NBC, which placed 8th in the ratings last Thursday during “The Firm” (behind even Univision) has picked up several new pilots in an effort to dig itself out of its years’ long hole. The spectrum ranges from “decent idea for a show that won’t be seen because it’s on NBC” to “bad idea for a show that won’t be seen because it’s on NBC.” What we can promise you is that if you eventually love the show, it will most certainly be under a perpetual threat of cancellation. These are, however, only pilot pick-ups, and there’s no guarantee any of them will make it to series. Here are the highlights:
Downwardly Mobile: Roseanne Barr will be making her return to scripted television as a character that sounds very similar to her character in “My Name is Earl.” She would be the “proprietor of a mobile home park and surrogate mother to all of the unique people who live there in a challenging economy.” How timely.
Friday Night Dinner: This one has the best prospects for being an actually good show, as it comes from Greg Daniels (“The Office,” “Parks and Recreation”) and it’s another remake of a British series, this one about “a quirky family that has dinner together every Friday night.” David Koechner is the leading contender for the role of the father, although he’s not really all that “quirky.” Goofy, maybe.
Jimmy Fallon Untitled Project: This one has lame written all over it: It’s a multi-camera sitcom (and thus, most likely a laugh-track show) about “three thirtysomething guys who enjoy the adventures of parenting despite the fact they haven’t grown up themselves.” Yeesh. Just what television needs: More man-children.
County: On the drama side, this one has everything going for it except its premise. One of the best showrunners on television, Jason Katims (“Friday Night Lights,” “Parenthood”) will pull Jason Ritter off of “Parenthood” for this … ugh … hospital drama about “a group of young doctors, nurses and administrators in a frenetic underfunded and morally compromising LA County Hospital.” Another hospital drama is the last thing network television needs, but Katims hasn’t steered us wrong yet.
Daddy’s Girl: “Daddy’s Girl” has a somewhat interesting premise that was the subject of a huge bidding war but that will undoubtedly run out of possibilities by the 11th episode. It’s about “a young woman who returns home from overseas to find her father is seriously dating the ‘mean girl’ from her high school.”
Go On: This one I doubt even moves beyond the pilot stage. It’s about “an irreverent yet charming sportscaster who tries to move on from loss and reluctantly finds surprising solace from the members of his mandatory group therapy sessions.” Nielsen Families hate “irreverent yet charming.”
Next Caller Please: This single-camera gender comedy focuses “on a brash alpha male DJ and his new, plucky, feminist co-host set in the offices of a satellite radio station.” I don’t know about the premise, but it does come from Stephen Falk, a writer on “Weeds” and a former recapper for TelevisionWithoutPity.com, so it’d get the benefit of the doubt.
Animal Kingdom: Basically, it’s Gregory House as a veterinarian. Pass.