Yeah, I’m really not loving this pilot season.

The CW has nine projects select to go to pilot (10 if reports of The Originals spinoff getting the green light are true), and that will probably be it for them.  And I am definitely not thrilled with the selections.  As I’ve already noted in past posts, I don’t mind the idea of a magic school show, but feel it should be in a fresh universe, not a new show in The Vampire Diaries world.  I’m all for a Supernatural companion show, but doubt that many fans will care to follow a group of novice hunters while Sam and Dean are off saving the world from the real threats.  And a witch show could be great, but so far all the information we’ve gotten about the Charmed reboot has been less than promising.

Moving on, the CW has also gone with a new high school show called Spencer, about a football star, and a reboot of the Roswell series, though this will be a cop show featuring an alien and an illegal alien working together.  Spencer might work, but I’ll be surprised if Roswell is anything better than Beauty & the Beast.  The same can probably be said for Dead Inside, about a detective who works with the ghost of her brother to solve crimes.

One CW project with some legitimate potential is It’s the End of the World as We Know it, the story of pizza place employees trying to recover the escapees from a prison spacecraft.  With some luck, it might be able to attract people who enjoyed the Men  in Black films, but unfortunately the Rob Thomas produced offering is more likely to become a bubble show like Thomas’ iZombie.

I’m not sure what else to say about the other CW pilots, except that they make Valor look like a perfect fit for the network.   I mean, I’m usually on board with networks trying new things, but I’ll be really surprised if any of these projects work.  In the Dark follows a blind woman who is present at the murder of her friend, and tries to solve it with the help of her dog.  Playing Dead follows a mortician and his son who are throw n for a loop when the wife and mother who left them years ago returns to get them to help her fake her death.  Finally, Skinny Dip follows a wife who sets out for revenger on her husband after he tries to murder her.  To be fair, with only loglines to go on, these projects could end up much different than what I’m expecting, but I’m not optimistic.  And even if these shows were to work, there doesn’t seem to be any obvious long game after the original story is resolved.

Thus, we will not be seeing The Valiant, School for Psychics, Paradise lost, Illegal, Lady in the Mask, or either of the two shows focusing on young career women, all of which seem like better options for the CW than most of the pilots the network decided to run with.  I also would have been interested in Epiphany, the show from Stranger Things producers, but it was always a real long shot, and would probably work better as a miniseries, though the same could be said for some of the pilots the network did end up going with. 

ABC has a couple of intriguing projects, with For Love and Salvage, reported to be sent to the pilot stage by Spoiler TV.  For Love follows a woman who get a sudden phone call from the fiancée who has been dead for five years.  It is describes as a grounded take on a secret magic world in New Orleans.  Salvage follows an ex-cop who gets drawn into the investigation of a murder that is somehow tied to sunken treasure.

Other ABC pilots seem less interesting.  There is an untitled story of five NYPD officers who happen to be sisters, as well as The Fix, a show that follows a disgraced former prosecutor.  Safe Harbour follows Detroit cops, while Staties is the story of an NYPD detective who is banished to a quirky Oregon town.  A Million Little Pieces follows a group of friends who are inspired by the sudden death of one of them to finally start living their lives as they want too.  Whiskey Cavalier is a dramadey about a group of spies.  I’m still hoping to see Flight 210, New World, Two Cities, Black Widows, Mavericks, and maybe Eligible and The Heiresses get the nod.  It seems like, with the possible exceptions of For Love and Salvage, ABC is playing it pretty safe.

ABC has also ordered a pilot for a soap set in a Miami hotel.

CBS is going with latest light-hearted drama about God.  God Friended Me follow an atheist who is friended by God on Facebook and become an agent of change.  Meh.  CBS is also rebooting Magnum P.I. and Cagney and Lacey, as well as making a pilot for a show about three different chiefs of police in LA.   Then there is Red Line, the story of what happens when a cop shoots a black doctor, and a show about the U.S. Attorney General called Main Justice.  The Code is a military lawyer show, and because there isn’t enough reboots yet this year, CBS is also making an L.A. Confidential series, based on the James Ellroy book that has already been a successful movie.  The early consensus here seems to be that a series could be great, but probably not on CBS.

Peaking of reboots, Fox is making a series out of Gone Baby Gone, already a book and successful movie.  Fox is also making a law show about overturning wrongful convictions, much like ABC’s recent flop.  The net has also given the green light to a pilot about an FBI agent who’s career is threatened due to an affair with a general. Fingers crossed that Proxy will at least get a look, along with maybe Of-site and Cordelia.

Published by Andrew Clendening