Now that television has become a more mature and popular medium, it’s time to take viewers deeper inside the television creation process. And what better way to kick things off than to take a look at television pilots each network has picked to potentially fill their 2013-2014 programming schedule?
76 television pitches have been selected to film their pilots - in hopes of being one of the few to make it to air - while less than 20 will actually receive a series order. Below you’ll find a veritable treasure trove of Hollywood talent, from J.J. Abrams and Roberto Orci to Will Ferrell and Charlize Theron, who are all vying for the highly coveted – and extremely limited – network timeslots.
Although the networks’ official selections won’t be announced until May, and viewers’ input or opinions mean absolutely nothing to the actual selection process, let’s see if it’s possible to pick out the potential winners before the networks make their picks.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the pilot orders:
ABC – 14 pilots (7 comedies; 7 dramas)
CBS - 16 pilots (9 comedies; 7 dramas)
CW – 8 pilots (all dramas)
Fox – 13 pilots (7 comedies; 12 dramas)
NBC – 24 pilots (15 comedies; 9 dramas)
As you check out the list of pilots below, make sure to note which network the show would be on (to judge tone and potential appeal); who is actually behind the show (whose vision is being followed for the story); and what the the intended plot is. Most importantly, make sure to vote for the shows you’d actually watch.
How the Hell Am I Normal?
From: Adam F. Goldberg (creator, Breaking In)
Plot: A dysfunctional Wonder Years set in the simpler times of the 1980s, inspired by Adam F. Goldberg’s childhood.
From: Jon Lucas and Scott Moore (writers, The Hangover)
Plot: A high-concept single-camera comedy from the writers behind The Hangover set in the world of a sexy Manhattan bar chronicling the exploits of singles in search of love — all over the course of one night.
From: Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky (writer, Bad Teacher)
Plot: The story of three dysfunctional women in their 30s living their lives the way they want, even if society tells them they should have it all figured out by this point.
From: Simeon Goulden (creator, Spy (UK))
Plot: Based on the British series of the same name, a well-intentioned father of a highly-intelligent and verbal son, who also happens to be his complete opposite, inadvertently takes a job at the secret service in order to prove himself a worthy father.
Cast: Rob Corddry
Rob Corddry, star of the ABC pilot Spy, on Adult Swim’s Children’s Hospital.
Super Fun Night
From: Rebel Wilson (Bridesmaids) and Conan O’Brien
Plot: Revolves around three nerdy female friends on a “funcomfortable” quest to have “super fun” every Friday night.
Cast: Rebel Wilson, Kelen Coleman, Kevin Bishop, Lauren Ash, Liza Lapira
From: Emily Halpern (writer, Private Practice) and Sarah Haskins
Plot: A reformed party girl finds herself with an instant family when she falls in love with a man who has three manipulative children and two judgmental ex-wives.
Cast: Bradley Whitford, Malin Akerman, Marcia Gay Harden, Michaela Watkins, Natalie Morales, Ryan Lee
The Untitled Cullens Project
Team: Mark Cullen and Robb Cullen (writers, Las Vegas)
Plot: When Terry Gannon, a recently divorced, single mother, temporarily moves in with her estranged father (James Caan), a beer swilling former baseball player, she reluctantly starts coaching her son’s underdog little league team and is drawn back into the world of sports she vowed to leave behind.
Cast: James Caan
From: David Zabel (producer, ER)
Plot: A beautiful but unhappily married female photographer begins a torrid affair with a lawyer for a powerful family. When he turns out to be defending a murder suspect who is being prosecuted by her husband, the relationship and the case begin a spiraling series of betrayals with cataclysmic results for everyone involved.
From: David Shore (creator, House)
Plot: A former cop who’s now a cunning but charming low-rent lawyer uses his street smarts to work the system for his clients while battling his own demons and wooing his ex-wife.
From: Kyle Killen (creator, Awake)
Plot: Provocative workplace ensemble centered on the complicated relationship between two brothers who head a unique agency designed to attack their clients’ problems using the real science of human motivation and manipulation.
After Lone Star and Awake, will Kyle Killen find a new home at ABC?
From: Hannah Shakespeare (writer, The Raven)
Plot: It’s hard to fit in when you’re the only woman in the notoriously male Texas Rangers, but that doesn’t stop Molly Parker — our ballsy, beautiful badass who knows how to get to the truth and isn’t afraid to ruffle a few feathers on her way there. Based on the Argentine series Mujeres Asesinas.
From: Aaron Zelman (writer/producer, The Killing)
Plot: What happens when the people you have mourned and buried suddenly appear on your doorstep as if not a day’s gone by? The lives of the people of Arcadia are forever changed when their deceased loved ones return.
From: Joss Whedon (writer/director, The Avengers)
Plot: Based on Marvel Comics’ secret intelligence organization that has appeared in countless titles including Iron Man, Captain America and The Ultimates since being introduced in the 1960s. The military law-enforcement agency’s moniker stands for Strategic Hazard Intervention Espionage Logistic Directorate, which also has evolved over time in the comics.
Cast: Ming-Na, Clark Gregg, Brett Dalton, Elizabeth Henstridge, Ian De Caestecker, Chloe Bennet
From: Byron Balasco (writer/producer, Without a Trace) and McG
Plot: A soap about the haves and the have-not’s of California’s most seductive city, Venice. The drama will focus on two rival families and a forbidden and dangerous romance emerging between them as the two families battle for control of Venice.