Category: News

SCOOP: Netflix preps remake of french series “Ainsi soient-ils” (“Churchmen”) produced by Tom Fontana

David Baïot, Julien Bouanich, Clément Manuel, Samuel Jouy et Clément Roussier in “Ainsi Soient-ils” (“Churchmen”)

 

Oz creator Tom Fontana is back at work with a Netflix series adapted from french faith-based drama Ainsi Soient-Ils, which ran for 3 seasons from 2012 to 2015 on channel Arte and won the Séries Mania Best Series Award in Paris twice and the Best Film Award winner at the International Catholic Film Festival.

Churchmen is about five young men from very different backgrounds and with different motivations for leaving the lives they’ve known who enter seminary in New York, discovering an institution where ambition and discord could cast a shadow over their strongest belief. Tom Fontana (Borgia, Copper, Homicide) is producing the project through his Levinson/Fontana Company alongside Netflix and Asylum Entertainment, with James Yoshimura, who worked on Homeland & Treme, William Powell and K.C. Warnke. Fontana may have heard about Ainsi Soient-ils for the first time when he came to the Series Mania festival in Paris in 2013. Shooting should start as soon as February in New York. The number of episodes is unclear at this time.

It’s the second time a french TV show is adapted in the US. A&E did “The Returned” two years ago, based on “Les Revenants” from Canal +. It was cancelled after one season. Churchmen will probably have better luck with Netflix behind.

 

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SCOOP: The CW eyes Charmed prequel with Jane The Virgin team

More than three years after CBS passed on the Charmed reboot they were working on -which is still talked about a lot by fans all over the world- The CW has landed a prequel to the cult WB series produced by the team of critically acclaimed dramedy Jane The Virgin.

Jane The Virgin creator Jennie Snyder Urman, as well as producer Brad Silverman, are behind the project which will follow three witches who fight evil in a small New England town during the seventies/eighties (1976), possibly the Halliwells’ ancestors from the Warren Line, the most powerful line of witches in history introduced in the original show. The pilot script is written by Amy Rardin & Jessica O’Toole who already know a thing or two about the 80s and prequel series since they wrote for The Carrie Diaries, prequel of Sex & The City. They also worked on Jane The Virgin, Selfie & Greek.

Brad Silberling, who directed the pilot of Jane The Virgin and also A Series of Unfortunate Events movie (not the upcoming Netflix show) is attached to direct this one as well. CBS Television is the studio, with Propagate Content and Reveal Entertainment.

So don’t expect Alyssa Milano, Shannen Doherty, Holly Mary Combs or Rose McGowan to comeback, at least initially.

It’s not the only series reboot The CW is developing for next season. A Dynasty remake is also in the works.

The CW’s 8 most exciting projects for 2017/2018 pilot season

The CW’s 8 most exciting projects for 2017/2018 pilot season

 

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

 

THE CW’S NEEDS FOR NEXT SEASON

  • At least one CBS Television Studios-produced series that actually work.
  • No new DC Comics show for now (4 at the same time is enough).
  • More ambitious concepts, less dramedies

 

After years of increasing power, The CW took a hit this season with both new entries dramedy No Tomorrow & cop-show with a twist Frequency doing tiny numbers. No real surprise here, those were weird pick-ups from the get go. The good news is the transfer of Supergirl from CBS to the CBS-owned network worked exactly like it was supposed to. It became the second most rated series on The CW right behind The Flash and some say it found its footing creative-wise. Meanwhile, other DC Comics properties show signs of weakness: Arrow is not the hit it used to be and Legends of Tomorrrow never became the hit everybody expected. The giant crossover between all of them was a real success but shouldn’t really help on a longtime perspective.

Supernatural is still a monster on thursday. It’s the Grey’s Anatomy of the CW. It might never end. The order for a 13th season is just a formality at this point. Jane The Virgin does okay on monday but Supergirl -its leadin- didn’t help it improve sadly. The Vampire Diaries is finally ending without making noise. That’s what happens when you drag on a show for too long. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is in a bad place on friday and will only get a 3rd season thanks to the critics and awards recognition, if the network feels generous enough. Reign is about to end after 4 years. The Originals is coming back midseason but it’s already half-dead. The 100 has to become great again if it wants to last. iZombie looks like a filler a this point. And then there’s Riverdale. Everybody was shocked when it didn’t appear on The CW’s fall schedule. In retrospect, it was a good and safe decision. They had to concentrate their efforts on the Supergirl move this fall and they needed a buzzy show for midseason. The 9pm slot on thursday doesn’t look like the best one they could give it but competition is not that strong (Chicago Med, the return of Scandal, Mom/Life In Pieces) so a little success is not out of reach. For next season, they will probably need more shows produced in-house, shows that fit better with the actual line-up.

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CASA (Warner Bros. Television)

What? about six siblings in a Hispanic family who have to band together to survive when their parents get unjustly deported…

Why? Timely idea for a show, on a touchy and difficult subject that has already been dealt with in Jane The Virgin but could be revisited in a more dramatic, precise and profound way. It is produced by The CW king Greg Berlanti, which is an interesting comeback to its roots, to what he did well before all the DC Comics stuff, with series like Dawson’s CreekEverwood & Brothers & Sisters about family and growing up. I’d love to watch this, if Casa is as good as those.

 

CRIMINAL MAGIC (Warner Bros. Television)

What? about two warring street gangs who fight the cops and each other to corner the market on the most lucrative contraband of all: magic; a young woman hiding spectacular magical powers and an undercover cop must try to survive this glamorous world of speakeasies, crime and danger…

Why? This project has a few things going on for it: it is produced by Rob Thomas (Veronica Mars, iZombie); shows about magic are not that common these days; treating magic like a drug everybody is ready to go crazy for possessing is interesting; the “undercover” twist could be fun. That being said, I don’t think it should be The CW’s priority.

 

MATA HARI (CBS Television Studios)

What? a reimagining of the life of the infamous dancer, notorious lover, and World War One double agent; following the brutal murder of her fiance, Mata Hari is drawn into a game of international espionage in order to avenge his death in this sexy spy thriller…

Why? The logline doesn’t say if it’s gonna be a modern adaptation or a period drama, which might change everything. But one of the producer is Laurie McCarthy, who co-created Reign. It could be a clue. Anyway, Mata Hari is an iconic historical figure that has never been portrayed in a TV series so far (there’s an international one coming up, that looks terrible) and her adventures are certain to make an epic one. Michael Weatherly is producing. Not that it’s important though.

 

RISE (Warner Bros. Television)

What? when martial law is declared following a terrorist attack, a disparate group of everyday people start to uncover that the attack was a cover-up for a homegrown coup; these unlikely heroes rise up against the tyranny of the new governmental regime, planting the seeds of hope and strength that will in time spark a Second American Revolution…

Why? We’re starting to get tired of series that begin with a terrorist attack, but this one seems to be different since it doesn’t involve directly the governement, or the FBI, or the CIA, but as it is said “a group of everyday people”. It’s produced by Julie Plec (The Vampire Diaries, Containment, Kyle XY) so it should look like your usual The CW show…

 

SEARCHERS (Warner Bros. Television) picked-up

What? about a group of unlikely heroes who find themselves on the journey of a lifetime. Ten years after the death of their parents, a pragmatic brother and free spirited sister are forced to team up when they learn that their mother’s terrifying and bizarre stories may be a road map to discovering the great legends, myths, and unexplainable mysteries of the world.

Why? Usual suspect Greg Berlanti is also involved in this one, created by The 100‘s Jason Rothenberg. It could be a perfect companion for Supernatural, hoping it’s not just a rip-off. But it’s something that could last for years and the network needs that too. Something that is both procedural, with a “monster of the week” or “a legend of the week” in this particular case, and heavy serialized to keep people intrigued for the long haul.

 

STICK MAN (CBS Television Studios)

What? about an amateur documentarian who returns to her hometown to chronicle the events of her brother’s murder and the ensuing trial; while there, she finds herself increasingly sympathetic to the convicted killer, ultimately discovering evidence that links her brother’s death to supernatural events

Why? Well. I think I would have loved this logline way more if supernatural events were not involved in the end. Especially since Heroes creator Tim Kring is producing. And he and I are not friends. Still, depending on the execution, it could be great. Is it a good fit with The CW? I’m doubtful. Maybe as a miniseries…

 

THE TERRANAUTS (Warner Bros. Television)

What? an epic story of science, society, sex, survival and, ultimately, human folly and ambition. Said to be inspired by the Biosphere 2 real-life experiment, the story revolves around eight scientists enlisted to run a biosphere that will prove vital for humanity’s survival in an off-Earth colony. Their goal is to successfully create a sustainable environment to house generations to come, but things don’t quite go as planned.

Why? Based on a book written by novelist T.C. Boyle, this preapocalyptic tale got rave reviews. I’m not even sure The CW is the best place to offer such a smart and deep-dive into human behavior, but it could be a game-changer for the network. Since The 100 went from really good to mostly bad, they need this desperately. Jim Parsons is producing, which doesn’t hurt its chances.

 

WEAVEWORLD (CBS Television Studios)

What? two ordinary people find themselves on a quest to find and protect a magical realm and ultimately to save all of humanity from an evil force…

Why? The CW already took a stab at this Clive Barker’s adaptation last year, but it didn’t go to pilot stage. They seem to be really high on the idea since they ordered a second script, this time penned by Josh Stolberg who wrote for Parker Lewis, Weird Science and movies such as Piranha 3D or Saw: Legacy. For decades, Weaveworld had been considered too hard to adapt for TV because of its scope and settings that would require extensive use of special effects. But now it’s possible so… Yeah, they should go for it!

 

The CW also has a Dynasty reboot in the works by Josh Schwartz & Stephanie Savage (Gossip Girl), which is a mistake in my opinion as the flops of Dallas & Melrose Place proved not that long ago: millenials don’t care about those. But it’s such a great IP that they will probably try.  A small screen take on Joel Schumacher’s cult 1987 feature The lost Boys, about vampires rising, is in development; as well as an adaptation of Alyssa Milano’s comic book Hacktivist; and a drama billed as Touched by an Angel-meets-Ghost with an urban twist called Straight Outta Heaven by John Singleton.

 

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

 

SEE ALSO :

 

ABC’s 25 most exciting projects for 2017/2018 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’S NEEDS FOR NEXT SEASON

  • One big family soap, preferably produced in-house.
  • One police procedural show, preferably produced in-house and preferably in ABC’s wheelhouse: heavy serialized.
  • At least one ambitious and buzzworthy thriller and/or fantasy series.
  • New comedies that differ slightly from their successful family brand to diversify the offer.
  • More synergy with Disney-owned properties (Marvel, Lucas Films…)

ABC is in a very dark place this year while new president Channing Dungey, the first African American woman to head a broadcast network ever, is working hard on her first pilot season. She explained recently why the Alphabet was failing the past few years in her opinion “With our dramas, we have a lot of shows that feature very well-to-do, well-educated people, who are driving very nice cars and living in extremely nice places. There is definitely still room for that, and we absolutely want to continue to tell those stories because wish-fulfillment is a critical part of what we do as entertainers. But in recent history we haven’t paid enough attention to some of the true realities of what life is like for everyday Americans in our dramas.” We’ll see in a few weeks if her pilot pick-ups reflect that vision but in my opinion, they should not forget people tend to watch what doesn’t remind them their (sad) daily life too much…

Despite a smart fall schedule, ratings have plunged. Both new procedural drama entries Conviction & Notorious have failed big time. They were not very good shows and they didn’t add anything new and distinctive to the network. The second season of Secrets & Lies -which was supposed to start last year- came way too late and wasn’t able to bring the attention of viewers. In the meantime, ABC left Quantico in the 10pm sunday slot. It had to fight alone, a decision that resulted in new lows. But it’s still an important asset for them so they will finally try to save it by putting it behind The Bachelor come midseason. Too little too late? Once Upon A Time is dying but could live one more year since ABC won’t be able to launch too many new shows at the same time next fall. Agents of SHIELD is dying too and does for quite some time now. New Marvel show ordered straight-to-series The Inhumans will replace it in the fall but it could still be renewed.

Grey’s Anatomy is still ABC’s number one show. A 14th season is on its way. A 15th probably too. It’s an incredible success. How To Get Away With Murder manages to stay a decent level, which was not easy with Scandal being on a hiatus and Notorious doing horrible numbers right before. Designated Survivor starring Kiefer Sutherland is a hit. Not the biggest hit ABC could have hoped for, but a hit nonetheless. And they have in store a third season for critically-acclaimed American Crime; a miniseries about the evolution of the LGBT movement in the US called When We Rise; an unexpected second year of Shondaland’s The Catch; the new Shondaland drama Still Star-Crossed; and Kevin Williamson’s Time After Time. All are still unscheduled at this time. And none look like a potential big winner…

But ABC has one great reason to be happy: their comedy brand is stronger than ever! New entries American Housewife and Speechless, smartly scheduled behind The Middle & The Goldbergs respectively, found their audience right away. Modern Family is not a monster anymore but does more than okay; Blackish gets decent numbers and receives awards recognition; Fresh Off The Boat maintains itself out of dark waters. The only black sheep is The Real O’Neals, a really good show that struggles for unknown reasons and that will probably get the axe in may to make room for something new. On friday, Last Man Standing and Dr Ken are living their lives peacefully. New comedies Downward Dog and Imaginary Mary are waiting in the wings… As a result, they won’t need many new comedies next year.

DRAMAS

 

CRIMINAL (Warner Bros. Television)

What? after falling prey to a CIA sting, a fast-talking, hedonistic con man and his ragtag team of criminals must complete an ongoing series of missions to clear their names and steal an unknown number of long-forgotten relics that could change the fate of the world…

Why? By the team that brought you Blindspot. Martin Gero is co-creating, Greg Berlanti is co-producing. It’s easy to understand why ABC can be interested in this kind of high-concept serialized procedural show. It’s not really in their DNA, it skews more male than they’re used to, but if it works for NBC -mostly- why wouldn’t it work for them? Maybe they’d need The Voice to achieve the same goal though…

 

DOOMSDAY (Sony Pictures Televison) picked-up

What? starts in the aftermath of 9/11, when the U.S. government institutes a secret think tank featuring the most creative minds in science and entertainment that is tasked with dreaming up man-made disaster scenarios and their possible solutions; because the hypothetical ideas are deemed extremely dangerous, the list is sealed and the program shut down; but when a catastrophe occurs that’s ripped from the pages of the missing doomsday book, the team is brought back years later to prevent the disasters of their own making…

Why? Is this the next Designated Survivor for ABC? It sounds like it, even though it seems a little more complex and ambitious, and doesn’t have a big star attached to it yet. It could be buzzworthy and exciting. It’s from the people who wrote The Jury last year. ABC passed on it but it was worth a try honestly (and they’re redeveloping it). Maybe they’ll get their chance this time around. It’s definitely something the network needs badly.

 

DOWN IN THE VALLEY (TriStar Television)

What? a talented female police officer returns home to Napa Valley to support her struggling family after her troubled sister disappears and leaves her infant daughter in need of care. When she joins the Napa County Sheriff’s Department to make ends meet, she quickly realizes that this posh, bucolic, “small town” paradise now has more than its fair share of big-city problems.

Why? Described as a darkly comedic hourlong crime drama and family soap, this project seems to reunite most of what ABC is looking for: fun, family, middle-America and procedural elements through a woman’s point of view.

 

DRAMA KINGS (Sony Pictures Television)

What? follows four handsome bachelor brothers, all of whom have major issues with women. However, nothing compares to the tumultuous relationship they have with their powerful, manipulative and controlling mother. In addition to meddling with their lives, she’s the owner of a Los Angeles hotspot, a scion in the community, and possibly responsible for the deaths of her last two husbands…

Why? Sounds like a big giant soap like ABC is known for, that could fit perfectly with The Bachelor by the way. It needs to be fun and provocative. They need to the find the right cast too, especially for the mother. The whole success of the show might depend on her. About the men, they don’t need to be famous, as long as they’re all beautiful and very different, from every ethnicity. And one should be gay / in the closet IMHO. Is it too much like Empire, without the music? Maybe. Jordan Budde (Mistresses, GCB) is writing. Peter Tolan (Rescue Me) is producing.

 

GRACE (ABC Studios)

What? about a family of adult siblings whose lives are upended when their stalwart minister father reveals to his family that he is gay…

Why? ABC was the best network in the emotional family drama arena in the 90s & 00s with such shows as Thirtysomething, Once and again, My so-called life, Brothers & Sisters… While This Is Us is a ratings success NBC can be really proud of, the Alphabet needs to take that crown back and Grace looks like the perfect show to do so, with the right cast. Please make it fun too.

 

HYPERION (ABC Studios)

What? top secret drama based on the Disney theme park mythology

Why? With no more details available at this time, it’s hard to tell if they should bet on it. But since synergy is really important for Disney and Once Upon A Time will conclude rather sooner than later, Hyperion looks like a potential substitute. It’s written by Agent Carter creators. It’s kinda reassuring. The show was not a ratings success but deeply appreciated by those who sticked with it.

 

JIGSAW (ABC Studios)

What? Set in suburban Las Vegas, this drama follows the relationships of three sisters, all with different fathers, within’ a blue-collar ‘Jigsaw’ family, that is a family that is pieced together by more than just births, marriages and adoptions.

Why? This Is Us vibe, anyone? The title and the term ‘jigsaw family’ suggests there might be something different in play here, something mysterious whether it’s in the story itself or in the storytelling. Plus, a family drama that takes place in Las Vegas is new. We’re not that often sent to Sin City. It sounds very ABC-like. Sarah Hooper is writing.

 

PATROL (ABC Studios)

What? about four female LAPD officers who attended the police academy together five years ago and are forced to reconnect after a high-stakes, traumatic secret returns to haunt them…

Why? Kerry Washington is producing this one. I’m sad Shonda Rhimes is not involved though. I’m pretty sure she can shake the detective genre and make it her own. Anyway, I’m all in favor of a female-fueled detective show, as long as it’s not a straight procedural and it doesn’t look like it. It’s more in the serialized realm with procedural elements. Maybe too close to Quantico though, if the story is told through two timelines?

 

THE CROSSING (ABC Studios) picked-up

What? revolves around refugees from a war torn country who start showing up seeking asylum in a U.S. city… but the country these people are from is America, and the war they are fleeing is 500 years in the future…

Why? I’m not sure how this very good idea can turn into more than a movie but it’s still a very good one, topical. I mean, in an America where Trump has been elected president and promised to build a wall… MTV’s Scream‘s creators are writing the script, which makes me even more doubtful about the end result. We’ll see.

 

THE MARQUIS (Warner Bros. Television)

What? a sexy and twisted character soap set in the most iconic and exclusive building in Manhattan…

Why? The Melrose Place fan in me can’t overlook this project. And I know Greg Berlanti & Julie Plec, who produce it, were big fans too. I hope they can do something as good and exciting, and twisty and crazy. And absolutely avoid making another 666 Park Avenue with a useless supernatural twist (a genre they love too obviously).

 

THE MOTHER COURT (ABC Studios) picked-up

What? Set in the Southern District of New York (SDNY) Federal Court, aka “The Mother Court,” it follows brand new lawyers working for both the defense and the prosecution as they handle the most high profile and high stakes cases in the country – all as their personal lives intersect.

Why? It screams “Legal Grey’s Anatomy” all over the pitch. And it’s okay. Remember the Shonda Rhimes medical drama is right in the middle of its 13th season. It’s unbelievable! And you know what? This one is produced by Shonda Rhimes too, penned by a Scandal writer. One can only hope it’s as good. As long as it’s different from HTGAWM and it has characters we haven’t already seen a million times before in Shondaland or somewhere else, we’re good to go! The post-Grey’s Anatomy spot is waiting for you.

 

UNIT ZERO (ABC Studios) picked-up

What? a brilliant, but unassuming CIA engineer and single mom, Jackie Fink, is the leader of a team of CIA underlings who are thrust into the field as first time spies. Each week, this team of zeroes races against the clock to gather intelligence and solve cases of national security. And they succeed partly because no one in their right mind would ever suspect they were spies.

Why? The brilliant Toni Collette is set to star as the heroine of the show and it’s reason enough to give it a chance quite frankly. Plus, even though it’s a procedural, it’s billed as a “dramedy” and it relies heavily on the characters. This one could be really fun and ABC needs to be fun again in the drama department after so many heavy serialized shows. It’s from the guy who created Blackish. He knows funny.

 

UNTITLED MARC CHERRY PROJECT (ABC Studios) picked-up

What? after a horrible, suspected act of terrorism happens at a 4th of July parade in the small town of Oxblood, Kentucky, the FBI sends a cocky agent of Middle Eastern descent to investigate. He teams up with the mercurial local Sheriff (McEntire) to uncover secrets far darker than either could have ever imagined…

Why? Created by Marc Cherry, the man who brought us Desperate Housewives & Devious Maids, and starring popular country singer Reba McEntire, this soap described as “southern gothic” might be dark but as long as it’s twisty and funny and has something to say about the state of America right now, it’s an automatic order for me. And since ABC won a bidding war to have it, I’m not afraid: they will order it! They need it.

 

WITNESS 33 (ABC Studios)

What? When thirteen families in witness protection are killed in one day, the head of the program is forced to go on the run. He maintains his innocence as he evades with an obsessive FBI agent in pursuit accross the country. Week to week, he will visit the families he put into witness protection, knowing one of them can unlock the mystery of who framed him…

Why? It screams like a midseason show with no more than 13 episodes per year that doesn’t fit with what ABC is usually doing but which is worth a chance thanks to a pretty solid hook. There’s a procedural element to it that would help along the way to grab new or occasional viewers while keeping the fans satisfied. That’s of course if it’s as entertaining and exciting as it sounds. Adrian Hodges is writing (The Muskeeters, Primeval New World) & Julie Gardner is producing (Doctor Who, Torchwood, Banana, Cucumber).

 

ABC also develops a number of basic procedural shows like a Magnum reboot; Hobbs from Michael Strahan about an NFL player turned cop; John Corey; The Exchange where an American cop teams up with an British one; Homicide Special or NYPD Red. There’s one medical show in development The Good Doctor by Dr House’s creator David Shore. They also have an Enemy of the State adaptation from Jerry Bruckeimer; and more family soaps like House of Moore (redeveloped from last yeat but without Felicity Huffman starring this time); Icon; American Heritage or Women in black (that’d be perfect for summer or… Lifetime), plus an untitled one about a multi-generational Indian American family. Dark thrillers are in the works like Salamander or Head Games produced by Viola Davis.

 

COMEDIES

940 SATURDAYS (Universal Television)

What? There are 940 Saturdays between the day your child is born and the day they turn eighteen. In this single-camera series, three families band together to enjoy… and survive them all.

Why? Eva Longoria is producing. She doesn’t have such a good track record so far through her UnbeliEVAble production shingle based at Universal but at least there’s an original concept here. It really depends on how it plays out. If it’s just a pretext or if they use those 940 Saturdays as an important tool in the storytelling. I’m intruigued though not totally sold yet.

 

CO-LIVING (Sony Pictures Television)

What? a recently-widowed 60-something guy teams up with an entrepreneurial 20-something girl to “monetize” his biggest asset — the single-family brownstone he used to share with his wife — renting out the bedrooms to an eclectic group of housemates. The “sharing economy” just hit home.

Why? As a non-family comedy project, this one seems to be modern and topical. With the right set of characters and actors, I can see it becoming something cool.

 

THE ESCAPE (20th Century FOX Television)

What? about a stressed-out urban professional who uproots himself and his troubled 19-year-old son to move to rural Idaho to live with his father, a retired surgeon with the ruggedness of Indiana Jones

Why? There’s an Everwood vibe that I like a lot, but most of all, it looks sincere and emotional. From the guys (Chris Miller & Phil Lord) who wrote the LEGO movie, 22 Jump StreetThe Last Man On Earth, Son of Zorn, upcoming Making History… Doesn’t look like your classical ABC comedy, might be a problem to fit it in the schedule.

 

HOLY SH*T (ABC Studios)

What? follows the staff of a struggling church and their edgy new pastor (Nick Thune) as they fight to survive in the modern world…

Why? Some sort of office comedy happening in a church? The racy title needs to change but other than that, I think it’s promising.

 

LET’S STAY TOGETHER (ABC Studios)

What? Whether it be for the sake of their family, finances, or friendship, the series will explore three very different but connected couples’ hilarious journeys as they choose to make a go of their marriages for all the right and wrong reasons — because in the end, divorce is so old fashion.

Why? ABC needs to find their new Modern Family and this “connected couples” thingy helps thinking Let’s Stay Together coud be the one. Too soon to tell, of course. Plus, it may be a very tired family comedy in disguise. Once they decide not to divorce, I’m not sure how it can differentiate from the others. But I’m interested. It looks positive, full of hope. And we need that, don’t we?

 

LIBBY & MALCOLM (ABC Studios) picked-up

What?  a very real look at how today’s “politics of division” play out between two opposing pundits who also happen to be married; one’s black, one’s white; one’s left, one’s right. Bitter rivals at work on their pundit show Black & Wright, they have to turn conflict into compromise at home when it comes to raising their kids…

Why? This is my favorite comedy pitch of the year! It’s from Kenya Barris, who also created Blackish and it sounds like something that could be both funny and intelligent, very topical. It even screams Emmy Awards! ABC really wants Felicity Huffman (not that she’s gone, she’s in American Crime but…) and Courtney B. Vance as her partner, looks magical. It could fit with the other ABC comedies while adding something different, something more. This one looks a sure bet. See you next year!

 

MELTING POTTS (ABC Studios)

What? centers on a blended family made up of equal parts Indian, Muslim, Jewish, and New Jersey. It is about a newly married couple struggling against culture, tradition and generations to build their idea of a “normal” American family.

Why? Kerry Washington produces this project and it doesn’t change the fact that this pitch is exciting. Such a comedy is too important to be overlooked in those troubled times, with an America divided, Trump as the president and immigrants being seen as trouble-makers. Shows about one indian family, or one jewish family are great. But mixing them all together looks even greater. We needs this. America needs this. To be great again.

 

RAPPER MAYOR (ABC Studios) picked-up

What? Courtney Rose, a talented but struggling hip-hop artist, runs for mayor to promote his mixtape – and wins. The guy is a quitenssential optimistic, a dreamer through and through. He’s the coolest, most fun dude in town, and if you don’t believe it, just ask him and he’ll tell you.

Why? Is this some kind of Designated Survivor comedic version? Sort of. It deviates from what ABC is doing, sounds more like a NBC or FOX comedy, but it doesn’t make it less attractive. Well done, it could be really fun.

 

TWINSTERS (Sony Pictures Television)

What? the story of identical twins separated at birth, adopted on two different continents and raised completely unaware of each other until they are reunited at age 29…

Why? This pitch could totally be used for a drama instead, and honestly I think it would make a great one. But they chose to make a comedy out of it and I understand why: it’s another version of the “Odd couple” concept that seems more profound than usual. Plus, it’s based on a documentary about a true story. And it’s from David Caspe, who created Happy Endings. It could get very emotional. I’m all for it.

 

THE ZIPCODERS (ABC Studios)

What? a divorced mother of three moves her family to the East Side of Austin, Texas, soon after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., in an effort to be closer to her estranged sister. Once there, her teenage son forms a rock ‘n’ roll band, to the utter bewilderment of friends, family and the community at large.

Why? ABC visits the 80s with The Goldbergs, the 90s with Fresh Off The Boat. Why not going back to the 70s with The Zipcoders? If it’s as good! And the pitch suggests it could be, with a rich historical context and some music. It’s produced by Viola Davis, which could help.

 

UNTITLED CAROL BURNETT COMEDY (Universal Television) picked-up

What? about a family who gets a chance to buy the house of their dreams — a house they’d never be able to afford under normal circumstances, but is able to under extremely abnormal circumstances. They must live with the current owner, an older actress (Burnett) — until she dies.

Why? Carol Burnett + this pitch + the multi-camera format doesn’t suggest it’s gonna feel very modern. But shows like Last Man Standing or Kevin Can Wait prove there’s still an audience for it on network television. Plus, it’s produced by Amy Poehler. If ABC needs something new for their friday slate, I would count on this one first.

 

ABC also has a Goldbergs spin-off about the character of the gym teacher. Well, why not? A Zach Braff comedy Start Up about a guy starting his own business; and a Mindy Kaling-produced project about a liberal lesbian couple.

 

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

 

SEE ALSO :

 

FOX’s 24 most exciting projects for 2017/2018 pilot season

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

 

FOX’S NEEDS FOR NEXT SEASON

  • Cleaning house by cancelling shows that have oustayed their welcome for quite some time now.
  • Get that 11th season of The X-Files, rather sooner than later.
  • Give their new series a real chance! (not another Pitch/The Exorcist situation please)
  • Define, at last, what their messy comedy brand really is.

The equation is quite simple at FOX: everything that is not on wednesday is failing or is doomed to fail. Empire is their only scripted success right now, a success that is fading by the way, certainly because the show isn’t capable of any evolution. People got tired pretty quick. In the meantime, Lethal Weapon is a surprising solid player at 8 and is probably ready to move to another night next year where it could help another show. Pretty much everything else is a disappointment but Gotham & Lucifer manage to stay at a decent level on monday somehow; and sunday night’s “animation domination” (The Simpsons, Family Guy…) doesn’t look bad when there’s a strong football match running late (every now and then).

FOX’s biggest nightmare is tuesday night but when they decided to renew Scream Queens for a second season, they were really looking for trouble, right? It does horrible, horrible numbers and it’s not even a popular show on social medias anymore. Nothing can save it this time. It’s deader than dead. Earlier in the evening, New Girl is doing its worst numbers ever and is not worthy of a renewal either. Brooklyn Nine-Nine is not what we can call a bright spot, but at least it’s doing slightly better. Sadly, certainly because it’s not produced in-house, FOX keeps on treating it like garbage by moving it every year… On thursday, Rosewood is already dying. Everybody knew it would collapse without Empire as a lead-out. Everybody except people at FOX apparently. Honestly, they’re getting what they deserve. Promising (and quite good) Pitch couldn’t do a miracle with such a loser for a lead-in and may not come back for a second year. It was worth a better treatment… The Exorcist has nothing to do on FOX, even FOX knew it but they ordered it anyway and sent it to friday where it could only do bad business. So it did.

Midseason could be a game-changer for the network though. Comedy The Mick is getting a push after the NFL doubleheader, which should help it not going fractional too soon; they have huge tentpoles with 24: Legacy, that critics are already raving about and which got the gigantic post-Superbowl slot, and Prison Break, that critics probably won’t rave about but which is already making people very curious for good or bad reasons; they may or may not decide to give Making History a decent launch pad while APB will be paired with a probably strong 24: Legacy. Last but not least: Bones is finally ending with a 12-episode 12th season. For next year, they already have the straight-to-series Seth MacFarlane sci-fi drama Orville. And many of their projects in development are in the same vein…

DRAMAS

 

THE BUILDING (20th Century FOX Television)

What? about a large skyscraper that moves between alternate realities and a group of young urban explorers who are in the building and suddenly find themselves on an Earth wherein Reagan was not elected and Russia dropped the bomb. They then figure out they have a limited amount of time to figure out where they are and rescue members of their team before the building shifts again to another reality. They soon realize that this Earth is also different from where they started and getting back may be impossible….

Why? This one’s a head-scratcher. It’s coming from bestselling author Neil Gaiman (American Gods, Sandman, Neverwhere), which means it could be incredibly good and it already sounds like it. But is FOX the right place for such an ambitious and possibly expensive project? I’d like to think so. There’s a Lost vibe. They’d better not ruining it…

 

CONTROL (Warner Bros. Television)

What? the story of a group of New Yorkers in a cross section of the city, all with no apparent connection, save one: they are each filled with anxiety, stress and panic. After receiving an unorthodox form of treatment for their fears, they discover something extraordinary within but they also find themselves caught in the lethal test run by a secretive and all-powerfull group…

Why? Jonathan Nolan & Lisa Joy are producing this one but nobody really want them to lose focus on Westworld. So, if the project is ordered, I expect them to have a minor role in the production and none in the writing. Still, it’s an interesting project, even though it sounds an awful lot like USA’s Falling Water, which is neither a success nor a critical darling.

 

CONTROVERSY (20th Century FOX Television) picked-up

What? a successful crisis-management consultant brought in to advise a university when a co-ed accuses football players of gang-raping her. Facing a crisis of conscience, she partners with a lawyer for the university to seek out the truth…

Why? While miniseries Shots Fired, which is coming midseason at FOX, resembles season 1 of ABC’s American Crime without everything that makes American Crime so great and distinctive from other network shows, this project resembles season 2 of American Crime! Call me paranoid if you like… That being said, it’s an important subject and a good premise. I’m curious to see how it could turn out. Judy Smith, the woman who inspired Olivia Pope (Scandal) is producing.

 

THE CUT (20th Century FOX Television) / THE EDGE (Sony Pictures Television)

What? set in the Manhattan School of Dance, the most renowned dance conservatory in New York City; at the center is Anthony, a subway performer desperate to break free from his crime-ridden roots, who seizes the opportunity to join some of the most elite dance students in the world set in the LA dance world, where it’s survival of the fittest and no one is more fit than this ensemble of ambitious, sometimes ruthless women and men who have trained their whole lives to be the best and won’t let anything – or anyone – get in their way

Why? Between those two shows dealing with the same subject -dance- I couldn’t decide which one was the most interesting. FOX will probably prefer the one developped in-house, with McG as an executive producer; but the other one has Jennifer Beals & Kenny Ortega, who know a thing or two about dancing… Maybe the one that will be the most urban will win, since it’s obvious FOX is looking for a(nother) companion for Empire.

 

ENHANCED (20th Century FOX Television)

What? After creating a new technology that can potentially change mankind, an idealistic and brilliant female scientist get caught up in the battle between two biotech billionaire brothers. As the story unfolds concurrently in the prestent day and a decade in the future, we see how an idea conceived with the best of intentions can have repercussions no one ever imagined – or perhaps didn’t want to.

Why? Okay, it sounds a bit like shows that failed not that long ago on FOX (Minority Report, Second Chance). But what if this time was different? What if they did something compelling? Please let me believe it’s still possible.

 

FAMILIAR (20th Century FOX Television)

What? It’s 2029 -the year A.I. robotics will go the path of the personal computer- or so is the hope of the Wiercinskis – the family behind Luminary, the first mainstream consumer-oriented robotics company. The series follows the powerful and dysfunctional family a they navigate their own personal and familial relationships, in an ever-changing world that they had a significant (if sometimes unethical) hand in shaping…

Why? That’s one hell of a way to shake things up a little bit in the family soap genre: making it futuristic! To me, it’s the most exciting project at FOX right now. Plus it’s created by a newcomer, Heather Regnier who wrote episodes for Falling Skies & Sleepy Hollow. Always nice to bet on new talent. The magical words are there : “powerful” and “dysfunctional”. It’s Empire with robots.

 

HIGH WIRE (20th Century FOX Television)

What? centers on Nicole Mora, a 26-year-old fledgling aerialist who, after suffering the loss of both of her parents, decides to run off to join an innovative startup cirque. Working her way up from tent crew to trapeze artist (to eventually running an entire cirque franchise), Nicole will not only have to earn her place in the eccentric, tightknit family of “cirkies,” she’ll have to go head to head with a force far more formidable than gravity.

Why? The success story of Pitch‘s heroine didn’t translate into a TV success and that’s probably because of baseball. A lot of potential viewers probably  thought it was more about sports than anything else, which is false. With a similar idea but in the world of cirque, maybe FOX will have more luck. I mean, the Cirque du Soleil is such a big deal in the US and in the whole world, it’s more than worth a try!

 

GIRL 10 (20th Century FOX Television)

What? set in the very near future and revolves around Elle, one of only 10 synthetic humans in existence who is being investigated for murder while trying to stop an evil cabal from weaponizing the technology behind artificial intelligence.

Why? 15 years after short-lived but beloved Dark Angel, it’d be nice to see Jessica Alba coming back on the network with a sci-fi series. It’s not clear at this point if she will star in it as Elle or if she will only be a producer. It’s Ken Woodruff from Gotham who is writing the script. With AMC’s Humans, Orphan Black or even Westworld, the subject matter doesn’t look that fresh but no network has tried to tackle it this way, as a major plot. Let’s see what they can do.

 

THE PASSAGE (20th Century FOX Television) picked-up

What? small screen take on Justin Cronin’s fantasy book trilogy which begins as a character-driven government conspiracy thriller and morphs into a post-apocalyptic saga with vampires

Why? I’m gonna get personal with this one: I bought The Passage books a while ago and never took the time to read them. But the pitch was really exciting and I said to myself that one day, this could be turned into a television show. The project was not in development at that time but now it is and I feel part loser part visionary… So it’s a promise I’m making here: if FOX orders it I’ll read the three of them before it premieres!

 

THE UNDERLINGS (20th Century FOX Television)

What? set at a corporate law firm fueled by greed where a group of beleaguered, hapless assistants, led by a plucky paralegal, resolves to right the wrongs of their evil bosses and clients…

Why? After so many fantasy or sci-fi projects, it’s almost a relief to have a more traditional network show on the list. What I like about this legal drama is that it is coming from Leila Getstein, who created Hart of Dixie and more importantly wrote for Eli Stone. Both were eccentric dramedies so that’s exactly what I’m expecting here. We desperately need a legal drama that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Remember Ally McBeal

 

UNTITLED FOX MARVEL PROJECT (20th Century FOX Television) picked-up

What? focus on two ordinary parents who discover their children possess mutant powers. Forced to go on the run from a hostile government, the family joins up with an underground network of mutants and must fight to survive…

Why? Do you remember No Ordinary Family on ABC? Such a good idea, such a bad execution. I feel like this similar setup can turn into something great and popular if FOX & Marvel do it right. Matt Nix, who created Burn Notice, is writing the pilot script. It’s kinda reassuring.

 

UNTITLED SHARZER & STRONG PROJECT (20th Century FOX Television)

What? about a team of civil rights lawyers who take on the most newsworthy cases of our time, balancing the high stress of their jobs with sex, drugs and assorted other vices

Why? Lawyers with vices? Am I the only one feeling aroused just by reading this pitch? I’m not sure FOX can do something too racy but I have to say it’s the kind of soap I definitely want to see. It could be both funny and edgy, dark too but not too dark, you see. Empire‘s Danny Strong is producing. There is every reason to believe FOX should go for it. They have nothing like this on the air right now.

 

Another strong project at FOX that may have lost steam since Luke Cage arrived on Netflix but should get picked-up anyway is DC’s Black Lightning about a black vigilante who’s also a father, and of course it’s produced by Greg Berlanti; they also have a few uninspired cop shows like Hawk or Visual Intelligence, and Camelot,  which reimagines the legendary stories of King Arthur in a police procedural (no comment); other legal dramas like Token White Male, about the first male associate at a groundbreaking all-female law firm; movie or series adaptations like I, Spy or Behind Enemy Lines; and thrillers like Red Moon, which is basically Quantico with werewolves.

 

COMEDIES

B TEAM (20th Century FOX Television)

What? a former Navy SEAL struggling to adjust back to civilian life forms a team of mercenaries with questionable skills (called the “Badass Taskforce of Elite Assault Mercenaries”); unfortunately, they’re not all elite and they’re only medium badass, but they’re going to fight for the little guy and protect the law – even if that means breaking it most of the time

Why? Like a more comedic version of The A Team, something that would fit perfectly with Brooklyn Nine-Nine. With McG producing, meaning the actions scene should look great.

 

CATALINA (20th Century FOX Television)

What? a carefree party-girl bartender who has never left her home town on the island of Catalina is forced to finally take on the responsibilities of adulthood after the death of her mother; with the help of her estranged politician father, she discovers that perhaps her true calling is to run for mayor of her eclectic island community…

Why? New Girl‘s Jake Johnson is producing this cute coming-of-age project that promises a lot with the right actress and the right secondary characters. I have to say I have a tendency to get excited by every TV shows that are taking place on an island…

 

GHOSTED (20th Century FOX Television) picked-up

What? Leroy Wright (Robinson), a cynical, hilarious skeptic, and Max Allison (Scott), a genius “true believer” in the paranormal, are hired by the Underground Investigative Service to look into the rampant “unexplained” activity in Los Angeles – all while uncovering a larger mystery that could threaten the existence of the human race…

Why? Adam Scott and Craig Robinson in the lead roles are reason enough to order this project to series right away. I’m even surprised they haven’t already sealed the deal. It should be funny and weird. We need this in our lives.

 

MISSING AMERICAN WOMAN (20th Century FOX Television)

What? When a sheltered girl who’s never worked a day in her life goes missing after a shipwreck, she embraces the opportunity to start her life over working at a remote resort with a crew of slakers and weirdoes…

Why? This somehow makes me think of NBC’s The Good Place. The setup is different of course but it could end up in the same arena and I like it a lot already.

 

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? 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.

 

OPEN ARMS (Sony Pictures Television)

What? the story of Howie and Joy, a couple who can’t have a baby that buys the Vermont inn they visit every year but soon realize they’re in over their heads…

Why? How I Met Your Mother creators Carter Bays & Craig Thomas are not reiventing the wheel here, we could even argue they always deal with the same subjects, but they know how to give an emotional feel to their sitcoms and that’s what I’m looking for. Apart from Mom, there are not so many these days…

 

PIGEON (ABC Studios)

What? Simon Pigeon (Anders Holm) is a private eye who is uniquely suited to detective work but ill-equipped to manage his personal life.

Why? Anders Holm is a TV star in the making, it’s a good thing there’s a comedy built around him. Is it the right idea? Maybe. It’s not that original though. ABC Studios has sold it to the right network. It fits perfectly with FOX and especially with Brooklyn Nine-Nine. So yeah, why not?

 

ROYALTIES (20th Century FOX Television)

What? centers on a trio of songwriters at a Burbank recording complex enduring the minutiae of issues in the music business while collaborating to crack the next saccharine hit song of the summer…

Why? A musical workplace comedy? That’d be a first. Even though Darren Criss is not attached to star but only produces as of now, which is a disappointment.

 

THIS MIGHT HURT (20th Century FOX Television)

What? about the brilliant doctors at Wilshire Wellness who struggle to conceal the fact that their multi-specialty private practice has become an ethical and interpersonal sh*t-show

Why? Scrubs is long gone and no other comedy took place in a hospital since then. Maybe it’s time to give something in the same vein a chance. Jason Winer (Modern Family, Life In Pieces) is producing and directing.

 

UNTITLED ERIN FOSTER PROJECT (Warner Bros. Television)

What? centers on a young mess of a woman who moves in with her fiancé, only to have him tell her he’s gay. Their co-dependent natures allow for them to continue living together as friends.

Why? Greg Berlanti wants to produce comedies now! This is one of the two comedy projects he sold this year, by far the most interesting. Remember TV Land’s Happily Divorced with Fran Drescher? That was a waste of a good idea. Let’s hope this one is better, more modern.

 

THIN ICE (20th Century FOX Television) picked-up

What? a woman reclaims her dreams when she finds herself at the end of the earth – in Antarctica – surrounded by a group of brilliant misfits.

Why? NBC has a similar project, but FOX was quicker to order a pilot. It’s written by Liz Meriwether, New Girl creator and it’s exciting. A workplace comedy taking place in Antarctica, do I need to say more?

 

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

 

SEE ALSO :

 

CBS’s 20 most exciting projects for 2017/2018 pilot season

 

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


CBS’s needs for next season

  • More diversity at every level: 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. Okay, there’s still time but still.
  • Finding the next great legal drama now The Good Wife is gone.
  • Cancelling Code Black, which is definitely not working, and maybe giving the medical genre some rest for now.
  • Stop messing around with their comedies. They should treat reliable players (2 Broke Girls, Mom) a bit better.
  • Trying to repopulate saturdays where there is still a portion of (old) viewers available.

CBS is having kind of a tough year after an horrible development season -especially in the comedy department- terrible reviews for most of their new shows and not so smart a schedule. Ratings are going down slowly and it’s not gonna stop. They need to react now before it’s too late. They need to rejuvenate their dramas by bringing some diversity; in other words: they need to stop playing it safe and embrace modernity.

Even though MacGyver is doing okay on friday, even though Bull proved very compatible with the NCIS audience, those shows don’t look that promising from a longtime perspective. At the same time, older shows like NCIS & NCIS: New Orleans are aging; Criminal Minds clearly can’t lose any more cast members and needs to move. Newer entry Scorpion is already doing worrying numbers after only 3 years. Elementary can be considered as dead now (and has been dead walking for a long time). Madam Secretary does a satisfying job on a tough night but never got the same critical reception as The Good Wife and won’t be saved when it’s gonna get tougher. Pure Genius is dead. Code Black is almost dead with a desperate reboot that didn’t change a thing to its ratings. As for the comedies, The Odd Couple should’t have been renewed by the look of its recent numbers; The Great Indoors is a flop; Kevin Can Wait is already loosing steam but manages to stay at an okay level; Man with a plan is very lead-in dependent and disappoints.

Things are looking brighter for NCIS: Los Angeles, which got a nice push by moving to sunday night; Hawaii Five-O is having a good season for reasons unknown and shouldn’t go this year as previously guessed; Blue Bloods is still a beast on fridays; The Big Bang Theory is still going strong; Mom is doing okay given the situation, as well as 2 Broke Girls and Life In Pieces, which surprises a bit by not doing that bad. Midseason shows don’t look good, especially Training Day which will probably take the Rush Hour route. Doubt has a better chance but will probably be impacted by its weakened lead-in. Ransom is dumped on saturday, officially to see if there’s still an audience on this night for low-budget fare. Pretty interesting move. The most promising show seems to be sitcom Superior Donuts, which should be given the best chance with the post-TBBT slot.

DRAMAS

 

BLACK BOOK (CBS Television Studios)

What? about a Chicago detective with amnesia from a near-fatal gunshot who learns he is a murder suspect, but realizes things may not be what they seem when he finds a mysterious black book that contains the secrets of the city.

Why? Doesn’t look like your typical CBS cop show. So that’s a good thing. Is the concept strong enough? It will depend on what kind of “secrets” they are talking about and how much time this part of the show will be dealt with. Since the title is Black Book, I guess it won’t be this kind of procedurals which uses their serialized elements only twice a year.

 

DR DEATH / KILLER INSTINCT (CBS Television Studios) Picked-up

What? a former CIA operative (Alan Cumming) who has since built a normal life as a gifted professor and writer is pulled back into his old life when the NYPD needs his help to stop a serial killer on the loose…

Why? I want to believe Alan Cumming, who’s a great actor as he proved it weekly on The Good Wife, wouldn’t sign for a very generic cop show. So let’s imagine there’s more to it than what the pitch suggests. It will probably be a little bit funny or they really don’t know what they’re doing. You don’t choose Alan Cumming for something too serious, right?

 

FIREWALL (Warner Bros. Television)

What? about a charming but ruthless San Francisco billionaire who, in the wake of personal tragedy, decides to use his wealth for good, putting together a team of various experts to exact justice on criminals who’ve slipped through the cracks of the legal system…

Why? “charming but ruthless”, ugh. Haven’t we already have those a million times before? Firewall is coming from Bruno Heller, who created The Mentalist and Gotham. And Rome too. It’s not the kind of show I’d watched, and I wished the concept was a little different (why not a woman billionaire to make a change?) but it’s in his and CBS comfort zone and they need new shows like this. So it’s a yes.

 

MAGNOLIA SPRINGS (CBS Television Studios)

What? the Sheriff of Magnolia Springs discovers that this progressive and idyllic town in the new American South is a hotbed of criminal activity, and he enlists the help of his teenage son to investigate the town’s dark secrets and quirky crimes…

Why? Apart from the fact that I love this poetic title, what is exciting here is the fact that it’s a police procedural wrapped around a family drama, one which could be soapy “dark secrets” and fun “quirky crimes” and that’s everything CBS shows are not usually and should be sometimes. It looks a bit like David E. Kelley’s Picket Fences, which was great and on CBS too.

 

MRS V. MR (CBS Television Studios)

What? a prominent, larger-than-life L.A. defense attorney and the chief prosecutor for the DA’s office are constantly at odds in the courtroom, but are a happily married couple who have to leave their rivalries at the door when it comes to raising their three willful kids…

Why? Mr & Mrs Smith legal edition? It seems like an effective concept, though not particularly original. David Zucker (The Good Wife, Numb3rs) & Ridley Scott are producing. Find the perfect couple of actors and try this thing already!

 

REBEL LAW (CBS Television Studios)

What? an openly gay attorney returns home to Mississippi to join his family’s multi-generational law practice where they work through their personal and political differences both inside and outside the courtroom…

Why? Lisa Kudrow & Dan Bucantinsky are producing this legal drama, meaning it could be funnier than most of the very serious and generic CBS dramas we’re fed up with. Plus, we’re still waiting for a show on the big 4 where the main character is gay. Not that it would or should make such a change on the writing of the show itself but visibility is important.

 

STILL AT LARGE (ABC Studios)

What? after evading the largest manhunt in U.S. history and becoming infamous for a murder he didn’t commit, a man is recruited by the U.S. Marshals to track other fugitives, where he’s paired with a female partner who questions whether he really is innocent…

Why? There was a similar show a few years ago on FOX called Breakout Kings. It didn’t last long but it was okay. There’s probably something successful to do with this concept and CBS is the perfect place for it. A mix between Castle for the dynamics at the center and Scorpion for the action. If there’s a real suspense about the innocence of the male protagonist, it’s a plus.

 

THE 313 (CBS Television Studios)

What? when a sex scandal brings down the current administration, a 29-year-old female City Council President suddenly becomes the Mayor of Detroit and has to contend with all the staggering obstacles the job brings…

Why? Oh, CBS wants their own version of Designated Survivor at a smaller scale since we’re “just” talking about a Mayor, not the President of the United States. They have already chosen their actress. It will be Tika Sumpter. She played Michelle Obama in the Southside with you picture film. Don’t know about her talent but she’s black, she’s gorgeous and she doesn’t look like any of the heroines of CBS from the past decade. I’m in and they’d better be too. Changing the title seems inevitable.

 

TRIAL BY FIRE (CBS Television Studios)

What? After the deaths of their husbands in a suspicious plane crash, three women take over one of the most powerful legal firm of Manhattan and fight to save the practice while solving the mystery behind their husbands’ untimely deaths…

Why? Among the many legal shows CBS develops, this one is appealing to me for one reason mainly: three women at the center of the show, it’s not that common on this network. Casting will be the key, as well as the personalities of these heroines. It would work better as a dramedy, but I don’t think that’s what we’ll get.

 

UNDER SUSPICION (Universal Television)

What? about a justice-seeking investigative journalism team that produces an award-winning true-crime series that investigates unsolved major crimes through the eyes of those who are closest to the victims — and who also are the prime suspects.

Why? It’s hard to find new ideas in the procedural crime area but this one, adapted from Mary Higgins Clark, could be a modern and interesting take for the genre with journalists investigating instead of detectives. That may not change the formula that much but if they use “the TV show within the TV show” part of it wisely, I feel like it could be a winner. Don’t be shy, CBS.

 

UNTITLED ANNIE WEISMAN PROJECT (Universal Television)

What? about two sisters on opposite sides of the political spectrum who come together to save their father’s law firm when scandal puts him behind bars…

Why? It’s not the pitch that attracts me the most in this project but the magical name attached to it as a producer : Jason Katims. Mr Friday Night Lights / Parenthood. The family element and the political element of this probably otherwise classical legal drama are reassuring.

 

CBS also develops S.W.A.T., a reboot of the 70s series; so many generic shows that I could throw up; several Scorpion clones like Stingray; other numerous legal dramas; and a limited series which chronicles the events in 1974 when Patty Hearst was abducted from her Berkeley, California apartment by a terrorist group.

 

COMEDIES

99 PROBLEMS (CBS Television Studios)

What? about three very different couples from different backgrounds who all have a child in the same first-grade class and are exposed to the same inciting problem each week – which affects them in different ways…

Why? One of the few comedy projects at CBS with a real concept. That almost makes it an automatic yes, quite frankly. Plus, it’s coming from Greg Garcia. He did the very bad The Millers, but also the very good Raising Hope. So everything’s possible. It’s an hybrid comedy, like How I Met Your Mother was, between the multicamera format and the single-camera. Intriguing.

 

HANNAH ROYCE’S QUESTIONNABLE CHOICES (Sony Pictures Television)

What? about a woman who has made some interesting choices throughout her life – namely, having three different kids with three different men – but all have led her to having a very unique, loving, blended family…

Why? NBC had a similar project 2 years ago with Monica Potter (Parenthood) starring. It was pushed and ended up cancelled but I still think there’s something modern here that could make a great show with the right lead actress. Not sure CBS is the right fit though, especially since it’s a single-camera. They only have Life In Pieces in the genre, and it can’t be labelled as a huge success…

 

ME, MYSELF & I (Warner Bros. Television)  Picked-up

What? examines one man’s life over a 50-year span, somewhat in the vein of movie Boyhood

Why? Of course, they had me at Boyhood. Which is funny because it’s pretty clear they won’t be able to live up to the hype, even if the show is good. Anyway, we don’t know much about the project and I don’t think it fits with CBS line-up at this point but hey, their other comedy projects are terrible so…

 

MY FELLOW AMERICANS (CBS Television Studios)

What? Set in the office a Republican Governor, where a young Democratic staffer is hired to work on his team…

Why? Years after Spin City, it wouldn’t be crazy to offer another political sitcom. And it may be the perfect time to do so. This one is written by a duo of young writers Diallo Riddle & Bashir Salahuddin, who worked for Jimmy Fallon late night show and created a pilot for HBO that wasn’t picked up to series after all. I feel like they really have something to say. Let them do it.

 

NO NEW FRIENDS (Universal Television)

What? A group of friends ar various stages in their lives, realize that now is the time they need eacher other the most…

Why? This is a very basic pitch for a sitcom about a group of friends. What’s interesting here is that it’s written by Robert Padnick, who worked on The Office and now FX’s weird comedy Man Seeking Woman. Maybe he can make something that’s different from Friends, How I Met Your Mother

 

RICH FOLKS (CBS Television Studios)

What? about a middle-class family that rents the guesthouse of a needy rich couple…

Why? I agree with you: it’s a very simple and slim concept. But sometimes in the comedy department -often in fact- simple is good. So let’s keep it simple CBS and just agree to order a pilot. We’ll see if there’s a strong show in there. The battle of the classes is always a good start for a comedy.

 

SHELDON (Warner Bros. Television)

What? prequel series to “The Big Bang Theory” which would follow the child prodigy Sheldon character, played by Jim Parsons as an adult, at age 12

Why? It’s described as in the same vein as Malcolm in the Middle. And it will get picked-up whether it’s good or not. CBS needs to bank on The Big Bang Theory before it’s too late. I’m not convinced it’s the best idea they could have come up with but it’s the series that could finally help them enter the world of the single-camera comedies. There’s now a stong pressure to find the right leading kid.

 

THE FAMILIES MAN (Warner Bros. Television)

What? A mixed-race lawyer juggles his two families: his white wife and kids in Beverly Hills and a black ex-wife and son in Baldwin Hills…

Why? CBS is constantly criticized for their lack of diversity in their shows. Rightfully. This comedy project is their chance to prove they can be black and white too. The concept is not terribly exciting, but it’s produced by Simon Helberg (Howard in The Big Bang Theory) and looks more modern than the family sitcoms they have on the air right now.

 

UNTITLED MARC LAWRENCE PROJECT (CBS Television Studios)

What? an extremely non-confrontational single mom is promoted to Dean of Students at the high school where she teaches and must contend with overly involved parents, demanding administrators and a challenging student body – which includes her two teenagers…

Why? A comedy which takes place in a school, that’s weirdly rare. But the most interesting thing here is that it’s produced by The Good Wife creators Michelle & Robert King. And they know how to be funny. Their humor is way different from, let’s say, 2 Broke Girls‘. But why not? We needs the Kings back into our lives.

 

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

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