With FOX clearing out dead wood on Tuesday (May 10), bad news for five cancelled shows meant good news for a slew of new pilots.
FOX’s pick-ups began in the late-afternoon with the comedy “The New Girl,” from Liz Meriwether and starring Zooey Deschanel as a school teacher who moves in with three immature young men. In addition to bringing Zooey Deschanel to the network that already employs sister Emily, “The New Girl” stars Jake M. Johnson, Max Greenfield, Hannah Simone and Damon Wayans Jr., though Wayans would have to be recast if ABC decides to renew “Happy Endings.”
Next, FOX snagged its first drama pilots.
“Alcatraz” comes from producer J.J. Abrams and writers Liz Sarnoff, Steven Lilien and Bryan Wynbrandt. The drama, with a time-travel edge, focuses on a crime investigation involving the famous California prison. The ensemble cast features Sarah Jones, Jorge Garcia, Jonny Coyne, Jason Butler, Sam Neill, Parminder Nagra, Santiago Cabrera and Robert Forster.
FOX also ordered “Finder” to series, albeit without a formal pilot. The adaptation of Richard Greener’s “The Locator” series was introduced as a planted spinoff within a recent episode of “Bones.” Produced by Hart Hanson, “Finder” stars Geoff Stults and Michael Clarke Duncan.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, FOX went on to snag the comedy “I Hate My Teenage Daughter,” which stars Jaime Pressley and Katie Finneran.
This is a lot of early pickups considering that FOX isn’t going to announce its schedule until its upfront presentation next Monday.
Several pilots remain in play, including the Ethan Hawke thriller “Exit Strategy,” which may be retooled. Also getting potential tinkering are the comedies “Little in Common” and “Family Album.” There’s also some split on “Locke & Key,” which the trade says is dead, but other sources are reporting could either be shopped elsewhere, or redeveloped as a costly limited event.
In case you missed it, FOX made room for these new shows by canceling “The Chicago Code,” plus “Human Target,” “Breaking In,” “Lie To Me” and “Traffic Light.”
Stay tuned for more information as upfronts week approaches.