The Ten Most Promising Pilots for Fall 2011 (Plus One Guaranteed Bomb)

By: 03.31.11

#3. “Ringer

The words “CBS” and “drama” together are about as appetizing as a three-hour marathon of the same episode of “Osbournes Reloaded” over and over again, but when you also include “Sarah Michelle Gellar,” “Nestor Carbonell” (Richard Alpert from “Lost”), and “boating accident,” my interest perks up. Gellar, who hasn’t starred in a TV show since “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” went off the air in 2003, stars in “Ringer” as a woman on the run who, according to Entertainment Weekly, “hides out by living the life of her wealthy twin sister, until she learns her sibling’s life has a bounty on it as well.” And in a twist that hasn’t been admirably accomplished since Lindsay Lohan in The Parent Trap, Gellar plays both sisters.

#2. “More As the Story Develops

An incomplete list of boring things Aaron Sorkin has made interesting in his career: coders, students from Harvard, Matthew Perry, Mormon farmers, TV politics, lobbyists, and Martin Sheen. With HBO’s “More As the Story Develops” (potentially starring Jeff “Not Bridges” Daniels), he’s starting with a fascinating topic (what goes on behind the scenes at networks like Fox News and CNN), so the sky’s the limit on how good this show could be. Plus, “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip” isn’t nearly as bad as you remember it being.

#1. “The River

Broadcast TV could really use a thriller that keeps people tuning in on a week-to-week basis like “Lost” did—and I don’t mean that we need another “Lost” clone, either, like “FlashForward” or “The Event”. So I’m really pulling for “The River,” which, according to Deadline, “centers on a small group that goes deep into the Amazon in search for [sic] a missing TV explorer.” It’s created by the team who made Paranormal Activity, so expect lots of handheld cameras, and set to star Bruce Greenwood (Star Trek’s Pike) and Eloise Mumford, who sounds like an uptight British nanny but is actually a very talented actress most recently from “Lone Star”.


I can convince myself to give almost every new show a shot. Hey, “Don’t Trust the Bitch in Apt 23” has the girl from “Breaking Bad” in it! How bad can “Grimm” be when it’s made by David Greenwalt? I should at least give “Once Upon a Time” a chance because of “Big Love”‘s Margie.

But not NBC’s “Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea,” based on the literary travesty by Chelsea Handler. The way most people feel about Tucker Max is the way I feel about Handler, except I think she’s done even more to harm to her gender than Max has. Amazing to think that this show will be on the same channel as “Community.”

Around The Web