The network upfronts used to be a lot more exciting than they were before cable programming began to dominate, and before most new shows were cancelled within a year, and before most people caught up with the decent ones on Netflix if they survived cancellation. Fox got a leg up on the rest of the networks by being the first to announce their new series picks ups, just hours after NBC announced several pilots they weren’t moving ahead with (the only one of interest was the Charlize Theron produced contemporary set Hatfields & McCoys). Fox picked up four new comedies, and four new dramas, and a couple of them, at least, are series we’ve mentioned a few times on Warming Glow.
Perhaps the highest profile pick-up was Brooklyn Nine-Nine, the Andy Samberg/Andre Braugher ensemble comedy pilot from Parks and Rec showrunner Michael Schur about “what happens when a detective who doesn’t take anything seriously gets a new ‘by-the-book’ boss who wants him to grow up and respect the badge.”
In addition to Brooklyn Nine-Nine, on the comedy side, Fox picked up the Christopher Meloni pilot, Surviving Jack, about a boy becoming a man, and a man becoming a father, based on Justin Halpern’s semi-autobiographical book, I Suck at Girls. (Scrubs‘ Bill Lawrence is a producer). Us & Them is the Gavin and Stacey remake starring Jason Ritter and Alexis Bledel about “a young couple, whose path to happily-ever-after is complicated by the screwed-up circus of people closest to them.” Finally, Lawerence’s Scrubs and Cougar Town producing partner, Kevin Beigel, had his new show picked up, as well. Enlisted follows three brothers getting to know each other again on a small Florida Army base and the group of misfits who surround them.
On the drama side, the buzziest pilot pick up is Greg Kinnear’s Rake, based on the Australian series. It centers on “Keegan Deane, one of life’s great addicts, a brilliant and frustratingly charming criminal defense attorney, whose chaotic and self-destructive personal life often gets in the way of his professional one. He takes on the cases that nobody else will touch, ruled by a resolute optimism, belief in justice and dogged determination to defend those who seem beyond redemption – much like himself.” Rake will likely be a mid-season series, that will follow a similar release strategy to Kevin Bacon’s The Following.
Sleepy Hollow, from Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, is a modern-day retelling of Ichabod Crane, a la Once Upon a Time; Gang Related stars Terry O’Quinn as part of a task force assigned to tackle three of Los Angeles’ most violant gangs; and Almost Human is another JJ Abrams series, this one starring Karl Urban and Michael Ealy. It’s set 35 years in the future, when police officers are partnered with highly evolved human-like androids to fight crime.
Of the eight new series, I’m probably most excited about Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Rake, so expect those to be the first two cancelled. NETWORKS.
Here’s your first look at each of the series, compliments of THR.
Us and Them