Tag: the catch

How to fix ABC in 5 easy steps [My Take]

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As you probably all know by now, ABC is in trouble with two of their new shows, Notorious & Conviction, not surprisingly starting poorly, with no hope for potential recoveries over the next few weeks. They can’t even count on a good word of mouth: they were not well-liked by both critics and curious viewers. The question now is whether the network will let them stay on the schedule until the remainder of their initial order (which consists of 13 episodes), trim it to 10 or even less, or cancel them altogether with an immediate effect. Since ABC didn’t order that many new shows for the entire season overall, they will probably stick with them through the fall, at least.

Not everything is this dark for ABC though: Kiefer Sutherland-starrer Designated Survivor looks like a hit with very decent live numbers and huge DVR; and comedy Speechless fits perfectly with the ABC Funny line-up alongside The Goldbergs & Modern Family. American Housewife has yet to start but stuck between The Middle & Fresh Off The Boat, it’s expected to make decent numbers.

While making too many changes too soon is never a good idea, ABC has to make some anyway so they can stay competitive before starting anew next season, with the first shows developed by the new regime. And by the look of things, Channing Dungey shouldn’t rely too much on procedurals: that’s simply not ABC’s brand, even if they’re more profitable when they actually work.

 

1/ MOVE “HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER” RIGHT AFTER “GREY’S ANATOMY”

Unless ABC can start the 6th season of Scandal sooner than expected -I doubt it because of Kerry Washington’s pregnancy- they can’t let their best drama lead-in –Grey’s Anatomy– go to waste (Notorious). Since HTGAWM has a hard time at 10 with its live numbers -the +3 & +7 are still potent- it wouldn’t hurt to move it to 9 where it can do a little bit better. The more they wait, the less the move will be effective. They can put Notorious at 10 or…

 

2/ FINALLY SAVE QUANTICO !

Is it too late so save the L+7 blockbuster? Probably. At least, the show helps keeping the lights on at 10 on sundays, where anything new would crash and burn. And that’s probably why they decided to keep it that way this season. BUT as numbers suggest, Quantico is not dead. Not yet. And it’s still an asset for the network. Giving it a push at 10 on thursdays, which was not possible when the TGIT was still a thing, is now very much possible. It probably won’t rise that much, but any rise is good to take, even for a few weeks! Justice for Quantico!

 

3/ PAIR THE BACHELOR WITH STILL STAR-CROSSED

They’d make a perfect march, wouldn’t they? Of course, ABC will be tempted to launch the Shondaland’s Romeo & Juliet soap on their TGIT night come spring, but it certainly would be a better fit with The Bachelor, which is now, by the way, a better lead-in than Dancing With The Stars on the demo. They could also put it on sundays after Once Upon A Time, and it’d be fine but not ideal. If ABC wants a try at another hit this season, they know what to do…

 

4/ GIVE A REAL CHANCE TO TIME AFTER TIME

Don’t make the same mistake you did with Forever, ABC. There are still very angry fans out there, and we can’t really blame them. What you did with Forever made sense somehow but you could have handled things better and give it a push. Give Time After Time -which is not that different tonally- a real chance to shine and find its audience, even though it’s not produced in-house but by Warner Bros. once again. And what does it mean precisely? Don’t hide it somewhere at 10. Don’t put it after Dancing With The Stars for example. It wouldn’t be a good fit. Don’t waste it on fridays. But you’re not FOX, I guess you would never do that, right? So what? Yes, it’s a difficult timeslot but sundays at 9 seems to be the best option. Once Upon A Time is not a good lead-in anymore, but at least Time After Time is compatible with it. Doing the same numbers or slightly better would be a victory of some sort.

 

5/ GIVE A PRESTIGE FEEL TO YOUR SUNDAYS

Meaning doing this (either during the winter hiatus -if there’s one- or this spring)…

8- IMAGINARY MARY / DOWNWARD DOG

9- AMERICAN CRIME

10- WHEN WE RISE

I know most of you will call me crazy but it’s all about changing the narrative! Let me explain. Can we agree that ABC is dead on sunday for multiple reasons (football on NBC, no sports before 8 to support the night like this is the case on CBS, The Walking Dead on AMC… and of course shows which are not Desperate Housewives)? Yes we can. What if ABC self-proclaimed sunday night as their “prestige night” by scheduling there the shows that critics give much praise to but viewers don’t massively go to? The only “veteran” American Crime could be put at the center, at 9. Right before that, they have two midseason comedies waiting in the wings with a real cable feel: Imaginary Mary & Downward Dog. Make it a combo. And put When We Rise, a period drama about the LGBT movement, at 10. ABC could use the Oscars to promote the four of them heavily for a March launch. Of course, the numbers won’t be impressive but at least ABC could proudly turn a bad night into a prestige night where numbers don’t matter that much.

 

What’s your opinion? Feel free to comment!

UPDATED | 2015/2016 Ratings Predictions: which new shows will be hits? which ones will get the ax?

This article is pure predictions (based on timeslots, buzz, critics) and has no other value than having some fun. Feel free to comment and give our own predictions.

First published on september 15th 2015

 

abc Blood-and-Oil

BLOOD AND OIL – Cancelled by december – Will swap timeslot with Quantico at some point check

DR KEN – Back Nine – Renewed for season 2  check

THE MUPPETS  – BIG HIT – Back nine (or even more) – Renewed for season 2 CROSS

QUANTICOMODEST HIT – Back Nine – Will swap timeslot with Blood and oil at some point – Renewed for season 2 check

WICKED CITY – Cancelled by january check

MIDSEASON:

THE CATCHMODEST HIT Renewed for season 2 check

THE FAMILY – Renewed for season 2 CROSS

KINGS AND PROPHETS – Cancelled by may check

THE REAL O’NEALS – Renewed for season 2 check

CBS-Logo Angel-From-Hell

ANGEL FROM HELL – Cancelled by january check

CODE BLACK – Cancelled by december CROSS

LIFE IN PIECES – MODEST HIT – Back Nine (or less) – Renewed for season 2 check

LIMITLESS – Back Nine – Renewed for season 2 CROSS

SUPERGIRL Could go either way… Back Nine – Cancelled by may check CROSS

MIDSEASON:

CRIMINAL MINDS: BEYOND BORDERS – Cancelled by may CROSS

RUSH HOUR – Cancelled by may check

 

nbc hero

BLINDSPOTHIT – Back Nine – Renewed for season 2 check

CHICAGO MED – MODEST HIT – Back Nine – Renewed for season 2 check

HEROES REBORN – Renewed for season 2 CROSS

THE PLAYER – Cancelled by december check

TRUTH BE TOLD – Cancelled by november (october?) check

MIDSEASON:

CROWDED – Cancelled by may check

GAME OF SILENCE – Cancelled by may check

HEARTBREAKER – Renewed for season 2 with mediocre ratings CROSS

HOT AND BOTHERED – Cancelled by may check

SHADES OF BLUE – Renewed for season 2 with mediocre ratings check

SUPERSTORE – Cancelled by may CROSS

fox Rosewood-FOX

GRANDFATHERED – Back Nine – Cancelled by may check

THE GRINDER – Cancelled by december checkCROSS

MINORITY REPORT – Cancelled by december check

ROSEWOOD – Cancelled by december CROSS

SCREAM QUEENS HIT Renewed for season 2 CROSS check

MIDSEASON:

THE GUIDE TO SURVIVING LIFE – Cancelled by may check

LOOKINGLASS – Cancelled by may check

LUCIFER – Renewed for season 2 check

THE X-FILESBIG HIT – Renewed for another season check

Shonda Rhimes: her shows you will never get the chance to watch!

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Who thought one day the writer behind Disney’s The Princess Diaries and Britney Spears’ movie Crossroads would become THE producer everyone in Hollywood talks about, dreams to work with, dies to be? Shonda Rhimes, the queen of her own empire modestly called Shondaland, the queen of Thursday nights (#TGIT!), the queen of ABC, the queen of television, well THE QUEEN, has had a lot of success since she launched medical drama Grey’s Anatomy in 2004, still on the air 12 years later and probably for at least a couple more. Spin-off Private Practice quietly lived 6 years after a rocky start; Scandal got bigger and bigger; How To Get Away With Murder started strong right out of the gate last year. The Catch, coming this midseason, is a question mark for now, but the cast is just great (Mireille Enos, Peter Krause, Sonya Walger…). The only disappointment so far was another medical drama Off The Map, cancelled after 13 episodes in 2011. But Shonda Rhimes knows failures too. She also developed many projets and pilots that were not picked up to series over the years, like every other producer out there. Here’s your guide to the dark side of Shondaland: the shows you will never see (except if they are revisited some day)…

 

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PILOTS THAT DIDN’T MAKE THE CUT

INSIDE THE BOX – ABC (2009)

Description: Welcome to the fast-paced, cutthroat world of network news. CNS is a hotbed of professional backstabbing and personal betrayals. The only way to survive here is through strength, talent and friendship. When the DC Bureau Chief retires, everyone assumes that Catherine Powell is a shoe-in for his job. She’s dedicated and savvy and she practically runs the newsroom already. So no one is more shocked than Catherine when the board passes her over in favor of the charismatic, but shallow Englishman, Kenneth Donnegan. Kenneth welcomes Catherine to stay onboard as part of his team but he makes it clear that it’s his team. There’s no way Catherine’s going to take this lying down. She quickly pulls together an investigative team of her own, including her loyal, right-hand man Jake Fisher and talented, but brutally ambitious reporter, Samantha Hathaway…

Cast: Indira Varma, Kim Raver, Jennifer Finnigan, Jason George, Martin Henderson, Sarah Drew…

I will tell you later in the article how Shonda Rhimes attempted to create a show revolving around journalists twice. But she finally made it the third time. Well. Almost. ABC ordered Inside the Box pilot the same year as The Deep End (basically Grey’s Anatomy with lawyers), The Forgotten (that we’ve all… yeah… forgotten, just one of those Christian Slater’s cancelled shows), Eastwick, V and high-concept and much talked-about Flash Forward. Despite quite an interesting cast (with an Indian lead! We had to wait for Quantico, starting this year, to get another one in a drama!) and a result that was said to be “great” from insiders, Inside The Box was not picked-up to series and it was announced that it would be redeveloped at a later time. Which it never was. Shonda used the cast for her other shows though. For having read the pilot script, I have to say I’m very surprised ABC didn’t even try. Yes, it was a bit generic, yet another soap not that different from the others, but it explored a new world and it had a real potential! That was a weird decision quite frankly. I would even call it a mistake.

 

THE GILDED LILYS – ABC (2012)

Description: After a year away in Paris in 1895, Violet Langton Lily – a beautiful young socialite from the renowned Lily family – gets blindsided by love on a New York-bound luxury liner. His name is John Kidd, a handsome working-class man whom Violet’s family definitely wouldn’t approve of. This sudden yet profound encounter makes her question everything including her future. Ultimately, Violet will have to choose between what her heart wants, and what her family expects. Back in New York, Violet returns to discover her father, Edwin Lily, has sunk the family fortune into the construction of the City’s first Luxury Hotel, The Lillian. Eager to get in on the action and attention, Edwin’s brother, Julius, offers to become equal partner and financier. Through years of reckless behavior, Julius has earned a reputation for being a playboy and lout. He’s the Black Sheep, and this is his chance at familial redemption. And he’s willing to get it no matter the cost…

Cast: Sarah Bolger, Matt Long, John Barrowman, Matt Lauria, Blythe Danner, Brian F. O’Byrne, Madeline Zima…

When the world fell in love with the English show Downton Abbey in 2010, Shonda Rhimes was among the early fans. So when The Nine writer K.J. Steinberg came to her with an idea of a similar show located in the US she couldn’t resist and accepted to produce it. The script was convincing enough for ABC to order a big-budgeted pilot. But it was not good enough to order it to series, so it seems. It’s hard to know what went wrong but one thing’s for sure: period dramas are always a tough sell, especially on a network, and it might be what doomed it in the end. And according to The Daily Mail at the time, John Barrowman as the lead was not considered a big enough star in the US to carry the show. The pilot had to compete that year with Nasvhille, Last Resort, Zero Hour, 666 Park Avenue and Devious Maids (first developed for ABC, then sold to Lifetime). Even though most of them came quickly to an end, they had very decent pilots… One year later, K.J. Steinberg created Mistresses for ABC, but without Shonda.

 

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PROJECTS THAT WEREN’T ORDERED TO PILOT

CORRESPONDENTS – ABC (2006)

Description: drama about four female journalists from different media who travel the country…

Cast: Jeffrey Dean Morgan…

In 2003, Shonda Rhimes sells her first script deal for a TV series to ABC, about four female war correspondents who strive to maintain some semblance of normal life despite their demanding careers. She’s virtually no one at the time and the project doesn’t pass the script stage but Disney is impressed and wants her to write something else. One year later, it becomes a little show called Grey’s Anatomy. But the woman is obsessed with the idea of a journalist-centric TV show so she comes back with a similar idea, this time without the “war” part, with Pete Horton, Grey’s Anatomy‘s pilot director, on board. Jeffrey Dean Morgan is meant to be part of the cast after his highly-praised recurring role on Grey’s Anatomy as Denny Duquette. Again, the script was never ordered to pilot. Probably because she is already very busy working on two different shows at the same time and not experienced enough to be able to add another one. Yet.

 

THE CIRCLE – ABC (2012)

Description: drama about 10 friends, adopted as children by a billionaire philanthropist, who begin to question their past when one of their own is murdered

Created by Richard Robbins, like Inside The Box, The Circle was developed the same year as The Gilded Lilys. Maybe ABC didn’t want to order two Shondaland pilots at the same time, especially since Shonda already worked on two shows. Or maybe the script was just not good enough. We’ll never know. But even if the premise is exciting, it’s hard to imagine something really good coming out of it for the long haul.

 

WILDWOOD – FOX (2012)

Description: period drama about a wise-beyond-her-years teenager who poses as an adult in order to land a job at a popular bar on the jersey shore in 1985

The first time Shonda developed a show for another network than ABC -but it was still ABC Studios-produced of course- it sounded a lot different than what she’s used to make. The coming of age 80s dramedy was written by Diane Ruggiero, whom she never worked with before, a prominent Veronica Mars‘ writers, who later created iZombie for The CW. It sounded cool, and reminds me now of The Carrie Diaries. Retrospectively, FOX may have missed a great opportunity to get a hit but it may have been considered too teenage-y for the network.

 

UNDER THE GUN – NBC (2013)

Description: drama about a woman who goes to work for the FBI as she struggles to make sense of a terrible event in her past that ruined her life and tore her family apart. While her young and fragile appearance doesn’t typically suggest that she’s best suited to work as a field agent, her dark past helps her get inside the head of criminals who were normal one day and cracked the next…

Two years before Pete Nowalk created How To Get Away With Murder -after writing mostly for Grey’s Anatomy- he came to Shonda Rhimes with the idea of Under The Gun. The script was sold to NBC and not to the Alphabet network. Not ABC enough? Not good enough for NBC either? Anyway, it sounded like a procedural we’ve already seen.

 

MILA 20 – ABC (2013)

Description: sci-fi thriller about a young woman who discovers that she is a Mobile Intel Life-like Android, Mila, an experiment in artificial intelligence created by the U.S. government and her scientist mother, who kidnapped her when she was found to have human emotions…

This Bionic Woman-like story, based on a book for teenagers, was written by David DiGilio, who created the really good but cancelled too soon Traveler for ABC in 2007. It didn’t sound good and I’m not sure Shonda Rhimes and her fellow associate Betsy Beers were the right persons to work on it… But the idea of a sci-fi show produced by Shondaland is appealing in the future!

 

THE MIX – ABC (2013)

Description: drama about the public and not-so-private lives of five very different women who sit in the hot seats as hosts of an influential morning talk show

I’m still not over the fact that this very promising idea never came to fruition. Inspired by ABC’s incredibly popular morning show The View, it was created by screenwriter John Hoffman, who co-produced HBO’s Looking later on. I was already picturing it as the new Desperate Housewives! Going too far?

 

COOKING UP FOR NEXT PILOT SEASON…

WARMTH OF THE OTHER SUNS – FX (2016)

Description: llimited series based on Isabel Wilkerson’s book which chronicles the movement of some 6 million African-Americans from the south into the north and western regions of the country from the period of 1915 to 1970

Shonda Rhimes is working for the first time for a cable network! And it’s a historic drama, another first for her. It might never see the light of day but the high-profile project is in development right now, written by Dee Rees, who made recently HBO movie Bessie.

 

UNTITLED CONVENT DRAMA – ABC (2016)

Description: It revolves around a group of Catholic nuns fighting the closure of their Bronx-based convent who must suddenly deal with three young novices whose arrival unearths long-buried secrets.

This is SO EXCITING, good lord! It’s original –Sister Act is long gone- and it exactly sounds like what Shonda Rhimes does best, with the right amount of soapy elements and feminism, in a very different environment than before. It’s too soon to tell if ABC will give it the thumb up for shooting a pilot but as of now it’s one of the best things that ABC has in store, at least on paper. And creator Alison Schapker has written for AliasBrothers & Sisters, Lost, Fringe and The Flash. Impressing. That can’t be bad, right?

 

SPLITSVILLE – ABC (2016)

Description: in the wake of a wave of divorces, the single residents of a suburban cul-de-sac join forces to raise their kids and get through it together…

Shonda Rhimes has yet to produce a comedy series. She develops a few projects but this one seems to have a better chance to land a pilot order next cycle. Emily Halpern (Private Practice) & Sarah Haskins, the women behind great and cancelled too soon Trophy Wife, are writing it right now…

 

Drama 2015 #PilotWatch : the full recap

It’s this time of the year when we get all judgy and mean, happy because we enjoy a show we didn’t think we would, sad because our expectations were too high for some others… It’s time to make tough choices (some are really easy though) and decide whose are the characters, the families, the places, the writers we want to spend the rest of the year with! Game ON.

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Again, this year is not the year of comedy and like last year the drama field is filled with quite capable new entries, some of them having the potential to break out but none of them being exceptionnally original and a game changer. While soaps are gonna invade next pilot season, this time it’s The Blacklist clones, mixing procedural elements and mythology with big male leads (Blindspot, The Player, Game of Silence, Minority Report, Limitless, Lookinglass). Heavily serialized shows are once again mostly in ABC’s territory with Quantico, The Family, Wicked City and The Catch, a very solid freshman class. Blood and oil could be a goner very soon. CBS might be in big trouble if Supergirl doesn’t deliver, Code Black & Limitless are wild cards and the schedule is not great, to say the least. NBC only have Blindspot as a potential breakout hit, with Heroes Reborn which could surprise, at least at the beginning. FOX might be okay and will have to rely on Empire and possibly Scream Queens to spend a decent fall. Rosewood and Minority Report are not the ones to bet on. Midseason will be more exciting for everyone with such shows as The Family, The Catch, Lucifer and of course the return of The X-Files.

abc  The-Family-Saison-1-ABC

  1. THE FAMILY  rate rate rate rate rate

A dark, sometimes brutal, smart family soap, gripping and devastating. Perfectly cast. Joan Allen is incredible. Could be ABC’s Broadchurch. Critically acclaimed. Wow. Very few pilot can make you cry. I remember Homeland did. The Family is one of these. Chills.

2. QUANTICO  rate rate rate rate rate

The best pilot you’ll see this fall. It’s fast-paced, smart, exciting, fun, sexy, full of twists and turns. GREAT. Though it is not produced by Shondaland, it’s exactly what you’d expect from a Shonda Rhimes show. It is written HIT all over it. Priyanka Chopra really is a revelation. She’s not just stunningly beautiful, she’s good, really good. Though I still don’t get why ABC didn’t give it the best timeslot they had, it’s strong enough to stand on its own and explode.

3. THE CATCH rate rate rate rate 

Mireille Enos is stunning and gives an intense & subtle performance. Pilot is classy, in a Scandal fashion. It’s too bad the secondary characters are so weak, they doesn’t spark any interest for now. Fired actors Damon Dayoub & BethanyJoyLenz were not bad at all. But I guess Mireille Enos is worth better performers. Peter Krause & Sonya Walger can turn this good pilot into a great show. Looking forward to it! Shonda Rhimes never disappoints.

4. BLOOD AND OIL rate rate 

Bo-ring. Script was great so what happened? Too cute cast. Too cable-y feel with no substance. Too serious, no fun. It’s not steamy, not soapy enough. No pleasure & no guilt. Hard task to make it better but not yet a lost cause. The cast is so meh, though. Why ABC is giving it a better timeslot than Quantico is beyond me, honestly… Two good points: Don Jonhson & the natural setting. But I fear it will be all green screen by the second episode…

 

Not seen: WICKED CITY, KINGS AND PROPHETS (entirely being rewrote & reshot).

 

 

CBS-Logo  code-black

 

  1. CODE BLACK  rate rate rate

Going after ER & Grey’s Anatomy is an impossible task. They did their best to make it similar and different at the same time. It can be boring in spite of everything that is happening. We need to care about the characters and right now we don’t. Marcia Gay Harden could make me watch anything so I’ll give the show the time it needs… But damn, it’s depressing

2. SUPERGIRL  rate rate rate

Certainly not a CBS show, except for the big budget. It’s in the same range as The Flash, but with a story really too similar to Superman’s to suprise us in a any way. And it goes fast, too fast. Plus, there’s a girly vibe that feels outdated. No idea if it’s gonna work but it’s a show we didn’t need. They did their best. But the best version of this story can’t be geat, it seems.

3. LIMITLESS   rate rate rate

Not sure what to say about this one. Could go either way. I didn’t like it but there’s an audience for it. CBS-y but not too much. Boring, a bit. Not as efficient as Scorpion, for example. But there’s Bradley Cooper (temporarily). A waste of Jennifer Carpenter’s talent. Didn’t know Ron Rifkin is playing the hero’s dad! Nice surprise. Oh and Fringe‘s Blair Brown is playing the mother!

 

Not seen: RUSH HOUR, CRIMINAL MINDS: BEYOND BORDERS.

 

nbc  Blindspot - Season Pilot

  1. BLINDSPOT  rate rate rate rate

First Blindspot pilot scenes: how not to show any intimate body parts with a standing naked character all along in 10 lessons. This is a very entertaining and enjoyable pilot, with enough mistery for wanting to be back. A potential hit for NBC

2. HEARTBREAKER rate rate rate

Very surprised! Lots of rewrites. Melissa George is more charming than ever. It feels fresh, funny, warm, moving. Soundtrack is perfect, montage is efficient. Probably too close to Grey’s Anatomy but good job!

3. GAME OF SILENCE rate rate rate

Psychological thriller, not very thrilling though, dark and depressing for the most part. Cable-y. Could have been excellent, but for some reason it’s “just” good but it’s hard to imagine the show lasting for more than one short season, whatever happens ratings-wise. Should have been announced as a miniseries in my opinion.

4. THE PLAYER rate rate rate

If the show wasn’t doomed (timeslot…) I would have bet on it. But Blindspot is stronger, NBC made the right call. High octane. Sometimes it’s dark and not very convicing. Sometimes it’s fun and it works. Shares an awful lot with The Blacklist. Best things about the show: Wesley Snipes of course and Charity Wakefield ! She’s just great and… playful!

5. YOU, ME AND THE END OF THE WORLD  rate rate 

It’s a dramedy but it’s not really funny nor emotional. Not that English either. Dunno what is. A bit of a mess? You have to wait for Rob Lowe to appear to really get pleasure out of it. And he’s not there much. Megan Mullally is almost unrecognizable. Seems like she’s just out of an Orange is the New Black episode. Which is good (Jenji Kohan, think about her!) Anyway NBC won’t be able to do anything with it. Hidden next summer or on fridays at 10? It’s likely and that’s OK.  I’ll be watching episode 2 though. It finally gets interesting in the very end…

 

Not seen: SHADES OF BLUE, HEROES REBORN, CHICAGO MED.

fox  Lucifer

  1. LUCIFER  rate rate rate rate

A very suitable substitute for gone too soon Forever. Same kind of fun police procedural, entertaining & warm. Tom Ellis is charming as hell.  After Castle, Bones… it doesn’t add anything new to the game, but TV needs shows like these. That being said the supernatural part/mythology could be more exciting than that. And the pilot takes too long to start

2. LOOKINGLASS / MINORITY REPORT  rate rate rate 

Kinda like it in a weird way. It’s far from perfect but it’s emotional and fun at times. What I’m concerned about is the subsequent episodes. Will it become a procedural of some sort? Hope not… I think it would be a better fit with The X-Files than Lucifer. But Lucifer has better chances to work so it makes sense… It’s not really Frankenstein it’s more… FrankHulkenstein! / Really good looking pilot, kinda fun and badass. Convincing cast, good chemistry. A Fringe vibe. Great attention to details. More into it than I expected. Wondering how long it can last without becoming boring… and going off the air…

3. ROSEWOOD rate rate 

Lazy & sometimes ridiculous shiny procedural. Tries too much to be cool & fun. Everything feels fake. Annoying hero even if Morris Chestnut is very good to watch. Ordered only because FOX desperately needed something to pair Empire with. The african-american hero was reason enough it seems. And it’s a shame.

Not seen: Scream Queens

cw   Pilot

  1. CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND rate rate rate rate

Really liked it! There’s an unexpected Ally McBeal vibe! The kind of show you wanna watch cosy while eating an ice-cream. That was not a good fit with Showtime but it could have been their Girls. A weird fit with The CW. I just hope they won’t sweeten the whole thing up. Take the curse words out and keep the fun & spirit. The masturbation scene will be dearly missed. It’s the best one!

2. CONTAINMENT rate rate rate 

Kinda hooked by the story but not much by the characters. Not totally convinced. Disgusting and entertaining. But isn’t it just one of those mediocre catastrophe TV movies turned into a 10-episode season?

Not seen: LEGENDS OF TOMORROW (not shot yet)

 

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THE FAMILY > QUANTICO > THE CATCH > BLINDSPOT > LUCIFER >  CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND >

 HEARTBREAKER  > GAME OF SILENCE > THE PLAYER > CODE BLACK > LOOKINGLASS > MINORITY REPORT > SUPERGIRL > CONTAINMENT >

YOU, ME AND THE END OF THE WORLD > LIMITLESS > BLOOD AND OIL > ROSEWOOD

 

SEE COMEDY 2015 #PILOT WATCH

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 Catch” (ABC) pilot preview: After Meredith, Addison, Olivia, Annalise… now please welcome Alice!

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Also known as “Smoke and Mirrors“. Written & produced by Jennifer Schuur (Hannibal Big Love, Crash). Co-produced by Shonda Rhimes (Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, Scandal, How to Get Away With Murder), Betsy Beers, Helen Gregory & Kate Atkinson. Directed by Julie Anne Robinson (Grey’s Anatomy, Weeds, The Middle, One for the Money). For ABC, ABC Studios & Shondaland Productions. 63 pages.

Description: Alice Martin, a fraud investigator, fighting crime by the numbers and exposing embezzlers, money launderers and even cartels, is a partner in a Los Angeles firm and attracts top clients, which affords her a nice lifestyle she shares with her fiancé, Kieran. They are about to get married but one day he disappears with two million dollars from her bank account. Now, Alice is determined to find Kieran and the truth. Even worse, if her clients and colleagues find out that this fraud investigator was a fraud victim herself, it could mean the end of her career. The game of cat and mouse has just begin…

With Mireille Enos (The Killing US, Big Love, World War Z), Damon Dayoub, Jay HaydenElvy Yost, Rose Rollins (The L Word, Bosch), Jacky Ido (Taxi Brooklyn), Bethany Joy Lenz (One Tree Hill, Dexter), Alimi Ballard (CSI, Sabrina)…

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When you read a Shonda Rhimes-produced pilot, you can’t help comparing it to what she brought to television before. It’s a natural reaction. With How to Get Away With Murder, it was obvious: the perfect mix between Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, while still managing to be its own thing. With The Catch (or whatever it is called in the end), the most unstartling element is Jennifer Schuur, the writer who created it, has never worked for or with her in any of her previous shows and she didn’t even try to imitate her style of storytelling here. So, the question is: why did shonda Rhimes feel this idea, this pitch, fits in the Shondaland brand? As different as it may sound, 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. Ultimately, like the Kerry Washington-starrer, it’s about about people hiding secrets and others finding the truth whatever it takes, while they have secrets of their own, though I have to admit a firm specialized in fraud is less sexy and catchy than Washington’s political scene. It still gives a wide playing field for the writers. The Catch comes off as a thrilling ride, but I can’t say it blew my mind… yet.

Remember when the idea of Scandal came to our attention back in 2011 and was called Damage Control at the time? A lot of people were  suspicious about it and very few people felt excited. ABC picked it up anyway but decided to launch it only in the last few weeks of the season, with 7 episodes to prove it was worth a chance. Didn’t look like a vote of confidence from the network. Everybody burried it before it even started. And when it finally did, with very little promotion, the pilot was not widely liked, neither watched. Even I -known to be a Shonda lover- thought it was not exactly what I wanted it to be -I had time to fantasize about it, nearly a year- but the following episodes were better and better, the cliffhangers were breathtaking, ratings started to take off and Scandal finally found its footing by season’s end. You know what happened after that. It became a huge success and four years later, the show is still one of the highest watched on television and the number one drama on ABC. The story could repeat itself with The Catch except now a lot of people want Shonda Rhimes to fall from grace. Badly. Because successful people are always hated at some point, because Scandal is hitting a rough patch story-wise and because she can’t stop killing characters on Grey’s Anatomy. She’s still the queen, haters!

A few pages in, one character from Alice’s team -Maria, a brilliant newbie- asks another -James, a 30 year old who just came out of the closet- “How do you explain your job to people?“. His answer is: “I tell them it’s solving crime, but with numbers“. It’s exactly what it is, but it’s still hard to understand how. Don’t be afraid, Jennifer Schuur did a great job making it easy to follow. The case they’re investigating in the pilot is okay, with a fair amount of twists and turns, but it’s the way Alice kicks ass all along to find the truth that is the most fun to watch. And she doesn’t mind spreading her legs if she needs to. Or hurting someone in the process. Of course, the most interesting part is the cat and mouse game between our heroin and her slippery fiancé. To put the puzzle together, we are helped through flashbacks from the time they were happy and full of hope for the future. Or so it seems. They were already lying to each other. A lot. Still, many pieces are missing. Alice remains a mystery in the end of the pilot. Who is she? Not the woman she pretends to be, that’s for sure. When the FBI gets involved, she’s the mouth caught in her own trap. And Kieran is not ready to let her go this easily either… It’s a great role for Mireille Enos. I’m a huge fan of her work in Big Love and The Killing US and Alice is very different from what she has already played. Can’t wait watching her nailing it!

ABC has a lot of exciting stuff coming out of this pilot season. The Catch is not their pilot script I liked the most. Quantico & Original Sin have stronger hooks and feel more exciting for the long haul. If it was not produced by Shonda Rhimes, I’m not sure ABC would have picked it up to series (I assume they will whatever happens). That being said, it would match pretty well with Scandal on Thursday night and I’m all for it joining “TGIT” when How To Get Away With Murder‘s second season is done by February. It’s simply where it belongs and where it has the biggest chance to spark with the audience. Doing only 8-10 episodes to begin with couldn’t hurt it from a creative point of view. The Catch is a no-brainer. Let the game begins!