PILOT WHISPERER: New edition #PilotSeason

First published on December, 07

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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


More to come…


  1. Zach says:

    Can you say anything to the effect of what’s NOT hot (ie: high profile projects that probably won’t get pilot orders?)

  2. With ABC picking up the Marc Cherry project (according to Spoiler TV), and CBS going with Magnolia Springs, I guess this is the year for crime shows in small town America.

    The ABC Doomsday show is interesting but does it have the legs to stick around for a long time? The same question applies for NBC’s Salvation. The other NBC dramas don’t jump out at me, but then neither did the Chicago shows.

    At FOX, will the Marvel show fare better than No Ordinary family? And does Black Lightning bring anything the current DC shows lack? I think I’d rather see them run with their original genre concepts, though I’d probably check out the new DC and Marvel shows when they premiered.

    At the CW, the more I think about it the more skeptical I am about the Charmed prequel working any better than the Sex and the City prequel they tried. And while The Lost Boys is anm ambitious and unique take on the vampire show, I’m still not convinced its the right show for the network. They have better options, in my opinion.

    • Vince says:

      Both Charmed and Lost Boys have competent people running it. At least quality wise you won’t expect it to be trash unlike those teen soaps that CW used to do in the past.

  3. Hunter says:

    I had no idea that The Baby was shooting already, or that it had even gotten a pilot order. They have managed to keep it quiet I guess, because all I can find about it is the pilot production commitment from June, that is mentioned in this article: http://deadline.com/2016/06/amy-poehler-seann-william-scott-comedy-baby-nbc-deal-universal-tv-1201777611/

    Since it’s off-cycle then, what time frame do you think NBC is aiming for? I would suggest late spring with 6 episodes as a possibility (like The Office, Parks and Rec), if NBC’s schedule wasn’t completely full aside from Friday. So, are they aiming for summer (like post-AGT) or fall do you think?

    • Lulla says:

      The shooting has been pushed mid-december to february, right with the other pilots. So it’s running for a spot on the 2017/2018 season.

  4. Bianca says:

    Lula, have you read the new pilot for Powerless? i mean they kinda changed the premise a little bit aparently, so it might hae changed… anyways, if you did read it or know anything about it, do you think it will be succesfull?

    • Lulla says:

      I didn’t. Are you sure they changed it? I know nothing about it, sorry. I still think it can work. And even at a Supestore/The Good Place level, it would be okay.

        • Lulla says:

          Thanks. Well then, yeah, they changed the setting obviously. Which doesn’t look like a good idea, but we’ll see. What I liked about the first pilot was that the heroine stood up for her colleagues so they have better conditions to work. It made it topical. Sad this part is gone.

          High hopes I don’t know but the slot seems to be easy enough to get a second season.

          • Bianca says:

            I think this premise sounds more interesting. They could still use the whole “this boss is terrible to us” idea too! Will you tune in to watch it? I’d love to see your opinions on the pilot at least (:

  5. Robberey says:

    Heard, The Last Policeman is a sure bet at NBC, too, as it was quite competitive and expensive to get the rights to this. Heard something different ’bout that?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *