Fox Pulls the Trigger on Its Upfront Pickups: What's Ordered, Dead and Likely to Be Retooled
The network adds new series, including J.J. Abrams' drama "Alcatraz," comedy "The New Girl" and "Bones" spinoff "The Finder." "Human Target" and "The Chicago Code" Among Those Canceled.
With Fox's upfront presentation less than a week away, the No. 1 network in younger viewers picked up four pilots to series -- two dramas and two pilots -- while removing five others from its existing schedule late Tuesday.
The Hollywood Reporter takes a look at what's in, out, dead and likely to be retooled:
Alcatraz, from J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot Prods. and Warner Bros. TV. The crime drama revolving around Alcatraz and the team investigating the mysterious reappearance of its 1960s inhabitants in the present stars Lost's Jorge Garcia. The drama gained early buzz and a fan in Fox's Peter Rice, according to sources, though some questioned whether the net had room for another mystery drama with Abrams' Fringe already on the schedule.
The Finder, a Bones spinoff from sister studio 20th TV. The drama, which centers on a military-trained "finder" (Geoff Stults) who helps locate lost items or persons in the Florida Keys, recently rolled out to solid ratings as a back-door pilot. The project won high marks internally, particularly by those who wanted to find a way to continue the recently renewed Bones franchise once the long-running -- and thus pricey -- original ends.
The New Girl, a Zooey Deschanel comedy from 20th, will appear on Fox's fall schedule. The single-camera series, which is believed to be a Kevin Reilly favorite, centers on a quirky female teacher who becomes roommates with three guys: a man-child, a player and a cynic.
I Hate My Teenage Daughter, a Jaime Pressly/Katie Finneran comedy from Warner Bros., is a go. The multicamera laugher centers on two women who have daughters like the girls who once picked on them in high school.
Pilot Locke & Key, a thriller about a family in crisis as they move into a haunted house, is dead. Miranda Otto and Nick Stahl starred. There was talk about a limited event, but that too is unlikely given the cost. A second source says it will be shopped elsewhere.
Pilot Weekends at Bellevue, starring Lauren Ambrose, is said to be dead. In recent days, there had been talk about Fox brass looking at the series, set in a psych unit at Bellevue hospital, as a potential complement -- and eventual successor -- to the recently renewed House.
Pilot Iceland, a romantic comedy from Sony, is said to be dead. The Zach Gilford starrer had been low on buzz -- positive or negative -- in recent weeks.
Pilot Outnumbered, a British family comedy adaptation starring Cheech Marin and Ugly Betty's Ana Ortiz, is dead. The single-camera comedy was from 20th TV and Chernin Entertainment.
Pilot Council of Dads, a single-camera comedy about a group of men united by death, is also out. A pickup for the Kyle Bornheimer vehicle from Sony was not expected.
Pilot Tagged, a hybrid comedy starring Gary Cole as an emotionally absent father from Sony, is also dead.
WHAT COULD BE RETOOLED:
Exit Strategy, a dark spy thriller with Ethan Hawke and director Antoine Fuqua, will likely be retooled. A potential wrench in Fox's plans: Fuqua is slated to begin filming the Tupac biopic this summer.
Little in Common, a Rob Corddry single-camera comedy from Warner Bros. TV, has the potential to be retooled for a pickup later.
Family Album, another single-camera comedy starring Glee's Mike O'Malley and Rachael Harris, might be retooled as well.
Freshman comedy Breaking In, starring Christian Slater, is believed to be dead. This marks Slater's third first-year series in a row to get the ax -- NBC's My Own Worst Enemy in 2008-09 and ABC's The Forgotten in 2009-10.
Shawn Ryan's freshman police drama The Chicago Code with Jason Clarke, Jennifer Beals and Matt Lauria is done. This is The Shield creator's second cancellation this season; the first came with FX's Terriers, which was not renewed for a second season. The showrunner reacted on Twitter, "Fox suits loved the show, but have a business to run."
Freshman buddy comedy Traffic Light, based on an Israeli format, has also been canceled, sources say.
Sophomore drama Human Target, starring Mark Valley, Chi McBride and Jackie Earle Haley has been canceled, sources say.
Lie to Me, the Tim Roth drama now in its third season, is also dead, according to a source.
Fox's upfront presentation is set for Monday in New York, where it will formally unveil its slate to Madison Avenue buyers.
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Additional reporting by Lesley Goldberg.