Tag: nbc

Bellevue (NBC) pilot preview: A great medical drama at the worst time possible…

Written and executive produced by David Schulner (Emerald City, Do No Harm, Trauma, The Event). Also produced by Dr. Eric Manheimer & Pete Horton (Grey’s Anatomy, Thirtysomething, Ironside). Directed by Kate Dennis (The Handmaid’s Tale, Secrets & Lies, The Secret Life of Us). For NBC & Universal Television. 59 pages. Revised Network Draft. Clean. 12/26/2017.

Description: Located in Manhattan, Bellevue is the only hospital in the world that has the capability to treat Ebola patients, prisoners from Rikers Island and the President of the United States all under one roof. Max Hollander, the new enigmatic medical director hired to disrupt and tame this mighty institution, always prioritize patient care while facing his own battle with cancer…

With Ryan Eggold (The Blacklist, 90210, Dirt), Freema Agyeman (Sense8, The Carrie Diaries, Doctor Who), Janet Montgomery (This Is Us, Salem, Made in Jersey, Entourage), Tyler Labine (Dirk GentlyReaper, Sons of Tucson, Invasion), Anupam Kher (The Indian Detective, Sense8), Jocko Sims

   

You’ll like it you already like: medical shows, from best to worst.

Likely timeslot: Not sure there’s one in the fall…

 

How many medical shows can work at the same time? Historically, not much more than two (ER & Chicaco Hope in the 90s; Grey’s Anatomy & House in the 2000s…). But this past season, four aired at the same time: Grey’s Anatomy -such a beast- & new hit The Good Doctor, both on ABC, plus Chicago Med doing good business on NBC & The Resident doing decent by FOX’s standarts. Betting they will all be back next year, does any new medical drama even stand a chance in this crowded market? Networks doesn’t seem to think so since Bellevue is actually the only medical drama pilot that was picked up to pilot (many projects were in development). So the question is now: does Bellevue even stand a chance? And my answer is… In another situation, on another year, it would certainly have, but now…

It’s a pity for NBC and for us, because Bellevue is really more interesting than Chicago Med or The Night Shift, and other medical shows that failed over there those past few years like Do No Harm or Heartbeat, but I don’t see how they can fit in the schedule and how viewers would be willing to give it a fair chance. Such a shame. The central character is inspired by a real person -Dr. Eric Manheimer, the former medical director at New York City’s real Bellevue Hospital and author of the memoir Twelve Patients: Life and Death at Bellevue Hospital which inspired the series- and you can tell those stories are true, or at least sound like they are. It’s not eccentric with quirky cases to have some fun in the middle of the big drama, it’s really a mix of “normal” cases like you can find in every other medical show and high-stakes ones like the one used in the logline: Alain, a 15 year-old boy, arrives from Africa and shows signs of Ebola disease, which leads the police to think he might have been used as a biological weapon by an Isis agent. Talk about a first day for Hollander ! No sign of the President of the United States just yet!

The pilot is really packed, fast-paced but never at the detriment of the characters, and does a good job at showing America in all its diversity, by facing the difficulties of the healthcare system. And I think that’s what I liked the most about Bellevue. We’re said multiple times that it’s an important hospital, the oldest public hospital in the United States that has a tradition of “serving the underserved” that dates back to 1736 and bla bla bla, but we can also feel it for real through the doctors and through the patients. CBS’s Code Black wanted to show real medicine, based on a documentary, but Bellevue does it better. One case is about a 16 year-old victim of abuse for whom the bedraggled Dr Iggy Frome tries to find a permanent home. It’s very emotional. Another is about a 70 year-old woman who appears dead on arrival, but actually suffers from a neurological condition caused by a tapeworm indigenous to her hometown in Mexico. She only has one year to live and Max will do whatever he can so she returns to her native Guadalajara. There’s a lot of compassion in this show, a lot of emotion and a feel-good vibe amidst the chaos, similar to The Good Doctor.

Hollander is a complicated character but he mostly acts as a hero, even if it means annoying some people for the greater good. I don’t know if Ryan Eggold is the right choice for it -NBC’s executives have a thing for him obviously- but it’s a great challenge. Hollander’s maverick approach and intense commitment to the job exasperate his boss, as well as his seven months pregnant’s wife, who just separated from him. I feel like this personal story will quickly becomes a stone in the writers’ shoes, especially since they’ll have the cancer one to worry about even more. It’s a lot for just one character but the good news is those around him also make good impressions. I’m thinking of Dr. Hana Sharpe (Freema Agyeman), who’s the lead doctor at the hospital who has not practiced medicine in a while. Rather, she appears on talk shows across the country pitching Bellevue hospital. She’s fierce and strong and I like her already. Dr. Anil Kapoor is interesting too, since he’s one of the oldest doctors there and he believes the hospital needs to change but does not feel he needs to change his ways. He could be a lot of fun. They don’t come out as characters we’ve already seen a million times in medical shows.

I’m very conflicted about Bellevue: it sure is a good pilot, and it sure could become a great medical drama, but it’s coming at the worst time possible with already a lot of similar options on network television. I would love it to thrive, I would love it to stay with us for the long haul but I just don’t see it happening sadly. In the wrong place at the wrong time. That’s how I’ll remember it. Unless there’s a miracle…

F.B.I. (CBS) pilot preview: Dick Wolf By The Book

Written and executive produced by Craig Turk (The Good Wife, Private Practice, Boston Legal). Also produced by Dick Wolf (Law & Order, SVU, Truee Crime, Chicago Fire, PD, Med, Justice), Peter Jankowski & Arthur W. Forney. Directed by Niels Arden Oplev (Millenium, Under The Dome, Mr Robot, Midnight, Texas). For NBCUniversal TelevisionCBS Television Studios & Wolf Films. 60 pages. Network Draft. 1/22/18.

Description: the inner workings of the New York office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, alongside relatively young agents Maggie Bell & Otilio Abramah “OA” Casillas, and the emotional toll cases have on their relationships and personal lives…

With Missy Peregrym (Rookie Blue, Van Helsing, Reaper), Zeeko Zaki (24 Legacy, Valor, Six), Jeremy Sisto (Ice, The Returned, Suburgarory, Law & Order, Six Feet Under), Connie Nielsen (Wonder Woman Boss, The Following, Gladiator), Ebonée Noel (Wrecked, Still Star-Crossed)…

  

You’ll Like It You Already Like: Any straight police procedural show.

Likely timeslot: Monday at 10 (one of the few slots available where there’s no Dick Wolf show on NBC)

 

No, it’s not a typo in the article’s title: this show produced by Dick Wolf is really for CBS! F.B.I. will be Wolf’s first drama series to launch on a network other than NBC in 15 years, since the 2003 Dragnet reboot on ABC that didn’t last long. So what happened? The project was originally developed at NBC but with Wolf’s Chicago franchise expanding, taking 3 hours in the schedule, plus veteran Law & Order:SVU still alive and new iteration Law & Order True Crime coming, there was simply not slot available for it in NBC’s slate of procedurals. So it made sense for him to look to expand his brand elsewhere and CBS was the logical first destination since the eye network is known for its crime procedurals. NBC will still get some money out of it anyway since Universal is co-producing F.B.I. with CBS. The only downside here is that they won’t be able to crossover the show with Chicago PD (or any other), something they probably would have done on NBC. CBS was so happy to get a Wolf show that they ordered it straight-to-series with a 13-episode commitment, without any writer attached and of course any script ready. Former The Good Wife executive producer Craig Turk was then recommended for the job by CBS, being one of the top drama writers on CBS TV Studios’ roster. And here we are!

So, F.B.I… Could they find a more generic title than this? It sums up the whole concept of the show, really. In that regard, it is perfect. Though they could have added “: New York“, cos’ knowing both Wolf and CBS, if it works for them, we will get the Los Angeles & Miami versions sooner or later! There’s a definitive lack of ambition, as the logline can attest, and it’s a choice. It’s not like they were trying to make something crazy original and they totally failed in the end. No, they were just aiming at a simple, straight-forward crime procedural since the beginning. No fat. But is it a smart move in 2018? Don’t you need a hook, even in a procedural, to bring interest? I think the reasoning behind is quite easy: Dick Wolf is a brand, and people who love his brand don’t want anything that would deviate from it. No high-concept. No strange consultant. No magic. So Wolf is bringing exactly what people are supposedly looking for from him. And from CBS. Haters gonna hate. Lovers gonna love! I don’t consider myself as a hater of Dick’s work but I can’t say that I’m a fan either. I always find his shows bland and F.B.I. kinda is too. It’s never really about the characters. It’s about the case of the week and the investigation. And sometimes, when there’s a little time left, they throw us crumbs of information about the investigators’ private lives. Like a well-deserved reward. That’s what happens here. When the pilot ends, we know one thing about every principal character. Which is already a lot I guess from such a show.

That being said, F.B.I. is as efficient as a procedural can get and it’s fast-paced. The situation is quickly set. The investigation starts two pages in. You’re given twists and cliffhangers every 8-10 minutes or so. You get a proper conclusion in the last two pages. Nothing’s left to your imagination. And it’s done. Again: no fat. There’s still some kind of ambition though, I was lying earlier. The case they chose to tackle is quite strong and heavy. Terrorism. In New York. Nothing original here either. But bombs explode, buildings collapse. It’s gonna cost a lot of money! So it starts with two bombs detonating at a working-class South Bronx apartment complex, injuring many and killing a local 7-year old boy. It’s quite horrifying, so you’re either hooked or disgusted. And then it’s the whole city that’s under a major bomb threat. Another one is found at a community center and our agents are in the constant fear of a new one exploding anywhere. The stakes are high. It must be impressive for people who never saw any of 24, Homeland or more recently Quantico. For the others, it’s business as usual. But once again, it’s well made and once you’re in, you just stay. Unless you’re not into cellphone melted on a guy’s burnt leg and other digusting things like that. Will they be able, budget-wise, to go as big in every episode? Probably not. It’s gonna become quieter I guess. Once the dust settles, they will have to be careful not to enter the boring zone…

The characters are instantly working, maybe because we meet them right into the action, and then they never sleep, never quit. You have Maggie Bell -skilled, intellectual, emotional- hard not to like, the real heroine here; Otilio Abraham “OA” Casillas -former undercover DEA operative, instinctual, grizzled- very typical; Jubal Valentine, an experienced agent who thrives on stress -and adds a hint of humor-; Kristen Yessayen, a highly intelligent analyst; Ian Lentz, a forensic technology expert; and finally Ellen Toy, the deeply respected boss, who’s elegant, cultured, disarmingly direct and impossible to intimidate. Love her already. It’s a really good team on paper and the actors they chose, especially Jeremy Sisto and Connie Nielsen, are always great. Again, F.B.I. is very low-key on the character’s private lives and doesn’t introduced any serialized elements. At some point, Maggie says : “I eat dinner with Kristen in the office most nights and neither of us have a personal life to talk about.” We’ve been warned! We’re not in Shondaland, we’re in Dickland. Oopsie. Wolfland sounds better!

F.B.I. is your go-to procedural, Dick Wolf by the book product. It’s exactly what you expect from him. It fits perfectly with CBS actual line-up and might be the beginning of a lucrative franchise… unless viewers are looking for something else these days, in the era of peak TV. It will probably skew old, even though most of the characters are young, but it’s CBS best chance at success next year, it seems. Go Dick, do your thing!

In Between Lives (NBC) pilot preview: In Between Naps

Written and executive produced by Moira Kirland (Medium, Dark Angel, Castle, Madam Secretary). Also produced by David Heyman (Fantastic Beats, Harry Potter, Gravity, Paddington) & Nancy Cotton (Young Americans, Complete Savages). Directed by Charlotte Sieling (The Killing, Bron, Borgen). For NBC, Universal Television, NBCUniversal International Studios  & Heyman Television. 61 pages. Third Network Draft. 12/21/2017.

Description: Cassie Gallagher, a mysterious young woman, reluctantly uses her gift of clairvoyance to help a veteran LAPD detective and a damaged ex-FBI outsider solve the most unnerving and challenging cases the city encounters. This eerie ability also opens the door for her to see and talk to the dead, who are seeking help for unresolved problems, whether she likes it or not…

With Harriet Dyer (Love Child, No Activity), Yusuf Gatewood (The Originals)…

 

You’ll like it if you already like: Medium, Ghost Whisperer, Unforgettable…

Likely timeslot: Dumping ground friday, midseason sunday…

 

I almost didn’t write this preview for two main reasons. First, nobody cares about this project. I’m wasting my time, you’re wasting yours by reading what I have to say about it (thanks anyway! Keep reading now you’re there!) and everybody involved in this, from NBC to the actors, are kinda wasting their time too. But at least they’re getting paid! Second, do I really have anything to say about it? I mean, the logline is quite telling. Also, it’s announced as a “clairvoyance crime drama”. Not sexy or promising. And sadly, there’s no hidden treasure between those lines. In Between Lives is a lazy project that looks exactly as it sounds: BO-RING. It will probably be watchable and NBC might feel like there’s an audience for it but nowadays, when you make a procedural, you need a hook. A hook that’s new. And if In Between lives has one -which is debatable- it is NOT new.

Heard of a show called Medium? Well, it’s more or less the same story, and the creator worked on it by the way. It’s impossible no to think of Ghost Whisperer also. And Unforgettable that we already all… have totally forgotten! But without Patricia Arquette, who was a huge draw and who improved the material by her talent and charisma. Or Jennifer Love Hewitt. Or Poppy Montgomery. Both are not incredible actresses frankly but people love them. And their names helped selling the shows overseas, where they thrived. I have no idea who this Harriet Dyer is -she’s australian and a newcomer- and she may be great, but it would need her to be greater than great to save the day. It’s not a heroine you want to spend time with. Not because she’s mean but because she’s bland and unfunny. Her official description is “a lovely young woman”. For sure, Cassie wouldn’t hurt a fly and she’s cute. But we definitely need more than this in 2018. The show is written by a woman and directed by a woman. You would think they’d offer us a character that’s different, multi-dimensional, but other than her “power”, she’s not. Yes, she’s haunted by hallucinations of vicious crimes, both past and present, and it makes her kinda dark. What else? I’m really sorry for you, girl. But I don’t think I care. Nor that I should.

The two cops from the LAPD that she “works” for have a cool dynamic. They’re buddies you know, though they don’t really know each other yet since it’s the first day of their partnership, but here again they have nothing special going for them. One has a secret : the woman he loves is in a coma. Well… The case of the week takes 90% of the script and it’s about the murder of a young woman that seems connected to another case from the 80s. It’s all about delving deeper into the psychology of the killer but it’s no MINDHUNTER. Truthfully, the investigation part is okay-ish, it doesn’t ask you to think, it gives you everything on a platter. And I’m sure you can enjoy it on a cold winter day, between two naps – if you get the chance not to fall asleep during the episode of course. It’s funny because I noticed that the characters are always having a cup of coffee in every scene. Starbucks is mentioned. Maybe it’s product placement or just an obsession from the writer, I don’t know. But I wanted a coffee badly in the end. So I guess it worked. And it’s quite clever when you think about it: you really need coffee to survive this if you’re not into procedural crime dramas. Maybe even if you are.

In Between Lives is yet another attempt from NBC to offer a procedural crime drama -with a supernatural twist- that could potentially work internationally and make money without costing too much. But with no original hook, no star, no ambition and no fun, it’s more of a snoozefest. They’d better bet on more original concepts that would at least make them look courageous and relevant. Making the same shows as in the 90s & 00s is not the solution. 

L.A.’s Finest (NBC) pilot preview: Lethal Weapon Female Edition

Written and executive produced by Brandon Margolis (The Blacklist) & Brandon Sonnier (The Blacklist). Based on Bad Boys movie. Also produced by Jerry Bruckheimer (CSI, Lucifer, Cold Case, Without a Trace), Doug Belgrad, Gabrielle Union, Jeff GaspinJonathan Littman and KristieAnne ReedJeff Morrone. For NBC, Sony Pictures Television, Jerry Bruckheimer Productions, 2.0 Entertainment & Primary Wave. 65 pages. 1/12/2018 draft.

Description: free-spirited former DEA agent Syd Burnett has a fresh start in her new job as an LAPD detective. She’s partnered with Nancy McKenna, a working mom who can’t help but look at Syd’s freedom with some grass-is-greener envy. These two have totally different lifestyles and approaches, but they both are at the top of their fields. But Nancy soon learns that Syd’s unapologetic lifestyle may be masking a greater personal secret…

With Gabrielle Union (Bad Boys II, Being Mary Jane, 10 Things I Hate About You), Jessica Alba (Sin City, The Fantastic Four, Dark Angel, Flipper) Ernie Hudson (Grace and Frankie, APB), Zach Gilford (The Family, Friday Night Lights), Duane Martin (Scream 2, All Of Us), Ryan McPartlin (Chuck, Devious Maids, Passions)…

  

You’ll like it if you already like: Bad Boys, Lethal Weapon

Likely timeslots: monday at 10 after The Voice, wednesday at 8.

 

Among the trends in this year’s pilot season, there’s the female partnering. Our Bad Boys spin-off fits perfectly in this category, as well as Cagney & Lacey‘s reboot for CBS, ABC comedies Most Likely To & Man of the House, CBS’s I Mom So Hard & Chiefs, and The CW’s big bet on Charmed, The End of the World as We Know It and Supernatural‘s offshoot Wayward Sisters. Whether it’s a #MeToo consequence or something that was bound to happen no matter what, it’s a great year for actresses on broadcast networks, especially those on the diversity spectrum, and the casting war is in full force. NBC definitely has with Gabrielle Union & back-from-the-dead Jessica Alba the strongest pairing out there! A series pick-up is looming on the horizon. But is this pilot worth their talent and worth our time?

First things first: who’s this Syd Burnett in the Bad Boys‘ universe we’re not all familiar with? ‘cos let’s be honest: this franchise that started in 1995 is not exactly fresh and there are talks about a third movie for ages but they can’t get it off the ground for some reason. I guess a lot of relatively young people never heard of it, and that might be a problem. Special Agent Sydney “Syd” Burnett, introduced in the sequel Bad Boys II in 2003, is the sister of Detective Lieutenant Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) who was romantically involved with Marcus’ partner, Detective Lieutenant Mike Lowrey (Will Smith). At the time, she was an undercover operative with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Clearly, there was no urge or any demand to make something around this character and from what we know, the idea of this TV series comes from Primary Wave Entertainment, which manages Gabrielle Union. I could get cynical here but I won’t. She’s great, we need more shows with black empowered women at the center, especially now Scandal is soon-to-be gone. And yes, it’s another spin-off/ reboot and we’re fed up with them but that’s the way it works now, networks are desperate and bla bla bla. It’ll change someday…

Bad Girls -that’s the tentative title but NBC also has Good Girls so unless it gets canceled, they’ll have to change it- is exactly the female buddy cop show you’d expect from the logline. If you’re looking for something in the vein of Lethal Weapon, well they’re your girls! There’s a lot of action, funny dialogues right in the middle of a life-and-death situations, a dose of family scenes when it comes to McKenna’s intimacy with her husband and step-kids where Syd is invited to join but don’t feel capable of because she has issues, and of course a distracting case of the week. The writers chose to deal with the kidnapping of a young boy with his mother and our investigators looking for him, betting on the maternal instinct of both the heroines and the viewers. They know exactly what they’re doing, obviously aiming at a female audience pushing all the right buttons, when Lethal Weapon is more male-friendly. It’s not manipulative. I’d say it’s fair game. But it’s also a bit too easy and expected. With actresses that are so beautiful and sexy -and characters that are written not to be threatening to other women- it’s not leaving a male audience behind, on the contrary. The potential is big.

The show is less effective when it comes to the emotional ongoing story about Syd’s past, that almost doesn’t feel needed and more like the writers’ saying “we’re not just a procedural!” To sum it up in a few words: Syd was tortured and left for dead. What happened to her back then? She wants to find the man who wanted to kill her and that’s the reason why she came to Los Angeles in the first place. Honestly, this part of the pilot is the least interesting, it’s not subtle at all and the cliffhanger is somehow disturbing, which can be a good thing or a bad thing, it depends a lot on how they’ll handle it in the future. In my opinion, it would have been more interesting as a mid-season or end-of-the-season cliffhanger. It throws a dark shadow over the Burnett/McKenna duo that is unnecessary so early in the show’s life, especially since they really work well together on paper. It adds layers to the characters from an individual perspective but they could have done it differently.

If you’re asking about the men characters in the show, let’s just say they are mostly used as a comic relief for now. LAPD homicide detective Ben Walker (Zach Gilford) is a smart man with a smarter mouth who comes from money, while LAPD homicide detective Ben Baines (Duane Martin) is also described as smart and competitive. They’re both referred to as “the Bens.” And don’t be afraid, they’re not here to rescue the girls and save the day. By the way, a door is left open for Martin Lawrence’s Marcus to return if the actor feels like to at some point (and doesn’t ask for too much money). We’re said he’s in Cuba and always ready to help Syd if she asks for it… Having him for a few episodes would certainly translate into a ratings’ surge. It’s even more true with Mike’s Will Smith, but he’s barely mentioned.

Bad Girls is an action-packed, humoristic, character-driven procedural that hits the right spot at the right time and comes off as a no-brainer pick-up for NBC. It’s very much Lethal Weapon Female Edition, though it might be a little darker; it rarely surprises you but it’s doing the job with wit and efficiency, embarking you quite easily on this journey. You almost forget it’s a spin-off! 

NBC’s 20 most exciting projects for 2018/2019 pilot season

The following article is based on descriptions mixed wih talents attached ONLY. None of the scripts have been read at this point. 

 

We can’t say NBC is having a bad season so far. But we can’t say they’re having a great one either. Mostly because they made a very bad scheduling for fall, keeping their strongest pieces for spring, betting on an Olympics push that rarely provides longterm results, as history points. Was The Brave the best choice for the post-The Voice slot? It’s the one that made the most sense at the time, but the show was not strong enough (and The Voice is not the beast it once was). Other than that, at least on the drama side, it’s a mess.

Their worst decision? Giving Law & Order: True Crime the post-This Is Us slot! It was just not compatible at all, any dummy knew that. Was they forced by Dick Wolf to do it? It’s the only acceptable explanation. The Chicago franchise took a hit and it’s partly their fault too. Chicago Med, already a little fragile, shouldn’t have been benched. Chicago Fire shouldn’t have been moved to the thursday 10pm death slot. And The Blacklist shouldn’t have been given an 8pm slot. Chicago PD is the only one doing a good job where it is, considering the circumstances. Blindspot was sent to die on friday and well, death will come rather sooner than later. We’ll see what’s gonna happen with midseason entries Good Girls & Rise but both, especially the latter, have potential. Reverie is not scheduled yet but it’s gonna be tough…

On the comedy side, it’s sunnier than the previous years, thanks to Will & Grace. The revival did more than expected the first weeks of the season and even though it fell a lot since then, the numbers are still great for NBC. It’s their number one comedy right now. The sad news is Great News, which was not worth a second season, does horrible despite the Will & Grace lead-in. Meanwhile, Superstore is doing an okay job to start thursday night facing The Big Bang Theory & Grey’s Anatomy, and The Good Place, thanks to Netflix probably, is doing slightly better than everyone expected. NBC still have AP Bio & Champions to premiere. But only the first one seems to have a chance…

For next season, NBC may want to concentrate their efforts on strenghtening their comedy line-up while finding buzzier new dramas than this year’s. I let you judge by yourself if they have what they need in their development slate:

 

DRAMAS

 

ACCIDENTAL CANDIDATE (Sony Pictures Television)

What?  based on the life of former Democratic congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, which explores what happens when after a small-town mother’s passionate town hall confrontation with a politician goes viral and she becomes thrust into the spotlight, opting to launch a career she never saw coming

Why? After Designated Survivor & The Mayor, both on ABC, the novelty of this type of pitch has worn off. But if it’s treated as a real political drama and not an action-packed thriller or a comedy, Accidental Candidate could tell a very inspiring story. Also, the woman it’s based on is co-writing the pilot. I find this interesting and rare.

 

AMERICAN DISASTER (Universal Television)

What? anthology series tackling different natural disasters with the inaugural season revolving around a Midwestern community that holds itself together in the wake of a catastrophic tornado

Why? The anthology genre is having a hard time working on networks: American Crime, Law & Order True Cime and The Exorcist are not what we can call successful attempts. On cable, especially on FX, it’s another story (American Horror Story, American Crime Story, Feud…). Can NBC break the curse with American Disaster? If it has something to say about climate change and helps raising conciousness on this important matter, other than being a fine entertainment, well then maybe it’s worth a try. What is considered a disaster though? Tornado, earthquake, tsunami… Every season could look the same if they don’t change the angle or the perspectives it’s told from…

 

BELLEVUE (Universal Television)

What? set at New York City’s Bellevue Hospital, about the new enigmatic medical director hired to disrupt and tame this mighty Manhattan institution, all while facing his own battle with cancer.

Why? Writer David Schulner’s last medical drama for NBC Do No Harm was not exactly an unforgettable piece of television, neither was his Emerald City on a totally different genre. So his name is kind of putting me off but there’s something dark and intriguing about Bellevue that makes me want to know more.

 

CRUSHERS CLUB (Universal Television)

What? about a struggling boxing gym, which serves as a second home for kids in one of Chicago’s toughest neighborhoods; the gym gains an unlikely ally in Sonia, a single mom from the suburbs who has found new purpose in her life…

Why? How come Rocky became such a big thing, and still is nowadays, while no boxing drama ever worked (not that there were so many attempts) on television? That’s a mystery Crushers Club may solve. Vin Diesel is producing. Of course, the most exciting thing here is not the boxing part but everything around. If somehow musical drama Rise becomes big on NBC, this one could be a perfect companion.

 

DELIVERY (ABC Studios)

What? about a group of doctors with deep familial ties who must navigate their personal and professional lives in a high volume perinatology unit

Why? Between Grey’s Anatomy & The Good Doctor, ABC didn’t need another medical drama for next year, maybe that’s why they decided to sell this project to NBC. Reese Witherspoon is producing this mix between medical and family drama, that would be fine near This Is Us. Delivery has a heartwarming behind-the-scenes story: writers Kristin Newman and Rob Wright, who are married and new parents, teamed for the first time to write this script on spec during the three months they spent living in a hospital labor and delivery ward following the birth of their daughter 10 weeks early. Unless it’s not that good a script, I think NBC has a winner here…

 

FIND THE GOOD (Freemantle)

What?  about an obit writer and mother of four living in small-town Alaska, and how writing about death each week teaches her how to live

Why? They had me at “living in small-town Alaska”. Do I have anything more to add? Not really. I don’t think this one will get a pilot order, it doesn’t seem to be distinctive enough, especially when they already have This Is Us, Good Girls and Rise on the air. But I want it anyway.

 

GREENLIT (20th Century FOX Television)

What?  about a highly-skilled task force comprised of five federal agents with backgrounds in the FBI, Secret Service, IRS, and SWAT responsible for protecting members of law enforcement who have been targeted for murder, or “greenlit,” by different criminal organizations

Why? Milo Ventimiglia is producing this action-packed procedural that seems to be in the vein of The Blacklist, Blindspot or Taken. So nothing really new here but among the projects NBC have in this particular genre, Greenlit stands out.

 

LIFE AFTER (Universal Television)

What?  about six friends who, each winter, spring, summer and fall, bond and retreat together from their lives and careers, which are forever linked by a life-changing event from their past

Why? Labelled by the network as “an emotional character drama”, Life After is written by Ringer creators (ugh) and tries to be the This Is Us of friendship. At least, that’s how I understand it and I think it’s a beautiful idea. BUT I’m also concerned by the concept, which seems a bit too complicated for its own good. And with those two in charge, I’m even more worried. Ringer was really too twisted to the point it became impossible to follow…

 

LOVE AFTER LOVE (Universal Television)

What?  an extramarital affair is exposed in a car crash that leaves the man in a coma and the woman missing – soon to be found dead of a gunshot wound; as their spouses try to piece their lives back together, police struggle to solve an ever-deepening mystery

Why? Honestly, I don’t think NBC is the right place for it. Plus, there’s already The Affair on Showtime and this one looks like a less emotional but more thriller-oriented version of it that may not be able to sustain its premise. It’s based on an Argentinan series. That being said, it’s hard not to get excited by such a pitch…

 

MANIFEST (Warner Bros. Television)

What? a plane disappears from radar and returns five years later after being untraceable and presumed lost at sea; no time has passed for those on the plane but, for their loved ones at home, a long five years have gone by

Why? More than three years after the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 over the South China Sea, the mystery of what happened to it remains while most of the aircraft hasn’t been found. Some crazy theories exist and when you start reading about them, it’s hard to stop. Will this Manifest show be as fascinating and gripping? Robert Zemeckis, who did the excellent movie Flight in 2012, is producing this project NBC paid a lot of money to get. The series will follow the personal lives of the survivor as well as the larger mystery and purpose that is their destiny. Yeah, it’s a bit like Lost in reverse and it could be HUGE if it’s properly done. Fingers crossed!

 

REUNITED (Universal Television)

What? inspired by the life of Pamela Slaton, the country’s foremost investigative genealogist, who uses her wits, detective skills and take-no-prisoners attitude to track down long-lost loved ones and reunite broken families

Why? This one screams “feel-good procedural”, which is exactly what the networks are looking for right now. And noboby should die this time! Plus, genealogy is something some people are really fond of. Mainly old people, okay. It could skew ancient but the concept really has potential.

 

SHATTERED GLASS (Warner Bros. Television)

What? set in the world of Wall Street in which a trio of modern women come together to shatter their respective glass ceilings, taking no prisoners along the way

Why? This project produced by Margot Robbie, who just launched her production company, is described as House of Cards meets Revenge, an empowering post-feminist revenge fantasy. It’s hard not to root for it! But let’s be realistic at the same time: a show set in Wall Street doesn’t seem to be broad enough for a network…

 

A Bad Boys small screen incarnation is in the works, which would follow Marcus Burnett’s sister Syd Burnett (Gabrielle Union), last seen in Miami taking down a drug cartel, now an LAPD detective; a new Miami Vice reboot of the signature 1980s action crime drama about two Metro-Dade Police Department detectives working undercover in Miami, produced by Vin Diesel; another version of Nancy Drew after CBS passed on its one two years ago; a drama that follows an elite unit of LAPD motor cops on their dangerous assignments produced by Josh Duhamel & Chris Morgan (Fast & Furious); and finally a Blue Crush series based on the 2002 movie about a surfer in the wake of a tragic accident.

 

——————-

COMEDIES

 

A&R (Universal Television)

What? about a young, hip music label, along with its young, hip boss, is thrown into disarray when the owner brings back a hard-partying, middle-aged “mastodon” from the industry’s past to help guide them into the future

Why? We can’t say The Mayor on ABC made a case in favor of this project that feels a bit similar, at least regarding its central figure being a hip hop artist. Music will be a big part of this show and it’s hard to imagine it fitting with what’s currently on the network. It’s a tough sell, but an interesting one nonetheless.

 

AMERICAN ALIEN (Universal Television)

What? about Denise “Dee Dee” and Sonny Mendoza, a small-town brother-and-sister team who struggle to keep their working-class jobs while also protecting vulnerable space aliens from everyday pitfalls in their hometown of Tucson, Arizona

Why? It sounds like a comedy that could fit well with The Good Place, with the same kind of semi-supernatural high-concept, though I’m not sure NBC is looking for a companion show since it’s already paired with Superstore quite successfully. Maybe it could takeover for The Good Place once the short season is done… Talking about Superstore: American Alien is also produced by America Ferrara! What if it was the missing piece of NBC’s current thursday night?

 

GUESS WHO DIED (Sony Pictures Television)

What? described as a humorous and inspiring look at the shared joys and challenges we all experience at any stage of life

Why? This one is comedy veteran Norman Lear’s longtime passion project. The 95 year-old legend is behind successful and well-reviewed Netflix’s One Day at A Time so he could get away with anything right now. NBC paid big money to have it. Meaning a pilot order at the very least is more than likely. We don’t know much about what it will really be about -old people will be involved- but let’s be confident and hope for the best.

 

LIFE FAMILY (Universal Television)

What? two twentysomething friends who met as foster children and now try to figure out what they want from life and each other in New York City

Why? This multicamera comedy is coming from Sean Hayes’ production banner. It’s no coincidence since NBC is actively looking for a compatible show to pair with Will & Grace, which will be coming back next year. So the actor tried his luck with this project written by Hot In Cleveland‘s creator Suzanne Martin, who also wrote recent episodes of Will & Grace. Nothing about it screams originality but wait and see.

 

THE MUNSTERS (Universal Television)

What? follows members of an offbeat family who are determined to stay true to themselves but struggle to fit in in hipster Brooklyn

Why? After failing to reboot this 1960s comedy series a few years ago with Bryan Fuller (Hannibal, American Gods) as a drama -it was called Mockingbird Lane and NBC aired the rejected pilot anyway for Halloween- they’re trying again but this time keeping the original format. Seth Meyers is producing (he’s also behind midseason entry AP Bio). The offbeat tone might be exactly what NBC needs right now.

 

TOO CLOSE TO HOME (Warner Bros. Television)

What?  about two sisters who came from very humble beginnings. One of them bettered her circumstances through education and hard work, which paid off in the form of a relatively good life; that “good life” is upended when her much lazier sister strikes it rich by winning the lottery and comes crashing into her world

Why? NBC almost ordered The Sackett Sisters last year -starring Busy Phillips & Casey Wilson- and this one has the same feel and a similar pitch. With 2 Broke Girls gone, a comedy led by a women duet would be much appreciated. Please NBC, make it a reality this time! And you can cast Busy Phillips & Casey Wilson again, we’re very okay with that.

 

UNTITLED JOSH MALMUTH PROJECT (Universal Television)

What? centers around an unlicensed bar that a woman runs out of her backyard

Why? Okay, this is a very short description but there’s something a bit crazy about this idea that I like a lot. It’s simple, but efficient. And more importantly, it’s supervised -but not written- by Mike Schur (Parks and recreation, The Good Place). So something tells me it should not be overlooked!

 

UNTITLED LANG FISHER (Universal Television)

Whatabout the dedicated diplomats of a small U.S. embassy in the Caribbean who are suddenly thrown into chaos when an unqualified, ignorant and hard-living oil man is appointed as their new ambassador

Why? Mindy Kaling is co-producing this comedy project that has a Parks and recreation vibe, as well as an original and exotic location that would make it stand out from the crowd a little but (unless the characters stay indoor). While reviving The Office doesn’t sound like an idea I like very much -especially without Steve Carell- I think they should give a chance to shows like this one, that could be as good.

 

NCB also has a new IT Crowd remake in store; as well as a The Office comeback and they may get the Mad About You revival that is in early stages of development with Paul Reiser & Helen Hunt returning.

 

What projects are you the most interested in among these? Take your picks!

NBC 2017/2018 Schedule [+ THOUGHTS]


MONDAY

8- THE VOICE

9- THE VOICE

10- THE BRAVE

TUESDAY

8- THE VOICE

9- SUPERSTORE / THE GOOD PLACE

10- CHICAGO FIRE

WEDNESDAY

8- THE BLACKLIST

9- LAW & ORDER: SVU

10- CHICAGO PD

THURSDAY

8- WILL & GRACE / GREAT NEWS

9- THIS IS US

10- LAW & ORDER TRUE CRIME

FRIDAY

8- BLINDSPOT

9- TAKEN

10- DATELINE

MIDSEASON

TIMELESS – RISE – CHICAGO MED – REVERIE – GOOD GIRLS – AP BIO – CHAMPIONS – SHADES OF BLUE

THOUGHTS

What’s good?

  • Choosing The Brave to follow The Voice on monday makes a lot of sense. They seem compatible and it gives the show the best platform NBC has right now.
  • Moving This Is Us to thursday night is very agressive and shows how much NBC is confident it will stay strong on its sophomore year. It’s gonna be tough for ABC’s TGIT in particular since they pursue kind of the same audience.
  • Cheap friday with Blinspot & Taken seems a good solution.
  • Keeping most of wednesday intact is not a surprise and the right move.

What’s bad?

  • Putting Will & Grace against The Big Bang Theory on thursday is putting way too much pressure on a show that stopped being strong when Friends ended. Though with football in the first weeks of its run, people who don’t watch sports might tune in.
  • Comedies after The Voice on Tuesday always got more than mixed results. Why would it change now?
  • Law & Order True Crime after This Is Us doesn’t look good on paper, especially because it means Chicago Med is benched for at least 8 weeks.
  • The Blacklist is again on the move. After monday and thursday, here comes wednesday. At this point of its run, it’s unlikely the show gets a boost…
  • Keeping so many shows for midseason means most of them will have to air during springtime -yes, after a big push during the Olympics- when the numbers are getting lower and lower every year; or in the summer for some of them…