Una Mullally

Society, life and culture on the edge

Time for some pilots to take off: what’s getting a series and what’s getting canned?

The annual pilot season chaos is in full swing, with a few key pilots being ordered to series by American networks, others not yet at that point being fully cast, and then the hangers-on shuffling nervously at the side of …

Thu, May 10, 2012, 08:50


The annual pilot season chaos is in full swing, with a few key pilots being ordered to series by American networks, others not yet at that point being fully cast, and then the hangers-on shuffling nervously at the side of the basketball court screaming “pick me, pick me.” NBC has given the go ahead to The New Normal and Revolution, so what other pilots could be ordered to series as the annual scrap for pilots and new series takes hold?

First up, those too biggies and a few more pilots now ordered to series: The New Normal brought to you from the folks at Glee (Ryan Murphy and Ali Adler) is about a male gay couple and their female surrogate. By this press shot, I’m making a wild assumption that it will be more Will & Grace than Modern Family.


Revolution has JJ Abrams as the executive producer, so look forward to another programme where you have no idea what’s going on. This one is set in a post-apocalyptic American landscape where a family is trying to reunite even though everything has blacked out and all technology has been rendered useless. Bang of 28 Days Later off it, but should be fun all the same.

Also getting the green light is 1600 Penn a family sitcom. You know, just your normal family… EXCEPT THE DAD IS THE PRESIDENT. Ha ha. The dad is also Bill Pullman. Seriously though, how annoying does this look:

Save Me is getting the go ahead, because who doesn’t want to watch a fantasy drama about Anne Heche performing miracles as some kind of strange subplot to her broken marriage?


The Carrie Diaries is currently filming because, no, you haven’t suffered enough with two Sex & the City movies. Soz. More or less Carrie: The Early Years featuring some outrageous 80s fashion and presumably aimed at kids who think 80s fashion is a modern trend. Blame Josh Schwartz who brought you The O.C. and Gossip Girl.

And it’s good news for Matthew Perry too with Go On. I miss Matthew Perry. I miss Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Anyway, this is about a sportscaster in group therapy.


You want remakes? I’ll give you remakes. Bad Girls. Yep, an American version of the UK prison drama starring Jamie Pressly. Or how about Only Fools and Horses US-style, no joke, as networks are gradually running out of contemporary British vehicles to re-imagine. I look forward to a new version of Steptoe & Son set in a Williamsburg second-hand record store. (Although as @Kevnmur pointed out on Twitter, Sandord and Son may have already filled that spot.)

Still hanging around is The Asset, a spy drama that centres around a female agent (*cough* Homeland *cough*) in the CIA’s New York outpost. Jimmy Fallon is trying to win us over as the executive producer of Guys With Kids. Pretty self-explanatory title, so I won’t go any further with that.

Sarah Silverman is working on Susan 313, which features Silverman as a woman just out of a decade long relationship and adjusting to single life. Jeff Goldblum is in this too. Another female-centric one is Untitled Mindy Kaling Comedy, which sees a “young Bridget Jones-type doctor” (oh God) navigating her personal and professional life.

I like the look of Midnight Sun, yet another crime-y American series based on an Israeli format. Julia Stiles is an FBI cult specialist who heads to Alaska to look into a group commune disappearance before unearthing a larger conspiracy. The truth is out there, Julia.

County is a medical drama centering around a group of young doctors in an underfunded city hospital. I swear, this really reminds me of something, but I just can’t place… hang on… no, it’s gone. Let’s hope there’s a basketball net out the back anyway. Meanwhile Chicago Fire is County with firefighters.

Gilded Lilys is of note because Shonda Rhimes is in the mix as the executive producer. I’m not too hot on Rhimes right now, because I watched the first couple of episodes of Scandal the other day and it’s pretty poor. Good concept, that ends up as CSI:PR. Anywhoo, someone has been watching Upstairs Downstairs because this is basically that, but set in a New York hotel in 1895. John Barrowman has joined the cast which probably means changes are afoot at Torchwood.

Downwardly Mobile stars Roseanne Barr and John Goodman. Retromania or what? Roseanne is a mobile home park owner and surrogate mother to all the folks living there. Someone tell Home & Away to watch its back. Also familiar is Elementary, a Sherlock Holmes tale where by some inexplicable twist of fate, the detective is now living in New York. Johnny Lee Miller teams up with the unlikely cast mate Lucy Liu and local boy Aidan Quinn(!)

And finally, Baby Big Shot for Sony/CBS basically seems to be a remake of every legal drama ever with a bit of Bones thrown in: “a working-class woman (Janet Montgomery) who uses her street smarts to compete with her more polished colleagues at a top New York law firm.” *cue Natasha Bedingfield track*

Still no Dawson’s Creek reunion, but if you want more, The Hollywood Reporter published an exhaustive list back in February.

Images from NBC via HuffPo