Tag: the cw

Riverdale: Meet musical spin-off Katy Keene’s characters [EXCLUSIVE]

EXCLUSIVE. Picked-up by The CW a few days ago with a bunch of other pilots, Riverdale’s second spin-off Katy Keene is a musical drama way different from the mothership and The Chilliing Adventures of Sabrina, but still based on Archie Comics. Here’s a list of the main characters involved.

The offshoot is written by Riverdale creator Robert Aguirre-Sacasa and executive producer Michael Grassi with Greg Berlanti producing for Warner Bros. Television and Berlanti Productions. It follows the lives and loves of four iconic Archie Comics characters as they chase their twenty-something dreams in New York City. This musical dramedy chronicles the origins and struggles of four aspiring artists trying to make it on Broadway, on the runway and in the recording studio, reminiscent of Glee‘s fourth season or such shows as The Carrie Diaries and The Bold Type.

Mostly female-driven, it’s centered around fashion legend-to-be KATY KEENE, a friend of Veronica Lodge, who got her own comics in 1949 during 12 years before a revival in the 80s. She’s a young woman in her 20s, ambitious and talented. She has a boyfriend, KO KELLY, a semi-pro boxer with an incredible body in his 20s too. She works at Lacy’s Department Store with her arch-rival AMANDA and her boss GLORIA GRANDBILT, an impeccable and glamourous diva in her 40s, a world-class Personal Shopper. One of their clients is ALEXANDRA CABOT, heiress to the Media Cabot Empire, a powerful twentysomething with a white streak in her air, like in the comics.

Katy lives in an apartment with two roomates, one of which is the direct link between the show and Riverdale. It’s JOSIE MCCOY, the Pussycat singer who’s leaving her hometown to pursue a solo career in New York City. Her fellow friends Melody & Valerie are not in the pilot, but they’ll probably pop up at some point. She’s played by Ashleigh Murray, who should be back in the iconic role. She meets Katie through their common friendship with Veronica. The other roomate is JORGE LOPEZ aka GINGER LOPEZ. His parents own the building. He’s 20, cute, gay and performs as a drag queen in a ballroom (think Ryan Murphy’s Pose) . Finally, there’s PEPPER SMITH, a young journalist and a feminist, who’s well connected: she knows everyone in the biz.

Casting for the roles is underway. The pilot will shoot in New York this march.

 

The CW Projects for 2018/2019 Pilot Season


THE 4400 REBOOT 
(CBS Television Studios)

Sci-fi drama by Craig Sweeny (Limitless, Medium) & Taylor Elmore (Justified).

Over the course of recent history, four thousand four hundred young adults in their reproductive prime have gone missing all over the world—some disappearances happened as recently as a few weeks ago, while others date as far back as the infamous day the Soviets launched the Sputnik satellite in 1957. One day in 2019, all 4,400 show up at the sites of their original abductions. None of them have aged a day; none have any memory of where they’ve been. The so called “4400” must grapple with their return to a changed and hostile world… and also contend with the reality that they’ve come back altered in ways that none of them yet understand.

BATWOMAN (Warner Bros. Television)

Superhero drama from the Arrow-verse by Greg Berlanti & Caroline Dries (The Vampire Diaries, Smallville)…

Armed with a passion for social justice and a flair for speaking her mind, Kate Kane soars onto the streets of Gotham as Batwoman, an out lesbian and highly trained street fighter primed to snuff out the failing city’s criminal resurgence. But don’t call her a hero yet. In a city desperate for a savior, Kate must overcome her own demons before embracing the call to be Gotham’s symbol of hope.

Starring Ruby Rose

CITY OF GHOSTS (Warner Bros. Television)

Fantasy drama by I. Marlene King (Pretty Little Liars), Karen Wyscarver (Private Practice) & Sanford Golden (Bones, Taken).

After a near-death experience, college grad Cassidy moves to Scotland to study paranormal psychology at the University of Edinburgh in hopes of learning more about her strange connection to the afterlife. There she meets the enigmatic Dr. Barrow and discovers that her gift is more powerful that she ever thought possible.

THE COVE (Warner Bros. Television)

Family adventure by Chad Fiveash (Kyle XY, Rise, Krypton), James Stoteraux (Switched at Birth, Legend of the Seeker) & Robert Zemeckis (Manifest).

Follows estranged sisters in the aftermath of their father’s death as they return to the Caribbean resort island they frequented as a family, only to discover the sun-drenched paradise is hiding many secrets, including the missing treasure that was their father’s obsession and may ultimately hold the key to eternal life.

DORIAN (Warner Bros. Television)

Fantasy dramedy by Marisa Coughlan & Len Goldstein (The Carrie Diaries, Cult).

It centers on a woman who made a deal with the devil 50 years ago to remain young has spent the subsequent decades living selfishly and without consequences. As the downsides of eternal youth finally land on her, Dorian is ready to grow up and age gracefully, but, to do so, she’ll have to make amends for half a century of bad behavior.

DR MIRAGE (CBS Television Studios)

Fantasy drama by Laurie McCarth (Reign). Based on the Valiant graphic novel.

About a female paranormal investigator who can communicate with dead souls except the one she wants to reach – the love of her life.

FINLEY & JUNE (CBS Television Studios)

Dramedy by Anna Fricke (Men In Trees, Being Human US) & Rina Mimoun (Everwood, Mistresses, Privileged).

When a tightly-wound aspiring children’s book author meets an actual fairy with rage issues in a Griffith Park restroom, the magic of female friendship takes on literal new meaning as the two millennials help each other navigate hipster LA in the quest to fulfill their destinies.

GLAMOROUS (CBS Television Studios)

Dramedy by Damon Wayans Jr. (Happy Together) & Jordon Nardino (Star Trek Discovery, Quantico, GCB).

It centers on a recent gender non-conforming high school graduate who lands the gig of a lifetime interning at the Manhattan cosmetics company whose products he panned on YouTube. But not everyone is happy to have him there, and they are doing everything they can to take him down.

GOOD CHRISTIAN BITCHES (CBS Television Studios/ABC Studios)

Soap drama by Leila Cohan-Miccio (Awkward.), Darren Star (Melrose Place, Sex & The City, Younger) & Aaron Kaplan. Inspired by Kim Gatlin’s book of the same name.

Follows the clergy and parishioners of Flock, a hip church plant in Austin where prayers and worship music cover up a multitude of sins and secrets.

THE L.A. COMPLEX REBOOT (Warner Bros. Television)

Dramedy by Martin Gero (Blindspot) & Brendan Gall.

Revolve around a new crop of tenants who move into the Luxe hotel in the heart of Hollywood – a ragtag commune of twentysomethings all hustling to make it as actors, dancers, producers or comedians

LEAN ON ME (Warner Bros. Television)

Inspired by the 1989 film that starred Morgan Freeman. Highschool drama by Wendy Calhoun (Nashville, Empire, Revenge) & Lebron James.

When a spirited young black teacher Amarie Baldwin scores the principal job at an Akron, Ohio, public high school, she must dig deep to transform a failing campus into an urban oasis. In a time when education and school safety have life-or-death stakes, Amarie will take on a broken system that tests her mettle, love life and family. But can she keep her moxie in check in order to embody the aspirational educator that motivates and uplifts an entire community.

LIFEBOAT CLIQUE (CBS Television Studios)

Drama by Jerry Bruckheimer (CSI, Cold Case, Lucifer), Jonathan Littman, KristieAnn Reed & Katie Wech (Star, Rizzoli & Isles).

About when a freak tsunami hits a Malibu house party, a group of teenagers from diverse social circles are swept out to sea; the place where they wind up is new, but the high school politics and social hierarchies that emerge are not

NANCY DREW (CBS Television Studios)

Mystery Drama by Josh Schwartz & Stephanie Savage (Gossip Girl, Dynasty, Chuck, The OC).

Centered on 18-year-old Nancy Drew in the summer after her high school graduation. Nancy thought she’d be leaving her hometown for college, but when a family tragedy holds her back another year, she finds herself embroiled in a ghostly murder investigation — and along the way, she uncovers secrets that run deeper than she ever imagined.

NOBODY’S PRINCESS (Warner Bros. Television)

Musical dramedy by James Corden (Carpool Karaoke), Erin Cardillo & Richard Keith (Life Sentence, Significant Mother).

Reimagines the stories of four classic fairy tale princesses for today’s generation. Instead of being set “once upon a time, in a land far away” where princesses were waiting around for true love to find them, the time is now, the setting is New York City, and the princesses are a group of friends in their twenties who are setting out to change the world and create their happily-ever-afters on their own terms.

NO HARD FEELINGS (CBS Television Studios)

Dark comedy by Brad Silberling (Charmed, Dynasty), Gus Hickey (Suburgatory) & Jordan Reddout (Man with a Plan).

About a group of friends who conspire to exact revenge on an old rival who assaulted one of their own and got away with it back in college.

THE PROGENY (CBS Television Studios)

Thriller drama by Chris Roberts (Orphan Black), based on Tosca Lee’s bestselling book.

Centers on a young amnesiac who discovers she’s a descendant of history’s greatest murderess, plunging her into a deadly underground war as she fights to stop a secret society that has preyed on her kind for centuries.

RUTHLESS (CBS Television Studios)

Thriller drama by George Olson & Michael Weatherly (NCIS, Bull).

About an ex-CIA operative, desperate for a normal life after a decade spent as a government killing machine, and a slightly unhinged teenage girl craving an escape from the mundane, who are forced into an unlikely alliance

THE STRANGE CASE OF THE ALCHEMIST DAUGHTER (CBS Television Studios)

Thriller drama by Glenn Geller & AJ Marechal (The First). Small screen take on the novels by fantasy author Theodora Goss.

Set in Victorian London where two radically different young women – one the daughter of Dr. Jekyll; the other, Mr. Hyde – discover they’re half-sisters when a series of gruesome murders appear connected to their deceased father. They unite with other unsung but remarkable daughters of famous literary figures to rise above societal norms and unearth the mystery of their origins.

STRONG GIRL (CBS Television Studios)

Superhero drama by Melissa Scrivner-Love (Person Of Interest, Fear the Walking Dead), Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Ronda Rousey & Ben Silverman (Jane the Virgin, No Tomorrow).

It follows a former war photographer named Rayna who discovers she is indestructible and potentially the strongest woman in the world. Ghosted by her Spec Ops fiance when she reveals her newfound power to him, Rayna is hired as a bodyguard by a billionaire named Oliver, who sees her true potential.

SUPER CLEAN (CBS Television Studios)

Superhero dramedy by Sascha Rothchild (GLOW, The Carrie Diaries). Based on the upcoming graphic novel by Heath Amodio and Cullen Bunn.

Explores the superhero genre from the human side. Becky Masters, an uber-organized and brilliant human, and her ragtag team of non-powered cohorts navigate the danger and drama of “cleaning up” after superheroes and villains, all while Becky works to prove her superhero boyfriend is innocent of a dastardly crime.

SURVIVOR’S CLUB (Warner Bros. Television)

Fantasy drama based on the comics from DC’s Vertigo, by Jared Frieder (Sweet/Vicious) & Len Golstein (The Carrie Diaries, Cult).

In a world where horror franchise monsters are real, twins Jason and Jennifer barely survived a demonic childhood possession that claimed their mother’s life and fractured their bond. Ten years later, when a new evil force awakens, the siblings join forces with other teen survivors to combat the literal and metaphorical monsters that haunt them.

UNTITLED JANE THE VIRGIN SPIN-OFF (CBS Television Studios)

Soapy Dramedy by Jennie Snyder Urman (Jane The Virgin, Charmed), Valentina Garza, Gina Rodriguez, Ben Silverman & Brad Silberling.

The spinoff is envisioned as a soapy, telenovela-inspired anthology series in the tradition of Jane the Virgin, where each season is based on a different fictional novel “written by” Jane Villanueva and narrated by her.

UNTITLED RIVERDALE SPIN-OFF (Warner Bros. Television)

Drama by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (Riverdale, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina).

Spin-off series that “will be very different” from “Riverdale”

The CW | 2018/2019 – Fantasy Schedule

Those are predictions based on feelings and The CW final schedule may end up very differently! It will be announced on Thursday. Stay tuned and until then, enjoy the read!

RENEWED

SUPERNATURAL | ARROW | THE FLASH | SUPERGIRL | THE 100 | JANE THE VIRGIN | LEGENDS OF TOMORROW | iZOMBIE | CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND | RIVERDALE | BLACK LIGHTNING | DYNASTY

ORDERED

CHARMED | ROSWELL | ALL AMERICAN | IN THE DARK | LEGACIES

CANCELLED

VALOR | LIFE SENTENCE

 

Is The CW still relevant in this day and age? Wouldn’t it be simpler for both CBS Television Studios & Warner Bros. Television -which co-own the network- to sell their shows directly to cable, Netflix and other streaming platforms? I mean, The CW is becoming Netflix-dependent and that can’t be good in the long run. Dynasty did terrible live numbers the whole year but it was still renewed because Netflix paid them a lot of money to get the international rights for it. Same goes for Riverdale that everybody outside the US think is a Netflix Original (and that’s how it’s presented, as they always do with their acquisitions).  Well, anyway, scheduling still matters for The CW as for the other nets, so let’s see what they could do with the new shows they picked up and the large number of DC Comics’ shows that are still on their air, even weakened Arrow, while they decided to re-open sunday night!

 

SUNDAY

CHARMED

SUPERNATURAL

At its peak, the original Charmed aired on sunday nights at 8pm. It would make sense to put it back there, especially since they need to make noise about their sunday re-opening. Charmed is the buzziest show they have and hopefully they won’t wait for midseason to launch it, as they surprisingly did with Riverdale and Black Lightning the past two years. The longest-running American live-action fantasy TV series aka Supernatural could also move there, it’s one of the two nights with monday where it hasn’t aired yet. I guess it would be another record of some sort. Also, Charmed & Supernarutal would make a strong pair.

 

MONDAY

SUPERGIRL

ARROW

I remember The CW president said one time that he would never all of the DC Comics’ shows at the same time. Well, I’m betting he will. While Supergirl should stay where it is, I’d paired it with Arrow and for a shortened seventh season, that could also be its last. It’s a though night and a though slot, I think they should wait for midseason to lauch something new there.

 

TUESDAY

THE FLASH

ALL-AMERICAN

The Flash is The CW’s strongest piece and wasting it on a show that is not new would be kinda dumb. So, here’s Greg Berlanti’s new high-school drama coming right after it on tuesday. Yeah, it would also have been cool to put it with Riverdale, which is also a high-school drama, but they can still do it later, if it survives.

 

WEDNESDAY

RIVERDALE

LEGACIES

Dynasty didn’t work at all behind Riverdale; Life Sentence did worse and had to be moved; then they replaced it with The Original‘s farewell season and it did surprisingly good. To the point when The CW probably regretted cancelling it. As a consequence, it would be logical to put the spin-off there. Legacies might not be as strong, but at least they would have given it the best chance!

 

THURSDAY

BLACK LIGHTNING

LEGENDS OF TOMORROW

Not a huge fan of this night to be honest but I kinda like the idea of having Black Lightning opening the night since it’s really family-oriented. Legends Of Tomorrow can air alongside since this terrible show still exists.

 

FRIDAY

DYNASTY

JANE THE VIRGIN

Friday night should stay a dumping ground, nothing new should be launched there. So here we go again with a mix of Dynasty, Jane The Virgin and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend back at some point. Not bold AT ALL but there’s just nothing else to do.

 

MIDSEASON

ROSWELL – It should be kept for midseason so they don’t launch both of their reboots at the same time. It could be paired with Riverdale if Legacies is limited.

CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND – So yeah, friday, maybe when Dynasty takes a break.

IN THE DARK – They could pair it with Supergirl on monday once Arrow is done… and probably send it to friday next year!

THE 100 & iZOMBIE – They’re basically summer shows at this point, or deep-spring shows. Let them be again.

Roswell (The CW) pilot preview: Back In Town

Written and executive produced by Carina Adly MacKenzie (The Originals). Based on 90s hit series & Roswell High book series by Melinda Metz. Also produced by Kevin Kelly Brown (Roswell, Flesh and bone, Seven Seconds), Lawrence Bender (Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill, Inglourious Basterds) Justin Falvey & Darryl Frank (Bull, The Americans, Falling Skies, Extant, Under The Dome). Directed by Julie Plec (The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, Kyle XY). For The CWWarner Bros. Television, Amblin Television & Bender Brown Productions. 60 pages. Network Revisions Draft. 1/12/18.

Description: After reluctantly returning to her tourist-trap hometown of Roswell, NM, Liz Ortecho, the daughter of undocumented immigrants, discovers a shocking truth about her teenage crush who is now a police officer: he’s an alien who has kept his unearthly abilities hidden his entire life. She protects his secret as the two reconnect and begin to investigate his origins, but when a violent attack and long-standing government cover-up point to a greater alien presence on Earth, the politics of fear and hatred threaten to expose him and destroy their deepening romance…

With Jeanine Mason (Grey’s Anatomy, Bunheads), Nathan Parsons (Once Upon A Time, The Originals, True Blood), Michael Vlamis, Lily Cowles (Braindead), Michael Trevino (The Vampire Diaries, Cane), Tyler Blackburn (Pretty Little Liars, Ravenswood), Heather Hemmens (If Loving You is Wrong, Hellcats), Trevor St John (Containment), Karan Oberoi (Notorious)…

   

As much as I despise this trend of rebooting everything for no good creative reason, some of them make sense and Roswell falls exactly in this category. We don’t NEED a Roswell reboot, per say. Even The CW doesn’t really need it. They’ll already have the Charmed one and we could argue one new reboot a year is already enough. BUT the thing is: Roswell was a good show 15 years ago, that never found the success it deserved. It only lasted 3 seasons and it never became a cult favorite like Dawson’s Creek, Buffy or other contemporaries. Giving the concept a second chance somehow is a desirable idea. And what this script is doing is kinda miraculous: it improves the original show. By making the characters slightly older, they transformed the fantasy teen drama into a more adult property that’s still relevant today. Yeah, we’re not into aliens today like we were in the 90s but among all those vampires and zombies, they’re almost like a breath of fresh air (from space)! And the subject of society feeding on the politics of fear and hatred obviously resonates with post-Trump America.

Kevin Kelly Brown, who was an executive producer on the original series, is the link that connects the two Roswell incarnations. Besides him, it’s a whole new producing team. Meaning no Jason Katims no more. He was the creator of the show and he did Friday Night Lights, Parenthood & Rise since then. It’s sad he’s not part of it, I’m pretty sure he would have been precious there. Even though the show is still based on the “Roswell High” book series, our characters are in their late twenties and don’t go to school anymore, except for the traditional 10 year high school reunion that happens the week-end Liz returns to her Roswell hometown. You want to know the reason why she left? It’s something that’s revealed step by step in the script but I’ll tell you the whole truth anyway since they drag the revelations for too long in my opinion: her sister Rosa died, killing two others in a drunken car accident while she was in high school. And Max was involved in her death -the details are kept under wraps for now- though he never told Liz about it. Pretty quickly after her arrival, people shoot up her father’s diner, fatally hitting her, and that’s when Max uses his alien powers to resurrect her. Now she knows the truth about him, their romance is back full force! When the reboot was ordered, the articles insisted a lot on “the immigration twist” of this version but the fact that Liz has had undocumented parents doesn’t play any role in the pilot. It’s just something that’s said. We’ll see if they plan on delving into it later. The parallel with the aliens’ own trajectory could be illuminating. By the way, I love the scenes between Liz and her father. They’re very emotional.

So Liz is not very different than the one we knew in the 90s, except she became a jaded biomedical researcher. Max is now a dedicated Roswell police officer and a natural born leader. His sister Isobel is married to a man she doesn’t love anymore; she wasn’t meant for small-town life, but she lives it with all the grace and enthusiasm she can muster. Michael is a troubled but brilliant young man, who survived a violent childhood and now is secretly driven to find a way to escape Earth and the humans who have failed him to return to a mysterious home he’s never known. Meanwhile, Maria, Liz’s fun, free-spirited former best friend and social media maven is oblivious to the realities of Roswell. And in this version, she’s not romantically involved with Michael and probably never will be for a very good reason! Michael is gay. And it’s not the only twist… He’s a man of many secrets: he’s in a hidden relationship with… Alex! Yeah, more precisely Sgt. Alex Manes, who returned home from the Middle East after experiencing his fair share of psychological and physical trauma. He aims to adhere to his father’s expectations, abandoning his dreams and the possibility of a future with the man he loves… Well, that’s how you make once a bit weak characters relevant! And let’s not forget Kyle Valentin, Liz’s other ex, the popular son of the town sheriff -a woman this time!- who questions his carefree outlook on life after learning the terrifying truth of his family’s legacy. Those are strong characters all around. They’re all in this period of life when you’re starting to understand who you really are but you’re not accomplished yet and it can be painful. Young adults will relate. And there’s this cliffhanger with a new UFO crashing in the desert, that’s exciting!

The new Roswell is actually a better Roswell; a promising pilot that manages to introduce strong characters while setting an atmosphere and launching multiple storylines without getting messy in the process. It’s probably one of the best things, if not THE best, that The CW will offer us next year. 

In The Dark (The CW) pilot preview: Blind Veronica Mars

Written and executive produced by Corinne Kingsbury (The Newsroom, Back in the Game). Also produced by Ben Stiller (Zoolander, Tropic Thunder, Dodgeball, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty), Jackie Cohn (Another Period) & Nicky Weinstock. Directed by Michael Showalter (The Big Sick, Love, Search Party, Wet Hot American Summer). For The CW, CBS Television Studios & Red Hour Films. 59 pages. Draft 1/22/18.

Description: Murphy, a flawed and irreverent young woman who just happens to be blind, is the only “witness” to the murder of her drug-dealing best friend. When the police dismiss her story, she sets out with her dog, Pretzel, to find the killer while also managing her colorful dating life and the job she hates at Breaking Blind- the guide dog school owned by her overprotective parents… 

With Perry Mattfeld (Shameless US), Austin Nichols (One Tree Hill, The Walking Dead, Bates Motel, Ray Donovan), Brooke Markham (Cassandra French’s Finishing School), Keston John (Blood & Oil), Derek Webster (Damages, Harry’s Law, NCIS New Orleans), Kathleen York (The Client List, Desperate Housewives, The West Wing)…

 

  

You’ll like if you already like: Veronica Mars, iZombie, Sue Thomas F.B. Eye

Likely timeslot: wherever there’s a slot available, it doesn’t matter much anyway

 

This is a **rolling my eyes** logline, probably the “best” one since… Jane The Virgin! Yes, never forget that before becoming a critical darling, the Gina Rodriguez-led show was considered as the dumbest thing ever based on the pitch during pilot season. Maybe In The Dark will follow the same path… I see you laughing! I’m batshit serious. The thing is, it’s a good script. Not a great one, a good one. And this alone is a good sign. Starting from where it starts, I mean… Plus, it’s coming at a time when one of the biggest hit of the past few years is about an autistic doctor. You know where I’m going. Not saying here that In The Dark will become as huge as The Good Doctor but it makes sense for The CW to try something like that, centered on a blind detective. She’s not exactly a detective, to be honest. But she’s about to become one of some sort. And a beautiful mess. Enough to shake a little bit the detective genre’s tired formula? Also, it comes from Ben Stiller as an executice producer and one of the hottest indie director out there right now Michael Showalter: other positive signs going for it.

How did they come with such an idea, you ask. There’s a story! It originated from the network and its social good program, CW Good, which last year began partnering with the Guide Dogs of America organization to sponsor litters of puppies to be trained as guide dogs. That’s when they thought of a series involving a guide-dog program. So writer Corinne Kingsbury was asked to write a script and tadaaa! Again, it’s a good one and the pilot order makes total sense. The only real problem I see, it’s that it should have been a procedural with a serialized arc to ensure it some longevity. It’s not something I write a lot. It’s probably the first time I’m writing this in fact. But I can’t see where the show will go once the ongoing mystery about the heroine’s best friend is solved. I mean, I know what they will do: start a new one. But remember when Veronica Mars did that… It struggled a lot and it was cancelled after three years. The situation was a bit different since the show was part-procedural too but I see it as an advantage In The Dark doesn’t even have from the start. By the way, I didn’t choose Veronica Mars as an example by chance. A few things reminded me of the Rob Thomas show. It’s even suspicious he’s not involved in this! The story of course, but also the heroine, though she’s way more trashy, and the overall tone that could be described as very witty and cynical, just like Murphy is. And I mean all this as a good thing. It’s a great show to be compared to, isn’t it?

So Murphy. Gosh, I love her already. She’s a disaffected, hard-drinking, promiscuous mess who pushes away anyone who cares for her. Or in other terms: she’s a cold alcoholic bitch bitter than liquor. We don’t meet so many characters like her, especially on The CW. And when it happens, it’s rarely the central one. I can think of a few, but it’s quite daring. Risky also. But I’m not gonna lie: towards the end of the pilot, she becomes self-aware and decides to change a few things in her behavior. It doesn’t mean it will be easy but she promises to try, for herself and for those around her. It might become a feel-good show after all! Anyway. She’s not easy to like but she’s too funny to hate. I’m very curious to see Perry Mattfield’s performance. I don’t know her, she gratuated from acting school just two years ago but she sounds like the new CW discovery everybody will be raving about, like Gina Rodriguez & Rachel Bloom before.

She’s not the only funny character. They all are, especially her parents. And the bond between the three of them, even though it’s damaged at the time, is quite strong and emotional. Some scenes could make us cry! All the people around her love her so much that it’s heart-warming to witness. The same way as The Good Doctor. Oh and for those wondering, the dog is not that important in the pilot, but it adds a little flavour to it and it certainly doesn’t hurt at all. With the mystery comes a cop, of course. He’s called Dean and he has a daughter who happens to be blind too. How convenient! It’s phony, it’s true, but somehow they make it work. Of course, it opens up the possiblity of a love story between Murphy and Dean. Well… It’s almost inevitable, I guess. The mystery helps sending a message about racism, showing the police doesn’t care about black victims, especially when they come from a poor neighborhood. Can’t say it’s dealt with subtlety but at least there’s dignity and a substantive issue behind the fun entertainment that this pilot is.

A blind girl and her guide dog. This is, like, the worst crime solving team EVER“, says Murphy’s roommate Jess at some point. And she’s right! And that’s why In The Dark is an intriguing show in the making, that could surprise and quickly become a tasty pleasure if The CW gives it a chance. I wouldn’t watch it blindly, but it may be worth opening our eyes to it. It has a lot of heart behind a layer of riveting cynicism.

Charmed 2018 (The CW) pilot preview: Is the #STOPCHARMEDREBOOT movement worth the trouble?

Written and executive produced by Jennie Snyder Urman (Jane The Virgin, Emily Owens, MD, 90210, Gilmore Girls), Jessica O’Toole & Amy Rardin (Jane The Virgin, Selfie, The Carrie Diaries, Greek). Based on the 90’s hit series from Aaron Spelling. Also produced by Ben Silverman (Jane The Virgin, No Tomorrow, The Office, Ugly Betty). Directed by Brad Silberling (Jane The Virgin, Dynasty, Reign, Casper, A Series of Unfortunate Events). For The CW & CBS Television Studios. 61 pages. 2nd Revised Network Draft. 2/27/2018.

Description: Three sisters in a college town discover they are witches right after their mother died in mysterious circumstances. Between vanquishing supernatural demons, tearing down the patriarchy and maintaining familial bonds, a witch’s work is never done. Mel, Maggie & Macy will learn it the hard way…

With Melonie Diaz (Fruitvale Station, The Breaks, Nip/Tuck), Sarah Jaffery (Shades Of Blue, Disney’s The Descendants, Wayward Pines), Madeleine Mantock (Into The Badlands, The Tomorrow People), Rupert Evans (The Man In The High Castle), Ser’Darius Blain (Jane By Design, Jumanji), Charlie Gillepsie, Ellen Tamaki

  

Ever since The CW announced they were working on a Charmed reboot back in january 2017 -we were first to break the news and it was a prequel at the time, which is no longer the case- many outraged fans of the original show expressed their discontent -let’s call it like that- around the globe, while the actresses had some harsh words about it on their respective social media accounts. One year later, the network proceeded with a pilot pick-up anyway, that unleashed hell on earth. Original star Holly Marie Combs unloaded a magical amount of tweets to shade CBS -which owns the rights- like this one:

And she went on and on… In the meantime, a group of hardcore fans launched a Twitter campaign called #StopCharmedReboot, hoping it would discourage The CW but so far it didn’t work, as expected: new actresses were hired to play the three new incarnations of the story and a shooting date has been set (it starts march 19 in Vancouver). The movement is still going strong, with people airing their grievances every day but let’s be honest: unless the network is not happy with the finished product AT ALL, it’s gonna get picked-up to series, it’s gonna air next fall, it will get big streaming deals, it will be successfully sold internationally and even the most infuriated fans will take a look at it no matter what they say. The truth is: in the era of peak TV it’s getting harder and harder for your show to get some attention, that’s why there are so many reboots and sequels, and all this fuss about Charmed is helping it more than anything else; any press is still good press, right? If I had one advice to give to people who don’t want this show to work: STOP. TALKING. ABOUT. IT. Indifference is the strongest force in this universe! Right after The Power of Three, of course.

Without any further ado, I’m gonna tell you what I think of this pilot script. But first, just know I wasn’t a huge fan of the original show, I didn’t watch the entire thing, I never considered it as a must-see and I never understood why it was so popular and why it still is. But I have nothing but respect for a show that was able to please such a devoted and vibrant fanbase all around the world. It’s rare and precious. Also, what will follow is MY opinion only, from a business perspective more than anything else. Is it a promising script? Does it have the potential to become a hit for The CW? That’s what I’m interested in. Feel free to comment but please be respectful!

Back when the pilot was picked up in january, the network described it as “a fierce, funny, feminist reboot”, which was understood by many people as a provocation implying that the original show was not fierce, funny and feminist. Well, things have change, time has passed. What was feminist in the early 2000s -“girl power” and everything- looks a bit soft and cheesy nowadays. It was a first step. An important one. Charmed was a good example of female empowerment for little girls but it was no Buffy The Vampire Slayer. I don’t mean to belittle what was accomplished but let’s not rewrite history either. It was not groundbreaking. More than a decade later, in a world with the #MeToo movement -Rose McGowan is a huge part of it and it’s no coincidence- and shows like The Handmaid’s Tale, a straight follow-up wouldn’t have made a lot of sense. We can’t blame the new writers and producers for wanting to be timely. Their goal is to appeal to a new generation -with younger characters- and address the most pressing issues women face nowadays (the “case of the week” part is about a professor who’s a predator). So let me rephrase it: the Charmed reboot is fiercier, funnier and more feminist than the original show. I’m not sure it sounds better but you’ll have to deal with it! That being said, the script tries way too hard to look “woke”. More subtlety wouldn’t have hurt anyone. They’re clearly making a statement here, let’s just hope they relax a little after the pilot, not making it too heavy all the time.

The whole Mel character, the middle sister who’s a passionate feminist and an outspoken activist -with the ability to freeze time- sounds a little too cliché, especially when you add the fact that she’s a lesbian. Hear me out: it’s great there’s a lesbian sister in the show, that’s one of the reasons why this version is modern. BUT it might have been more interesting to give the feminist attribute to another character, so we don’t fall into the usual “feminists are homosexuals (who hate men)” trap. Still, she’s probably the most interesting character here; after the family tragedy, she becomes angry and violent, she loses her way, she loses her girlfriend too -Nico, who’s a detective in Hilltowne- so she adds darkness to a show that’s not light-hearted. Maybe that’s the biggest difference with the original Charmed: it can be funny because the dialogues are sometimes great and inspired -and we recognize the Jane The Virgin team here- but it’s pretty gloomy overall. The family manor is right in the middle of frightening woods, not in a sunny street of San Francisco. The opening sequence leans towards the horrific genre, with jump scares, fog, crows, murder of crows even… Same goes for the end with a Ouija board in the attic, and whisperings… A totally different atmosphere that is closer to Buffy, Riverdale or American Horror Story than good ol’ Charmed.

The younger sister, Maggie, is the complete opposite of Mel. She’s 18, your typical millenial girl who’s worried about her social identity -too bad for her, she can hear other people’s thoughts- and she’s not happy at all to discover that she’s a witch. She has a wry sense of humor and she’s part of a sorority that will probably play a major role in the subsequent episodes, between the mean girls she wants to be friends with and the weird guys that are lurking around her. She will probably become a fan favorite. Last but not least, the older sister who didn’t know she had sisters until recently: Macy, a “science nerd” in her late 20s with a Ph.D. in quantum physics. She’s moving with her boyfriend named Galvin to Hilltowne to do lab work. She possesses the power of telekinesis. Her love story is already totally boring and I’m not sure Gavin will stick around much longer. Finally, there’s Harry, the girls’ “devilishly handsome” advisor, refered to as a “whitelighter” like Leo was, who adds a lot of humor and eccentricity whenever he appears. Think Eliot in The Magicians. But he’s not exactly who he says he is…

You’re probably wondering if the Book of Shadows is still part of the story and the answer is yes. The Power of Three? Yes, of course. Are the Halliwell sisters part of the story or even refered to? Not at all. I don’t think they will ever exist in this version. It’s not a sequel. If the overall tone is darker, they kept most of the original show’s premice. They’re still the most powerful witches ever known, destined to protect both innocents and the world at large from demons and other devil creatures. They didn’t lie: it really is an update of the same concept with characters that are more diverse. It’s not just using the show’s name and popularity to do something totally different. It’s fast-paced, with transitions throughout that consist of three quick cuts which are in fact small slices of each women’s stories. Think How To Get Away Murder. They do something similar. I find it irritating on paper here and it doesn’t add much but why the hell not after all… We’re promised monsters of the week cases as well as ongoing stories about the witches’ love lives while the bigger picture is probably kept for later, once they will be familiar with their powers.

The Charmed fans will be pissed to read this but this pilot script is pretty decent. It’s not an insult to the original though they’re doing like The Halliwells never existed (and some might find that insulting, I get it). It’s modern and as feminist as they claimed, though subtlety is not their strong suit. The characters have things to say and stories to tell that should be heard in those troubled times. In other words, it’s not revolutionary in any way but it’s not the trainwreck haters would like it to be and there’s really nothing to rally against. Ignore it, don’t watch it, just let it be. There are more important battles worth fighting for.