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December 20, 2014

pilot season

AMC Not Ordering Any Pilots, Likely to Renew 'The Killing'

by Catherine Lawson, posted May 18th 2011 8:00AM
AMC LogoCable network AMC seems set to continue its successful and conservative approach to ordering pilot episodes: Sources report that it's not proceeding with any of the six dramas it currently has in development. At least, not right now.

AMC recently held its annual pilot script "bake-off," during which writers pitched their creative vision to network execs and outlined where their stories would go over a season-long arc.

According to Variety, two projects, space drama 'Voyage,' and an untitled racing project from exec producer Billy Gerber, are likely to have a second chance after being overhauled, while the other four are most likely dead in the water.

However, it's not all gloom over at AMC: The network is said to be close to renewing murder mystery 'The Killing,' which launched in April to a favorable reception from critics and viewers.

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'Breaking In' Still (Possibly) Alive, Katie Couric's Last Day and More TV News

by Jean Bentley, posted May 14th 2011 11:30AM
Breaking InAll hope is not lost for the recently canceled Fox series 'Breaking In.'

According to Deadline, the network is moving the freshman comedy to its Tuesday night comedy block to see how it performs in that time slot. 'Breaking In' has only aired after 'American Idol,' so maybe a new audience on a new night could change things for the show.

The season (and possible series) finale will now air at 9:30PM on Tuesday after 'Raising Hope,' and the 'American Idol' performance show will run two hours.

Additionally, Fox has not quite closed the doors on its pilots 'Exit Strategy' with Ethan Hawke, 'Family Album,' 'Little in Common,' 'Smothered' and 'Locke & Key.' All are either under consideration for midseason or being shopped to other networks. NBC's 'Metro' and 'A Mann's World' are also still alive, according to Deadline.

These pilots, on the other hand, are definitely dead: At ABC, 'Identity,' 'Hallelujah,' 'Grace,' 'Georgetown,' 'Poe,' 'Partners,' 'My Freakin' Family,' 'Other People's Kids,' 'Bad Mom' and 'Lost & Found.' At NBC, 'Wonder Woman,' 'Reconstruction,' '17th Precinct,' 'Brave New World,' 'I Hate That I Love You,' 'Lovelives,' 'My Life As An Experiment' and 'Family Practice.'

In other weekend TV news ...

'Game of Thrones' star Lena Headey will guest on 'White Collar.' She'll play a "skilled hacker" in an episode of the USA series. [TV Guide]

Katie Couric's last day at CBS Evening News will be May 19. The anchor's contract expires June 4, when she's expected to announce plans to host a daytime talk show, possibly on ABC. [THR]

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CBS Picks Up JJ Abrams' 'Person of Interest' & Comedy 'Two Broke Girls'

by Jean Bentley, posted May 13th 2011 8:45PM
Michael EmersonFinally CBS has joined in on the pilot pickup action.

The network just picked up 'Person of Interest,' a thriller from 'Lost' co-creator J.J. Abrams and Jonah Nolan. They also gave the green light to sitcom 'Two Broke Girls' starring Kat Dennings.

'Person of Interest' follows an ex-CIA agent "who teams up with a mysterious billionaire to prevent violent crimes" in New York City, says Entertainment Weekly.

'Lost' veteran Michael Emerson is set to star alongside Oscar nominee Taraji P. Henson. The show is Abrams' second pickup of the week, with Fox ordering a full season of his other in-development mystery series, 'Alcatraz.'

'Two Broke Girls' stars 'Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist' actress Kat Dennings as one of the titular broke girls trying to live the dream in Brooklyn. The show is from 'Sex and the City' writer Michael Patrick King and comedian Whitney Cummings.

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Fox Pilots: What Did the Network Pick up for the 2011-2012 Season?

by Jean Bentley, posted May 11th 2011 12:00PM
Geoff StultsBy now you've read about last night's Fox bloodbath, during which the network canceled five of its bubble shows to make room for new series.

So what, exactly, will fill those now-vacant time slots? Here's a rundown of the pilots The Hollywood Reporter says are a go.

The most notable (and inevitable) pickup is J.J. Abrams' 'Alcatraz,' about the storied San Francisco prison. There's also scientists and a time warp involved, naturally. 'Lost' vet Jorge Garcia stars in the crime drama, which somehow involves prisoners from the 1960s appearing in the present day.

Also on the list is the 'Bones' spinoff 'The Finder,' starring Geoff Stults as a person who's really, really good at finding things (people, possessions, etc.). The Florida Keys-set series could take the place of its predecessor while 'Bones' star Emily Deschanel is out on maternity leave later this year.

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Upcoming TV Pilots We Can't Wait to See

by AOL TV Staff, posted May 5th 2011 9:00AM
So-so Internet buzz hasn't put a damper on our out-of-control excitement over 'Battlestar Galactica' mastermind Ron Moore's new pilot, '17th Precinct.' Why?

Jamie Bamber, Tricia Helfer & James Callis, '17th Precinct'

Well, for one, it's been described as "'Harry Potter' meets 'Law & Order,'" the greatest combination of two separately amazing things since someone first decided to pair chocolate and peanut butter together. Two, the cast list includes 'BSG' alums Jamie Bamber, James Callis and Tricia Helfer, along with 'Smallville' vet Kristin Kreuk and the inimitable Stockard Channing. And three -- wait, you need more incentive to get excited?

Aside from the police procedural of our dreams, here are a few other potential fall series the AOL TV staff can't wait to lay our eyes upon.

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Kelsey Grammer Returns to TV (As a Director), Matt Pinfield Revives '120 Minutes' on MTV2 and More

by Jean Bentley, posted Mar 17th 2011 1:30PM
Kelsey GrammerKelsey Grammer is yet another big TV star returning to the medium this pilot season -- but he won't be on-screen.

According to Deadline, the former 'Frasier' star will direct the CBS comedy pilot 'Vince Uncensored,' which stars 'No Ordinary Family' leading man Michael Chiklis and is produced by Conan O'Brien.

This isn't Grammer's first foray behind the camera; he directed 37 episodes of his hit sitcom and has helmed four different pilots, Deadline reports. He'll be back in front of the lens as the star of Starz's 'Boss.'

In other TV news ...

'Nip/Tuck' star Dylan Walsh is slated to return to TV in a CBS pilot. He'll star alongside Poppy Montgomery in the as-yet-untitled drama. [Deadline]

Tiya Sircar, late of 'The Vampire Diaries,' has made her way to the Josh Schwartz pilot 'Georgetown.' She'll play "the assistant to a presidential speechwriter who gets fired for a media gaffe." [THR]

Neil McDonough will stop by 'Law & Order: Criminal Intent' for an episode in the show's final season. As TV Squad previously reported, Jeri Ryan will also guest star for an episode. The actress shot her spot last week. [TV Line]

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James Van Der Beek to Star in ABC Pilot As ... James Van Der Beek

by Jean Bentley, posted Feb 16th 2011 5:05PM
James Van Der BeekJames Van Der Beek has clearly learned to embrace his past.

One the heels of those hilarious Funny or Die videos and the "Why didn't I think of that?" Web venture known as James Van Der Memes comes the news that the former 'Dawson's Creek' actor is set to star in the ABC pilot 'Don't Trust the B*tch in Apt. 23' -- as himself.

According to Vulture, the man formerly known as Dawson Leery will play "a heightened version of himself" a la Neil Patrick Harris in the 'Harold and Kumar' movies and Matt LeBlanc on 'Episodes.'

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Pilot News: Rachel Bilson Officially Joins 'Hart of Dixie,' Rob Huebel Lands Fox Role and More

by Chris Harnick, posted Feb 15th 2011 6:30PM
Rachel Bilson Officially Joins 'Hart of Dixie,' Rachel Bilson is officially reteaming with 'The O.C.' creator Josh Schwartz in The CW pilot 'Hart of Dixie.'

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Bilson will play a doctor from New York City who inherits a small medical practice in the South. 'Gossip Girl' and 'Eli Stone' writer Leila Gerstein wrote the script and will executive produce the series with Schwartz, Stephanie Savage and Len Goldstein.

In other pilot news ...

Jake M. Johnson and Max Greenfield have landed lead roles opposite Zooey Deschanel in Fox's Liz Meriwether pilot 'Chicks and Dicks.' Viewers may remember Greenfield from 'Veronica Mars,' while Johnson was recently in the film 'No Strings Attached.' [Deadline Hollywood]

'24' actress Annie Wersching will star opposite Scottie Thompson in ABC's drama pilot 'Partners.' Lawrence Gilliard Jr. has also landed a role in the cop drama about two female detectives. [Deadline Hollywood]

Rob Huebel has landed the brother role in Fox's 'Family Album.' The series follows a family who go on an extended family vacation at the behest of the headstrong patriarch. [Deadline Hollywood]

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ABC Picks Up 'Other People's Kids' Pilot, Mulls Return to 'TGIF' Comedy Block

by Catherine Lawson, posted Jan 27th 2011 7:40AM
ABC logoAs pilot season continues apace, ABC has announced that it's greenlighted another pilot for a multi-camera family comedy: 'Other People's Kids.'

According to Deadline, the comedy centers on a 32-year-old guy with no responsibilities, who suddenly finds himself with an instant family when he falls in love with an older woman with two kids, an ex-husband and ex-in-laws.

New ABC programming chief Paul Lee is a fan of the multi-camera sitcom format, and he's said to be mulling over a return to the ABC Friday night 'TGIF' comedy block. To this end, the pilots ordered by ABC so far this season have skewed heavily towards multi-camera comedies, including 'The Last Day of Man,' 'Work It' and 'Smothered.'

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Sarah Michelle Gellar's New Pilot, 'The Ringer,' Is 'An Edgy Thriller'

by Catherine Lawson, posted Jan 26th 2011 8:40AM
Sarah Michelle GellarLast week we reported that Sarah Michelle Gellar was planning her TV comeback with a new drama, 'The Ringer.' Now, the producer of the pilot has revealed more details about what he describes as the "edgy thriller."

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Peter Traugott dished on details of the pilot and explained how they manged to talk Gellar into returning to a network TV series.

'The Ringer,' says Traugott, is "an edgy thriller about redemption and about revenge. There's a point of view of two twin sisters [Bridget and Siobhan] who grew apart over a tragedy in their past. And one seeks redemption and the other one seeks revenge."

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NBC Orders 'Glee' Competitor to Pilot, Matthew Weiner Still Without 'Mad Men' Deal and More

by Jean Bentley, posted Jan 24th 2011 11:40AM
NBCCould 'Glee' have a musical competitor?

As we enter the thick of pilot season, networks have been greenlighting pilots to consider for the 2011-2012 season. One of the biggest in the works is NBC's 'Smash.' According to Deadline, it's based on an idea from Steven Spielberg about putting on a Broadway musical, and would feature original songs by Grammy- and Tony-winning songwriters Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman.

Among the other pilots picked up this weekend were a comedy called 'Vince Uncensored,' from Conan O'Brien's production company (it went to CBS, according to Entertainment Weekly), a thriller/drama called 'Exit Strategy,' starring Ethan Hawke and directed by Antoine Fuqua (snagged by Fox, according to The Hollywood Reporter, along with two comedies, per Deadline), and David E. Kelley's previously D.O.A. 'Wonder Woman' (which landed at NBC, reports Deadline).

In other TV news ...

Matthew Weiner would love to start writing the fifth season of 'Mad Men,' if AMC would sign a deal already. "I have every intention of making the show when they decide to work out their business with Lionsgate," he said. "I can't wait to come back to work ... I am not looking for a new job." [EW]

Kevin Smith, Kevin Pollak and Adam Carolla will star in AOL's new nightly talk show. The web video series will team up with the actors' existing podcasts for new episodes every Monday through Thursday, with a best-of installment on Fridays. [AOL]

Could Keith Olbermann have a new gig already? 'The Social Network' writer Aaron Sorkin has been developing a comedy set behind the scenes at a cable news show. Now that it's getting closer to a pilot pickup and Olbermann is out of a gig, sources are speculating that he could contribute to the series. [EW]

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Five Cop Shows That Should Never Be Remade

by Danny Gallagher, posted Apr 2nd 2010 6:24PM
Sgt. Esterhaus on 'Hill Street Blues'It's pilot time again and this season the networks have decided to turn back the clock, specifically on old cop and crime shows, to save their sinking ratings.

For instance, NBC is bringing back the mystery series 'The Rockford Files' with Dermot Mulroney in the role that James Garner turned into a classic TV crime fighter. CBS has also ordered a remake of the procedural cop classic 'Hawaii Five-O' with Scott Caan and Jean Smart.

Normally, my gut reacts to a TV remake the same way a person who just washed his car reacts to a line of dark clouds (a lot of cursing and shaking of fists at God or some other celestial being). However, if done right, anything has the chance to be good... unless it's one of the following cop serials, which should never be touched by a TV producer ever again.

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Spring TV: Which Pilots Will Crash and Burn?

by Stephanie Earp, posted Mar 23rd 2010 5:32PM


There are two groups of people who get really excited about pilot season: L.A. actors hoping for a break and television writers. Being a member of the latter category, I admit to a tingly feeling creeping over me as word of the shows in development at all the big networks are starting to leak out. While most people are attributing feelings of renewal to the change in the weather, I'm happily anticipating what J.J. Abrams has in store for us this fall.

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Husband and Wife Pair on 'Nip/Tuck' Separate for New Pilots

by Jason Hughes, posted Mar 2nd 2010 10:30PM
Dylan Walsh & Joely Richardson, 'Nip/Tuck'It looks like the McNamara's of 'Nip/Tuck' won't be getting back together anytime soon. With the popular FX series wrapping its run this season, The Hollywood Reporter tells us that both Dylan Walsh and Joely Richardson, who played the couple, have scored roles in new pilots.

One of the fun things about long-running series coming to an end is speculating on what kind of roles the actors will wind up in next. While some go to movies, and some seem to fade away into behind-the-scenes work, or even other professions entirely, many immediately look to continue working on existing and new series.

After getting so familiar with seeing an actor or actress in a certain role, it can be jarring to try and imagine them as a completely different character. For example, Walsh will be going from a smooth plastic surgeon to a bad-ass government agent, while Richardson is transforming into a high-powered attorney.

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'Southern Discomfort' Moves Into ABC

by Danny Gallagher, posted Feb 24th 2010 8:00PM
ABC logoEven though the popularity of the family sitcom is starting to wane a bit, ABC has picked one up for their primetime schedule.

It's called 'Southern Discomfort' from writer Chad Kultgen and former 'Cheers' writer Rob Long who has filled its executive producer chair along with Eric Tannenbaum and Kim Tannenbaum.

It's described as a multicamera series surrounding a father who lets his grown children move back in with him. So far, no big names have been attached to the cast, but who do you think would be the perfect actors or actresses to play such a part?

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