Tag: marlon wayans

NBC 2016/2017 Comedy Pilots ranked

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It was a very good year for NBC, as the number one network from start to finish, but they couldn’t escape their comedy curse anyway. Superstore is the only one that showed some promise among the newbies, and got its renewal, with companion show Eva Longoria-starrer Telenovela dead on arrival. Truth Be Told was a huge flop on fridays, as predicted, and Undateable Live was miserable. Second season of The Carmichael Show is doing okay. But in a slot right after surprise success Little Big Shots, it should be doing better. Same goes for family sitcom Crowded. Both have a shot at renewal.

Where will they put their new comedies next season? There’s simply no slot available but they will have to make room for them. The Carmichael Show could be sent to fridays, with or without Crowded. They developped a few ethnic multicamera comedies that look compatible. At least one should be given the honor, even though none are produced in-house. Superstore needs a new companion. It could be straight-to-series Good Place, unless one of their pilots looks like a better fit (Powerless?). And they’ll probably order a couple more comedies for midseason. Here’s all they got:

 

  1. THE TRAIL aka TRIAL & ERROR (Warner Bros. Television)

rate rate rate rate  follows a young big-city lawyer and his oddball defense team during a high profile murder trial in a small southern town. Conceived as a spoof of crime documentaries like the The Jinx or Making a Murderer… With Nicholas d’Agosto, John Lithgow, Sherri Shepherd, Jayma Mays…

This cast is AMAZING. The script is AMAZING. Laughed out loud, literally. Top-notch writing. This ia a serialized comedy between The Naked Gun, Angie Tribeca & the Serial podcast. They have to give it the thumbs up for obvious reasons but it’s not an easy sell. It was a better fit with a cable network or a streaming platform honestly but it’s important to try.

 

2. POWERLESS (Warner Bros. Television)

rate rate rate rate  Emily Locke works at the worst insurance companies in America, in the universe of DC Comics where superheroes do exist and cause a lot of collateral damages. How is it like working for a normal, powerless person in a world of superheroes and villains? It’s hard, really hard. You have to be strong, really strong. And that’s the beauty of it. Isn’t it? With Vanessa Hudgens, Danny Pudi, Alan Tudyk, Christina Kirk…

NBC is the right place for this DC Comics show and the series order looks like a formality to me, even though it will be expensive, a lot of special effects are required. A very promising workplace comedy, a really funny half-hour piece of television that everybody can enjoy.

Read the preview

 

3. WHITE SHEEP (Universal Television)

rate rate rate rate   Andrew and Josie, a happily married interracial couple, lives take a turn when they move close to Josie’s family in Missouri… With Chris Smith, Elizabeth Ho, Jack McBrayer, François Chau…

This cool comedy could have been born on ABC. It’s exactly in their wheelhouse, and not in NBC’s. It’s as good and funny as the pilots of The Goldbergs or Fresh Off The Boat were. Loved the bitchy grandma character. Loved the sweetness of it all.

 

4. DUMB PRINCE (Universal Television)

rate rate rate rate  After years of partying that earned him the “black sheep” label, Karl, a reluctant Crown Prince, returns home to compete with his brother for the family throne…  With Nico Evers-Swindell, Tim Baltz, Elizabeth Perkins, Kevin Nealon…

Pretty good overall, with a Parks And Reacreation vibe, as expected from Amy Poehler as a director and executive producer, and there’s something of Galavant too, which is less of a good news, from a ratings point of view. It has potential. I think it should be tried. It’s the kind of family comedy that could never work on ABC, but has a chance somewhere else.

 

5. SUNSET PPL (Universal Television)

rate rate rate rate   A group of millennial friends struggles with their own made-up rules for personal and professional success… With Julianna Guill, Cass Bugge, Brandon Kyle Goodman…

Not sure how this comedy can fit in NBC’s schedule right now, but it’s damn good on the page! Fresh, modern, funny…

 

6. IMAGINARY FRIEND (Universal Television)

rate rate rate rate  an intelligent yet unmotivated woman discovers a special and unexpected way of dealing with her mediocre life: an imaginary friend, who’s everything she’s not: confident and powerful… With Megan Neuringer, Kalia Prescott, Brandon Scott, Allan McLeod…

Top-notch writing. Not surprised it won NBC playground contest. But it’s a cable comedy, not suited for a network. Too bad. (BTW, what’s with this imaginary friend trend??! Angel From HellImaginary Mary… when did it become a thing?)

7. GREAT NEWS (Universal Television)

rate rate rate  When an overly involved New Jersey mom gets an internship at her daughter’s workplace, a cable news network, things are starting to get more difficult for her than ever… With Briga Heelan, Andrea Martin, Adam Campbell, Horatio Sanz…

NBC, didn’t we already tell you you had to stop doing comedies about fake TV shows?! That being said, this one looks fun. The mother-daughter dynamics at the center is the best part. The rest sounds a bit too much like 30 Rock. No surprise here: it’s from Tina Fey after all. Same obsessions, same jokes.

 

8. ME & MEAN MARGARET (Universal Television)

rate rate rate  The story of a fiercely candid and often offensive legendary actress and the ambitious 27-year-old lawyer forced to babysit her… With Gavin Stenhouse, Stockard Channing, Justin Lupe, Jane Lynch…

There’s something very classical and not particularly modern in this multicamera comedy pilot script but I liked it. Could be fun. Made me think a bit of The Nanny somehow. And The Nanny for me is just extraordinary. I’d be curious to watch it. But it’s a better fit with TV Land, probably.

 

9. MARLON (Universal Television)

rate rate rate  an inappropriate but loving father is committed to successfully co-parenting with his polar opposite ex-wife… With Marlon Wayans, Essence Atkins, Bresha Webb, Diallo Riddle…

Could turn into a pretty decent multicamera comedy, but a hit for NBC I doubt it. The Carmichael Show is way better… Marlon Wayans is still very popular. It will be hard for them to resist…

 

10. CRUNCH TIME (Universal Television)

rate rate rate  intercuts between a real game show and the scripted workplace that centers on an up-and-coming producer trying to wrangle the volatile host… With Craig Ferguson, Andrea Anders, Kyle Howard, Kellee Stewart…

High concept show. Good idea. Not so good execution. The real game part is uninteresting, so small. One scene at the beginning, another one in the middle and one in the end. It’s gimmicky. The scripted part is okay. But compared to other behind-the-scenes comedies like 30 Rock, it feels weak… Craig Ferguson can save it though.

 

11. GOOD FORTUNE (20th Century FOX Television)

rate rate rate  a hyper-structured young woman’s life is upended when she starts taking advice from a mysterious fortune teller… With Jessy Hodges, Blake Lee, Tone Bell, Beau Mirchoff, Diane Guerrero…

It’s okay. And just that. Nothing special. Nothing different. Funny, but just a little bit. The characters work on the page. Individually, and as a group of friends. But I don’t see it ordered. The premise is not strong enough to sustain.

 

12. SEBASTIAN (CBS Television Studios)

rate rate chronicles Sebastian’s old-school values, instilled by his opinionated Italian father, which are constantly put to the test by his new wife, her family, and the absurdities of the modern world… With Sebastian Maniscalco, Tony Danza, Maria Canals-Barrera…

Damn, that was painful. Everybody’s pretty irritating in that show, especially the father. NBC should pass on this one. But if you compare to Bronx Tale, with more of the same premice, this one is slightly better…

 

13. BRONX TALE (Warner Bros. Television)

rate rate   Inspired by Caamaño’s real-life family dynamic living with his Dominican father and older brother in the Bronx, which is often featured in his stand-up. In the show, Vlad, the son of Dominican immigrants, wants to carve his own path in life which proves difficult as his father has no desire to change their extremely co-dependent relationship… With Vladimir Caamaño, Josh Segarra, Lilah Richcreek…

Mostly irritating because of the not so funny dad character. Most of the jokes rely on his accent. I get what they tried to do there about family values and origins, but it’s not working. It just made me want to watch Master of None episode 2 once again… The Carmichael Show does the same thing way better. It’s a pass!

 

GOOD PLACE – Ordered to series (Universal Television)

Eleanor, a woman from New Jersey comes to realize that she hasn’t been a very good person. She decides to turn over a new leaf by learning what it actually means to be “good” or “bad,” and then trying to make up for her past behavior… With Kristen Bell, Ted Danson, William Jackson Harper,

Not available.