• The Hollywood Reporter on LinkedIn
  • Follow THR on Pinterest

TV Pilots: What's Hot and Cold

Christina Applegate
Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Talk about a moving target. Trying to pin down the status of pilots is risky business (some haven't even been screened yet). But that's what show business is all about. Based on numerous interviews with industry sources, THR has compiled a best-guess list. Bear in mind that at this time last year, CBS' Blue Bloods had little buzz and is now likely to get a Season 2 pickup. At the same time, the supposedly sure bet, NBC's The Rockford Files, never made it to air.  

A few facts are clear: There is far more real estate available at NBC and ABC than Fox, CBS or, of course, the CW. But given that both networks have new bosses (Robert Greenblatt at NBC and Paul Lee at ABC), the industry is still focused on divining the guiding vision.

Fox has the fewest spots to fill, with The X Factor and Terra Nova already on the schedule, but the network is said to be focused on finally getting a live-action comedy lineup to work. All will be revealed when upfronts begin with NBC and Fox on May 16 in New York City.           

ABC

  • Charlie's Angels: ABC execs are fans. "It's dumb, campy, and they love it."
  • Scandal: Sources suggest this will take the place of Shonda Rhimes' Off the Map.
  • Good Christian Bitches: Perfectly "on brand," it could be paired with Desperate Housewives.
  • Apartment 23: "A no-brainer to pair with Happy Endings or Cougar Town."
  • Bad Mom: Jenna Elfman played well -- "the best Jenna has ever been."
  • Pan Am: Looks beautiful though multiple sources talk of cast issues.
  • Untitled Jack Burditt: Script rewritten for star Tim Allen. Insiders don't love it, but it will likely end up on the air.
  • Hallelujah: Sources say it doesn't look good. But producer Marc Cherry (Desperate Housewives) works in its favor.
  • Grace: Dance sequences get high marks; all other buzz weak. But could be paired with DWTS.
  • Identity: "Down-the-middle" procedural, not ABC's strong suit.
  • Partners: Insiders say the police drama is dead. "It was dead before it shot."
  • Lost and Found: Comedy's future is not looking bright. "Dead at the table read."

CBS

  • Untitled Susannah Grant: Lots of talk about CBS really liking what it has seen of the Patrick Wilson vehicle.
  • Home Game: Multiple sources commenting on CBS' desire to get Rob Riggle on the air.
  • Untitled Rina Mimoun: Sources speak of a strong cast (Christine Lahti), along with the desire for a medical drama.
  • Ringer: Sarah Michelle Gellar a big draw. Mystery series is not a traditional CBS show, but Nina Tassler is said to be engaged with it.
  • Person of Interest: Despite the J.J. Abrams association, there's chatter about the project being both costly and too dark.
  • Untitled Rob Schneider: Several sources claim it failed to impress, but Rob Schneider is a film star who could translate to TV.
  • Untitled Peter Knight: Multiple sources are declaring the comedy from Adam Sandler's Happy Madison dead.

NBC

  • Smash: "Already on the air; it's just a matter of scheduling." Producer Steven Spielberg is engaged.
  • Alpha Mom: Christina Applegate and Will Arnett have great chemistry.
  • Prime Suspect: Chatter about Bob Greenblatt loving Maria Bello.
  • Special Investigations L.A.: One source claims Greenblatt has been in the editing room.
  • REM: Big fans at the network but fears about it being too complicated.
  • Playboy: Execs love the built-in brand name.
  • Whitney: A great taping, but some question how broad Whitney Cummings' humor is.
  • A Mann's World: Went from cold to warm; with   Don Johnson, buzz high. 
  • Wonder Woman: Talk of campy disappointment. Still a possible pickup, but the network could renew David E. Kelley's Harry's Law instead.
  • 17th Precinct: Sources say the Stockard Channing project is "weak" and "very unlikely."
  • I Hate That I Love You: Some say the comedy came in cold.
  • Lovelives: Chatter about a lack of laughs.

FOX

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
Jason Merritt/Getty Images
Jason Merritt/Getty Images
Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images
Christopher Polk/Getty Images
  • Touch: With Kiefer Sutherland on board, it's said to be a lock for midseason, 24's old stomping ground.
  • Family Album: Believed to be a big family comedy, which the network is seeking.
  • Exit Strategy: A strong contender, though there was talk of lightening up the dark Ethan Hawke star vehicle.
  • The New Girl: Although there are questions about star Zooey Deschanel being funny, the actress is nonetheless a draw. Kevin Reilly, in particular, is said to be a fan.
  • Weekends at Bellevue: Multiple sources suggest the psych-ward series could prove a good companion -- and eventual replacement -- for the long-running medical series House.
  • Alcatraz: Although Peter Rice is believed to be a fan of the J.J. Abrams project, several question whether Fox has room for another mysterious drama, particularly with Fringe already renewed.
  • Outnumbered: Bad buzz, with multiple sources whispering, "Dead."

THE CW

  • Secret Circle: Close as they come to a lock, with The Vampire Diaries' Kevin Williamson adding pull.
  • Heavenly: Strong supernatural elements make it a contender, with fans at the network.
  • Cooper and Stone: Has life in it, though talk hasn't been particularly positive. Working in its favor: The cop show doesn't look like every other soapy drama on the net's schedule, a plus by new boss Mark Pedowitz's standards.
  • Hart of Dixie: Gaining buzz because of creators' pedigree (Gossip Girl), but there are questions about former O.C. star Rachel Bilson's believability as a doctor.
  • Danni Lowinski: While it hasn't been ruled out, there are rumblings of the pilot being weak.