Tag: amy brenneman

The Get (CBS) pilot preview: This is not fake News!

Written and produced by Bridget Carpenter (11.22.63, Westworld, Friday Night Lights, Parenthood). Directed by James Strong (Broadchurch, Doctor Who). For CBS Television Studios. 60 pages. Clean Draft.

Description: A team of tireless Internet journalists from the website The Get pursue and expose stories of injustice using their unconventional investigative techniques in today’s anything-goes world of reporting…

With Amy Brenneman (The Leftovers, Reign, Private Practice, Amy), Brad Garrett (Fargo, ‘Til Death, Everybody Loves Raymond), Emayatzy Corinealdi (Hand of God, Roots), Jeananne Goossen (The Night Shift, The Following), Alex Fitzalan, Michael Rady (UnREAL, Jane The Virgin, Swingtown), Claire Forlani (Meet Joe Black, Rock, Camelot)…

   

You’ll like it if you already like: The Newsroom, The Good Wife…

Likely timeslot: Sunday at 9, Wednesday at 10


When CBS picked-up The Get a few weeks ago, I breathe a huge sigh of relief. I’m hoping for a network drama about journalism for years. There were a few projects in the past–among them two produced by Shonda Rhimes, Correspondents & Inside the Box– but none of them ever went to series. And of course there was HBO’s The Newsroom written by Aaron Sorkin, which was half-baked but mostly good. It’s a head-scratcher quite frankly. It’s such a perfect workplace to make a great drama (or a great soap)! What are the producers waiting for exactly? Since journalism is in danger these days (a serious study said recently that newspaper reporter is the “worst job”), more than ever in this new political environment, it’d be important to have such a show on the air. The Get may not be the ideal version of it, it’s not exactly what I had in mind, but it’s definitely something I’d watch on a weekly basis, though obviously a series order looks like a long shot.

The Get is the title of the show, but it also refers to the website inside the show. Three of the most important journalists of the team are women, which looks like a real statement from the writer, Bridget Carpenter. Meet first the steeled and determined Ellen (played by the excellent Amy Brenneman), who has been known to push boundaries in order to find the truth. She has a backstory about her father, who works for the LAPD. Then there’s Noelle, a fearless journalist who never backs down from a story she cares about. In the pilot, she works on a case of a woman who fakes pregnancies in order to get money from desperate couples who are looking to adopt a baby. Finally, there’s Isa, the senior producer at The Get and a tech-savvy researcher. They are joined by a fresh face, Alex, a young man who was a discreet and observant intern until he found THE story that got him a regular job; and their boss, Bill (played by Brad Garrett), a hardworking reporter who has spent his life working up to the position of executive producer.

It’s a really promising and functional group on paper. They are instantly likable without playing it nice all the time. Plus, they have more than their The Get’s stories to tell, things more personal that will help serialize the show a little bit if it’s ordered to series. Until then, the pilot is mostly procedural, with two cases tackled with energy and fearlessness. It’s efficient, captivating and inspirational. They often operate undercover with hidden cameras, which could give a different atmosphere to the series visually. Think Person of Interest for example. But let’s be real: in the end, it works exactly like a cop show with detectives replaced by journalists. They help solve a case AND make a great story of their own. I feel like they could become more ambitious later, add layers, maybe with more serialized cases over multiple episodes, but in order to convince CBS, they’d better start straight and simple. They clearly have more cards to play over time. 

The Get is not exactly an innovative offer from CBS since it works like many of their cop shows but without cops. That being said it’s different and timely enough to warrant a series order. It gives a little bit of hope and a sense of justice that we desperately need. Plus, it shows that journalism can be important, IS important when it’s more than rumors, gossips and fake news. 

“Heartbeat” (NBC) pilot preview: a cheesy medical soap so 10 years ago!

Heartmatters

Previously entitled Heart Matters. Written & produced by Jill Gordon (The Wonder Years, Thirtysomething, My so-called Life). Co-produced by Amy Brenneman (Amy, Private Practice, The Leftovers), Kathy Magliato & Brad Silberling (Reign). Directed by Robert Duncan McNeill (Chuck, Star Trek Voyager, Dawson). For NBC & Universal Television. 66 pages.

Description:  Inspired by the life of Dr. Kathy Magliato and her book of the same name. It follows the outspoken Alex Panttiere, one of the rare female heart-transplant surgeons. Alex brings an innovative eye to treating patients week to week while also balancing the complications of her professional and romantic life: her new boss is her ex-flame, her ex-husband is still very much in her life while her boyfriend is pushing for the next step in their relationship…

With Melissa George (The Slap, Alias, Hunted, In Treatment), Dave Annable (Brothers & Sisters, Red Band Society), Jamie Kennedy (Ghost Whisperer), Shelley Conn (Terra Nova, Marchlands), Don Hany (Serangoon Road), Maya Erskine (Man Seeking Woman, Betas), Joshua Leonard (The Blair Witch Project, Bates Motel), Jlouis Mills, D.L. Hughley

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Some actor always ends up in a show cancelled after a few episodes. Some other, like Melissa George, are always cast in pilots that are never ordered to series. So, for the third year in a row, after Gothica (ABC) and Dangerous Liaisons (ABC), the Alias alumna is starring in a new one, a medical drama for NBC this time, called Heart Matters. From the title only, you can already guess it doesn’t sound good. But as you don’t judge a book by its cover, you don’t judge a pilot by its title. Sadly, Heart Matters is as cheesy as it sounds. But I’m not saying it’s a total mess. In fact, it’s quite solid. But for a show developed during 2004/2005 pilot season (and I may be indulgent), not 2015/2016.

I’m not proud of what I’m going to write but let’s go: the whole team of this pilot hasn’t done a good thing for quite some time -when it comes to Amy Brenneman, I only talk about her role as a producer, not  as an actress- and it shows. It feels dated in every way. I even suspect Jill Gordon, the creator, has never seen Grey’s Anatomy, or Mercy (for this one, we can’t blame her). Or she has seen too much of it and nothing else. I believe there’s a place for shows like this one. It’s Lifetime, or Hallmark Channel. But not NBC. I don’t even understand why the network bothered ordering it. Of course, they didn’t know at the time if The Night Shift was worth a third season -and the answer is no, but it will get it anyway- nor what would happen with the Chicago Fire spin-off Chicago Med, but it would be a big surprise if they don’t order it. They even assembled a strong cast so… Heart Matters has a very very little chance to air. As a proof of the dated thing I was talking about, the writer refers to Bridget Jones three or four times in the script, when describing the way the heroin is handling things. Bridget Jones! I mean, I love her, and I even read the third book published last year but she’s no longer a thing. Sorry. Even the whole “she’s brilliant at work but a real mess in her personal life” logline has already been done a thousand times. That’s what I felt when reading: yeah, okay, right, hum, well… Been there, done that.

What I appreciated is the way the pilot is structured: there are a few flashbacks from 10 years ago, a good way to realize who she was and who she became; and it ends on a flashforward showing who she will end up with in 10 years. Her new boss and ex-flame? Her ex-husband? No, not this one. He became gay in the meantime. Her boyfriend? Or the guy in the frame we have not met yet? The question is left opened. I don’t think it’s enough to give us a reason a stay. The medical cases are gripping and moving, but there’s a ridiculous twist in one of them: a man in love with a woman who’s waiting for a new heart and who may die quickly if she doesn’t get it commit suicide! On a balcony. Ready to jump. But he shoots himself in the head instead. To save her. Alex is covered with blood, she wasn’t able to stop him. Please… Too much. Most of the other characters feel too close to home: the “Raven-haired woman with red lipstick” who starts as a bitch and is in fact a nice gal is Kate Walsh/Addison Montgomery in disguise (but she has a “cool” name: Millicent Newbauer); Dr Shane, who’s a mix between McDreamy and McSteamy… and it goes on and on and on. The saddest thing is we will probably never see the shirtless scene of Dave Annable, sweaty. We can’t have it all I guess…

Heart Matters should go back to where it comes from: 2004. And never see the light of day. I’m a bit harsh, I know, but I really don’t think we or NBC need a new medical soap like this one, we already know by heart. It brings absolutely nothing new to the table. It won’t work. And Melissa George deserves better. 

NBC orders last drama pilots: “Endgame”, “Blindspot”…

nbc

NBC’s drama plate is full! The network ordered what should be its last four drama orders for this pilot season…

After Warrior, Love is a four letter word, planted spin-off Chicago Med, The Curse of the Fuentes Women and Game Of Silence, NBC orders two thriller dramas, Endgame and Blindspot. First one comes from The Blacklist producers, three John : John Rogers, also creator of The Librarians for TNT, John Davis and John Fox as executive producers. It is described as a high-octane thriller set in the high stakes world of Las Vegas and it centers on a former sniper turned security expert who is drawn into a mysterious conspiracy that forces him to complete a series of heroic challenges in order to save innocent lives. It is produced by Sony Pictures Television.

Second one, Blindspot, is from Greg Berlanti (Arrow, The Flash, Brothers & Sisters and many more) and written by Martin Gero (The LA Complex). It starts with a beautiful woman, with no memories of her past, who is found naked in Times Square with her body fully covered in intricate tattoos. Her discovery sets off a vast and complex mystery that immediately ignites the attention of the FBI who begin to follow the road map on her body to reveal a larger conspiracy of crime while bringing her closer to discovering the truth about her identity.

NBC also ordered one medical pilot, a hot genre this year at every network but it’s the first one which goes to pilot stage so far. Heart Matters, produced by actress Amy Brenneman (Private Practice, Amy, The Leftovers) is inspired by the life of Dr. Kathy Magliato and her book of the same name. The medical soap follows the outspoken Alex Panttiere, one of the rare female heart-transplant surgeons. Alex brings an innovative eye to treating patients week to week while also balancing the complications of her professional and romantic life. Doesn’t sound lije very original…

Last one is Unveiled, a copycat of the 90s series Touched by an angel, from one of its actresses, Roman Downey, and husband TV reality producer Mark Burnett. It follows an ensemble of flawed guardian angels who intervene in the lives of those who find themselves facing crisis in an attempt to restore their faith and, often, save their lives. Borrrrrring.

SEE ALL NBC PILOTS ORDERED SO FAR