Are you ready for the new fall shows?
If your answer is “yes,” then you are crazy. It’s not even spring, silly! And the fall lineup is still far from determined.
But here at Hollywire we like to think ahead, and there’s all kinds of news swirling about who’s starring in which pilots, giving us some idea of what we might see on TV when the biggest shows of the year land come September. Of course, every network orders more pilots than they can actually air, so a few of these will definitely be getting the axe... while there's basically no way a TV spinoff of last year's biggest movie from one of the biggest names in TV won't be hitting the small screen.
We've handily separated the pilots into "yes," "no," and "maybe" piles. Here's the shows we're excited about and the ones we don't expect to ever see the light of day...
THE “YES” PILE
1. S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC)
The TV spin-off of The Avengers ― perhaps you’ve heard of it ― created by Joss Whedon ― perhaps you’ve heard of him. It’s about the Marvel Comics agency behind the action in such blockbusters as Iron Man and Captain America, and it's by the guy who did Buffy The Vampire Slayer. So yeah, we kind of think a few people might watch this.
2. The Crazy Ones (CBS)
Speaking of Buffy… Sarah Michelle Gellar will pop us, um, Robin Williams’ daughter in this workplace comedy set in the advertising world. Any time Sarah returns to TV, we get excited, though we never really saw her as a CBS gal, so consider this a recommendation with reservations. We’ll just have to wait and see what the chemistry between these two is like…? Because honestly, we have a hard time picturing it.
3. Pulling (ABC)
Another revamp of a British series, Pulling stars Kristen Schaal, June Diane Raphael, and Jenny Slate as women who refuse to follow conventional paths in their 30’s. Bad news for fans of Mandy Moore ― she recently pulled out of the project. Good news for fans of TV that’s actually funny ― all three of these ladies write and perform comedy, so there’s plenty of talent involved. We’re totally pulling for Pulling.
4. Halt & Catch Fire (AMC)
Technology origin stories are all the rage! Following The Social Network and jOBS, this pilot is set in the ‘80s and chronicles the rise of personal computers, with the typical corruption and greed that accompanies such tales. What with Mad Men, Breaking Bad, and The Walking Dead, we're willing to go with AMC pretty much anywhere.
5. Super Fun Night (ABC)
There are really only two words you need to know about this show: Rebel and Wilson. The premise, about three dorky girlfriends, is pretty thin ― it follows their quest to have fun every Friday night. (Presumably, not sitting in front of ABC's defunct TGIF lineup on a weekly basis.) But on the plus side: Rebel Wilson.
THE “MAYBE” PILE
1. Mom (CBS)
An Anna Faris sitcom has been a long time coming. She plays a recovering alcoholic (and, yes, a mom) making it work in Napa… so why isn’t it a bona fide “yes”? It’s from the creator of Two And A Half Men, unfortunately... a predictable brand of humor that doesn't seem to suit Anna's zany talents.
2. Reckless (ABC)
It’s about a man who acts (we’re guessing) recklessly when his wife gets imprisoned out of the country in what sounds like an Argo-like uprising. Edgy political thriller is a winning formula with Homeland, so keep ‘em coming! (If they’re good.)
3. Assistance (NBC)
A show about assistants doesn’t get us all that jazzed, but this one stars the talented Krysten Ritter and is based on a play by Leslye Headland, the writer of the wickedly funny Bachelorette. Promising enough.
4. Human (Fox)
As if J.J. Abrams really needs another show on TV. Karl Urban stars as a real cop partnered with an android in the not-too-distant future. He co-stars with Minka Kelly and Lili Taylor. Sounds like it could be kinda cool, but shouldn’t he be focusing on reviving the most beloved franchise of all time, Star Wars? Does he really have time for this?
5. Mixology (ABC)
The writers of the original Hangover bring another boozy-flavored entertainment to the masses ― the story of ten singles at a Manhattan bar (five of each gender) who take stabs at romance over the course of one night.
6. Gothica (ABC)
Frankenstein’s monster, Dracula, Jekyll & Hyde, and more come together for this Once Upon A Time-y soap set in modern times. Kinda gimmicky, but it just might work if they give these familiar legends an original spin and focus on character over cliché.
7. Brenda Forever (NBC)
Bridesmaids’ Ellie Kemper stars as a woman whose life we see as both 13 and 31 year old in chronicling how she became the woman she is today. Just enough of a twist on the standard sitcom formula to intrigue us, plus we’re willing to give Ellie a shot at carrying her own show.
8. The Selection (The CW)
And the Hunger Games rip-offs come rolling in… a tough young working-class girl is chosen to compete with her peers for the hand of the prince, while a large-scale rebellion builds and she is torn between societal expectations and true love. At least Buffy The Vampire Slayer’s Giles, Anthony Stewart Head, adds a little bit of novelty to this rather familiar setup…
9. Delirium (Fox)
Another Hunger Games-ish setup depicts a world where love is outlawed, starring Emma Roberts as girl who, yes, falls in love. Gasp. Maybe this will be cool, maybe it'll be melodramatic and whiny...
10. The 100 (The CW)
Nearly a century after nuclear catastrophe ended life as we know it, a group of attractive youngsters (of course!) is sent to repopulate Planet Earth. The CW has a whole bunch of high-concept shows with futuristic or supernatural elements, and they can't all make it on the air. Can this one really set itself apart from the pack?
11. Friends With Better Lives (CBS)
James Van Der Beek and Entourage’s Kevin Connolly are two of six friends in their thirties that all envy each other’s lives. We’re sort of down for more Dawson on our TV screens, since he’s proven he was able to poke fun at his image in Don’t Trust The B― and Ke$ha’s “Blow” video.
12. Oxygen (The CW)
Oh, you know, just another show about a forbidden romance between a human girl and an alien boy. Aimee Teegarden and Matt Lanter play the latest variation on the Twilight formula in a show about hot aliens (they’re always hot, aren’t they?) who have been stranded on Earth and imprisoned.
THE “NO” PILE
1. Big Thunder (ABC)
It worked for Pirates of the Caribbean… ABC has decided that Disneyland’s Big Thunder Mountain rollercoaster also deserves its own spin-off. It takes place in 1800s-era frontier land and is executive produced by the writer of Twilight.
2. About A Boy (NBC)
No network will rest until every single movie ever filmed has been turned into a TV pilot. (See the next two entries for further proof.) This is an adaptation of the Hugh Grant movie (based on Nick Hornby’s book) about a man-boy who pretends to be a father to pick up women. Can that premise really last throughout a whole TV series? Minnie Driver plays the boy’s mom… now we just wonder if young Benjamin Stockham will turn out as strapping Nicholas Hoult did…
3. Beverly Hills Cop (CBS)
Well, here’s a fresh idea. Following his role as the son of another washed up black comedian in a cop franchise past its prime (Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son), poor Brandon T. Jackson stars as the son of Eddie Murphy’s character who is… a grocer? No, just kidding ― a cop. Eddie will appear in the pilot and probably throughout the series, provided it isn’t canceled upon arrival.
4. Bad Teacher (CBS)
Did you see Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake in Bad Teacher and think, “Man, they have got to make this into a CBS sitcom!” Well, somebody did, because here it is. Obviously the star power is a little lower in TV form, with Ari Graynor as a slightly-less-bad, more CBS-friendly bad teacher. Yay.
5. Influence (ABC)
Christian Slater and Steve Zahn play brothers who go into the business of scientific manipulation together. There’s no real reason this is in the “no” pile except that we just have no reason to be excited about this.
6. Girlfriend In A Coma (NBC)
How much do you want to bet they’ll change this title before series goes to air? Christina Ricci plays a woman who wakes up from a coma after 17 years to meet the daughter she never had. Sounds rife with drama, huh? Well, too bad it's a comedy...
7. Westside (ABC)
A modern-day OC twist on Romeo & Juliet, apparently. Warring families battle for control of Venice… Venice, California, that is. Seriously? It’s hard to imagine much Shakespearean drama coming out of this laid-back beach town.
8. Sleepy Hollow (Fox)
Yep, you guessed it ― a modern-day telling of the adventures of Ichabod Crane… and presumably, a headless person of some kind. But what with Gothica already doing this in a bigger way, it feels like this may be one too many of these modern-day twists on familiar legends and fairy tales. The idea of sitting through this just makes us... well, sleepy.
9. Keep Calm And Karey On (ABC)
ABC, we beg of you, please change that title. Or at least go for Keep Kalm And Karey On, to keep it konsistent! Kelly Preston stars as the only good girl in a family of very bad people, who decides to raise her brother’s family when he is carted off to prison. Wait, this is a comedy? Keep Calm and Cancel is more like it.
10. Occult (A&E)
Produced by Michael Bay… no, wait, don’t stop reading yet!... this pilot stars Josh Lucas and Lynn Collins and is penned by former X-Files writer James Wong, who explores familiar territory here. Josh will play an FBI agent searching for an important woman in his life who disappeared, partnered with a female… sound familiar? Okay, you can probably stop reading now.
Which potential fall show has your interest?
And which do you hope never sees the light of day?
Photos Courtesy of Fameflynet