Tag: 9K

CBS 2017/2018 Comedy Pilots ranked

Will CBS ever find a suitable comedy to follow The Big Bang Theory on thursday? After so many attempts with very different shows, including Joel McHale-starrer The Great Indoors this year that failed, they have found what looks like the best solution: a Big Bang Theory spin-off! And they didn’t even take the easy road since it’s a prequel about Young Sheldon, single-camera style. It’s already said to be in the vein of Malcolm in the Middle. We’ll see what happens and it’s not even confirmed that the show will air after the mothership at this point. They could also use it to re-energize their monday line-up which is far from impressive, losing viewers every half-hour. Kevin Can Wait proved to be a somewhat strong starting point but Man With a Plan is doing just okay right behind and Superior Donuts is not the hit they hoped for. Meanwhile, 2 Broke Girls is in limbo and could very well come back in midseason or not not come back at all. Remember it’s not produced in-house but a Warner Bros. big asset. Is a move on TBS possible? The Odd Couple is not officially cancelled yet but there’s no hope for it and The Great Indoors should join it. Mom and Life In Pieces are already renewed. The eye network should be able to launch 2 to 3 new comedies next year. Here are the contenders:

 

 

  1. HANNAH ROYCE’S QUESTIONABLE CHOICES (Sony Pictures Television/CBS Television Studios)

    The story of 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. With  Alice Eve, Kyle Howard, James Earl, Tyler Labine, Michael Boatman…

This one’s simply the cutest! There’s no shame and certainly no harm doing a real feel-good family comedy, that is both diverse and modern. Exactly what the actual CBS sitcoms are not. And it’s told through the point of a view of a woman, which is another thing the usual CBS sitcom rarely dives in. Kevin Can Wait & Man With a Plan are really old comedies compared to this one. It’s not exactly revolutionnary to be honest but I thought a lot of Mom, Hannah being very close Anna Faris’ Christy, and that’s obviously a compliment. The workplace part of the show doesn’t totally work, but it reminded me of One Day at a Time, and that’s another compliment. So yeah, once CBS has changed the title, this sitcom has a great potential and a fighting chance.

 

2. DISTEFANO (Sony Pictures Television)

     Izzy and Chris, two 20-somethings are raising their newborn daughter and merging their loud families – one Puerto Rican, one Italian. With Chris Distefano, Dianne Guerrero, Annie Potts…

With such an easy and overused premice, Distefano does eveything you can expect but How I Met Your Mother‘s style since it’s written by Carter Bays & Craig Thomas, the creators of the long-running show. So we get flashbacks and flashforwards and it’s not shot in front of a live audience though it looks like any multicamera comedy. They’re not playing it too safe. It gets cute and smart many times and it knows how to be subtle when it wants to. The voice-over adds a little something that makes it even more relevant, young parents will love it for that. It’s not a sure bet and I’m not certain comedian Chris Distefano is such a big draw for the audience but it’s worth a chance.

 

3. ME, MYSELF AND I (Warner Bros. Television)

    Examines one man’s life over a 50-year span, somewhat in the vein of Boyhood. The show will focus on three distinct periods in his life: as a 14-year-old in 1991, a 40-year-old in present day and a 65-year-old in 2042. With Bobby Moynihan, John Larroquette, Jaleel White, Brian Unger…

Me, Myself and I goes in the high-concept comedy category where CBS is not used to be found in. I had high hopes about this one. It’s impossible not thing about the movie Boyhood and of course, this pilot can’t compare. BUT there’s a lot to like in there anyway, starting with the main character that is both moving and relatable. I wouldn’t say he’s that funny though. I didn’t picture him played by Bobby Moynihan but well, they probably had good reasons to choose him, right? At 14, Alex has to deal with his parents’ divorce; at 40, he discovers his wife is cheating on him; and at 65, he’s almost dying of a heart-attack. It doesn’t sound funny at all but it is. In the end, I’m not sure there’s a solid TV show behind this pilot but I enjoyed the ride.

 

4. 9K, 9J, 9L (CBS Television Studios)

   Inspired by a time in Mark Feuerstein’s adult life when he lived in apartment 9K in the building he grew up in, sandwiched between his parents’ apartment, 9J, and his brother, sister-in-law and their baby’s apartment, 9L, and his attempts to set boundaries with his intrusive but well-meaning family. With Mark Feuerstein, David Walton, Matt Murray, Liza Lapira, Linda Lavin, Elliot Gould…

CBS execs are reportedly very high on this project and it’s almost already on the schedule. I can understand why, though I feel like it’s such a safe bet that it’s not gonna become the hit they’re hoping for. Sometimes, you need to take risks and this pilot doesn’t take any. It knows what it’s doing. It knows where it’s going. And sadly, we do too. It’s terribly predictable. But the cast is great, appealing, and I’m pretty sure the final product will be better than the script is on the page. Then again, remember The Millers or The McCarthys… Pretty much the same story and it got rejected.

 

5. LIVING BIBLICALLY (Warner Bros. Television)

   A modern-day man at a crossroads in his life decides to live according to the Bible. With Jay R. Ferguson, Ian Gomez, Tony Rock, Lindsey Kraft…

Is CBS conservative audience ready to watch a show that openly mocks the Bible? I’d like to say yes, but obviously the answer is no. Living Biblically is not that ferocious and is not made to offend anyone but some people will get offended anyway, especially since the whole show is based on this very idea that nowadays, you just can’t live according to the Bible. The central character will try to prove it’s possible on and on and the pilot shows it can be a funny ride but I can’t help myself thinking there was a better show to make with this same idea, and not with a multicamera format that limits the concept. For me, it’s a pass. But I’d like them to redevelop it for next year, with a different take, a change of format and maybe a new writer?

 

6. REAL TIME (Sony Pictures Television/CBS Television Studios)

   The relationship of two 20-somethings who go from being co-workers on opposite coasts to working in the same office. With Rebecca Rittenhouse, Ryan Hansen, Brett Harrison, Brenda Song, Kristen Johnston…

Hello again, How I Met Your Mother‘s creators! But this time as producers, not as writers. Real Time was first developed last season under the title My Time/Your Time. CBS passed on it but wanted another try and here we are. This version pretty much solved the problem of the first pilot: the main characters meet in real life in this one, they don’t just talk over Skype. But then start a “will they? won’t they?” situation that’s a new problem to take care of for the writers. Because we’ve already seen it a million times and nothing proves this time will be different. It’s hard to picture where the show will go next and apparently that’s a concern CBS has since they’re not sure to keep Ryan Hansen, the male lead, in the cast. Yes, they’re already thinking of tweaking the concept… again. Well, it sounds like something that should not get ordered. It’s way too complicated already!

 

7. BROTHERED UP (CBS Television Studios)

   An emotionally guarded African-American cop is partnered with an emotionally available Pakistani cop and they are forced to find a way to connect as they patrol a Detroit neighborhood. With Adhir Kalyan, D.L. Hughley, Merrin Dungey…

Brothered Up is CBS attempt to be more diverse in their comedy department, after Superior Donuts proved them their audience won’t suddenly disappear into thin air if they have a black lead in one of their sitcoms! Too bad this script is the weakest they have in store. It just doesn’t really work as a multicamera comedy. They’re cops. They’re supposed to move a lot. They’re supposed to go outside. But they don’t. They’re in the car. And in their respective homes. And in their car again. Sometimes at the precinct. It will get boring pretty soon. And then there’s this Odd Couple pairing that doesn’t totally work because apart from their origins and their respective moods, they’re not that different. Maybe the chemistry between the actors will make it a more viable option…