Tag: warrior

NBC | 2015/2016 Pilot Season: The Best & Worst

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Before NBC reveals its new schedule next Sunday, here’s the best & worst of their pilot season ! Just my humble opinion.

BLINDS

DRAMAS

1. BLINDSPOT – Ordered to series

an high octane thriller with two kick-ass characters at the center of it, that will please those who like action scenes as much as those who are more into suspense and mysteries. It’s a no-brainer pick-upFull preview here

2. THE PLAYER – Ordered to series

it’s fast-paced, it’s dark, it’s twisted, it’s smart and it’s kind of fun. There is a mythology behind, a lot questions to be answered, a lot of characters whose motivations need to be explained and the promise of a thrilling ride.Full preview here

3. GAME OF SILENCE – Ordered to series

 “this one is probably the hardest to sell on this network. Not only because it’s the darkest, with less action and more psychology -which is definitely a good thing- but because it’s heavily serialized with just one little procedural element.” Full preview here

4. THE CURSE OF THE FUENTES WOMEN – Officially Dead

mostly ridiculous, with some crazy scenes (…)  but that’s exactly what makes the show attractive at the same time.Full preview here

5. SHADES OF BLUE – Ordered to series

It’s basically a female character driven procedural that tries to be a little bit more. Jennifer Lopez may have found the right vehicle to remind people she’s not just a singer and an American Idol judge.” Full preview here

6. LOVE IS A FOUR-LETTER WORD – Has a shot

the closest thing to Empire any network has to offer as of now. It is very different in many ways but NBC certainly has something to play with here. But they should not expect the same ratings.Full preview here

7. HEARTBREAKER – Ordered to series

as cheesy as it sounds. But I’m not saying it’s a total mess. In fact, it’s quite solid. But for a show developed during 2004/2005 pilot season (and I may be indulgent), not 2015/2016.Full preview here

8. WARRIOR – Has a shot

it’s not fun, most of the time. It’s not emotional (…) the perfect example of those projects not worth a pilot order that get it anyway for whatever mysterious reasons.Full a preview

9. UNVEILED – Looks dead

should never ever see the light of day. Not on a network. Not in 2015. Not in real life! Full preview here

 

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COMEDIES

1. STRANGE CALLS – Officially Dead

“Really different, really special, really funny. Loved it! Maybe not broad enough but definitely a keeper!”

2. SUPERSTORE – Ordered to series

NBC desperately needs a broad comedy that can please low and middle class America as much as well-educated viewers, young and old people, blacks and whites and latinos… Superstore can be this one.Full preview here

3. TELENOVELA – Ordered to series

“It’s not as good as Desperate Housewives was when it started and it’s different in many ways but it’s good enough to entertain us once a week and do the trick, but for how long?”  Full preview here

4. HOW WE LIVE – Has a shot

“Not as original as it wants to be, but pretty funny overall. Tries too hard to be the next Modern Family, but can’t blame them.”

5. UNTITLED SUZANNE MARTIN PROJECT – Ordered to series

“Isn’t it a waste of Carrie Preston’s huge talent? A multicamera comedy is not really where we want to see her, but she certainly can improve the material, which is not bad to begin with. Just déjà vu.”

6. TAKE IT FROM US – Looks dead

“Some sort of How I Met Your mother type of comedy, by one of How I Met Your Mother’s writer. Found the characters really cool. Wouldn’t mind watching it.

7. NOT SAFE FOR WORK – Looks dead

Most of the pilot is about embarrassing scenes with awkward people you’re slowly falling in love with. I’m not sure there’s really a show in there, it’s too much of a love triangle and not much of anything else, but it’s not bad at all. Just not what NBC needs right now.”

8. PEOPLE ARE TALKING – Ordered to series

“Too much. People are talking too much! This multicamera comedy has an interesting diversity cast element -blacks, asian, white- and some really funny lines but in the end, it’s not a show and characters I feel like I want to go back to.”

9. SHARING – Looks dead

Too geeky, definitely not broad enough. Might be cool. Might be fun. But won’t last long. That’s old NBC.”

10. PROBLEM CHILD – Has a shot

With Bishop, the famous Problem Child, talking directly to the camera all along the episode, you can’t keep thinking about Malcolm. The show has a hard time becoming its own thing. And the cast is not crazy attractive. It’s a pass for me.

11. CUCKOO (US) – Officially Dead

Have never watched the British show it’s based on, but pretty sure it’s as awful as this one. I mean, Cuckoo is a fucking pain in the ass, whatever the side of the Pond. I didn’t find him funny any second. Just wanted to slap him in the face. The saddest thing is the cast is pretty great (Cheryl Hines & Michael Chicklis, husband and wife!) But please don’t NBC.


What pilots are you rooting for?

Catches of the Week: it’ all about diversity! Vanessa Williams, Laverne Cox, Natalie Martinez…

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While the directors’ jobs are filled quickly, casting is tough this pilot season. Because of the increasing competition from cable and most importantly digital platforms like Netflix & Amazon, the talent pool of experienced actors is almost empty. The pressure over channels and talent agencies is higher than ever. So far, catches are not impressive. But most of them have something in common: diversity! 

NBC is very high on diversity, something they made pretty clear since their pick-ups of series Telenovela (Eva Longoria) and Shades Of Blue (Jennifer Lopez) and pilots Go, Jerrod Go!, The Curse of the Fuentes women, martial arts Warrior, and Love is a Four Letter Word. They all requires latinos, afro-americans and asian americans in lead roles.

This is how Nadine Velasquez and Cynthia McWilliams have been cast this week in the marriage drama Love is a Four Letter Word which chronicles the collision of race, sexuality and gender roles when three diverse couples put modern marriage to the test. The My Name is Earl alumna will play play Rebecca, a Cuban American who is deeply in love with Julie and very happy with their marriage, but doesn’t realize her wife is actively considering getting back together with her ex, Nick. McWilliams will play Tandi, one half of a happy couple with a young son who is experiencing difficulties fulfilling her dream of having another child. Hot Adan Canto, seen in The Following and Mixology, got the part of the mysterious man who brings the Curse to the Fuentes women in the pilot from Ugly Betty creator Silvio Horta. Natalie Martinez, most recently seen in Under The Dome, will star in Warrior as Kai Forrester, a damaged heroine who works undercover with physical and spiritual guidance from a mysterious martial arts master to bring down an international crime lord. Finally veteran S. Epatha Merkerson from Law & Order is reuniting with producer Dick Wolfe with a lead role in the Chicago Fire and Chicago PD planted spin-off Chicago Med. She will be the head of the hopistal.

LAVERNE

In other diversity casting news, Vanessa Williams from Ugly Betty and Desperate Housewives will play the bold and unapologetic new boss of Kevin Connolly (Entourage) in comedy pilot Fantasy Life for FOX, where Mitch (Connolly) lands his ultimate dream job hosting a fantasy football show, he’s forced to navigate office politics while becoming the star he never thought he could be. Asian American actor Daniel Henney has joined the Untitled Criminal Minds spin-off with Gary Sinise & Anna Gunn. Last but really not least, Laverne Cox, discovered in Orange is the new black, got the part of a transgender attorney in Reasonable Doubt for CBS. If the show is ordered to series, then she’ll become the first transgender regular character on broadcast TV, which is exciting and groundbreaking.

In other non-diversity news (!), cancelled Perception‘s star Eric McCormack, pursued for different roles, will star in musical drama pilot Studio City for FOX, where he’ll play the songwriter father of a young singer who’s trying to make it big in Hollywood, but the man turns out to be a drug dealer to the stars! Ex-Breaking Bad actress Betsy Brandt wants to prove she can be funny after the Michael J. Fox Show demise, so she accepted one of the female leads in CBS’ Life In Pieces comedy pilot, with Colin Hanks playing one of her siblings. David Lyons (Revolution, The Cape) toplines drama pilot Game Of Silence, which NBC is very high on. Sweet Zach Gildford (Friday Night Lights, Off The Map), coming off Stanistan‘s pilot USA Network sadly just decided not to pick-up to series, lands on ABC in soap pilot Flesh & Blood. Finally, excellent Annie Potts & John Carroll Lynch will play the heroine’s parents in comedy pilot Family Fortune for ABC, where the central character comes out to her family.

First two drama pilots of the season ordered by FOX & NBC (Minority Report…)

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On this day, pilot season can officially begin with orders at FOX & NBC for “Minority Reporter” sequel and magical drama “Warrior” respectively.

It was the most obvious order at FOX because of its pedigree and the big penalty attached, the Minority Report sequel is now officially ordered to pilot. It tells the story of  of one of the three Precogs, 10 years after the end of Precrime in DC, who struggles to lead a normal human life, but remains haunted by visions of the future, when he meets a detective haunted by her past who just may help him find a purpose to his gift. Max Borenstein (Godzilla 2014) has written the script, Kevin Falls (Franklin & Bash, The West Wing) is set as showrunner and executive producer. It is produced in-house by 20th Century FOX Television, Amblin Television & Paramount Television. For the female lead, I personally am rooting for… Archie Panjabi! She signed a talent deal with 20th Century FOX for a lead in one of their next pilots, since her days in The Good Wife are coming to an end this spring. Per Deadline, another project is red hot : Frankenstein, by Howard Gordon & Rand Ravich.

At NBC, it’s a late sale that got the first drama pilot order : Warrior, a magical drama written by David DiGilio, the creator of cancelled too soon Traveler on ABC a few years ago, whose last work is Crossbones, already at NBC. This Universal Television produced project is described as set in a grounded, contemporary multicultural and sometimes magical milieu where a damaged heroine works undercover with physical and spiritual guidance from a mysterious martial arts master to bring down an international crime lord. This is not the first drama in the works with a martial arts component in its story (Badlands at AMC for example). Two pilot seasons ago, NBC already ordered a pilot of that sort, called Bloodlines, which was a disaster on paper.

All eyes are turned towards ABC which is traditionnally the first one to pull the trigger when it comes to pilot orders…