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2011 Pilot Watch: The Best of the Winners

By on May 27, 2011 in Tinseltown | 0 comments

The tribe has spoken. The networks have voted. And this development season’s pilots have either received series orders or have been all but forgotten about. After watching clips of (or, at least, reading synopses of) the new shows, I’ve decided which shows I can’t wait to check out. (And my track record is pretty great: only two-thirds of the shows I recommended last year were cancelled! Hey!) Alcatraz Another in a proud line of mysterious dramas from J.J. Abrams, FOX’s Alcatraz deals with the sudden reappearance of prisoners and guards who had disappeared three decades prior. I’d be excited for the Abrams-ness of it all, but it also features an enviable cast (Lost‘s Jorge Garcia, Jurassic Park‘s Sam Neill, ER‘s Parminder Nagra). Apartment 23 ABC’s roommate-from-hell comedy works because Krysten Ritter (Veronica Mars) is...

2011 Pilot Watch

By on Mar 1, 2011 in Tinseltown | 0 comments

The start of the current television season doesn’t feel too long ago, but already, the broadcast networks are putting together their fall slates and ordering pilot episodes of potential new series. After the scouring the intel rounded up by The Futon Critic, here are my thoughts on the lineup. The paranormal and supernatural continue to capture the imaginations of network execs: they’ve greenlit pilots about superpowers (FOX’s Touch, CBS’s The Rememberer), magic (NBC’s 17th Pricinct), angels (CBS’s untitled Susannah Grant project, The CW’s Heavenly), zombies (The CW’s Awakening), witches (The CW’s Secret Circle), fairy tales (ABC’s Once Upon a Time, NBC’s Grimm), haunted houses (FOX’s Locke & Key), alternate universes (NBC’s REM), and forces of good and evil (ABC’s Hallelujah). Remakes are...

2010 Pilot Watch: The Best of the Losers

By on Jun 16, 2010 in Tinseltown | 0 comments

Now that we’ve seen what shows will be on the air come fall, let’s get out our hankies and share a moment of silence for those that won’t—or, at least, those that sounded promising. It seems unlikely that any of the series below will make it to our living rooms, and that’s a damn shame. Not having seen a frame of any of these shows, I base my judgment solely on the synopses and cast information. Yes, I am a by-the-cover book-judger. The Rockford Files Wha’ happen? This show had so much buzz going into pilot season. People love them a good remake, and this one seemed likely to fit the bill. Re-imagined by House creator David Shore, this version starred Dermot Mulroney (The Family Stone), Beau Bridges (The Fabulous Baker Boys), and the effin’ ineffable Alan Tudyk (Firefly). So why did NBC give it the ole heave-ho? Untitled Medical Project First of all,...

2010 Pilot Watch: The Best of the Winners

By on Jun 2, 2010 in Tinseltown | 0 comments

Now that the big four networks have released their fall lineups (oh, and The CW, too), I can talk about the new shows which excite me most—with the added bonus of knowing that each of them will air for at least one episode! Will all of these shows be Emmy-worthy? Probably not. But, sight unseen, I think the following nine shows (ranked in descending order of can’t-wait-ness) are the most original and/or interesting. Mr. Sunshine This comedy, coming to you from ABC, almost sounds too good to be true. But it is, luckily for us, and the trailer holds as much promise (and as many laughs) as the one for Modern Family did a year ago. Matthew Perry plays the manager of a mid-level sports arena in the throes of a mid-life crisis, and Allison Janney plays his “highly erratic” boss. (“John Cougar Mellencamp is playing here Wednesday night. I’d very much like to make...

The Redemption of Katherine Heigl

By on Apr 5, 2010 in Tinseltown | 0 comments

Katherine Heigl, best known for her award-winning turn as Dr. Isobel Stevens on Grey’s Anatomy, has given us several reasons lately to dislike her. Two years ago, she opted to not compete for an Emmy, citing poor material that season on Grey’s. Last year, she griped to David Letterman last year about long days on the set—when apparently it was her movie-promoting schedule that caused the cram. And this year, she abruptly left the show to which she owes everything after finding success as a big-screen A-lister. Katherine Heigl was actually the reason I started watching Grey’s five years ago, having been a fan of hers from Roswell. But all of those comments and actions alienated me and a lot of other fans. I didn’t even bother considering the possibility that they were taken out of context—that maybe there was another side of the story. But for the most part,...

2010 Pilot Watch

By on Feb 22, 2010 in Tinseltown | 0 comments

‘Tis the season for development, and Lynette Rice at EW.com has released a list of the pilots the broadcast networks are considering. (Bear in mind that only a fraction of these shows will make it to the airwaves.) After perusing the list, I’ve reached the following conclusions: The public’s desire for shows about cops, doctors, and lawyers is still insatiable. By my count, 25 of the pilots are about these three professions. But some of these procedurals might be worth watching because of the attached talent: Forest Whitaker is heading up CBS’s Criminal Minds spin-off, NBC is pursuing Julianne Moore for their adaptation of BBC’s Prime Suspect, and Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galactica, 24) will star in a yet-to-be-titled detective series. Multi-camera comedies are coming in droves. If the term “multi-camera” doesn’t ring a bell, it refers to the traditional type of sitcom with live (or...