddenly all brothers and sisters! Did I convince you? I just convinced myself.

 

What projects are you the most interested in among these? Take your picks!