It was a VERY busy day yesterday with pilot pick-ups. I’ve counted 18 so far (including the two that Josh wrote about earlier), and I don’t believe that the CW or ABC have weighed in yet. You should keep in mind that a pilot commitment does NOT mean the show will go to series; in fact, the odds are against most of these. However, expect that the next few weeks will be dominated by casting news as these pilots begin to get staffed. There will be more pilot commitments, as well, while some of these projects fall apart before they get going.
What do we have among this year’s contenders? A bunch of cop shows, some law shows, family comedies, some remakes and some adaptations. I don’t think anything based on the loglines we’ve been provided so far, really stands out, except maybe Sixth Gun or Blacklist (based on the talent behind it), plus obviously the Beverly Hills Cop television sequel.
Here are short descriptions for each of the pilot commitments. Do ANY of them grab your attention?
1. Beverly Hills Cop — This is perhaps the most high-profile pick-up of pilot season, and it’s one we’ve heard a lot about. Eddie Murphy is producing, and our friend Shawn Ryan is showrunning a continuation of the movie for CBS. The show picks up in the present day where Axel Foley’s son, played by Brandon T. Jackson, will take on wealthy criminals. Eddie Murphy will appear in the pilot.
2. Backstrom — Based on the Backstrom fiction series, this one sounds like another CBS procedural. It follows “an overweight, offensive, irascible detective as he tries and fails to change his self-destructive behavior,” and comes from Hart Hanson, the showrunner for Bones.
3. Friends With Better Lives — A sitcom for CBS, this multi-camera comedy follows a group of 30-something friends who each think the other has it better. It comes from Dana Klein.
4. Untitled Sean Hayes Sitcom — The good news for this NBC sitcom is that it comes from Victor Fresco, the guy behind the amazing Better Off Ted. The bad news is that it’s a multi-camera sitcom. The iffy news is that it stars Sean Hayes (Will & Grace). The logline is fairly generic: It’s about a guy who must figure out how to parent his 14-year-old daughter, who just moved in, while navigating a temperamental new boss at work.
5. Rake — In addition to the two pilots Josh already wrote about, Fox also picked up a Greg Kinnear series, based on an Australian series. It sounds like another legal procedural, but this one will be QUIRKY. It “follows the chaotic and comedic life of criminal defense lawyer Keegan Joye (Kinnear). Brilliant, frustratingly charming, and with zero filter, Keegan is one of life’s great addicts. His staggering lack of discretion and inability to self-censor land him the cases that nobody else wants, but behind that lies a resolute optimism and belief in justice that fuel his dogged determination to defend those who seem beyond redemption.”
6. Untitled Rand Ravich Drama — Rand Ravich is not a name you may have heard, but he was the guy behind the amazing Damian Lewis cop show, Life. He’s making a pilot for NBC, which again sounds fairly generic: It “follows an idealistic Secret Service agent who finds himself at the epicenter of an international crisis on his first day on the job. He will need to cross moral and legal lines as he navigates the highest levels of power and corruption on his search for the truth.”
7. Sixth Gun — This NBC drama comes from our old pal Carlton Cuse (Lost). It’s based on a graphic novel of the same name and it is the “story of six mythical guns in the Old West. When the Sixth Gun, the most powerful and dangerous of the group, resurfaces in the hands of an innocent girl named Becky Montcrief, dark forces reawaken. Vile men thought long dead set their sights on retrieving the gun and killing Becky. Only Drake Sinclair, a self-serving gunfighter, stands in evil’s way.”
8. DJ Nash Sitcom — The half-hour comedy, from Jason Bateman’s production company, is loosely based on DJ Nash’s life, centering on “a son idolizing his blind father and bemused by his mother’s newfound adolescence who watches his family come closer together post-divorce.”
9. Girlfriend in a Coma — This NBC show is not based on the life of Manti Te’o, but rather about a woman who was in a coma for 17 years and wakes up to find out she has a 17-year-old daughter from a pregnancy she was unawares of.
10. Holding Patterns — An an ensemble multi-camera comedy for NBC about a group of friends whose lives completely change after they survive a plane crash.
11. Blacklist — John Eisendrath (Alias) is behind this NBC drama that “centers on the world’s most wanted criminal who mysteriously turns himself in and offers to give up everyone he has ever worked with. His only condition is he will only work with a newly minted FBI agent with whom he seemingly has no connection.”
12. The List — The List comes from Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland). The Fox thriller centers on “Deputy U.S. Marshal Dan Shaker who, when members of the Federal Witness Security Program start getting killed, leads the hunt for the person who stole “the list” – a file with the identities of every member of the program.”
13. Sleepy Hollow — The Fox drama comes from Alex Kurtzman and Bob Orci, and it’s basically Once Upon a Time set in the Sleepy Hollow universe: It’s being described as a modern–day supernatural thriller based on The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow, and “it follows Ichabod Crane as he partners with Sleepy Hollow’s local female sheriff to solve the mysteries of a town ravaged by the battle between good and evil.”
14. To My Assistant — This Fox comedy “revolves around the assistants at a big New York law firm who band together as a family to help each other cope with the obnoxious, overbearing bosses who test their sanity on a daily basis.”
15. Friends and Family — The Fox comedy is based on the British series, Gavin & Stacey and chronicles “the long-distance relationship between a man from England (Matthew Horne) and a woman from Wales (Joanna Page) who start off talking on the phone. They eventually decide to meet, and hit it off — but must navigate their eccentric families and friends.”
16. House Rules — ANOTHER Fox sitcom (this doesn’t bode well for Fox’s entire slate of existing sitcoms, save for New Girl), this one “centers on a neurotic family with contempt for all things normal that tries their best to fit into their small Midwest town where everyone knows each other and politeness reigns.”