The Silver Lining | Friday 5: TV pilots

As you probably know if you read this blog, I’m a big fan of TV. My general rule is if it’s about teens, I definitely watch and usually adore it. But I’ll watch almost anything as long as it’s not a law drama, crime-scene investigation, or a medical drama (though I do make exceptions since I somehow still watch Grey’s Anatomy).

I also work in the TV industry (though in the post-production side) so I generally keep up on industry news. Plus, I was once commissioned by a cable network that only did reality to develop a scripted TV show so I’m a big fan of pilot season (even if that particular network decided to stay with reality TV at the time and my pitches never got optioned). I’ve also done visual effects on a few pilots in the past so I really need to know what’s going on in case I get hired to work on one.

I follow pilot season closely because not only does it tell me what I might watch but it shows me what the Hollywood trends are, which may or may not trickle down into book trends. In my case, I seem to be falling smack in the middle of a trend with my book that’s on submission so maybe that’s a good thing. There’s clearly interest in this sort of thing. (!!!) (*fingers crossed*)

Anyway, pilot pickups are still going on but here are the five I’m most excited about that I hope make it to series:

1. WHAT IT IS:

Ringer. About a troubled young woman on the run who hides out by living the life of her wealthy twin sister, until she learns her sibling’s life has a bounty on it as well. It stars Sarah Michelle Gellar. (source)

WHAT NETWORK:

CBS.

WHY I’M INTERESTED:

BUFFY of course! I’ve been waiting far too long for Sarah Michelle Gellar to come back to TV. I almost don’t care what the show is about, I’ll watch anything she’s in. But I think it sounds cool (though I admit to seeing this premise a lot. There’s a pilot in development at ABC FAMILY called THE LYING GAME, based on Sara Shepard’s new series about a twin sister who takes over her long lost twin’s life when she goes missing.).

2. WHAT IT IS:

Secret Circle is based on a book series of the same name by “TVD” author L.J. Smith. “TSC” follows Cassie, a Californian teen, who moves to New Salem, her mother’s hometown, where she soon discovers she is part of a secret coven of 12 witches, some good and some not-so-good.

WHAT NETWORK:

CW.

WHY I’M INTERESTED:

First, it’s by the author who created The Vampire Diaries (who is also a Curtis Brown author, YAY!). Vampire Diaries is BY FAR my favorite show on TV right now. It gets even better though. Kevin Williamson, the creator of TVD has signed on to write the pilot. Um, yes please? But it doesn’t stop there. Former ANGEL writers Sarah Craft and Elizabeth Frain are executive producers. They also currently produce and write for TVD. Also, WITCHES! I have a great love for the movie THE CRAFT and I can’t wait to see what happens with this show.

3. WHAT IT IS:

I’m going to cheat and list three different pilots that all have a similar premise.

Once Upon a Time (Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz). A young boy who is drawn into a town where the magic and mystery of fairy tales may be real real (ABC)

Grimm (Jim Kouf, David Greenwalt). Dark but fantastical cop drama about a world in which characters inspired by Grimm’s Fairy Tales exist (NBC)

17th Precinct (Ron Moore). World ruled by magic, not science (NBC)

WHY I’M INTERESTED:

As you know, I’m a HUGE fan of fairy tale retellings so each one of these excites me immensely. I’m not a fan of cop shows but I want to watch GRIMM very badly! And a young boy who is drawn into a town where fairy tales are real? YES, YES, YES! There’s less information about 17th Precinct out there but from what I can tell, it’s fairy-tale based as well.

4. WHAT IT IS:

Emerald City (Emily Halpern, Sarah Haskins). Re-imagining of the The Wizard of Oz, set in Gotham

WHICH NETWORK:

NBC

WHY I’M INTERESTED:

So I probably could have put this one above with the other fairy-tale inspired shows but I made it a separate category. Because it’s a re-imagining of a classic novel. And I wrote a re-imagining of a classic novel (ALICE in my case). So I’m hoping if this show does well, there will be more interest in books like mine. Plus, I LOVE this kind of stuff so I’m definitely tuning in.

5. WHAT IT IS:

Smash (Steven Spielberg, Neil Meron, Craig Zadan, Darryl Frank, Justin Falvey, Theresa Rebeck). Follows a cross section of characters who come together for the exhilarating ride of putting on a Broadway musical.

WHICH NETWORK:

NBC

WHY I’M INTERESTED:

This looks like GLEE meets BROADWAY and I’m definitely intrigued by that. My aunt and uncle are Broadway producers who have won several Tony’s (one in particular for SPRING AWAKENING in which Lea Michele, star of Glee, was the lead). Not only that, my parents have started to become Broadway investors for my aunt and uncle. They go to tons of Broadway openings, I got to go to one for THE SEAGULL and saw many famous people (like Maggie Gyllenhaal) at the after party. So I hear a lot about Broadway in my family, how shows get made/castm how they get produced, etc. I’m interested in a show about this.

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

-Nine Lives is based on Alloy’s Nine Lives of Chloe King series of 3 young-adult novels by Celia Thomson. Alloy Entertainment is producing the pilot, about Chloe King (Skyler Samuels), a teenager  with heightened abilities (super speed, agility, hearing…claws) who discovers she’s being pursued by a mysterious figure. (ABC FAMILY)

This one has already been greenlit to series (10 episode order) so it will definitely make it to air. Let’s be real here. I LOVE everything on ABC Family, even MELISSA AND JOEY, even SECRET LIFE OF AN AMERICAN TEENAGER which has some awful writing and acting yet I can’t tear myself away.

Poe (Chris Hollier). Crime procedural following Edgar Allan Poe as the world’s very first detective, using unconventional methods to investigate dark mysteries in 1840s Boston (ABC)

HOLY CRAP that sounds cool! Detective Edgar Allan Poe?! Wow!

HOUSE OF LIES. Deadline reports that Bell has been cast in a lead role in the darkly comedic pilot, which stars Don Cheadle as a cutthroat management consultant who will go to any lengths to please his clients. Kristen Bell (“Veronica Mars,” “When in Rome”) will play a character named Jeannie Van Der Hooven, an Ivy League grad who works for the firm Cheadle’s character heads. (Showtime)

It has Kristen Bell. ‘Nuff said?

(source) (source)

What pilots are you looking forward to?

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6 Responses

  1. I’m already dying to watch the one about Poe. I adore mysteries and police procedurals, but they can be a little repetitive between shows. This one seems so unique and atmospheric.

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