FX is reportedly retooling their pilot for Powers, and adaptation of the comic book series by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming. While at first glance the word “retooling” might seem like a bad thing, there’s actually more to the story than initially meets the eye.
For those with long memories: Powers was one of a new batch of pilots that FX was considering airing, with the crime drama Outlaw Country serving as its primary competition for the coveted pickup slot. Word is that FX has now decided to pass on Outlaw Country (which, truth be told, sounded a little to much like a Justified clone) and is in fact calling for reshoots on the Powers pilot in order to better prepare the show for broadcast.
Powers takes place in a world where superheroes exist, and the police have a special division dedicated to policing the super powered (or “powers”) community. In this specialized division we find Christian Walker (Jason Patric), a veteran cop with a mysterious past and marked disdain for ‘powers’ culture. At the start of the comic books, Walker is partnered with rookie officer Deena Pilgrim (Lucy Punch), who is overeager but under experienced when it comes to dealing with the legally gray world of superhero vigilantism.
The comic books (and subsequently the show) deal with the usual cop procedural issues, only set against a superhero backdrop. While super hero TV shows have struggled recently (the untimely deaths of Heroes, The Cape, and the never-aired Wonder Woman pilot, for example), Powers is a show that has just the right balance between the realistic and the fantastical to actually work as a series.
In fact, fans of NBC’s Heroes will remember that early episodes of that show (and not coincidentally the highest-rated ones) dealt with similar subject matter: a super powered serial killer, a psychic cop trying to track him down, etc… It was only when the show went “full comic book” that viewers started to lose interest, as the plotlines and characters became too absurd.
I say all that to say: if FX can successfully retool Powers and keep it grounded within the cop procedural format, we might get both an enjoyable super hero show and a refreshing twist on the arguably worn out cop procedural formula (the latest victim of that slump being NBC’s Prime Suspect).
For what it’s worth, Brian Michael Bendis has taken to Twitter to let fans know that despite the retooling, all is well with the series (and that this was a process that FX’s hit show Sons of Anarchy also went through):
heads up. Pretty good news . Same happened to soa
in regard to powers tv: the pilot was crazy expensive and very lovely and shows incredible potential for a long series.
the reshoots are planned for january and are all about tone and clarity. i am very proud of the pilot. as id
@Oeming stay tuned.
a lot of pilots go through this. but they aren’t based on anything so you never hear about it. the network convos this week have been great.
As always, we’ll keep you updated on the status of Powers as it continues its winding journey toward the airwaves.