The following is a list of all the pilots up for consideration for all five major networks. We’ll know in just a few weeks which shows they’ll pick up. The descriptions are taken from EW.com.
Logline: This thriller follows the mysterious disappearance of a group living on a commune in Alaska. Based on an acclaimed Israeli format, a female FBI cult specialist starts an investigation that uncovers a larger conspiracy.
Cast: Julia Stiles, Titus Welliver
The first in a few cult-themed TV shows this year. This entire show will depend on what exactly that larger conspiracy is. There’s no denying I’d love to see Julia Stiles and Titus Welliver in a series together, but will the over arching story deliver?
Logline: In an intense tale of survival, a group of disparate travelers embark on an incredible cross-country adventure through the West, where danger stalks them at every turn.
Cast: Ethan Embry, Bridget Regan
NBC definitely seems to be stepping up their game as far as creativity goes. This can be good only if it’s not overly family friendly.
Do No Harm
Logline: A brilliant neurosurgeon wrestles with his dangerous alter ego that threatens to wreak havoc on his personal and professional life. Cast: Steven Pasquale,Phylicia Rashad
Sounds extremely boring and one dimensional. Based on the description, this can’t carry an entire series.
Logline: From the writing team of 3:10 to Yuma comes this action-driven drama exploring the complex and heroic men and women of the Windy City’s Fire Department.
Cast: Kelly Severide, Peter Mills
Am I the only person shocked there isn’t a procedural on TV about a fire department yet? I’d never actually be invested in something like this, but it might be wise for NBC to kick off a different kind of procedural.
Untitled J.J. Abrams/Eric Kripke Project
Logline: In this epic adventure thriller, a family struggles to reunite in a post-apocalyptic American landscape: a world of empty cities, local militias and heroic freedom fighters, where every single piece of technology — computers, planes, cars, phones, even lights — has mysteriously blacked out … forever.
Cast: Giancarlo Esposito, Andrea Roth
I’m beginning to be very turned off by JJ Abrams. He hasn’t had a single good program since Lost, and all of his science fiction programs seem extremely gimmicky and thin. This is no different.
Logline: Emmy-winning creator Jason Katims takes us into the lives of a group of young doctors, nurses, and administrators in a frenetic underfunded and morally compromising L.A. County Hospital.
Cast: Jason Ritter, Michael Imperioli
So basically every other medical show in the history of medical shows. No thanks.
Logline: From the producers of Shameless, and adapted from the long-running U.K. hit series of the same name, Bad Girls follows the ins and outs of a group of unlikely women in a federal prison: a scandalous female warden, her new protégé and a host of inmates – some mothers, some friends—who struggle with loyalties to people on the inside and the outside.
Cast: Amy Smart, Tracee Ellis Ross, Jamie Pressly
Definitely intriguing and something different for NBC.
Logline: A one-hour contemporary thriller series features the classic characters from Thomas Harris’ novel Red Dragon – FBI agent Will Graham and his mentor Dr. Hannibal Lecter – who are re-introduced at the beginning of their budding relationship.
Cast: Hugh Dancy, Will Graham
Is there really a point to this? I’m not saying it can’t be something interesting, but why not just watch the movie again? Does anyone really think someone can play Hannibal better than Anthony Hopkins? If it can’t be the best, why even do it?
Logline: An opulent soap in which a female detective returns undercover to the wealthy family she grew up in – as the maid’s daughter – to solve the murder of the notorious heiress who was once her closest friend.
Cast: Victor Garber, Tate Donovan, Meagan Good
Basically sounds like an imitation of Revenge. Of course we would love another night time soap, but it’ll need to differentiate itself immediately.
Logline: An imaginative and thematically rich “what if” drama set 10 minutes in the future where families of mechanical human beings exist to service the human population — that is, until some of the mechanicals begin to “awaken.”
Cast: Francis Conroy, James Murray, Tovah Feldshuh
I’m intrigued by anything starring Francis Conroy and definitely see potential here. But what exactly does “10 minutes in the future” mean?
Logline: A modern take on the cases of Sherlock Holmes, with Sherlock now living in New York City.
Cast: Jonny Lee Miller, Lucy Liu, Aidan Quinn
The fact that it’s a modern take defeats the entire point of the show. They should be setting this in the time of the original Sherlock Holmes.
Baby Big Shot
Logline: A working-class woman uses her street smarts to compete with her more polished colleagues at a Manhattan law firm.
Cast: Janet Montgomery, Kyle MacLachlan, Pablo Schreiber
We’ve seen it all before.
Logline: A common-sense mother turns New York state trooper.
Cast: Mira Sorvino
Logline: A show about the making of a man. Tracks one cop’s meteoric rise from officer to detective to police commissioner.
Cast: Chi McBride, Kevin Alejandro, Bonnie Somerville
The making of a man? Huh? CBS at its most privileged.
Logline: After losing three partners in the line of duty, a decorated police detective becomes surrogate husband, lover, and father to their families.
Cast: John Corbett, Natalie Martinez, Jennifer Beals, Paula Marshall
This is laughable.
Untitled Ralph Lamb Project
Logline: A period piece set in the 1960s centered around the true story of Ralph Lamb: rodeo cowboy turned longtime sheriff of Las Vegas.
Cast: Dennis Quaid, Michael Chiklis, Jason O’Mara, Carrie-Ann Moss
Doesn’t sound like anything special, but at least it’s something different for CBS. So naturally, they’ll pass on it.
Logline: Based on Ayelet Waldman’s Mommy Track Mysteries, a former public defender becomes a private investigator to keep from being bored to death as a stay-at-home mom.
Cast: Jay Mohr, Rachelle LeFevre
Logline: A character-driven drama set in the CIA’s New York City station, focusing on a female agent with a very specialized and controversial area of expertise.
Cast: Ali Larter, Hamish Linklater, Bradley Whitford
This horrible logline doesn’t even tell us what that very specialized and controversial area of expertise is. Based on that, there’s nothing to really say about this.
Logline: After being falsely convicted of fraud and stripped of his legal license, a brilliant, morally questionable defense attorney uses his unusual methods to solve the cases he’s been prohibited from handling and ultimately to exact revenge on the man who set him up.
Cast: Cuba Gooding Jr, Jay Harrington, Julian Morris
The second Revenge imitation, but with a guy. I’ll definitely pass on this one.
Untitled Josh Berman Project
Logline: A young female thoracic surgeon with Bridgeport roots is split between two worlds as she juggles her career and her lifelong debt to the South Chicago mob.
Cast: Jordano Spiro, William Forsythe, Zach Gilford, Zeljko Ivanek
What’s with all of Fox’s lame procedural crime dramas this year?
Untitled Karyn Usher Project
Logline: The orphaned 17-year-old daughter of a CIA operative encounters a mysterious rogue agent-assassin, who serves as both her surrogate father and professional mentor in the spy world.
Cast: Julian McMahon, Angela Bassett, Rick Schroder
This literally sounds like someone threw a dart at a storyboard.
Untitled Kevin Williamson Project
Logline: An edge-of-your-seat thriller about the complex relationship between a diabolical serial killer and the damaged FBI agent who took him down. After the killer escaped, the agent is reactivated and discovers that he is no longer just hunting one man, but a massive cult of serial killers created and manipulated during his time in prison. Kevin Bacon is near a deal to star as the agent.
Cast: Kevin Bacon, James Purefoy, Natalie Zea
A weekly TV series starring Kevin Bacon? I’m in.
Beauty and the Beast
Logline: A fantastical reimagining of the classic fairy tale set in a mythical, dangerous world wherein a beautiful and tough princess discovers an unlikely connection with a mysterious beast.
Cast: Alan Dale, Chris Egan, Darius Campbell, F. Murray Abraham
One of two re imaginings of Beauty and the Beast. I’m open to one, but which one can’t possibly be determined by a description.
Logline: After pursuing a seemingly unsolvable case, a female cop discovers a magical world that exists within New York City. A world that goes unseen by normal humans, and takes all of the familiar NYC landmarks and reinvents them in a magical otherworldly manner.
Cast: Brian Cox, Carry Sloane, Lennie James, Megan Ketch
This sounds wonderfully entertaining and imaginative. It will all be based on the execution.
Logline: An international action-thriller-soap that follows the story of establishing a new society in a world held hostage by the crew of a ballistic missile submarine. Basically, a U.S. nuclear sub crew refuses orders to fire their missiles and escapes to a NATO outpost and declares themselves the smallest nuclear nation.
Cast: Andre Braugher, Scott Speedman, Autumn Reeser
Definitely one of the buzziest pilots of the season and with good reason. It’s one of the most unique set-ups of the bunch. I’m very curious about this one.
Logline: A bizarre twist of fate pulls a man who’s spent 20 years as the editor of a skeptics magazine into one of the most compelling conspiracies in human history.
Cast: Anthony Edwards, Michael Nyqvist
Again, anything that claims their show covers “one of the most compelling conspiracies in human history” without even giving a semblance of what that mystery is, is questionable. I’m curious, but not quite as much as I could be.
Logline: Based on the Mexican format, this soap follows four maids with ambition and dreams of their own while they work for the rich and famous in Beverly Hills.
Cast: Ana Ortiz, Grant Show, Susan Lucci, Tom Irwin
Definitely worth a glance, if for nothing else because that cast is wonderful and we’d likely take a shot at anything Marc Cherry has to offer us.
Logline: Based on the Dutch format, Penoza centers on the widow of an assassinated criminal who is forced to adopt her husband’s role in an organized-crime syndicate in order to protect her family.
Cast: Erin Moriarty, Mido Hamada
I almost fell asleep reading that.
666 Park Ave.
Logline: When a young couple accepts an offer to manage one of the most historic apartment buildings in New York City, they unwittingly begin to experience supernatural occurrences, which complicate and endanger the lives of everyone in the building.
Stars: Dave Annable, Rachael Taylor, Terry O’Quinn, Vanessa Williams
Clearly capitalizing on the success of American Horror Story. Regardless, anything starring Terry O’Quinn and Vanessa Williams in the same show is definitely worth a shot.
Untitled Roland Emmerich/Harold Kloser Project
Logline: Set in New York City against the backdrop of the presidential race, a young astrophysics student finds out that his destiny lies not in science but somewhere between hell and heaven.
Cast: Linus Roache, Martin Landau, Gabriella
Engrossing premise and the blending of politics and science fiction/fantasy/supernatural is definitely something that peaks my interest.
Logline: Based on the 1978 novel Scruples that follows the life of Wilhelmina Hunnewell Winthrop, a.k.a. Billy, a previously plump woman who loses weight, becomes fabulously cool, and survives a very rich (and very old) first husband. She ends up opening up a Beverly Hills clothing boutique called Scruples.
Cast: Boris Kodjoe, Chad Michael Murray, Claire Forlani, Gary Cole
Chad Michael Murray stars, which means it’s obviously awful.
Logline: A soap that revolves around a legendary fashion designer and his family and business.
Stars: Annabeth Gish, Anthony LaPaglia, Ashley Greene, Emilie De Ravin, Ken Olin
Wonderful cast but the premise feels a bit thin. We need more information.
Logline: The Nashville music scene provides the setting for this family soap with one star at her peak and one on the rise.
Cast: Connie Britton, Eric Close, Hayden Panettiere, Jonathan Jackson, Powers Boothe
Connie Britton as the lead? Sold.
Logline: Vicious family rivalries, scandalous secrets, and the conflict and comingling of classes take center stage amidst the opening of of NYC’s first luxury hotel in 1895.
Cast: Blythe Danner, John Barrowman, Madeline Zima, Matt Long, Matt Lauria, Sarah Bolger
Props to Shonda Rhymes for making an attempt at something different. Blythe Danner coming to a weekly TV series would definitely get us watching.
The Carrie Diaries
Logline: Based on the novel by Candace Bushnell, a young Carrie Bradshaw comes of age in the 1980s, asking her first questions about love, sex, friendship, and family while exploring the worlds of high school and Manhattan.
Cast: AnnaSophia Robb
Very on-brand with The CW, and this is just the type of show that might get that network out of its rut. I’m not a fan of spinoffs or prequels for the most part (unless you’re a show called Caprica, cancelled way too soon) but this could be the new and better Gossip Girl.
Logline: Drama set at an historic New England summer resort where the new and returning staff attend to the practical, emotional, and often comical needs of the guests while navigating friendships, rivalries, and romances of their own.
Cast: Hannah New, Eka Darville
Sounds like the type of show that could possibly get The CW more of an adult following.
Logline: Based on the forthcoming series of books by Kiera Cass, The Selection is an epic romance set 300 years in the future which centers on a poor young woman who is chosen by lottery to participate in a competition to become the next queen of a war-torn nation at a crossroads.
Cast: Aimee Teegarden
Clearly capitalizing on the massive success of The Hunger Games, The Selection, if done extremely well, can definitely be something great for The CW. Everyone loves a dystopian future story.
Logline: In this romantic time-travel musical, based on the Israeli format Danny Hollywood, a documentary filmmaker travels back in time to the 1990s where she meets and falls in love with the rock-star subject of her film. When she unexpectedly returns to the present day, she must find her way back to the past to reunite with her love and prevent his untimely death.
Cast: Amber Stevens
This sounds like the worst show ever made.
Logline: After a rash of disappearances and a likely murder, an inquisitive, young female production assistant on a wildly popular television show called Cult joins a journalist-blogger in investigating the rabid fans of the series who might be re-creating crimes seen on the program, in real life.
Cast: Matt Davis
Sort of like Castle for teenagers. If that’s the case, we’ll watch, but it’ll need to separate itself from the other cult shows.
Beauty and the Beast
Logline: Loosely based on the CBS’ Beauty and the Beast series from the 1980s, this is a modern-day romantic love story with a procedural twist. (Yes, this is in addition to ABC’sBeauty and the Beast project.)
Cast: Kristin Kreuk
Speaking of separating itself, there clearly can’t be two shows with the same title. So either one of these Beauty and the Beasts will need to change their name, or one of them won’t get picked up, or both.
Logline: Glad to leave her nerdy past behind for a fresh start in the adult professional world, a newly minted doctor discovers that, sadly and comically, life at the hospital where she works is no different than high school.
Cast: Mamie Gummer
When they say adult professional world of course one can only think of the porn industry. Sadly, that sounds more appealing than this.
What We’d Pick Up | Midnight Sun, Bad Girls, Untitled Kevin Williamson Project, Gotham, Last Resort, Zero Hour, Devious Maids, 666 Park Ave., Untitled Roland Emmerich Project, Nashville, Gilded Lilys, The Carrie Diaries, Shelter, The Selection
On The Fence | Both Beauty and the Beast’s, The Frontier, Hannibal, Untitled JJ Abrams Project, Infamous, Elementary, Beautiful People, Untitled Ralph Lamb Project, Americana, Cult
We’d pass on everything else.