NBC has both a good and bad problem. Bad that in many of their shows are tanking and that they are relying solely on The Voice to keep them above water. The good news though, all of their 2013 pilots could be picked up and they’d be able to find a timeslot for them. To be honest, there are many good possibilities in this bunch. There’s also a few utterly ridiculous ones.
Below is my more detailed look at NBC’s drama and comedy pilots. As I’ve said before, I don’t give a damn about reality, so I won’t be looking at those. For each pilot I’ll look at casting (which has really been a problem for NBC this year), any new info since my initial look at these programs, and my confidence level on where these pilots are going.
For my initial impression of this pilot list, go here:
- Casting: Jill Flint, Brigid Brannagh, Eoin Macken, Freddy Rodriguez, Jeananne Goosen, Ken Leung, Robert Bailey, Jr.
- New info: None. This was filmed in December, so everyone’s waiting.
- Confidence level: Good. This series was an off-cycle order and considered to be an early contender, but NBC has it on hold until it sees all the pilots. Given their needs, if they still like the project, I’m sure they’ll find a slot for it.
- Casting: Jake McLaughlin, Johnny Sequoyah, Kyle McLachlan, Arian Moayed, Delroy Lindo, Jamie Chung, , Sienna Guillory
- New info: The premise hasn’t changed, a young girl (Sequoyah) in possession of great powers ends up with a man who breaks out of prison to protect her (McLaughlin). Kyle McLachlan is the most recognizable name in this cast, and he plays a mysterious billionaire who’s taking interest in all this. Probably because he’s rich.
- Confidence level: Optimistic. The premise sounds right, and as I said during the Fox analysis, anything attached to Bad Robot and J.J. Abrams is pure gold right now. That’s just the front though, this all is the brain child of Alfonso Cuaron, who’s a relative unknown to US television. The relationship between the two leads will be the key here. As long as this doesn’t turn out to be another Touch, they’re good.
- Casting: James Spader, Megan Boone, Ryan Eggold
- New info: The world’s most wanted criminal suddenly turns himself in and offers to help of the goodness of his heart authorities to catch anyone he’s ever worked with. There’s a catch though, only a young FBI gal (Boone) can help him, even though they’ve never met and have no connection whatsoever. Or do they?
- Confidence level: Impressed. Casting has happened a little late on this one. There were rumors swirling around for a while that Kiefer Sutherland would take this role, but he’s still on Touch, which has a 99.999 percent of getting cancelled. But it’s not, and negotiations must not have gone well, because within the last week James Spader was named the lead. Another very awesome choice. This guy is a three time emmy winner for Boston Legal, but will always be the dorky Daniel to me in the Stargate movie
The Sixth Gun
- Casting: Michiel Huisman, Elena Satine, Aldis Hodge (yay!), Chin Han, Graham McTavish, James LeGros, Laura Ramsey, Pedro Pascal, W. Earl Brown.
- New info: It’s a supernatural western (Firefly fans are suddenly looking our way), and a story about six very special guns, each having it’s own special power. The most powerful gun, the sixth one (thus the title), ends up in the hands of a farmer’s daughter and bad stuff happens. In other words, my kind of show!
- Confidence level: Ready to watch this now! Michiel Huisman is the lead. Have you seen how gorgeous this man is? The few of you that watched Treme know. He gets my vote for comic book hero gunslinger. I LOVE how Deadline describes his character. “A rogue gunslinger and handsome bastard.” I’ll say. As a fan, I already have this one on the DVR. However, as we learned from Firefly, this kind of fare is a tough sell for networks. It’s going to have to be exceptionally good. Either that or all the female network executives faint every time Huisman pulls a gun.
- Casting: N/A
- New info: None
- Confidence level: Promising. I’m thinking this project is looking pretty good, just because NBC is going to this kind of trouble, but this pilot isn’t going to shoot now until after pilot season. Seems that it was a project for ABC Studios, and Universal took it over at last minute. This pilot is an expensive fairy tale drama with some pretty elaborate scenes. Because of the complexity and the studio switch, this pilot won’t be ready until summer. It should be noted ABC Studios pulled out because of the high price tag, so this is going to have to be pretty good in order for NBC to give it a go. Considering it’s from Anthony Zuiker (CSI) and it’s conceived from the same fabric as successful (and expensive) series Once Upon a Time, this has a very good shot of making NBC’s wide open schedule.
- Casting: Chris Zylka, Jonathan Banks, KaDee Strickland, Skyler Samuels, Tom Everett Scott
- New info: This is being called a “pulp” thriller. The descriptions I read are rather convoluted, so let’s just call this the TV version of Kill Bill. The lead character, Bird, is caught in between two families of mercenaries and murderers (aren’t mercenaries murderers?). She finds out she has to kill her mother in mortal combat. Okay.
- Confidence level: Low. NBC has failed way too much at these screwball concepts. They have other pilots that are way more promising.
I am Victor
- Casting: John Stamos, Angela Sarafyan, Josh Zuckerman, Lorenza Izzo, Matthew Lillard, McKaley Miller, Megan Dodds, Terry Kinney
- New info: Zuckerman’s character, Wes, plays a very green and neurotic lawyer. He’s brilliant but lacks confidence. Kinney’s character owns the law firm and is Victor’s father-in-law. Lillard’s character is an off beat cop and Victor’s friend, and Miller plays Victor’s daughter.
- Confidence level: Undecided. Honestly, I think this concept is overdone. It’s almost like we have a pseudo Boston Legal going on here. However, people love John Stamos, people love legal dramas (???) and people love quirky characters. It could work.
The Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives
- Casting: James Tupper, Jesse L. Martin, Laura Allen, Martin Henderson, Nicole Ari Parker, Olivia Luccardi, Perrey Reeves
- New info: Not a lot, since this like “After Hours” was ordered months ago off cycle. I believe the pilot has already been shot. We’re just waiting.
- Confidence level: Unsure. If NBC was so high on this early that’s a good sign for this show, but I still think there are better pilots on this list. Then again, I’m just not a soap opera fan, and a lot of people are. The cast sounds good.
The Hatfields and McCoys
- Casting: Virginia Madsen, Rebecca DeMorna, Sophia Bush, Patrick Flueger, Nick Westrate, Annie Ilonzeh, James Remar, Jesse Lee Soffer.
- New info: Yep, NBC balked at the “untitled” thing and decided to just call it The Hatfields and The McCoys, instead of this modern time story being based on that feud. The Hatfields are rich, the McCoys are poor. It’s about the lingering aftermath of a murder.
- Confidence level: Unsure. Either they pair this with The Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives, or pick up one of the two. Soap operas are always such a toss up. I’m still not keen, but people like this stuff.
Untitled Rand Ravich Project
- Casting: Lance Gross, Dermot Mulroney, Max Martini, Gillian Anderson (awesome!), Rachel Taylor, Halston Sage, Josh Erenberg, Max Schneider.
- New info: A secret service agent has a very bad first day when the president’s son and his classmates are kidnapped.
- Confidence level: Very low. How can they base a series on this premise? Is this perhaps intended to be only midseason filler? This concept is so overdone. However, Gillian Anderson! I’ve missed her on my TV. She really should find another project when this tanks.
- Casting: Blair Underwood, Brent Sexton, Neal Bledsoe
- New info: So, instead of a very portly white guy we get a trim black guy to play Ironside. Nope, still not working for me.
- Confidence level: Not even a blip on the radar. NBC forgot about Mockingbird Lane already? After the abysmal launches of Knight Rider and The Bionic Woman?
Coming up on Page 2, NBC and their major comedy pilot woes so far.