What new shows networks should order and why? [2018/2019 edition]

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

Click on the series titles for full reviews when available

DRAMAS

They should order…

THE ROOKIE | Ordered to series | ABC’s next potential hit! It’s exactly the kind of cop show that would work for them, and not only because it’s starring Nathan Fillion (Castle). It’s fresh, funny and actiony, with characters you instantly care about, plus a touch of soap. An on-brand no-brainer, that should please the international buyers by the way.

A MILLION LITTLE THINGS | Ordered to series | The closest thing to This Is Us that we’ll get next year. Whether the comparison is a good thing or not has yet to be seen, but it’s the kind of show that makes your heart jumps a little, your eyes cry a little… It’s a beautiful and precious dramedy with a solid cast (David Giuntoli, James Roday, Romany Malco) and enough mystery to make you come back week after week. Already a must-see! Also, it could appeal to both men and women, which is not that easy.

WHISKEY CAVALIEROrdered to series | With a strong script, an attractive cast (Scott Foley & Lauren Cohan) and an upbeat tone, this is a very serious contender at ABC, a damn fun ride. Take Castle, change the “police” part by an “espionage” part, bet on the jokes, step on the gas, improve the budget, put on sexy clothes and you get Whiskey Cavalier. Don’t expect the best treatment for it, it’s not produced in-house, but it should be a solid midseason offering.

FALSE PROFITS | In consideration for midseason | A fun soap, mostly comical, darker at times, that takes us back to ABC’s glory days when Desperate Housewives, Grey’s Anatomy, Brothers & Sisters & Ugly Betty were all on the air at the same time. Does it belong to the past or does it have a future on a network that changed a lot since then? Crossing my fingers so it can find a place in the schedule and in the audience’s heart. It’s not revolutionary but it sends the right message at the right time, with a cool cast (Bellamy Young, Vanessa Williams) and a feel-good vibe.

THE FINEST |  Passed on | This one looks exactly like what ABC needs on paper: a character-driven, female-fueled soapy drama, with police elements on the side, targeting a large audience, including an african-american demo mourning Scandal’s Olivia Pope. The script is not perfect but that’s a cop show that could please those who are not into it usually. Definitely worth a try.

They shouldn’t order…

FOR LOVE | Passed on | Because it’s tragically bad. And also because if they see it as a successor to Once Upon A Time, then they should know 1/ It’s not 2/ They don’t need one.

GRAND HOTEL | Ordered to series | Because it’s just another basic soap like we’ve seen too many, that is not even good. It’s not as funny as it wants to be; there’s no fresh angle to make it distinctive; I wouldn’t even air it on Lifetime to be honest. It’s just rich people doing rich people things while being nasty, and I think nobody want to watch that anymore these days.

 

COMEDIES

They should order…

SCHOOLED | Ordered to series | A surprise pick-up after ABC decided not to order it last year, which makes a lot of sense since it’s The Goldbergs’ spin-off. The 90s-set comedy is still a strong show for them. Set at an high-school around three teachers and their students, Schooled won’t be your typical ABC family comedy. If the network has to try something different -and they did multiple times in the past without success- it’s the right way to go. A safe bet.

STEPS | Passed on | ABC has too many traditional families in their comedies and Splitting Up Together proves there is a place for less traditional ones. Steps is about a blended family, with four adults in three houses raising three kids after two divorces… together. The cast is strong (Ginnifer Goodwin, Kyle Bornheimer, Barry Rothbart) and the script is hilarious. It’s certainly edgier -a storyline in the pilot revolves around a condom and the son losing his virginity- but the audience is ready for it, I’m sure. Don’t be a pussy, ABC.

SINGLE PARENTS | Ordered to series | Another non-traditional family comedy, where a group of single parents lean on each other as they raise their kids and look for another chance at love (or at least sex). Another great script with a strong cast (Taran Killam, Leighton Meester, Brad Garrett) that should be given a chance. Even though there a few similarities with Steps, it’s different enough so both can be ordered. What if it was the next Modern Family? ABC badly needs one.

THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT | Ordered to series | ABC needs a safer option and this one is, plus it’d be the perfect companion for Roseanne, though it’s not a multicam. It’s set in the 1970s -a time period the network hasn’t explored yet- and revolves around an Irish-Catholic family with a working-class dad, traditional mom and eight boisterous sons who navigate changes big and small during one of America’s most turbulent decades. Not a big fan of the script but Michael Cudlitz & Mary McCormack should sell it.

They shouldn’t order…

THE GREATEST AMERICAN HERO | Passed on | Even if the project has the best intentions -an indian female lead, an ambitious and unusual concept- it’s too off-brand to be a serious contender at ABC. Part-superhero show, part-workplace comedy, part-family comedy, it wants to be everything and it fails at being convincing on every aspect. It’s a pass. FOX should have kept it for themselves.

HOW MAY WE HATE YOU | Passed on | As a 2 Broke Girls fan, I’d love to have Kat Dennings back on my TV on a weekly basis, especially since she’s asked to play more or less the same character, but this comedy about two inseparable guest-services associates who work at a high-end resort property, doesn’t fit with the alphabet network at all. They wouldn’t know what to make of it. It’s a pity because the script is really funny but I don’t see any future for it there.

 

 

DRAMAS

They should order…

NEW AMSTERDAM | Ordered to series | NBC didn’t need a new medical drama since they already have Chicago Med and the marketplace seems to be crowded with them these days- Grey’s AnatomyThe Good Doctor of course, but also Code Black , The Resident, plus 9-1-1 & Station 19 kinda are too to some extant- but it was probably too good a script to pass on. Besides this terrible title, this show has a good chance to work, though it may miss the thing that will make it distinctive.

THE VILLAGE | Ordered to series | A high-concept yet simple relationship drama like no other right now, that’s totally in sync with the “feel good” trend and inclusion television is experiencing with shows such as This Is Us & The Good Doctor. The residents of this Brooklyn building are the epitome of a chosen family and I have a feeling viewers will choose to be a part of it as well. It’s tailor-made for the post-This Is Us slot, but NBC likes to do the opposite of the common sense so…

L.A.’S FINEST |  Passed on | Among the trends in this year’s pilot season, there’s the female partnering. This Bad Boys spin-off fits perfectly in this category and it’s clearly the best one of the crowd. NBC definitely has with Gabrielle Union & back-from-the-dead Jessica Alba the strongest pairing out there! An action-packed, humoristic, character-driven procedural that hits the right spot at the right time and comes off as a no-brainer pick-up for NBC. It’s very much Lethal Weapon Female Edition, though it might be a little darker.

THE GILDED AGE | Ordered to series | From the creator of Downton Abbey Julian Fellowes, this show is in the works for ages and it’s finally coming sometimes in 2019. It’s a period piece about a wealthy family in 1880s New York. It will probably skew old but it’s a huge opportunitu for NBC. Downton Abbey had more than 10 million viewers on PBS… It’d be perfect for sunday night.

They shouldn’t order…

THE BETWEEN | Ordered to series | NBC desperately needs a procedural show produced in house, that’s a fact. And The Between has what it takes to potentially work internationally and make money without costing too much. But with no original hook, no star, no ambition and no fun, it’s more of a snoozefest that won’t last long on the US territory. They’d better bet on more original concepts that would at least make them look courageous and relevant. Making the same shows as in the 90s & 00s is not the solution.

MANIFEST | Ordered to series | Talking about original concept, Manifest fits this category. Yeah but it’s actually a waste of a good concept. It’s the perfect example of a high-concept mystery show that won’t be able to sustain its premise and will lose viewers week after week. Not even sure viewers will show up for the pilot with such a weak cast. It’s no Lost. NBC doesn’t need it.

COMEDIES

They should order…

ABBY’S | Ordered to series | From the man who brought us Parks and Recreation and The Good Place -already a good reason to have faith in it- this multicamera comedy is set at an unlicensed bar in San Diego where the regulars enthusiastically enforce a unique set of rules that give them a sense of community and allow them to avoid the frustrating behavior found at other establishments… it’s fun, really fun, it’s emotional at times, it’s uplifting, it has a strong potential… Make it happen NBC!

LIKE FAMILY | Passed on | From all the multicamera options NBC has this year, this one is the best fit with Will & Grace. it’s coming from the same team and it has a similar story: Aubrey and Artie formed the tightest of sibling-like bonds growing up together in foster care, but are discovering that such closeness makes adulthood even more complicated… The script is not entirely great but anyone who watched You’re the Worst know that the actors they chose for the lead parts -Kether Donahue & Brandon Mychal Smith- are hilarious and will certainly improve the material. Plus, they’re really modern and different.

BRIGHT FUTURES | Networks -especially NBC- will never stop looking for the next Friends. Bright Futures is a serious candidate, but it’s more of a mix between Happy Endings & How I Met Your Mother. It’s about a group of friends who are stumbling through the transition from the clueless, immature 20-somethings they are now, to the successful professionals they have the potential to be. It’s produced by Blackish & Grownish creator Kenya Barris and the female lead is played by social media star Emily Ratajkowski. Meaning young people may check it out…

They shouldn’t order…

I FEEL BAD | Ordered to series |  Queen Amy Poehler is behind this show about one woman’s hilarious unfiltered take on the side effects of trying to have it all. I’m not sure on the “hilarious” part, but funny it is and insightful even more so. Universal should sell it somewhere else ‘cos it doesn’t fit with NBC’s brand, though who knows what their brand is exactly…

GUESS WHO DIED |  Passed on | Hector Elizondo, Christopher Lloyd & Holland Taylor are the stars of this show about old people living in the Las Esperanzado Senior Community in Palm Springs. It’s a passion project from Norman Lear and it’s both funny and sad, being about life but also death. Not exactly an easy sell on a network. Grace & Frankie proved there’s an audience for it though, but probably more on cable or on a streaming platform… I’d love NBC to take a leap of faith with it but I’d love even more Guess Who Died lasting longer than a handful of episodes so…

DRAMAS

They should order…

F.B.I. | Ordered to series | Your go-to procedural, Dick Wolf by the book product. It’s exactly what you expect from him. It fits perfectly with CBS actual line-up and might be the beginning of a lucrative franchise… unless viewers are looking for something else these days, in the era of peak TV. It will probably skew old, even though most of the characters are young, but it’s CBS best chance at success next year, it seems…

MAGNUM, P.I. | Ordered to series | After Hawaii 5-0 & MacGyver, Peter Lenkov updates good ol’ Magnum for CBS. It’s the same show over and over again and there’s no reason why it wouldn’t work at least a little. It’s fun to watch if it’s your kind of fun, and if you’re into very patriotic shows, it’s like heaven for you! The great thing for the eye network is that they can put it anywhere. It’ll do the trick!

They shouldn’t order…

L.A. CONFIDENTIAL | Passed on | Last time CBS tried a period drama, it was Vegas and it flopped hard. I still don’t get why they picked up a pilot for L.A. Confidential. They have a streaming platform called CBS All Access, that’s where this show should end up. No doubt about that.

CAGNEY & LACEYPassed on | This reboot could have been a stepping stone for CBS in the way they portray women characters in their shows, with more complexity and diversity, embracing modernity, but instead they decided to stay stuck in the 20th century with the same old tropes. They want to make you believe it’s different but it’s not. Who are they kidding exactly? It’s just another cop show, a smooth production with no ambition. Just don’t.

GOD FRIENDED ME | Ordered to series | This one is said to be a frontrunner at CBS and I don’t understand why. Similar to Kevin (Probably) Saves The World on ABC this year that didn’t work, it’s quite a funny show, crazy but not too crazy and a bit cheesy; but it’s mostly predictable, which makes it boring sometimes though it always finds a way to become interesting again. It’s uplifting, or at least it wants me. It fits the feel-good trend but it doesn’t fit CBS. Since it’s not produced in-house, it will probably be their midseason option anyway…

COMEDIES

They should order…

HISTORY OF THEMHistory Of Them definitely has a How I Met Your Mother vibe, but it brings something more to the table -authenticity? simplicity?- and hopefully people will go beyond the initial rejection reaction to give it a chance. Plus, it’s exactly the type of comedy CBS needs right now, that will appeal to the millenials. They can’t avoid the fact that The Big Bang Theory will be gone soon. Plus, it’s from the creator of Netflix’s One Day At A Time Gloria Calderon Kellett. Don’t be shy, CBS!

PANDAS IN NEW YORK | It’s about time CBS shows some diversity in their comedy line-up. This one would be a perfect way to do so, since it’s about a family of Indian doctors with a successful group practice in New York City who embark on a project to arrange their youngest son’s life, unaware he’s made plans of his own. The script is really good. Honestly, I don’t think CBS will give it a chance but one can dream…

I MOM SO HARD | This one is a bit like 2 Broke Girls but more like 2 Broke Moms instead. It’s centered on two moms who show how their friendship gets them through being wives and mothers. It’s adapted from a webseries with the same actresses behind and in front of the camera. They’re not stars so it’s a risk but they could become if they’re given a chance to prove how talented they are… Again, CBS will probably choose safer options instead but well… Had to tell you what you’re gonna miss!

They shouldn’t order…

MURPHY BROWN | Ordered to series | The famous investigative journalist and TV anchor at the FYI network Murphy Brown returns to a world of cable news, social media, fake news and a very different political and cultural climate… CBS clearly wanted to jump on the reboot train and the best show they could find to do so was apparently Murphy Brown. It was a good show in the 90s and it’ll certainly be a good show today too. BUT does it really have any appeal? It’s not a sitcom that stayed popular through the years, like Roseanne or Will & Grace did. Young people won’t show up. Not even sure older ones will…

UNTITLED MCAULIFFE COMEDY | Ordered to series |  I get why CBS is excited by this one: they got Damon Wayans Jr. for the lead role. Every network pursued him since the end of Happy Endings and he refused all the offers he got. Why did he accept this one? Still don’t get it. The script is barely okay. But he has a huge deal with CBS studios if it goes to series. Seems like it will, good or not…

DRAMAS

They should order…

MIXTAPE | Passed on | Of course, the best script of the year needs to be picked-up to series. I loved it too much to think otherwise but I also know a romantic musical drama is a tough sell. It’s probably too ambitious to become a huge instant hit, but it doesn’t look like a one-hit wonder either. With already Empire & Star on the air, Mixtape would probably be a good option for midseason with a limited run of 8-10 weeks. Anything less would be heartbreaking…

NO APOLOGIES | In consideration for midseason | Even though this pilot has a few problems, mostly a bit predictable and déjà vu premise, it definitely has potential for the long haul and it’s a great vehicle for Katie Holmes. It has A LOT to say about sexism in the work place, about the glass-ceiling, about being in the public eye and how much the perception is different if you’re a man or a woman, and I hope they won’t shy away from all of this, that they will embrace it and make it an important show in the process. It would come with a perfect timing in a post-#MeToo world.

They shouldn’t order…

GONE BABY GONE | Passed on | Last time FOX mixed the mob with another genre, it was The Mob Doctor, a huge flop. Gone Baby Gone is certainly an improvement over it but it’s not appealing enough to be granted a series order and it deviates a lot from the book and the movie it’s based on. A great chemistry between the leads would help selling it. But I don’t think the pairing of Joseph Morgan & Peyton List would make people sample it in a heartbeat…

 

COMEDIES

They shouldn’t order…

DAN THE WEATHERMAN | In consideration for midseason | Damn, this comedy pilot is a frontrunner but it’s horribly offensive and it comes at the worst time possible. The obnoxious lead character is exactly what we don’t want to see anymore on television. He’s gross, he’s sexist, a bit racist too… I mean, the show will probably try to turn him into a better person along the way but that would require not turning us off from the get go! I don’t see it living more than a few episodes. Big rejection incoming.

 

 

They should order…

CHARMEDOrdered to series | I can’t imagine The CW not picking it up the reboot of Charmed. It’s probably the most talked-about pilot of the season, between the haters that don’t want it to exist and the fans that are curious and ready to give it a chance. The CW needs some buzz these days, and no matter how good or bad the show actually is, it will give them what they’re looking for. And with the expansion on sunday coming, they can’t afford not having it on the fall schedule. Plus, it will sell internationaly like crazy!

ROSWELLOrdered to series | Even though the Roswell reboot is not as a sure thing as the Charmed one, it has promising pilot that manages to introduce strong characters while setting an atmosphere and launching multiple storylines without getting messy in the process. It’s a really good script and the cast seems strong and very CW-esque. It screams mid-season for some reason, though. Maybe The CW wouldn’t want to launch two reboots at the same time…

IN THE DARK | Ordered to series | While Jane The Virgin & Crazy Ex-Girlfriend are almost done, In The Dark could become the next great critical darling dramedy that nobody’s watching. It’s a bit gimmicky but it has a lot of heart behind a layer of riveting cynicism. And Perry Mattfield, the lead actress, could be a great new discovery after Gina Rodriguez & Rachel Bloom.

WAYWARD SISTERS | Passed on | What could doom this Supernatural spin-off is its proximity with Charmed in story and tone. But other than that, it seems to be happily received by the fans, contrary to their previous attempt Bloodlines, and The CW would be dumb not to try it. But The Originals‘ spin-off in the works could also take its place if they don’t want to order two spin-offs…

THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT | Passed on | With iZombie soon to be ending, Rob Thomas could have another show on The CW. If they feel the need to go more procedural, it’s a great candidate. What might doom it? Roswell! Even if the tone is vastly different, they both deal with the same subjects and the reboot has the advantage of being already well-known… But the network needs more funny shows and this one is, a lot.

They shouldn’t order…

DEAD INSIDE | Passed on | This is simply not good at all. Their worst pilot script this year. By far. No need to say more!

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