Tag: nbc

Good Girls (NBC) pilot preview: The Real Desperate Housewives of Detroit

Written and produced by Jenna Bans (The Family, Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy, Desperate Housewives). Directed by Dean Parisot (Galaxy Quest, Red 2, Justified, Monk). For Universal Television. 5th network draft 12/01/16. 60 pages.

Description: what happens when Beth, Annie and Ruby, three “good girl” suburban wives and mothers from the suburbs of Detroit suddenly find themselves in desperate circumstances: they decide to stop playing it safe and risk everything to take their power back, descending together into a life of crime, starting by robbing a grocery store…

With Kathleen Rose Perkins (Episodes, Colony), Mae Whitman (Parenthood, Arrested Development), Retta (Parks and Recreation, Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce), Matthew Lillard (Scooby-Doo, Scream, The Bridge US), Manny Montana (Graceland, Conviction), Reno Wilson (Mike & Molly)…

  

You’ll like it if you already like: Desperate Housewives, The Family

Likely timeslot: Tuesday at 10

 

For the third year in a row, writer Jenna Bans has a pilot in contention and for the very first time it’s not at ABC, where she was schooled by Shonda Rhimes through Grey’s Anatomy & Scandal, but at NBC. She signed an overall deal with Universal Television last summer -where her husband Justin Spitzer, creator of Superstore, already was- after the failure of The Family, which was worth better by the way, one of the few good network shows from last year. Sometimes, ratings work in mysterious ways. I was eager to read Good Girls‘ pilot script. Sea of Fire‘s in 2014 was incredibly strong. But I’m sad to report this one is not her best (unless if you go way way back to Off The Map, that she created)…

Here’s the thing with Jenna Bans: her writing is fearless, she always dives in darkness, she flirts with the limits -dealing with pedophilia on a broadcast network was not exactly taking the easiest road- and she makes it entertaining at the same time, full of surprises and compelling troubled characters. Mixing soap with gloom is rare and difficult. She learned her Shonda lessons right while crafting her own style. But with Good Girls, something’s off. It took time for me to understand what was bothering me but after reflecting on it and reading again some portions of the script it became clear: the whole story is just not believable and it feels like she knows it. As if she was determined to convince the audience as well as herself that such a thing could happen in real life. Subsequently, subtlety is nowhere to be found. It’s just not working. Not with these characters and in this context. Whether or not it actually happened someday, somewhere in the world.

I’m very surprised by the cast they assembled. Positively. I love these actresses and they didn’t choose them because they were popular. ‘cos they’re not. They choose them because they were right for the parts, I guess. Like they did with This Is Us actually. And they probably tested them as a group, since many scenes are about the girls together, talking. It’d be a shame if they didn’t have chemistry. A good move anyway, that gives me hope they’ll add what’s missing in the script by their natural talent, especially comedy-wise. Good Girls is more in the drama side, depressing sometimes, definitely heavy, supposedly emotional if they don’t push it too much, but there are a few scenes that could be funny. Calling it a dramedy would be a stretch though.

The hilarious Kathleen Rose Perkins (if you never saw her in Episodes then you don’t know what funny is) will play Beth, the ringleader of the trio, a frazzled mother who discovers her husband has an affair. Fed up with her life and angry, she’s the one who decides to rob a supermarket. She struggles with guilt and fear in the aftermath. She’s the most interesting, multi-dimensional character on paper. Then there’s her younger sister Annie, played by the excellent Mae Whitman, a single mom terrified of losing her son in a custody battle. Who’s a bit boring and whining person for now. And finally her best friend Ruby, a waitress who worries about her 11-year-old daughter who has kidney disease and isn’t getting the treatment she needs at the local clinic. Retta is the most surprising casting. I didn’t picture her like this at all. And that’s good news. She’ll probably add layers to the role. The men of Good Girls are mostly bad uninteresting guys. There’s work to do to make them more than those tired clichés.

Then there’s the question of being able to sustain the premise over multiple seasons. Even with shortened orders, I don’t see it. Those girls won’t be able to escape prison at some point. Not without huge inconsistencies in the stories. That worries me a lot to be honest. If they start by robbing a supermarket, what happens next? They rob a bank, deal drugs and kill people? It’s gonna get ugly and possibly ridiculous.

Good Girls has an average pilot script that has really good moments as well as mediocre ones, and that can be elevate to a superior level by only two things: a great cast (which it has) with a real chemistry (has yet to be proven) and a director that has a vision and who’s not just a performer (I’m not sure). NBC is clearly envisioning it as a companion for This Is Us and though it would suffer from the comparison, it’s a valid option.

Reverie (NBC) pilot preview: a future success for Sarah Shahi… but in a virtual reality

Pilot “Apertus” written and produced  by Mickey Fisher (Extant, Mars). Executive produced by Brooklyn Weaver (Extant, The Number 23, Run All Night), Darryl Frank & Justin Falvey (Extant, Under the Dome, Falling Skies, Las Vegas, The Americans). Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra (The Shallows, Orphan, The River). For Universal Television & Amblin Television. 61 pages. Draft 01/22/2017.

Description: Mara Kint, a former detective turned professor specialized in human behavior, is brought in when the launch of an advanced virtual reality program called “Reverie”, designed by a young woman seen as “the next Einstein”, has dangerous and unintended consequences. “Reverie” puts people inside a waking dream of their own design, but some of them don’t ever want to come back, which put them into a coma and treathens their lives. Mara’s mission is to bring them back, one by one, before it’s too late…

With Sarah Shahi (Person of Interest, Fairly Legal, Life, The L Word), Kathryn Morris (Cold Case, Pensacola), Jessica Lu (Awkward), Sendhil Ramamurthy (Heroes, Lucky Man, Covert Affairs), Dennis Haysbert (24, The Unit)…

  

You’ll like it if you already like: Extant, Person of Interest, Minority Report, Falling Water

Likely timeslot: Monday at 10.

Reverie was one of those rare spec pilots that garnered interest from multiple networks and ultimately landed at NBC. Same thing happened with Mickey Fisher’s first project, Extant, that he wrote when he was an unknown writer, which sparked a bidding war before landing at CBS with a straight-to-series order with Halle Berry signing on to star. This is the proof miracles can happen… twice! I remember how much I loved Extant on paper and how much the show was a disappointment overall (and a snoozefest most of the time). So forgive me if I’m being cautious with this one. I can see why people loved it -and I liked it- but I can’t help being pessimistic for its future if it’s picked-up to series. Mainly because NBC (and other networks for instance) doesn’t have a good track-record with sci-fi and fantasy recently. Revolution, Timeless and Emerald City weren’t exactly earth-shattering.

In the meantime, Sarah Shahi was one of the most sought-after actresses of this pilot season and she ultimately chose Reverie. Which is not that surprising. She’s staying in her comfort zone. She apparently loves procedural shows -or she loves shows that can potentially air for multiple years, can’t blame her- and she’s best known for Person Of Interest, which was already a grounded thriller drama with sci-fi elements. Again, I get it. She loved the script, bla bla bla. And her character can be both badass and emotional. Mara is smart, she can kick ass if needed and of course she’s tortured because of a terrible thing that happened to her family in the past, a thing that she feels responsible for. It’s certainly appealing for an actress. But I feel like she may be doing a mistake (again). But not as huge as Nancy Drew for CBS last year, rest assured…

The concept of Reverie is cool -a procedural without a crime !- but narrow. Once Mara will have rescued ten or twelve people from their dreams, we’re gonna get bored. Inevitably. Even if the settings change in every dream (it’s a hotel in the pilot), as well as the characters involved and their personal story we’re told (a romantic one this time). So narrow I don’t see how it could last for long, except if they turn it into a more serialized show at some point. Like Person of Interest did in fact. There’s the potential to do so, especially with the puzzling creator of the virtual reality program and the mysterious private company behind. But will they be able to get there?

Reverie is exactly the type of show that is stuck between two ambitions: being network-y, knowing exactly what it means in terms of pace and structure; and being more than that, looking towards what they’re doing on cable. But in the end, it’s too much for procedural lovers -and well, there’s no crime in there you know- and not enough for HBO, Showtime or Netflix users. The premice could sound like a Black Mirror episode (and I wouldn’t be surprised if Fisher was partly inspired by it actually) but turned into a basic procedural. Raising the standart of the procedural shows is a beautiful ambition to have and a brave thing to do. But it rarely pays off sadly.

Reverie is a modern and ambitious sci-fi thriller series, the kind that rarely works on network television, that also happens to be a procedural, which is a shame. It could easily land on Minority Report territory, unless it miraculously finds an audience as Person of Interest did. It’s a fine vehicle for Sarah Shahi, but it probably belongs to SyFy, not NBC. Except it would be too pricey. In another world or in a virtual reality, it would be a success. 

SCOOP: NBC bets on musical soap “Drama High” by Jason Katims & “Hamilton” producers

   

Missing Glee? NBC is working on a new teen musical soap written by Friday Night Lights & Parenthood creator Jason Katims with the “Hamilton” team producing. 

Drama High tells the story of Lou Mazzuchelli, a litterature teacher in his forties in a Pennsylvania high school, who is appointed by the principal to take over and modernize the theater program that is dying. He chooses the provocative and emotional rock musical Spring Awakening –about teenagers discovering the inner and outer tumult of sexuality in late-19th-century Germany- as their first production. A choice that won’t be without consequences for the students and their families in this “Americana” town… It is based on the true story of the first-ever high school production of Spring Awakening that made headlines back in 2011.

The drama project about to get an official order looks like a mix between Smash, about the creation of a Broadway musical, and teen soap Glee with a more grounded feel thanks to Jason Katims. Plus, he already wrote for teenage characters in critically-acclaimed Friday Night Lights and family drama Parenthood. He also executive produces alongside partner Michelle Lee under their overall deal with Universal Television. Jeffrey Seller and Flody Suarez, producers of Tony-Award-Winning hip-hop musical Hamilton, are also producing through their production deal with Universal signed last year.

SEE ALL PILOT ORDERS AT NBC

PILOT WHISPERER: New edition #PilotSeason

First published on December, 07

2017 pilot season officially started yesterday when ABC ordered political comedy pilot Libby & Malcolm starring Felicity Huffman and Courtney B. Vance as we reported 3 weeks ago. Other comedies are nearing pilot orders while deals are being worked out.

 

At ABC, the next one on the list is Rapper Mayor / Untitled City Mayor Project, that could be descrided as a comedic version of hit Designated Survivor. It is about Courtney Rose, a talented but struggling hip-hop artist, who runs for mayor to promote his mixtape – and wins. The guy is a quitenssential optimistic, a dreamer through and through. He’s the coolest, most fun dude in town, and if you don’t believe it, just ask him and he’ll tell you… It’s created by Jeremy Bronson, writer and producer on The Mindy Project and Speechless, and produced by Jamie Tarses (Happy Endings) for ABC Studios. The casting for the leading man is underway. PICKED-UP

The multicamera comedy project Documenting Love, sort of a Mad About You new generation has a pilot production commitment, as well as thriller drama Doomsday from Sony Pictures Television about a secret think tank featuring the most creative minds in science and entertainment that is tasked with dreaming up man-made disaster scenarios and their possible solutions. PICKED-UP  DTLA, about a celebrity choreographer who must fight to protect her status, family, business and secrets, is heating up. The Untitled Marc Cherry drama with Reba McEntire is already ordered to pilot.

Comedy Start Up starring Zach Braff is inching closer to a pick-up PICKED-UP, as well as Splitting Up Together produced by Ellen De Generes  PICKED-UP and Charlie Foxtrot from Aaron Kaplan PICKED-UP. A not-yet-announced project starring basketball player Jalen Rose, Jalen vs Everybody, and written by Nahnatchka Khan, is heating up. PICKED-UP

 

At CBS, the Untitled Chris Distefano Hybrid Comedy Project is heating up. Written and produced by How I Met Your Mother creators Carter Bays & Craig Thomas. Inspired by comedian Chris Distefano’s life story, the hybrid project is centered on Izzy and Chris, two 20-somethings who are raising their newborn daughter and merging their loud families – one Puerto Rican, one Italian… PICKED-UP

Me, Myself and I is also on the map. The single-camera comedy which examines one man’s life over a 50-year span, somewhat in the vein of movie Boyhood, has a put pilot. PICKED-UP And of course, the order for The Big Bang Theory spin-off Sheldon is just a formality. UPDATE: World Wide Webbs, a comedy about a family who became rich and famous thank to their daily video blogs, is on tracks for an order.

On the drama side, quirky cop show Magnolia Springs about a sheriff and his teenage son solving crimes in a small city is gearing up towards a pick-up, casting is underway. Firewall, a new procedural from Mentalist creator, is also hot. Luc Besson’s Hunch, about a LAPD detective who begrudgingly teams up with a celebrity psychic who, unfortunately, is also his ex-wife, should get the nod soon; as well as Justin Lin’s SWAT,  a reboot of the 1970s series billed as an intense, action-packed procedural following an African-American SWAT lieutenant torn between loyalty to the streets and duty to his fellow officers. PICKED-UP

 

At NBC, while Amy Poehler’s off-cyle pilot The Baby starring Seann William Scott will shoot in a few days, the Untitled Kourtney Kang Comedy produced by Fresh Off The Boat creator Nahnatchka Khan is red hot. It explores what it’s like to grow up as the only girl in the only mixed race family in the suburbs of Philadelphia, dealing with real-world issues like race and gender while never losing focus of her life goal… to become a Laker Girl like her idol, Paula Abdul. PICKED-UP

In the drama department, the peacock has medical drama Salvation directed by Paul Haggis awaiting green light. It is billed as the first real-time hospital “extreme event” show, capturing the life-and-death choices nurses, PA’s and other front-line caregivers make as they struggle to provide care and triage. PICKED-UP Legal drama Blood Defense, based on Marcia Clark’s book about a relentless criminal attorney, is red hot for a pick-up, as well as Family Honor, from Matt Reeves, a police procedural told through the eyes of four diverse foster sisters. The Last Policeman is close to a pick-up. It follows a detective in New Hampshire during the final years of civilization as a catastrophe-level asteroid hurtles toward the planet. Heavy serialized legal drama Flight Risk from John Wells is also considered. Drama High, an high-school drama with musical elements written and produced by Jason Katims (Parenthood) with Hamilton producers Jeffrey Seller & Flody Suarez is red hot. PICKED-UP Last drama pilot order at NBC should go to Redliners, adapted from Charlaine Harris’ short stories, that mixes romance and espionnage about a pair of former spies living in suburbia who are reactivated when a failed hit on one of them leaves the assassin dead. PICKED-UP

 

At FOX, DC’s Black Lightning is almost a done deal PICKED-UP AT THE CW, as is Matt Nix’s untitled family superhero drama at Marvel in the X-Men Universe PICKED-UP. The network is just waiting for the final pilot script. Dr House creator David Shore could be back at FOX with an untitled project about a professional spy who teams up with an enterprising civilian to solve cases here and abroad. Control, by Westworld creators Jonathan Nolan & Lisa Joyce, is heating up.

Comedy Thin Ice from New Girl creator is already ordered to pilot. Other comedy heating up is Turned On, directed by Paul Feig, about a brilliant but awkward engineer who creates an android who spirals out of control… The Untitled Wresting Comedy produced by Dwayne Johnson, Will Ferrell & Adam McKay, is also very much on the map.

 

At The CW the Charmed reboot seems to be a priority. Searchers pilot from The 100 creator Jason Rothenberg & Greg Berlanti is a sure thing, with a shooting expected to take place in South Africa. PICKED-UP Transience produced by Ian Somerhalder, is heating up, as well as LA Demonic for Warner Bros.

 

More to come…

NBC’s 20 most exciting projects for 2017/2018 pilot season

nbc

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

 

NBC’s NEEDS FOR NEXT SEASON (not many)

  • A fitting show to pair off with hit family drama This is Us
  • The right series to follow The Voice on monday.
  • Comedies in the same vein as Superstore & The Good Place to finally have a new comedy brand

 

NBC is having a stellar season compared to the other networks, even though The Voice is fading and some dramas are struggling. They shouldn’t have thrown Blindspot to the wolves this early, especially since Timeless was not the right fit for the post-The Voice slot on mondays, and they should have protected Chicago Med a little bit longer to sustain the momentum it had last spring. Other than that -and not finding a spot for Cruel Intentions- they took risks and those paid off.

They really believed in This Is Us, they gave it their best timeslot against all odds and it worked even better than they could have hoped for. This is THE HIT of the fall -maybe the only hit we will have the whole season- and they may even bring home Golden Globes and Emmy Awards in a few weeks/months. Meanwhile, the Chicago franchise is alive and well, Law & Order: SVU is somewhat still a thing, The Blacklist is not dead yet and they’re finally having the beginning of a comedy brand with Superstore, The Good Place and maybe Powerless, all centered on strong female leads. A ton of news shows have yet to premiere though, most of them will probably crash. We’ll se what happens with Emerald City on friday, which is generating some buzz, or comedies like Trial and Error and Good News.

For next season, they won’t have that much space to launch new shows but their primary goals will be to rely less on the Chicago franchise, strengthen their comedy brand and have more hit shows produced in-house at Universal Television (This Is Us is from 20th Century FOX Television, The Blacklist from Sony Pictures Television, Blindspot from Warner Bros. Television). Already ordered to series are Law & Order True Crime: Menendez and police procedural drama Gone. Both might end up on the fall schedule.

 

DRAMAS

THE ARK (20th Century FOX)

What? about an engineer who, after the death of his wife, has a vision to construct a ship capable of sustaining life in space; when the build happens to coincide with the coming end of the world, the engineer realizes there may be a larger story at play…

Why? Let’s be real with this one: it has a very slim chance to get picked-up, even though Robert Zemeckis is behind it. FOX could have kept it for themselves if they didn’t already have a sci-fi show ordered (Orville). It’s hard to imagine this working on NBC but it’s still one of their most exciting buy of the season. And it’s realistic! The brilliant scientist Stephen Hawking just explained that we really should continue exploring space because in 1000 years, life on Earth won’t be sustainable anymore…

 

BOYS (Universal Television)

What? follows the formation of a hugely successful boys band and captures all the excitement, competition and fun, but also provides an inside look into the pressure that follows…

Why? I’m not sure the fact that Zayn Malik, an ex-member of One Direction, is an executive producer of Boys is that important. They are just using his name to give it some credibility and buzz. He probably won’t participate in the making of it. At all. The most surprising thing about this project is the fact that it’s coming from… Dick Wolf! He has never done anything like it, but he’s one hell of a producer. NBC is looking for a musical scripted series for a long time. Maybe this is the one. It’s easy to imagine them launching it behind The Voice… Will it turn into another Smash situation? That’s the risk. Maybe it’s one worth taking.

 

CANYON CITY (Sony Pictures Television)

What? Canyon City is the ultimate company town where everyone who lives, works, goes to school or visits does so because of the multiple prisons that surround this idyllic location. From a prison guard to a boarding house owner to a death row inmate’s fiancée, this series explores the lives, loves and crimes of those forced to co-exist in a world with both visible and invisible boundaries. It’s a world where people of all ethnicities and social-economic strata are suddenly thrust together to create new communities, new power structures and new families.

Why? It doesn’t sound sexy or warm, it might even look a bit depressing but it’s an interesting concept for a show based on characters, emotions and daily lives, like This Is Us. It’s the right time to offer such a drama that could resonate with America, and many other countries in the world actually.

 

C.R.I.S.P.R. (Universal Television)

What? set five minutes into the future, it explores the next generation of terror: DNA hacking. Each episode will explore a bio-attack and crime — from a genetetic assassination attempt on the president to the framing of an unborn child for murder. The show’s central character is a scientist with the CDC who is paired with an FBI agent. In the same vein of Castle, romance will blossom between the scientist and the FBI agent as they team to bring down a diabolical genius with a twisted God complex: her former boss. The drama will see mentor and protégé battle for control over the human genome in a game of cat and mouse in which the future of our species may rest and all disease could one day be eradicated.

Why? Wow. This is complex and ambitious, and we already know all there is to know about it in these few lines. It doesn’t sound like it but it’s produced by Jennifer Lopez. After Shades of Blue, she seems to be very serious about her producing career. I don’t really know what to think about CRISPR. It could be a perfect disaster but at least they are trying something which seems both compelling and not too disturbing for the conservative audience thanks to the Castle part of it. This title is terrible though. May be an interesting midseason alternative.

 

GOOD GIRLS (Universal Television) picked-up

What? what happens when three “good girl” suburban wives and mothers from the suburbs of Detroit suddenly find themselves in desperate circumstances: they decide to stop playing it safe and risk everything to take their power back, descending together into a life of crime…

Why? Apart from the evident Desperate Housewives resemblance, this show is created by Jenna Bans, a writer who learned from the best: Shonda Rhimes. She did The Family for ABC last year, which was a very good show that sadly didn’t find an audience. She also worked on Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and shortlived Off The Map. There are good reasons to bet on it.

 

SPIN (Universal Television)

What? A high-powered Los Angeles public relations firm is run by a dysfunctional family. The Kraffts are equally skilled at getting their celebrity clients out of jams and getting themselves into personal crisis…

Why? Singer and The Voice judge Pharrell Williams is producing this project that could be described as a mix between Scandal, less political, and Empire, less musical. Mixing two hit shows rarely make a new one but the idea has a certain appeal and NBC needs something soapy.

 

THE CURVE (Warner Bros. Television)

What? about an attorney who decides to leave his white shoe law firm and give back by teaching, but he finds his idealism challenged when he signs on to work at the worst academic institution in the country – Manhattan Law School, located in Gowanus, Brooklyn…

Why? Idealistic characters have disappeared from television. Anti-heroes are still a thing but we’ve seen so many over the past few years it’s getting old. Coming back to hope and admiration wouldn’t hurt from time to time. That’s what Designated Survivor is trying to do. The Curve seems like an interesting idea to do so in the legal drama department. Plus, it’s been a long time since we had a great show taking place in a school. Okay, there’s a bit of this in How To Get Away With Murder but I’m talking about a more realistic approach. It’s from the creator of The Mysteries of Laura. Depending on how you felt about that show, it’s either a good or a bad news.

 

THE LAST POLICEMAN (Sony Pictures Television)

What? follows a detective in New Hampshire during the final years of civilization as a catastrophe-level asteroid hurtles toward the planet; despite the social, political and economic effects of preparing for impact, he keeps his head down and hope alive by solving cases amidst the ever-increasing chaos…

Why? NBC is definitely into the end of the world with several projects built around it. This one is the police procedural version of it and it looks promising, depending on the actor chosen to play our hero. If it’s yet again someone like Jason O’Mara, let’s just forget it. Also depending on the weekly cases. They need to be different from what we’re used to. The “chaos” needs to play a big part in it. If it’s just solving “classical” crimes while the world is ending, don’t even bother ordering it NBC.

 

TREASURE (Universal Television)

What? a group of grad students in Washington, DC accidentally uncovers a 40-year-old secret which leads them on a wild ride through real history as they attempt to unravel an unsolved murder, find hidden blood money, and avoid being killed by an assassin from the past…

Why? How To Get Away With Murder meets Indiana Jones. It’s pretty fucked up, right? That’s why it’s attractive. I’m curious to see how it could look like. Perhaps it could be a fun summer show. More than that, I’m not sure.

 

SALVATION (Sony Pictures Television) picked-up

What? on Fourth of July weekend. A summer storm unexpectedly intensifies and changes track to New York Harbor. Power goes out. Flood waters rise. Most Brooklyn hospitals are forced to evacuate. With few doctors on call, and without any warning, the recently downsized Our Lady of Salvation now becomes the borough’s last viable trauma center. Salvation, the first real-time hospital “extreme event” drama, will capture the life-and-death choices nurses, PA’s and other front-line caregivers make as they struggle to provide care and triage.

Why? Filmmaker Paul Haggis (Million Dollar Baby, Casino Royale, Collision) is producing the project and he has the intention to direct it. That makes it even more exciting. We’re still waiting for a credible medical drama with a real high-octane feel and Salvation looks it could be the one. I don’t see it as a weekly show though, but more as an event series.

 

UNTITLED DON SCOTT PROJECT (Universal Television)

What? A mother and a daughter, while learning to put their differences aside and forge a strong partnership, transform a struggling funeral home with dancing and singing pallbearers, and even a pimped out hearse – turning death into a celebreation of life. This unconventional family will be charged with finding closure for those who have suffered a loss, while learning what it means to be truly alive themselves.

Why? If I had to pick up my favorite project to follow This Is Us on tuesday, this would be the one. The idea was first developed by NBC last year with Jason Katims. They believed in it enough to order a new script with an all new team. Can a show about a funeral home can be made after Six feet Under? I like to think so as long as it’s different and it seems to be. It could be fun, heart-wrenching and heart-warming.

 

VOX (Universal Television)

What? The renegade team of undercover journalists at Vox believes that everything in the news has become subjective and corrupt, and that is a threat to the American way of life. So they’ve decided to do something about it, and much of it is illegal, unscrupulous and downright dangerous…

Why? We’re still waiting for a good drama about journalists. And these days, while Trump and many others are trying to communicate without them, it would be interesting to see what a TV show has to say about it. Not sure NBC is the right home for it but it’s certainly not something we want to see on FOX (you know, FOX News…). The key here: great, inspiring characters. If they have that, then let’s do it!

 

NBC also has a lot of legal dramas in development like Blood Defense, adapted from Marcia Clark’s book; Ritter, based on an Icelandic format; an Untitled One starring Morena Baccarin; Flight Risk produced by John Wells; or In Defense of Tom Parish, produced by Sean Hayes. Also remakes are hot with The Italian Job, Sneakers & Blue Crush. A few police procedurals are in the mix like The Evidence Room; Family Honor; Last Hope; or Twist (a reimagination of Oliver Twist as a woman). Dick Wolf is working on a new franchise set in the world of the FBI; while numerous thrillers are developed like Walking Lions from Gideon Raff; First Responders by Vin Diesel; The Eight adapted from Michael Connolly; and Blackmail produced by Aaron Paul.

 

COMEDIES

ACTION LAND (Universal Television)

What? follows the exploits of the employees of a struggling local amusement park in Arizona.

Why? Parks And Recreation, Brooklyn Nine-Nine & The Good Place creator Mike Schuur is behind this project. Parks and Rec in a local amusement park? I’m sold! As long as the characters and the actors involved are good, it’s pretty much a sure thing for me.

 

THE BABY (Universal Television) picked-up

What? about the youngest male in an organized crime family of all women; though he’s tough at work, his mother and seven older sisters mercilessly push him around at home…

Why? Amy Poehler is producing, Seann William Scott as the lead seems to be a good idea, and the pitch is interesting and different enough for a comedy. That’s a yes.

 

SPACED OUT (Warner Bros. Television) picked-up

What? single-camera workplace comedy which is set in the world of commercial space travel…

Why? Bill Lawrence (Scrubs, Cougar Town) is struggling a bit with his shows lately,  this one looks better and promising. Plus, it’s a workplace comedy and those kinda work on NBC, and NBC only.

 

THERE GOES THE NEIGHBORHOOD (Warner Bros. Television)

What?  about the first white family to move into a predominantly black, newly gentrifying neighborhood in Cleveland…

Why? Even though this concept is not as new at it sounds -sitcoms in the 70s-80s tried the same thing- I’m interested to see a modern update of it. Bill Lawrence is also producing this one, alongside the famous basketball player LeBron James who’s from Cleveland. NBC may not resist. And why should they?

 

UNTITLED COLE-KELLY & PITMAN PROJECT (Warner Bros. Television)

What? about a 30-something father who’s trying to navigate his life a year after his wife suddenly dies: how to live, date, parent, etc., all with the unrelenting, unsolicited advice of his in-laws, parents, friends, wife’s friends and nanny – aka his new makeshift family…

Why? Sounds like a heartwarming, positive comedy. That’s all I got, folks!

 

UNTITLED DAVIS & YU PROJECT (Universal Television)

What? Nora, a young researcher, travels to the extreme environment of Antarctica with big plans but is surprised to find she’ll need a different kind of survival skills to navigate the eccentric people who live and work in this office space at the end of the world

Why? An office comedy -something NBC did great repeatedly- taking place in Antarctica? I’m more than interested! I want to see that. Of course, the actress who will be chosen to play Nora can transform a good idea into a great show. So cast it well NBC! It could fit well with shows like Superstore, The Good Place and Powerless. The downside is FOX is working on a similar idea with New Girl creator. Let the better one win!

 

UNTITLED KOURTNEY KANG PROJECT (20th Century FOX Television) picked-up

What? explore what it’s like to grow up as the only girl in the only mixed race family in the suburbs of Philadelphia, dealing with real-world issues like race and gender while never losing focus of her life goal… to become a Laker Girl like her idol, Paula Abdul…

Why? It sounds a lot like Fresh Off The Boat. And it’s from Nahnatchka Khan, who happens to be Fresh Off the Boat co-creator! She also did Don’t Trust the Bitch in Apartment 23. So she’s good and there’s no reason why this wouldn’t be good too. It’s certainly more on brand with ABC but NBC would be stupid not to try having their own sweet family comedy.

 

UNTITLED SUZANNE MARTIN PROJECT (Universal Television)

What? a sweet, funny but lonely funeral director decides to have a one-night stand on his birthday with his complete opposite and winds up with a big, instant, messy family…

Why? With Grimm ending, NBC will probably try to keep producer Sean Hayes happy. He’s a good friend of the boss… But honestly, this project sounds fun.

 

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

SCOOP: NBC Studios eyeing series order for thriller “Gone” from “Dexter” & “Hannibal” producer

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UPDATE: Gone will be a co-production between RTL (Germany) & TF1 (France) with The Colleton Company & NBCUniversal. They’re finalizing a deal for the starring role. Chris Noth will play Frank Booth, the FBI Agent. According to Deadline, it should be launched in winter 2017-2018.

Sarah Colleton’s thriller drama based on the One Kick book series by Chelsea Cain is soon to be ordered to series at NBC Studios after a 3-year development…

Former Dexter & Hannibal executive producer worked on the project alongside JoAnn Alfano (30 Rock), with a pilot script written by Matt Lopez (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice). It tells the story of Kick Lannigan, who made national news as a child after being abducted, and later rescued, in an Elizabeth Smart-type kidnapping. Determined to never fall victim again, Kick has trained herself in martial arts and firearms. She finds her calling when a mysterious billionaire offers her the resources and high-tech tools she needs to hunt down predators and rescue other abductees in all kinds of missing persons and abduction cases. NBC Universal International is producing. The show could be shot in different countries, starting april 2017.