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September 3, 2014

pilot watch

Pilot Watch: 'Hellcats'

by Joel Keller, posted Aug 19th 2010 2:03PM
Ashley Tisdale and Aly Michalka in 'Hellcats' on CWIn our continuing effort to get you ready for the upcoming fall season, we're previewing pilots that were sent to critics earlier this summer.

Keep in mind that in each case, our opinions are based on a pilot that could be completely recast and reworked between now and the fall. Some of those changes have already been announced.

Show: 'Hellcats'
Network: CW
Timeslot: Wednesdays, 9PM ET (Premieres September 8)


The lowdown: Marti Perkins (Alyson Michalka) just found out that her scholarship to study pre-law at Lancer University in Memphis was revoked. Her barmaid mother Wanda (Gail O'Grady) was supposed to let her know so she had a chance to get it back, but as Marti has experienced through a lifetime of taking care of her irresponsible mother, her mother ended up dropping the ball. So, in a desperate move to earn another scholarship and stay in school, she tries out for an opening on the college's competitive cheeleading team, known as the Hellcats. It's definitely not her style, but she has the moves to pique the interest of both coach Vanessa Lodge (Sharon Leal) and captain Savannah (Ashley Tisdale), who takes Marti under her very meticulous wing. Marti takes the place of Alex (Heather Hemmens), who doesn't like the new team member one bit, even if her abilities could take them to the national championship.

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Pilot Watch: 'Nikita'

by Joel Keller, posted Aug 18th 2010 2:00PM
Maggie Q in 'Nikita' on the CWIn our continuing effort to get you ready for the upcoming fall season, we're previewing pilots that were sent to critics earlier this summer.

Keep in mind that in each case, our opinions are based on a pilot that could be completely recast and reworked between now and the fall. Some of those changes have already been announced.

Show: 'Nikita'
Network: CW
Timeslot: Thursdays, 9PM ET
(Premieres September 9)

The lowdown:
Nikita (Maggie Q) used to be a top assassin for a secret government agency called the Division. But she's broken away from their control and she's come out of hiding in order to defeat them. The Division, led by agent recruiter/ trainer/ mentor Michael (Shane West) is leading the chase to take her out, but she's using all the knowledge that she's gained in her years in the Division -- including her personal knowledge of Michael -- to get the upper hand. In the meantime, Michael has found a new deadly recruit in Alex (Lyndsy Fonseca -- the daughter of Old Ted in 'How I Met Your Mother' ... all grown up!), whom he hopes will be the next Nikita.

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Pilot Watch: 'Better With You'

by Joel Keller, posted Aug 17th 2010 11:28AM
The cast of 'Better With You' on ABC
In our continuing effort to get you ready for the upcoming fall season, we're previewing pilots that were sent to critics earlier this summer.

Keep in mind that in each case, our opinions are based on a pilot that could be completely recast and reworked between now and the fall. Some of those changes have already been announced.

Show: 'Better With You'
Network: ABC
Timeslot: Wednesdays, 8:30PM ET
(Premieres September 22)

The lowdown:
This is yet another comedy about three couples in different phases of their respective relationships, but at least they're all one family. Maddie and Ben (Jennifer Finnegan and Josh Cooke) have been together for nine years but have never wanted to get married, calling it a "valid life choice" (more on that catchphrase later). Meanwhile, Maddie's more carefree younger sister Mia (JoAnna Garcia) is excited about her relationship with Casey (Jake Lacy), and it's so far along after less than two months that she's a) pregnant, and b) engaged ... in that order. Mia and Maddie clash over the various states of their relationships, and all four try to figure out how to break the news about Mia and Casey to Mia and Maggie's parents, Joel and Vicky (Kurt Fuller, Debra Jo Rupp).

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Pilot Watch: 'Detroit 1-8-7'

by Joel Keller, posted Aug 16th 2010 2:30PM
The cast of 'Detroit 1-8-7'
In our continuing effort to get you ready for the upcoming fall season, we're previewing pilots that were sent to critics earlier this summer.

Keep in mind that in each case, our opinions are based on a pilot that could be completely recast and reworked between now and the fall. Some of those changes have already been announced.

Show: 'Detroit 1-8-7'
Network: ABC
Timeslot: Tuesdays, 10PM ET
(Premieres September 21)

The lowdown:
It's the story of tough homicide detectives on the super-tough Detroit streets. Among the detectives is Louis Finch (Michael Imperioli), the best on the force, even though he has a tendency to get too emotionally involved in his cases; Sergeant Jesse Longford (James McDaniel), who's as experienced as they come but is facing retirement; and Ariana Sanchez (Natalie Martinez), a young detective from a checkered upbringing who's making her mark in the department. It's a large ensemble cast in a show where -- despite the cliched notion of it -- the city of Detroit is a character all by itself.

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Pilot Watch: 'The Whole Truth'

by Joel Keller, posted Aug 15th 2010 11:17AM
Rob Morrow and Maura Tierney in 'The Whole Truth' on ABC
In our continuing effort to get you ready for the upcoming fall season, we're previewing pilots that were sent to critics earlier this summer.

Keep in mind that in each case, our opinions are based on a pilot that could be completely recast and reworked between now and the fall. This is one of those shows that's radically changed since its original pilot.

Show: 'The Whole Truth'
Network: ABC
Timeslot: Wednesdays, 10PM ET
(Premieres September 22)

The lowdown: Essentially, in this show viewers see the story of a criminal trial from both sides of the aisle. As we switch back and forth between the prosecuting and defense teams, we see how they operate to work the system to their side's advantage. On the defense side is Jimmy Brogan (Rob Morrow), who grew up in Hell's Kitchen and has a bit of an unorthodox style. Kathryn Peale (Maura Tierney) is a law-and-order prosecutor from New England. As the cases progress, the two lawyers, friends from their Yale Law School days, meet and talk about the law, justice, and the case at hand.

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Pilot Watch: 'Body of Proof'

by Joel Keller, posted Aug 14th 2010 2:00PM
The cast of 'Body of Proof' on ABC
In our continuing effort to get you ready for the upcoming fall season, we're previewing pilots that were sent to critics earlier this summer.

Keep in mind that in each case, our opinions are based on a pilot that could be completely recast and reworked between now and the fall. Some of those changes have already been announced.

Show: 'Body of Proof'
Network: ABC
Timeslot: Fridays, 9PM ET

The lowdown:
Four years after a horrific auto accident derailed her career, neurosurgeon Megan Hunt (Dana Delany) has found a new role in the Philadelphia medical examiner's office. Tough and driven, she's always put her career first, which is why she is divorced and not a big part of her daughter's life. But in her new role, she's determined to let the body she's examining tell the entire story of how that person died, much to the annoyance of the cops she works with. She's constantly being told where her boundaries are by her partner, investigator Peter Dunlop (Nicholas Bishop), a former cop. Her boss, De. Kate Murphy (Jeri Ryan) tries to keep Hunt in line while admiring her new hire's determination and the fact that she gets results.

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Pilot Watch: 'My Generation'

by Joel Keller, posted Aug 13th 2010 11:02AM
The cast of ABC's 'My Generation'In our continuing effort to get you ready for the upcoming fall season, we're previewing pilots that were sent to critics earlier this summer.

Keep in mind that in each case, our opinions are based on a pilot that could be completely recast and reworked between now and the fall. Some of those changes have already been announced.

Show: 'My Generation'
Network: ABC
Timeslot: Thursdays, 8PM ET (Premieres September 23)


The lowdown: In 2000, a film crew went to Greenbelt High School in Austin, TX to film a documentary about nine members of the graduating class. Ten years later, the same film crew follows the same nine people to see where their lives have gone, how much things have changed, and how the old feelings and emotions from high school don't go away so quickly. We see evidence of those old feelings when members of the class are brought together in Austin under varying circumstances, and the paths of their lives are put in the context of how the world has changed since the halcyon last days of the Clinton administration.

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Pilot Watch: 'No Ordinary Family'

by Joel Keller, posted Aug 12th 2010 11:31AM
The cast of 'No Ordinary Family'
In our continuing effort to get you ready for the upcoming fall season, we're previewing pilots that were sent to critics earlier this summer.

Keep in mind that in each case, our opinions are based on a pilot that could be completely recast and reworked between now and the fall. Some of those changes have already been announced.

Show: 'No Ordinary Family'
Network: ABC
Timeslot: Tuesdays, 8PM E
T (Premieres September 28)

The lowdown: The Powells are a family that are flying apart. Jim (Michael Chiklis) is a police sketch artist that feels like a failure and also feels like he can't communicate with his super-busy scientist wife Stephanie (Julie Benz). Their kids, Daphne (Kay Panabaker) and JJ (Jimmy Bennett), are embroiled in their own teenage problems and dramas. Then, on a bonding trip to Brazil, the family is involved in a plane crash that dunks them in a phosphorescent lake. When they get back, they slowly start realizing they have super abilities: Jim can jump great distances and stop bullets, Stephanie has super speed, Daphne can read other people's thoughts, and JJ has super-intelligence. How will they deal with these powers -- while still keeping their family together?

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Pilot Watch: 'The Event'

by Joel Keller, posted Jul 20th 2010 3:03PM
The cast of 'The Event' on NBC
From now through August, we're going to be taking a quick look at the fall and mid-season pilots that the networks sent to critics after their upfront presentations.

Keep in mind that in each case, our opinions are based on a pilot that could be completely recast and reworked between now and the fall.

Show: 'The Event'
Network: NBC
Timeslot: Mondays, 9PM ET

The lowdown:
Usually in this space, I give a canned description of the pilot -- and, by extension, the series' -- general premise. But 'The Event' is a hard one to pin down. The story flashes back and forth in whatever increments it needs in order to explain what's going on in the present. What we know is that in the span of eleven days, Sean Walker (Jason Ritter) has gone from a happy guy who's about to ask his girlfriend Leila (Sarah Roemer) to marry him to a desperate man who pulls a gun as a plane is taking off from Miami. In the meantime, the new president (Blair Underwood) is finding out about an Alaskan prison run by the CIA, whose mysterious prisoners are led by the equally mysterious Sophia (Laura Innes). By the end of the episode, an event happens which might very well affect the fate of mankind.

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Pilot Watch: 'Outlaw'

by Joel Keller, posted Jul 19th 2010 2:29PM
Jimmy Smits, David Ramsey, and Ellen Woglom in 'Outlaw' on NBCFrom now through August, we're going to be taking a quick look at the fall and mid-season pilots that the networks sent to critics after their upfront presentations.

Keep in mind that in each case, our opinions are based on a pilot that could be completely recast and reworked between now and the fall.

Show: 'Outlaw'
Network: NBC
Timeslot: Fridays, 10PM ET

The lowdown:
Cyrus Garza (Jimmy Smits) isn't your typical Supreme Court justice; he gambles, womanizes, and has a more public persona than any justice has ever had. He's also very conservative, a position that's been wavering ever since the death of his activist father. While ruling on a death penalty case, Garza abruptly quits the court and starts fighting for the cases just like the one he ruled on... in fact, that convict's plight is his first case.

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Pilot Watch: 'Lone Star'

by Joel Keller, posted Jul 16th 2010 2:30PM
The cast of 'Lone Star' on FOXFrom now through August, we're going to be taking a quick look at the fall and mid-season pilots that the networks sent to critics after their upfront presentations.

Keep in mind that in each case, our opinions are based on a pilot that could be completely recast and reworked between now and the fall.

Show: 'Lone Star'
Network: Fox
Timeslot: Mondays, 9PM ET


The lowdown: Robert Allen (James Wolk) is an expert con man, who's been pulling scams with his father John (David Keith) since before he learned to speak. He's surpassed his father's tutelage to the point where he's not only scamming investors out of millions on non-existent oil and gas futures, he's infiltrating the family and gaining the trust of a tough Houston oil baron (Jon Voight). But Robert doesn't want to run anymore. He wants something real, no matter how much John tries to tell him that the life of a grifter is what his reality is. So he tries to find something real in both his fake marriage to the oil baron's daughter Cat (Adrianne Palicki) and a more down-to-earth relationship with Lindsay (Eloise Mumford), a girl he met in Midland while pulling one of his scams.

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Pilot Watch: 'Running Wilde'

by Joel Keller, posted Jul 15th 2010 1:07PM
Keri Russell and Will Arnett in 'Running Wilde' on FOXFrom now into August, we're going to be taking a quick look at the fall and mid-season pilots that the networks sent to critics after their upfront presentations.

Keep in mind that in each case, our opinions are based on a pilot that could be completely recast and reworked between now and the fall.

Show: 'Running Wilde'
Network: Fox
Timeslot: Tuesdays, 9:30PM ET


The lowdown: Steve Wilde (Will Arnett) is the spoiled son of an oil tycoon, and he's never done anything in his life that he would consider a good deed. His only friends are his nanny/head of security Gertie (Jayne Houdyshell) and his driver Migo (Joe Nunez). When Emily Kadubic (Keri Russel), an environmental activist who also used be a high school flame of Steve's, re-enters his life, Steve thinks he can use this opportunity to become a better person as well as rekindle a romance with "the one that got away." Meanwhile, Emily thinks that helping Steve might be the best way of fighting his dad's evil oil company. Facilitating this reunion is Emily's daughter Puddle (Stefania Owen), who's tired of living in rainforests and just wants to settle somewhere for awhile.

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Pilot Watch: 'Raising Hope'

by Joel Keller, posted Jul 14th 2010 3:07PM
The cast of 'Raising Hope' on FOX
From now into August (just too many pilots to fit in before the end of July, it turns out), we're going to be taking a quick look at the fall and mid-season pilots that the networks sent to critics after their upfront presentations.

Keep in mind that in each case, our opinions are based on a pilot that could be completely recast and reworked between now and the fall.

Show: 'Raising Hope'
Network: Fox
Timeslot: Tuesdays, 9PM ET


The lowdown: Jimmy Chance (Lucas Neff) is twenty years old and going nowhere. He skims pools for the landscaping company owned by his dad Burt (Garret Dillahunt) and he still lives at home with his dad, mother Virginia (Martha Plimpton), cousin Mike (Skyler Stone) and his senile grandmother (Cloris Leachman). After a random encounter with what he thought was a woman in distress, he's taken custody of a baby girl. Not knowing what to do but seeing this as a way for his life to have meaning, he enlists the help of his family, who readily admit that they've been winging it with him for the last twenty years.

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Pilot Watch: 'Blue Bloods'

by Joel Keller, posted Jul 7th 2010 11:02AM
Tom Selleck, Donnie Wahlberg, and Will Estes in 'Blue Bloods' on CBSFrom now through the end of July, we're going to be taking a quick look at the fall and mid-season pilots that the networks sent to critics after their upfront presentations.

Keep in mind that in each case, our opinions are based on a pilot that could be completely recast and reworked between now and the fall.

Show: 'Blue Bloods'
Network: CBS
Timeslot: Fridays, 10PM ET

The lowdown:
The Reagans are a family of New York City cops. Patriarch Frank Reagan (Tom Selleck) is the city's chief of police, who tries to keep the department on the straight and narrow, but he's running into the same political landmines that sunk his father Henry (Len Cariou) when he was chief. Oldest son Danny Reagan (Donnie Wahlberg) is a detective who is fighting some PTSD-related anger issues since coming home from Iraq, and youngest son Jamie Reagan (Will Estes) gave up a law career to become a just-graduated rookie after the Reagans' middle son was killed on the job. Frank's only daughter, Molly (Bridget Moynahan), is an ADA who tries to remind her family, especially Danny, that sometimes their methods may get results, but they don't always lead to convictions.

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Pilot Watch: 'Outsourced'

by Joel Keller, posted Jul 6th 2010 11:13AM
The cast of 'Outsourced' on NBC
From now through the end of July, we're going to be taking a quick look at the fall and mid-season pilots that the networks sent to critics after their upfront presentations.

Keep in mind that in each case, our opinions are based on a pilot that could be completely recast and reworked between now and the fall.

Show: 'Outsourced'
Network: NBC
Timeslot: Thursdays, 9:30PM ET

The lowdown:
Todd Dempsy (Ben Rappaport) has just gone through training to manage the call center at Mid-American Novelties in Kansas City. When he comes back to the office raring to go, he learns that the company has been "rightsizing" while he was gone and has outsourced the entire call center to India. He can either move there to manage it or lose his job. Not having many other options, he goes overseas to find a staff who is completely unprepared, a local manager (Rizwan Manji) who wants his job, and a cultural gap a mile wide. He not only needs to figure out Indian culture, but also needs to figure out how to teach his crew why Americans would want to buy fake vomit and singing deer heads.

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