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April 17, 2014

pilots

'Terra Nova': Things That Cost the Same As the $20 Million Pilot

by Jean Bentley, posted Sep 26th 2011 12:30PM
Terra NovaBetter late than never: Tonight marks the long-awaited premiere of Fox's dino-riffic new drama, 'Terra Nova.' While the special effects are indeed impressive for a primetime drama, the prehistoric creatures on the show didn't come at a small price.

The 'Terra Nova' pilot, which was originally scheduled to air in May but was pushed back to the fall, reportedly cost a staggering $20 million to produce.

The production was plagued with problems, with sources calling it a "debacle" (per The Wrap), amassing a $10 million price tag even before a single frame was shot. Creative disagreements, rewrites and big names dropping out didn't help.

Still, AOL TV's Maureen Ryan was pleased with the pilot, saying it shows plenty of promise in her review of the new series. But let's be clear: This thing cost twice the amount of the 'Lost' pilot ($10 million), and more than the Martin Scorsese-directed 'Boardwalk Empire' pilot ($18 million).

That gigantic number got us thinking. What else could you get for $20 million? Well, aside from 20 million four-piece chicken nuggets from the McDonald's dollar menu, here is AOL TV's list of things you could buy for $20 million, a.k.a. the cost of Fox's 'Terra Nova' pilot:

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James Van Der Beek Books 'Law & Order: CI' Role, Martin Short Joins 'Weeds' and More Casting News

by Chris Harnick, posted May 26th 2011 3:30PM
James Van Der BeekJames Van Der Beek will guest star on an upcoming episode of 'Law & Order: CI.'

According to TVLine, the 'Dawson's Creek' veteran will play Rex Tamlyn, described as an "overconfident, hard-partying playboy." The character is a partner in a Facebook-esque website that's devoted to hooking people up for fleeting romantic trysts.

Like 'The Social Network,' there's a lawsuit around the idea of the site, but with this case there are a few murders mixed in. It's 'Criminal Intent,' what do you expect? Thad and Trent Luckinbill also guest star.

Van Der Beek will appear in the ABC midseason comedy 'Apartment 23' as a fictionalized version of himself.

In other casting news ...

Martin Short and Aidan Quinn will guest star on Showtime's 'Weeds.' Short will play an attorney and Quinn has been tapped to play the CEO of an investment firm. Other guest stars include Jennifer Jason Leigh, Lindsay Sloane, Pablo Schreiber, David Clennon and Gary Anthony Williams. [Showtime]

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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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Actors in Limbo: Second Position Pilot Role Breakdown

by Chris Harnick, posted Mar 5th 2011 11:00AM
Becki Newton, Martin HendersonWhat do Martin Henderson, Becki Newton, Ryan Hansen and Rachelle Lefevre have in common? Well, they're all actors with pilot roles in second position to their current series gigs.

It's not strange for an actor to a take a pilot role in second position to a ratings-challenged series. However, what's pretty strange is both Lefevre and Henderson currently star in 'Off the Map' and have both been tapped for NBC's 'The Crossing.'

According to Deadline, the post-Civil War drama will see Henderson as Jason, a soldier who treks across the country and winds up in a town that welcomes him as a savior. Lefevre will play a war widow in the Missouri town Henderson's character settles in.

Does NBC know something we don't? Are they just not that into 'The Crossing' or do they just really love 'Off the Map'? We may never know.

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Kiefer Sutherland Officially Books Lead in 'Touch'

by Jean Bentley, posted Feb 22nd 2011 11:00AM
Kiefer Sutherland'24' fans still waiting for that much-rumored-about movie should probably let out that collective breath before something bad happens -- it's probably not going to happen any time soon now that Kiefer Sutherland has officially signed on to star in a new pilot.

According to TV Line, the man formerly known as Jack Bauer will star in the Fox drama pilot 'Touch.' From 'Heroes' creator Tim Kring and 20th Century Fox TV, the pilot is Kring's first foray into television since the cancellation of 'Heroes' last year.

Sutherland will play a father who "discovers that his autistic, mute son can predict events before they happen."

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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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The CW 2011 Pilots: Angels, Doctors, Zombies and Cops -- Oh, My!

by Chris Harnick, posted Feb 2nd 2011 5:00PM
The CWA buddy legal drama starring a former angel? Just what the doctor The CW ordered!

But wait, it gets better: The CW has filled its pilot slate with shows featuring zombies, cops and doctors. Add those to the current roster of spies, vampires, angsty rich kids, angsty 20-somethings and cheerleaders (also angsty), and it could be quite a lineup, huh? There's no other network out there with that much variety.

Let's take a look at the potential new shows.

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Countess LuAnn to Guest on 'Law & Order: SVU,' Nancy Travis Books 'Grey's' Role and More

by Chris Harnick, posted Jan 27th 2011 10:45AM
LuAnn De Lesseps'Real Housewives of New York City' star LuAnn de Lesseps will guest star on 'Law & Order: SVU.' Yes, you read that right.

The Countess will play an art lover who poses semi-nude for a painter.

According to the New York Post, De Lesseps' episode airs Feb. 23. The Bravo star also appeared in an episode of 'Royal Pains.'

In other TV news ...

Lori Loughlin has spoken out about her departure from The CW's '90210.' "I have enjoyed the past few years working on '90210' and adore all of the cast and crew, as well as the team at the CW and CBS TV Studios. I am grateful for having had the opportunity to be a part of this wonderful show." Loughlin will leave the series at the end of the season. [E! Online]

David Eigenberg will guest on 'Private Practice.' The 'Sex and the City' star will play the husband of one of Addison's patients. [TV Guide]

NBC has ordered pilots from stars Chelsea Handler, Jack Black and Whitney Cummings. Handler's pilot is based on her book, 'Are You There Vodka? It's Me Chelsea.' The E! comic is attached to executive produce, but not star. Cummings' pilot is about a historical reenactment park. Black's pilot follows a writer who puts himself into strange situations. [The Wrap]

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'Skins' Ratings Drop Dramatically, ABC Orders Edgar Allen Poe Mystery Pilot and More

by Jean Bentley, posted Jan 25th 2011 6:00PM
SkinsLooks like all that 'Skins' controversy might not have paid off for MTV.

The show's second episode, which aired last night without a brand-new 'Jersey Shore' lead-in, fell 52 percent in the ratings, according to Entertainment Weekly. Though the premiere drew 3.3 million viewers, only 1.6 million tuned in yesterday.

Also down in the ratings was NBC's 'The Cape,' which was down 38 percent this week, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

In other TV news ...

While Syfy's American version of 'Being Human' continues to forge its own way, BBC America announced the third season premiere date for the original flavor. The British series will premiere Feb. 19. [EW]

Oprah's big family secret reveal paid off for her, ratings-wise. Yesterday's 'Oprah Winfrey Show,' where the host revealed she had a half sister she never knew about, scored a 9.6 rating -- that's the show's highest in six years. [THR]

David E. Kelley's 'Wonder Woman' pilot is now a go, and now it has a possible director. 'The O.C.''s McG is reportedly the one execs want to helm the show. [TVLine]

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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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Stars Denied 'Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' Spots, Disney Readies 'Tron' Cartoon and More

by Chris Harnick, posted Nov 5th 2010 12:45PM
Lisa RinnaLisa Rinna, a cast member of 'The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills'? Almost, according to PerezHilton.com.

Rinna was among one of the more than 500 women who came out to audition for the Bravo reality series. Other famous names who didn't make the cut include Marla Maples, Shawn King and Alana Stewart.

Don't feel too sorry for Rinna, she's got her TV Land reality series and is part of the new 'Celebrity Apprentice.' However, it would be fun to see her tangle with some of those 'Beverly Hills' ladies.

In other TV news ...

• Disney XD is working on an animated 'Tron' series. The network has ordered 'Tron: Uprising' for summer 2012. The voice cast includes big names such as Elijah Wood, Mandy Moore, Paul Reubens,Emmanuelle Chriqui, Nate Corddry and Lance Henriksen. Bruce Boxleitner is also on board as Tron. [Variety]

• NBC is planning a sitcom around comedian Russell Peters. The show will loosely follow Peters' family life. [Variety]

• HBO's 'Tilda' has added three new executive producers. The Diane Keaton comedy has added Alan Poul and writers Alexa Junge and John Hoffman as executive producers. [Deadline Hollywood]

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Hail to the Veep: ABC Prepares Vice Presidential Drama

by Chris Jordan, posted Sep 16th 2010 6:50PM
The office of the vice president has long provided comic relief in Washington, D.C. Thanks to former Vice President Dan Quayle, we now have an alternate way of spelling "potato.''

Now ABC is developing a dramedy about the Veep, according to Variety. The series will be written by Sheldon Turner ('Up in the Air') and Shaun Cassidy ('Invasion'), and will focus on a fictional vice president and his staff.

The show will focus on the underdog nature of the vice president's office and explore the interpersonal relationships therein, including a romance between the female chief of staff and the vice president's son.

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Fox and J.J. Abrams Headed to 'Alcatraz'

by Chris Harnick, posted Sep 16th 2010 1:00PM
FoxWhat happens when you take an eager network, a respected TV creator and America's most notorious prison? 'Alcatraz' happens.

Earlier this month we reported on the project from J.J. Abrams and Elizabeth Sarnoff, an executive producer on 'Lost,' but now it's found a home on Fox. According to Variety, the network has given the project a pilot commitment.

Not much information has been released about the project besides a logline The Live Feed reports as: "A show about mysteries, secrets and the most infamous prison of all time: Alcatraz."

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Fox to Remake Hit British Sitcom 'Outnumbered'

by Chris Harnick, posted Sep 13th 2010 5:30PM
FoxWhen it comes to 'Outnumbered,' a British comedy about a couple who often gets overwhelmed by their three kids, the second time may be the charm for Fox. The network has been trying to adapt the hit sitcom since 2007, when it ordered an off-season pilot starring Ken Marino and Brooke Bloom.

With the success of 'Modern Family,' another single-camera sitcom about families, Fox is trying again. According to Deadline Hollywood, the network has ordered another off-cycle pilot of the series.

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EXCLUSIVE: 'Party Down' Creator Rob Thomas Reveals Details on New Projects

by Chris Harnick, posted Aug 25th 2010 11:36AM
Rob ThomasFans of cult hits everywhere, pay attention: Rob Thomas, John Enbom and Dan Etheridge, the guys behind 'Party Down' and 'Veronica Mars,' have scored a put pilot order from NBC.

Thomas told TV Squad that the new series, 'Temp,' has been in the works since the trio learned that 'Party Down' would not be getting a third season. It'll feature a group of main characters doing different jobs every week.

"The show is similar to 'Party Down' in the sense that there's a new job each week, but unlike 'Party Down,' we actually see the home life of our main characters," Thomas said. "It has more of a 'Mary Tyler Moore' home life/work life dynamic, except the job changes from week to week."

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