Tag: family fortune

ABC | 2015/2016 Pilot Season: The Best & Worst

abc

Before ABC reveals its new schedule next Tuesday, here’s the best & worst of their pilot season ! Just my humble opinion.

Quanrico

DRAMAS

1. QUANTICO – Ordered to series

“an incredibly strong contender at ABC, not only because it’s a great pilot script that keeps you on the edge of your seat for the whole time but above all because it’s the promise of a show that will keep you on the edge of your seat EVERY WEEK for an ENTIRE SEASON -and hopefully more- alongside characters you can only care about, through a journey that’s relevant to the world we live in. It’s a bomb in the making that’s about to explode. The Clock is already ticking. Tick tock… Tick Tock…” Full preview here

2. THE FAMILY (aka ORIGINAL SIN) – Ordered to series

“a family drama, a very human one, more than a mystery or a detective show, or even a soap. (…) People can relate to this family and its members, they can feel for the detective, they can get excited by the investigation and the secrets that will be found along the way… And it won’t even feel like a sin to love it (…) Everything’s in place to make a great show out of the already great pilot.” Full preview here

3. THE BROAD SQUAD – Dead but could be redeveloped

” This pilot manages to be both entertaining and intelligent, even important I might add (…) The Broad Squad is not your usual cop show, not only because it’s a period drama but because it aims to be different, not a crime-solving straight procedural but a heavy serialized and character-driven one, with no strong emphasis on romantic storylines.” Full preview here

4. THE CATCH – Ordered to series

“it’s in the same vein as Scandal and entirely devoted to Alice Martin, a strong leading woman, brilliant at her job but who can also prove to be fragile when it comes to her messy personal life, in the same fashion as Meredith Grey, Addison Montgomery, Olivia Pope and Annalise Keating (…) The Catch comes off as a thrilling ride, but I can’t say it blew my mind… yet.” Full preview here

5. OIL (aka BOOM) – Ordered to series

“it is as ambitious as it looks, and as ambitious as the couple at the center of the show is. t has what it takes it to be a good entertaining TV series that doesn’t take its viewers for morons and which offers a little bit more than just fun. That being said, Boom may be a little too smart and intricate for its own good…” Full preview here

6. KINGMAKERS – Officially Dead

“Kingmakers is ABC wanting to recreate the magic they once had with Revenge. It’s not a spin-off, it’s not officially a reboot. It’s the same show but different. You know you’ve seen it before but you don’t really care as long as they keep it entertaining and fresh somehow. Let’s call it a spiritual spin-off!” Full preview here

7. MIX – Officially Dead

“Mix finds the right balance between the prime time family soap like Dallas and the more emotion-based family drama like Parenthood, the same way Brothers & Sisters did in fact. Let’s call it a family dramedy, with a lot of heart, a bit of laughs and the inevitable dirty little secrets we’re exposed to throughout the pilot (…) It’s almost too simple and too sweet to be really good.” Full preview here

8. RUNNER – Officially Dead

“ABC has better things to pick up, but it’s a solid pilot script that embarks us on a thrilling ride.” Full preview here

9. KINGS AND PROPHETS – Ordered to series

“Game of Thrones is a soap opera in its bones. The Bible is too, in a way. Kings and Prophets even more. It’s about lies, treasons, revenge… Death is everywhere all the time.  I wouldn’t have bet on it before reading the script, now I’m intrigued though not totally convinced. It could crash, it could work, it could even be a hit. Everything’s possible.” Full preview here

10. WICKED CITY (aka LA CRIME) – Ordered to series

“Dark and twisty. It takes a dangerous road for a network show because of the way the serial killer called Clark Gallagher operates (…) But I’m not sure in this crowded television landscape, already full of serial killers, this show has something more to offer…” Full preview here

11. THE ADVOCATE – Officially Dead

“An interesting way of spinning your gold ol’ medical drama, but not distinctive enough to make a splash and be a game changer. It’s nice, it’s a good vehicle for Kim Raver, but it’s boring most of time. The medical part is okay, but the soapy part is just too generic”. 

12. THE ADVERSARIES – Officially Dead

“not something new, not something bad, not something we’d be willing to really give a chance (…) trying to distinguish itself through the family drama perspective, but even that has already been made and it doesn’t make that much of a difference in the end (…) It will skew old and it doesn’t really fit with the schedule. It’s efficient and pleasant but a little outdated.” Full preview here

Not reviewed: UNTITLED AGENTS OF SHIELD PROJECT – Officially Dead

 

Martha Plimpton as Virginia Chance, Jimmy's mother.

COMEDIES

1. THE REAL O’NEALS – Ordered to series

“it fits perfectly with ABC’s brand, alongside Modern Family, The Goldbergs and all the others (…) The fact that the narrator is a teenage boy makes it sound like Fresh Off the Boat too, which can’t be a bad thing. Honestly, I’m already in love with these people (…)”  Full preview here

2. NERD HERD – Officially Dead

“I laughed out loud while reading it, which doesn’t happen very often to me (…) Just picture all of the smart ass kids of TV -like Manny from Modern Family or the adorable Brick from The Middle– and make them brothers and sisters, living in the same house.Full preview here

3. DELORES & JERMAINE – Officially Dead

“This shit is good. Better than expected, better than you think and even better than it should have been. I mean: a young man living with his grandma, it’s quite exciting on paper I think -I love grandmas on TV- but it’s paper thin at the same time. Somehow, the magic happens and at the end of the pilot, nothing about it seems thin anymore.” Full preview here

4. CHEVY – Officially Dead

“it’s in the vein of The Middle. They share the same kind of sweetness and warmness, and they aim at the same sort of truth of what a family really is, or should be, based on everyday life (…) It would fit perfectly in ABC’s line-up”  Full preview here

5. FORTUNE FAMILY – Officially Dead

“TV definitely needs a lesbian heroin, even more if she’s not the pretty kind. That’s diversity too, guys! Outside of the coming-out part, which is dealt with really well, the sitcom is probably less original than The Real O’Neals for many reasons, especially the mother & father dynamic that we have already witnessed countless times, but it works” Full preview here

6. ALL STARS – Officially Dead

“Better than expected, really funny at times, with an extravaganza you don’t find on the other ABC projects. But it’s more niche and the sports part lost me a bit. Not the best choice.” 

7. THE 46 PERCENTERS – Officially Dead

“Liked this one way more than expected and I can totally picture it lasting for years. But too many farts jokes for my taste, probably.” 

8. DR KEN – Ordered to series

“Liked this one way more than expected (again) and I can totally picture it paired with Last Man Standing. Good for diversity, good for laughs, but not especially great regarding originality” 

9. THE KING OF 7B – Officially Dead

“Quite daring, totally original and crazy, but a bit of a mess, with a feeling that it can’t last very long with such a pitch. Would better fit on Netflix or something!”

10. UNCLE BUCK – Ordered to series

“Not impressed. But it has some potential somehow…” 

11. KNOXVILLE – Officially dead

“A family comedy about rednecks? Already done by Greg Garcia with Earl and then Raising Hope. We don’t need this one even if it’s fine.”

12. WARRIORS – Officially Dead

“Don’t understand the attractiveness of this project. But apparently it has one. Maybe not being remotely interested in basket ball didn’t help. I have faith in producer Dan Fogelman -and ABC too since they can’t keep ordering his shows- but I don’t think it belongs to ABC, even if they broadcast NBA…”

Not reviewed: THE MUPPETS -Ordered to series

 

What pilots are you rooting for ?

“The Real O’Neals” Vs. “Family Fortune” (ABC) pilot preview: When ABC comes out… twice !

ONEALFORTUNE

THE REAL O’NEALS

rate rate rate rate

Written & Produced by David Windsor (What I Like About You, Don’t Trust the B****, Trophy Wife) & Casey Johnson (Greek, Galavant). Inspired & co-produced by Dan Savage (It Gets Better, It Got Better), with Stacy Traub (Glee), Dan McDermott (Angela’s Eyes, Human Target) & Brian Pines (Dr House). Directed by Todd Holland (Malcolm, Wonderfalls, Go On). For ABC, ABC Studios, Hypomania Content & DiBonaventura Pictures Television. 36 pages.

Description: The O’Neals picture perfect Christian family is turned upside down when the youngest son, Kenny, 16, comes out of the closet. What seems like the end of their idyllic life turns out to be the beginning of a bright new chapter when everyone stops pretending to be perfect and actually starts being real, with all their little and sometimes huge imperfections…

With Noah GalvinMartha Plimpton (Raising Hope, The Good Wife, The Goonies), Jay R. Ferguson (Mad Men, Sleeper Cell, Surface), Bebe Wood (The New Normal), Matthew Shively, Mary Hollis Inboden

FAMILY FORTUNE

rate rate rate rate

Written & produced by Fortune Feimster & Matt Hubbard (30 Rock, Parks And Recreation, Joey). Co-produced by Tina Fey (30 Rock, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Satuday Night Live), David Miner (30 Rock, Parks And Recreation, Brooklyn Nine-Nine) & Robert Carlock (30 Rock, Friends, Saturday Night Live). Directed by Mark Cendrowski (The Big Bang Theory, Rules Of Engagement). For ABC, Universal Television, Little Stranger Productions & 3 Arts. 50 pages.

Description: Fortune Ferguson, a popular gym teacher in North Carolina, comes out of the closet to her close-knit group of family and friends. What she doesn’t realize is that she will also have to deal with her bickering and happily divorced parents also ‘coming out’ that they are sleeping together again…

With Fortune Feimster (Glee, Mulaney), Annie Potts (Designing Women, Any Day Now, GCB, Dangerous Minds), John Carroll Lynch (Body Of Proof, American Horror Story, The Americans, Fargo), Parker Young (Suburgatory, Enlisted), Lacey Chabert (Party of Five), Chris Redd (Empire)…

I don’t know if Paul Lee, president of ABC, is trying hard to tell us something, but he really badly wants a comedy about coming-out on the air. He decided to order both single-camera comedy pilot The Real O’Neals (briefly entitled Family of the Year), inspired by gay activist Dan Savage’s childhood, and multicamera comedy Family Fortune, based on stand-up comedian Fortune Feimster’s real life story. The good news is both are good and strong contenders for a pick-up, but the sad one is probably only one, if none, will make it to next year’s schedule. I don’t see ABC ordering both, especially since they have very little space for new comedies. Plus, competition is stiff with Nerd Herd, Delores & Jermaine and Chevy being very strong possibilities too, while Knoxville & Uncle Buck are less interesting propositions but can’t be counted out yet (and I’m not done reading all of them).

The Real O’Neals is the safer choice because it fits perfectly with ABC’s brand, alongside Modern Family, The Goldbergs and all the others. And I think the writing is a little bit stronger. The fact that the narrator is a teenage boy makes it sound like Fresh Off the Boat too, which can’t be a bad thing. Honestly, I’m already in love with these people, especially with the mother, Eileen, an always impeccably dressed woman of faith, whose passion is perfection. Some sort of new Bree Van de Kamp, if you want. And if I have troubles imagining Martha Plimpton in her shoes, I can’t wait to see the result! She couldn’t have found a more different role than this one, compared to her Raising Hope‘s Virginia. We’re talking a lot about diversity these days, and I find The Real O’Neals pretty convicing in that regard. They’re white, yes; but above all they’re christians. And it’s been a long time since we haven’t seen a christian family on TV, in a comedy that is not preachy in any way. All of their beliefs are suddenly questionned and they realize they are not the good christians they thought they were. They may even be the worst of their neighborhood. And that’s an hilarious discovery for us. Kenny’s coming-out is in fact just one event among others. And the least of their problems!

Family Fortune being a multicamera on a channel where only one has worked for a long time (Last Man Standing), a very classical one indeed (did I say Republican?), its destiny is way more uncertain, which is a shame because it deserves an order at leat for its cast. I don’t know about Fortune Feimster, haven’t seen any of her work yet, but Annie Potts+John Carroll Lynch+the hilarious Parker Young+Lacey-long time no see-Chabert, it is a big big “yes!” for me. And it’s produced by Queen Tina Fey, for Christ’s sake! I have a total trust in her instincts about Fortune Feimster. And TV definitely needs a lesbian heroin, even more if she’s not the pretty kind. That’s diversity too, guys! Outside of the coming-out part, which is dealt with really well, the sitcom is probably less original than The Real O’Neals for many reasons, especially the mother & father dynamic that we have already witnessed countless times, but it works… so much! I mean, they’re hilarious, her because she’s totally selfish, him because he’s an angry bear. I’m realizing they’re exactly like Sam’s parents in Samantha Who? for those who remember. The idiot brother is a comic genius. Damn, I love them too!

So, what will be Paul Lee’s decision? In a perfect world, he would give both a chance and the best one would win on itw own merits. Since TV is far from a perfect world, I guess The Real O’Neals has the upper hand: it’s in-house produced and less risky. Me, I decided not to choose. I love both, I want both. And it’s not me coming out as bi, hum!

Catches of the Week: it’ all about diversity! Vanessa Williams, Laverne Cox, Natalie Martinez…

desperate-housewives-s8-vanessa-williams-renee-perry-dvdbash1

While the directors’ jobs are filled quickly, casting is tough this pilot season. Because of the increasing competition from cable and most importantly digital platforms like Netflix & Amazon, the talent pool of experienced actors is almost empty. The pressure over channels and talent agencies is higher than ever. So far, catches are not impressive. But most of them have something in common: diversity! 

NBC is very high on diversity, something they made pretty clear since their pick-ups of series Telenovela (Eva Longoria) and Shades Of Blue (Jennifer Lopez) and pilots Go, Jerrod Go!, The Curse of the Fuentes women, martial arts Warrior, and Love is a Four Letter Word. They all requires latinos, afro-americans and asian americans in lead roles.

This is how Nadine Velasquez and Cynthia McWilliams have been cast this week in the marriage drama Love is a Four Letter Word which chronicles the collision of race, sexuality and gender roles when three diverse couples put modern marriage to the test. The My Name is Earl alumna will play play Rebecca, a Cuban American who is deeply in love with Julie and very happy with their marriage, but doesn’t realize her wife is actively considering getting back together with her ex, Nick. McWilliams will play Tandi, one half of a happy couple with a young son who is experiencing difficulties fulfilling her dream of having another child. Hot Adan Canto, seen in The Following and Mixology, got the part of the mysterious man who brings the Curse to the Fuentes women in the pilot from Ugly Betty creator Silvio Horta. Natalie Martinez, most recently seen in Under The Dome, will star in Warrior as Kai Forrester, a damaged heroine who works undercover with physical and spiritual guidance from a mysterious martial arts master to bring down an international crime lord. Finally veteran S. Epatha Merkerson from Law & Order is reuniting with producer Dick Wolfe with a lead role in the Chicago Fire and Chicago PD planted spin-off Chicago Med. She will be the head of the hopistal.

LAVERNE

In other diversity casting news, Vanessa Williams from Ugly Betty and Desperate Housewives will play the bold and unapologetic new boss of Kevin Connolly (Entourage) in comedy pilot Fantasy Life for FOX, where Mitch (Connolly) lands his ultimate dream job hosting a fantasy football show, he’s forced to navigate office politics while becoming the star he never thought he could be. Asian American actor Daniel Henney has joined the Untitled Criminal Minds spin-off with Gary Sinise & Anna Gunn. Last but really not least, Laverne Cox, discovered in Orange is the new black, got the part of a transgender attorney in Reasonable Doubt for CBS. If the show is ordered to series, then she’ll become the first transgender regular character on broadcast TV, which is exciting and groundbreaking.

In other non-diversity news (!), cancelled Perception‘s star Eric McCormack, pursued for different roles, will star in musical drama pilot Studio City for FOX, where he’ll play the songwriter father of a young singer who’s trying to make it big in Hollywood, but the man turns out to be a drug dealer to the stars! Ex-Breaking Bad actress Betsy Brandt wants to prove she can be funny after the Michael J. Fox Show demise, so she accepted one of the female leads in CBS’ Life In Pieces comedy pilot, with Colin Hanks playing one of her siblings. David Lyons (Revolution, The Cape) toplines drama pilot Game Of Silence, which NBC is very high on. Sweet Zach Gildford (Friday Night Lights, Off The Map), coming off Stanistan‘s pilot USA Network sadly just decided not to pick-up to series, lands on ABC in soap pilot Flesh & Blood. Finally, excellent Annie Potts & John Carroll Lynch will play the heroine’s parents in comedy pilot Family Fortune for ABC, where the central character comes out to her family.

ABC not done yet with its orders! 2 more comedies are in the oven…

abc

As it turns out, ABC is ordering more pilots than it was announced (meaning a lot of cancellations are coming in May?). They now have 12 comedy pilots and 13 drama pilots ordered! Here are the two new additions, produced by Universal Television.

First one is their second multicamera effort of the pilot season after Delores & Jermaine. It’s also their second coming out story after the Untitled Dan Savage project. They probably won’t order both in the end. Family Fortune follows a popular gym teacher in Georgia who comes out of the closet to her close-knit group of family and friends. What she doesn’t realize is that she will also have to deal with her bickering and happily divorced parents also ‘coming out’ that they are sleeping together again. It is based on comedian Fortune Feimster’s life, a favorite of ABC and Tina Fey. She was meant to be the star of a project called Discounted two years ago, for ABC; and she was one of the heroines of previous Tina Fey pilot for FOX, Cabot College, which sadly wasn’t picked ut to series after all.

Second one is the much talked about reboot of John Hughes’s classical movie Uncle Buck, which was already adapted for TV in 1990 and ran for one season only on CBS. This time, it is written by Steven Cragg and Brian Bradley, previously consulting producers on Scrubs and Happy Endings. Uncle Buck will center on a childish man who learns how to be an adult by taking care of his brother’s kids in a very childish way.

Note Deadline reported on Friday a pick-up for a comedy called Dr Ken, starring Community‘s Ken Jeong, but the news disappeared quickly. Did ABC change its mind or is it just delayed? Keep in mind the actor is already the star of a show in the works for MTV called Ken Jeong made me do it. The explanation must come from there…

SEE ALL ABC ORDERS SO FAR