Pilot Season is Almost Here

What options should the networks choose this pilot season?

The nets are still picking up some final pitches, but we’re rapidly approaching the time when they will choose which options make the cut to be turned into pilots, and which will go gently into that good night. Season Zero is selecting the most interesting options from each network.

Of course, this is all guesswork, since all we have right not is a basic logline for most projects. Even the most boring logline can turn out to be done well, and a really interesting logline can be executed very poorly.

Season Zero doesn’t have high hopes for the future of the CW, especially after it let The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina slide to Netflix, and she only selected eight options for her list of interesting projects. Personally, I probably would have included Paradise Lost, the magical realism murder mystery, and School for Psychics on the list.

The list includes two shows about young career woman, Femme and The She Project, of which presumably only one will see the light of day. There is also a high school drama about a lead who discovers he’s an illegal alien, and a high school football show.  There is also The Valiant, an adaptation of a YA fantasy book about a female gladiator, and Lady in the Mask, a conspiracy show set in a near future where people can back up their minds like a computer.  A woman survives an accident, and is forced to use a two-year old backup, but begins to suspect that things aren’t as they seem.  There is also It’s the End of The World as We Know It, a dramady about a world where a prison spaceship crashes on Earth, and dangerous alien criminals escape.  Season Zero seems excited about it, suggesting it as the long-awaited Supernatural companion show.  I’m less optimistic, thinking it will end up more like an iZombie companion show and thus be perennially just on the edge of cancellation.

Moving to Fox, there is one drama pitch that really stands out from the rest. Proxy follows online voyeurs who live though hedonistic proxies on a remote island paradise.  It’s certainly a unique option, though maybe too unique.  Other options include an NSA show, as well as a drama about a family who moves to Hawaii for a fresh start, only to get mixed up in the old relationships and secrets of their new home.  A modern day King Lear didn’t quite make the cut.

CBS doesn’t offer up much excitement in their development slate. Options include a CIA family show, as well as a show about multi-racial adopted siblings who all work in the legal field.  An NSA show involving a new technology that can grant direct access to people’s memories didn’t make the list.

NBC’s options include Manifest, the story of a plane reappearing five years after it mysteriously vanished, only for those on the plane no time has passed at all.  There is also a show about protection law enforcement professionals who become targeted for murder, and the story of an obituary writer in small-town Alaska.  Other options that didn’t make the list include a number of new versions of existing works, including Nancy Drew, Bad Boys, and Miami Vice.

ABC also has a show about a missing plane amongst their possible options for pilot season.  In Flight 410, the plane doesn’t reappear (yet), but the show follows a journalist who’s wife was on the plane, who tries to unravel the mystery of the plane’s fate.  There is also a show about two estranged brothers who take their families on vacation together, and end up stranded.  Other options include a modern day take on A Tale of Two Cities, and a show about three woman who’s abusive husbands get murdered.  Not making the list are a modern day Pride and Prejudice, and The Heiresses, the story of a wealthy family who realize someone might be trying to kill them.  I have some interest in both, though the involvement of the Pretty Little Liars showrunner in both projects is not a good thing from my perspective.

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