Tag: dynasty

Filthy Rich (FOX) pilot preview: When Empire goes south

SERIES TITLE: Filthy Rich
NETWORK: FOX
GENRE: Soap Drama

LOGLINE: When the wealthy CEO of the world’s largest Christian network dies in a plane crash, his wife and adult children are stunned to discover he has grown, illegitimate kids who are also in his will. When the steel azalea matriarch of the family, Margaret Monroe, tries to pay them to go away, these newly legitimized heirs have very different ideas and insist on not only staying in town but becoming part of the family empire…

Pilot Cast: Kim Cattrall (Sex & The City, Tell Me A Story, Police Academy), Gerald McRaney (This Is Us, Simon & Simon, Major Dad), Aubrey Dollar (Battle Creek, Point Pleasant), Melia Kreiling (Salvation, Tyrant), Corey Cott (The Good Fight), Mike Harris (The Practice, Awake), Benjamin Aguilar, Mark L. Young (10 Days in the valley, The Inbetweeners), David Denman (Outcast, Thee Office), Olivia Macklin (The Young Pope)…
Series Creator: Tate Taylor
Pilot Director: Tate Taylor (The Help, The Girl on the Train).
Producers: Tate Taylor, John Norris, Francie Calfo & Brian Grazer (Empire, Parenthood, 24, Arrested Development, Genius).

Studios: 20th Century Fox Television, Imagine Television & Wyolah Films.

Ever wonder how TV executives wade through the dozens of pilot scripts they’re pitched each year? They have staff script readers, who provide what’s called “Script Coverage,” an executive summary and a recommendation for each script. Now you too can preview some of the season’s most buzzed about pilots and find out whether we’d recommend them for pickup. Note that all opinions are our own, and all plot, casting and other creative details described here are subject to change.

 

  

You’ll Like It If You Already Like: Empire, Dynasty, Dallas, Brothers & Sisters, Succession…

Likely Timeslot: Whether paired with Empire or used as its midseason replacement.

 

WRITTEN BY: Taylor Tate

PAGECOUNT: 60 pages

DRAFT: 1/21/18 (Last revision: 12/1/18

 

BACKGROUND:Filthy Rich is not just any pilot for FOX, it’s the first greenlight decision made by new FOX CEO of Entertainment Charlie Collier (previously at AMC). As a big fan of writer and director Tate Taylor’s work, he committed to a pilot order in the room, which isn’t something that happens frequently. FOX originally bought Filthy Rich last development season with a put pilot commitment. It did not go to pilot at that point (and Taylor went on to direct the movie Eve ), but both sides remained high on the project, leading to a pilot order this time around.

For actor-turned filmmaker Taylor, this is a very personal project since he was born and grew up in Jackson, Mississippi. The show is set in New Orleans, not that far away. He declared: “As a Southern man, I’m so excited to be telling this story of family, faith and ambition set in a place I grew up in and around.” Still, it’s based on a foreign show -like two other drama pilots at FOX out of six- from New Zealand. Actually, it was the country’s most expensive TV show ever! But they don’t produce a lot. It stayed on the air for two seasons before it got cancelled. It actually flopped and it didn’t even get good reviews.

 

SCRIPT SYNOPSIS: MARGARET MONROE (Mid60s) is the host of a popular Christian lifestyle show and the matriarch of a billion dollar family business operated by her husband, EUGENE (60s) and her children, ERIC (32) and ROSE (30). When Eugene, unexpectedly dies in a plane crash, his numerous infidelities come to light, along with three illegitimate adult children, GINGER (mid20s), a fierce woman with business savvy, who grew up dirt poor in Vegas, JASON (mid20s), an attractive, loyal young man who runs a weed business at a ranch in Colorado, and ANTONIO (19), a tattooed, up-and-coming boxer and single dad. Their introduction into the Monroes’ lives stands to threaten the family’s pristine reputation, as well as their business and wealth. After much prayer and unsuccessful tactics, Margaret makes a power play that upsets her son Eric: she publicly welcomes the three new Monroes into the family business. All family members, new and old, are forced to adjust to this strange, new family dynamic while the whole country is watching…

 

COMMENTS: Fox has described Filthy Rich as a “larger-than-life Southern gothic dramedy,” but let’s be clear: this is first and foremost a big, juicy soap, although it does become a surprisingly emotional family drama by the end of the pilot. That said, I’m not totally convinced the script sells the show very well. There’s a lot of exposition, and not much else. As promised, it is “larger-than-life,” which also means it’s totally unrealistic and that all the characters start as clichés, but it becomes more compelling as it goes along. It’s not about the basic opposition between wealthy, well-educated and brilliant children against poor, under-educated and moronic bastards. Some of the “bastards” are smarter than they seem to be and at least one of the wealthy children is not as entitled and manipulative as she could have been.

The pilot is very much centered around Margaret Monroe and Ginger Sweet (those names!) — strong, sharp women from two different generations who will go to any lengths to protect their loved ones and get their due. While they’re the show’s strongest assets, they also steal a good deal of thunder from the other characters. Rose, for example, feels a little bit left out. She’s got some good dialogue and a few fun moments, but she’s a bit weak compared to the other women around her. Hopefully her kind-hearted nature will make her more interesting at some point down the road. Likewise, her brother Eric, married with two kids and Senior VP of Operations at the conservative Christian Sunshine Network, doesn’t bring much to the table in the pilot. The new siblings are more intriguing, especially Jason, who we learn is not all that he would seem.

With Kim Cattrall as the leading lady, the rest of the cast will have to bring their A-game. Cattrall is a huge presence and her character is in line with strong matriarchs in soaps like Empire‘s Cookie or Dynasty‘s Alexis. It’s a perfect role for her. Margaret made me think of an older and more successful version of Desperate Housewives’ Bree Van de Kamp. Obsessed with perfection and appearances, she has a lifestyle show aimed at showing women how to be perfect housewives, but we all know that she just needs a little push before we see her true colors. For now, it’s clear that she’s a hypocrite — you never know when she’s sincere, especially when she reacts to the loss of her husband. A power couple like this is sure to have many secrets. By the way, Gerald McRaney who plays Eugene is a series regular even though he dies in the cold open, which means flashbacks are coming our way. Or maybe he’s not really dead — this is a soap after all, and conveniently his body was never found, supposedly eaten by alligatorsbut we’re not dumb! Fun fact: in the original show, he didn’t die on a plane crash, he commited suicide. I don’t know why they changed it. Maybe because it was too similar with ABC’s A Million Litte Things‘ story. Or maybe because they found it too dark. Or maybe because they want him back!

Although the pilot is missing a good cliffhanger, there are plenty of good directions for the series to take, especially when the whole Monroe family teams up. There’s also a political and social flavor to the show, but it’s not really the focus of the pilot and it may never be.

 

FINAL RECOMMENDATION: Soap amateurs may find in Filthy Rich their next obsession, especially now The CW’s Dynasty has lost its mojo already and FOX’s Empire has flamed out quickly, making headlines for behind-the-scenes scandals more than storylines and ratings. It’s not exactly groundbreaking but its southern setting, its gender politics’ theme, its delicious matriarch character and its immoral tendencies make it a good candidate for the network’s next soap sensation.

 

OVERALL PROJECT SCORE:

[  ] PASS
[  ] CONSIDER
[ X ] RECOMMEND

The CW | 2018/2019 – Fantasy Schedule

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

RENEWED

SUPERNATURAL | ARROW | THE FLASH | SUPERGIRL | THE 100 | JANE THE VIRGIN | LEGENDS OF TOMORROW | iZOMBIE | CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND | RIVERDALE | BLACK LIGHTNING | DYNASTY

ORDERED

CHARMED | ROSWELL | ALL AMERICAN | IN THE DARK | LEGACIES

CANCELLED

VALOR | LIFE SENTENCE

 

Is The CW still relevant in this day and age? Wouldn’t it be simpler for both CBS Television Studios & Warner Bros. Television -which co-own the network- to sell their shows directly to cable, Netflix and other streaming platforms? I mean, The CW is becoming Netflix-dependent and that can’t be good in the long run. Dynasty did terrible live numbers the whole year but it was still renewed because Netflix paid them a lot of money to get the international rights for it. Same goes for Riverdale that everybody outside the US think is a Netflix Original (and that’s how it’s presented, as they always do with their acquisitions).  Well, anyway, scheduling still matters for The CW as for the other nets, so let’s see what they could do with the new shows they picked up and the large number of DC Comics’ shows that are still on their air, even weakened Arrow, while they decided to re-open sunday night!

 

SUNDAY

CHARMED

SUPERNATURAL

At its peak, the original Charmed aired on sunday nights at 8pm. It would make sense to put it back there, especially since they need to make noise about their sunday re-opening. Charmed is the buzziest show they have and hopefully they won’t wait for midseason to launch it, as they surprisingly did with Riverdale and Black Lightning the past two years. The longest-running American live-action fantasy TV series aka Supernatural could also move there, it’s one of the two nights with monday where it hasn’t aired yet. I guess it would be another record of some sort. Also, Charmed & Supernarutal would make a strong pair.

 

MONDAY

SUPERGIRL

ARROW

I remember The CW president said one time that he would never all of the DC Comics’ shows at the same time. Well, I’m betting he will. While Supergirl should stay where it is, I’d paired it with Arrow and for a shortened seventh season, that could also be its last. It’s a though night and a though slot, I think they should wait for midseason to lauch something new there.

 

TUESDAY

THE FLASH

ALL-AMERICAN

The Flash is The CW’s strongest piece and wasting it on a show that is not new would be kinda dumb. So, here’s Greg Berlanti’s new high-school drama coming right after it on tuesday. Yeah, it would also have been cool to put it with Riverdale, which is also a high-school drama, but they can still do it later, if it survives.

 

WEDNESDAY

RIVERDALE

LEGACIES

Dynasty didn’t work at all behind Riverdale; Life Sentence did worse and had to be moved; then they replaced it with The Original‘s farewell season and it did surprisingly good. To the point when The CW probably regretted cancelling it. As a consequence, it would be logical to put the spin-off there. Legacies might not be as strong, but at least they would have given it the best chance!

 

THURSDAY

BLACK LIGHTNING

LEGENDS OF TOMORROW

Not a huge fan of this night to be honest but I kinda like the idea of having Black Lightning opening the night since it’s really family-oriented. Legends Of Tomorrow can air alongside since this terrible show still exists.

 

FRIDAY

DYNASTY

JANE THE VIRGIN

Friday night should stay a dumping ground, nothing new should be launched there. So here we go again with a mix of Dynasty, Jane The Virgin and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend back at some point. Not bold AT ALL but there’s just nothing else to do.

 

MIDSEASON

ROSWELL – It should be kept for midseason so they don’t launch both of their reboots at the same time. It could be paired with Riverdale if Legacies is limited.

CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND – So yeah, friday, maybe when Dynasty takes a break.

IN THE DARK – They could pair it with Supergirl on monday once Arrow is done… and probably send it to friday next year!

THE 100 & iZOMBIE – They’re basically summer shows at this point, or deep-spring shows. Let them be again.

Dynasty (The CW) pilot preview: Another Lazy Reboot No One Asked For

Written and produced by Josh Schwartz (The OC, Gossip Girl, Chuck, Hart of Dixie), Stephanie Savage (Fastlane, Gossip Girl, The OC, The Carrie Diaries) & Sallie Patrick (Revenge, Limitless, Life Unexpected). Based on the show created by Richard & Esther Shapiro. Directed by Brad Silberling (Jane The Virgin, No Tomorrow). For CBS Television Studios & Fake Empire. 59 pages. Studio Draft. 12/18/16.

Description: Two of America’s wealthiest families, the Carringtons and the Colbys, feud for control over their fortune and their children, starting with Fallon Carrington, daughter of billionaire Blake Carrington, and her soon-to-be stepmother, Cristal, a Hispanic woman marrying into this WASP family, exposing the dark underbelly that is a corrupt world built on backroom deals, betrayal, and, in some cases, murder…

With Nathalie Kelley (The Vampire Diaries, UnReal, Body of Proof), Elizabeth Gillies (Victorious, Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll), Grant Show (Melrose Place, Devious Maids), Sam Adegoke (Switched at Birth, Murder in the first), Alan Dale (Ugly Betty, Lost, Once Upon a Time), Rafael de la Fuente (Empire, When We Rise), Robert Christopher Riley (Hit the Floor)…

 

You’ll like if you already like: Revenge, Gossip Girl, Empire

Likely timeslot: Monday at 9 or Friday at 8 or 9

 

When Dynasty started in 1981 I wasn’t born yet, not even conceived. Maybe my parents haven’t even met yet. Growing up, I watched a lot of television and a lot of soap operas in particular, but never this one despite the multiple reruns. I came across some of Dallas –and was a fan of the recent follow-up- have fond memories of Knots Landing and loved Melrose Place more than anything. Why am I telling you this about my life? To make a point. I feel like we, millenials, couldn’t care less about Dynasty, even though it was a huge hit in the 80s and is considered as cult. It’s too old. Really. For us, it’s just shiny earrings, sparkly outfits, incredible haircuts and crazy catfight scenes. But not something that we’re really curious about and certainly not a show we would watch in a heartbeat. Unless I missed something, The CW isn’t targeting people over 40. So I don’t understand why this pilot has been picked-up…

Okay, I’m not stupid. Deep down I know. It’s about milking CBS Television Studios’ library at all costs (same reason why Hawaii Five-0MacGyver came back to life and why Charmed is poised to be next on the list). But seriously? No one asked for this and no one will watch it. Even if you promote it like crazy. If Dallas didn’t last long on TNT, then Dynasty is doomed on The CW. It doesn’t fit. It’s as simple as that. Plus, I feel like it’s coming at the worst time possible. Most networks decided it was time to make more shows that reflect the “real” America, the middle-America that voted for Trump. The people who watch This Is UsDynasty is the opposite of that. It’s about the 1% of American who are rich. There was a time -especially in the 80s, “The Reagan Era”- when it was all people cared about. They were fascinated by wealth. Today? Not so much anymore. Dynasties still appear everywhere, from reality TV -hello dear Kardashians!- to the polling booths. But they don’t fascinate anymore. Not in the same way at least. And straight soap operas like Dynasty, without anything that makes them special like Empire, are just dead.

It’s not that Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage didn’t try to modernize Dynasty. They just didn’t try hard enough. What they did was adding diversity to the exact same concept and script. Or should I say: adding colours. Sorry but it is what it is. So our heroine is no longer called Krystle but Cristal and she’s hispanic, something that is not even vaguely adressed in the pilot. She just is. Which is defensible. The Carringtons are still white but the Colbys are black now. Finally, to spice things up, Steven Carrington is still gay but he’s totally out of the closet and it doesn’t seem to be a problem -he’s still a trainwreck though, the black sheep of the family, but it’s not because of his sexuality apparently- while his principal love interest Sammy Jo is no longer a woman (played by Heather Locklear at the time) but a young gay man, who’s still looking for easy money and troubles. Don’t get me wrong: it’s all okay! It makes sense, those are good moves and not making them would have been heavily criticized. BUT it’s all there is. That’s where the modernization begins and ends.

On the plus side, it’s mostly efficient, like the original pilot was. Except the beginning of the opening sequence. It’s just two minutes long tops but two minutes that are really not engaging, with people talking about the solar system, green energies… Please cut this. Many viewers will change the channel immediately! You can’t just start with this. Most of the plots are tired, cliché. That’s what happens when you decide to copy/paste a 35 years-old pilot script. We know the tricks. Dynasty must have been one of the first soap operas to perform them, but time has past and other shows that came and went used them in the meantime. So it’s predictable. Even if the end has been changed. There’s a death. Won’t say who. But damn, adding a murder mystery is not what I would call a wild and original idea…

About the tone, it can be funny sometimes. Especially with Joseph Anders, the estate manager of the Carrington family, who’s a really amusing guy who clearly hates Cristal and isn’t afraid to show her everytime he has the chance. And the catfights between Fallon and Cristal are quite enjoyable on paper, as they should be. I wouldn’t say there’s anything really daring in this version of the show, unless if you still consider that showing two men kissing and making love is daring, as well as suggesting that Fallon’s pussy is being eaten out by her african-american chauffeur in one scene. How shocking!

This Dynasty reboot feels lazy. It’s like putting makeup on a tired old lady. She looks better with the makeup on but it doesn’t really hide the fact that she’s old and tired. It doesn’t have the freshness, the cleverness and the relevance of a Jane the Virgin, neither the nostalgic vibe of a Riverdale. it’s more like Revenge, without much of a concept and new ideas. A hot and charismatic cast would certainly help but it’d still be a mistake for The CW to bet on it next year, unless they really have nothing better to offer…