Fox, Fox, Fox. I’m looking at this list of pilots, and I’m still trying to figure out where they have slots for even half of these. I’m even ignoring the two reality shows they have on their pilot list. They’ve already renewed The X-Factor, Bones, The Following, The Simpsons, Family Guy, American Dad, Bob’s Burgers, New Girl, The Mindy Project, Raising Hope, and American Idol and Glee are forgone conclusions. Open slots have been relegated to half a season on Mondays, a half hour slot on Tuesdays, and Fridays. And it’s half of Friday unless they decide not to use Kitchen Nightmares again in the future. What’s a successful network to do?
In case you missed my initial first look at Fox’s pilots, here’s the link: https://www.tvfortherestofus.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=401;its-rabbit-season-its-duck-season-its-pilot-season-whats-up-for-fox&catid=54;general-television&Itemid=28
- Casting: Ramon Rodriguez, Tom Berenger, Shantal VanSanten, Cliff Curtis, Rza, Jay Hernandez, Sung Kang
- New info: The premise is the same, a gang member infiltrating the San Francisco Police Department, but Tom Berenger’s character is the police chief who oversees the gang task force.
- Confidence level: Good. The cast seems solid, a mix of old and young, Allen Hughes is directing the pilot who comes with a bunch of street cred, and Brian Grazer is one of the producers. Not to mention, this is really a Fox kind of show. Yeah, everything seems in place.
- Casting: Greg Kinnear, Bojana Novakovic, David Harbour, John Ortiz, Miranda Otto, Necar Zadegan
- New info: This is a dramedy. Otherwise, the detailed synopsis from our first look still covers it.
- Confidence level: Goodish. This sounds like it can be a winner, but other than this is based on a popular Australian show written by that show’s creator, and Greg Kinnear is starring as well as taking the role of co-executive producer, there isn’t much buzz about it. Will Fox need this in the end?
- Casting: Mykelti Williamson, Josh Salatin, Will Rothhaar, Alano Miller,
- New info: Here’s a promotional line if I’ve ever read one. This comes from Deadline. “It’s a young ensemble about the working men and women on board an aircraft carrier equipped with a 500-foot landing strip, a nuclear reactor and 6000 souls on board.
- Confidence level: Shaky. This again sounds like another Fox show, and I even see it on the Monday night slot. But is it better than others on this list? Not by this second glance.
- Casting:Anthony LaPaglia, Felicity Huffman, Michael Stahl-David, Patrick Heusinger.
- New info: It’s still about a family of government assassins. Mom, Dad, and two adult sons.
- Confidence level: Okay. These are two phenomenal leads, so the casting will get attention. Word is the script is lively too. Given the overdone premise though, the characters really need to be interesting.
- Casting: Emma Roberts, Daren Kagasoff, Corey Reynolds, Billy Campbell, Gregg Sulkin, Jeanie Mason, Michael Michele.
- New info: None.
- Confidence level: Poor. This sounds like a project The CW should be embracing instead. The premise seems like a tough sell to audiences, even if it could be a good young viewer attraction. Fox has better shows to choose from.
- Casting: Michael Pena, Jessica Szohr, Gary Cole, Richard T. Jones, Tamsin Egerton, Hiliarie Burton
- New info: We know it’s about an U.S. Marshal who leads the hunt for the culprit who stole a list of all the Witness protection program protectees, but it’s the description of Gary Cole’s role that gives a bit more. According to Deadline, “Cole will play Soto’s boss, Chief Inspector Bob McKinnon, a stand-up, loyal guy who goes to bat for Soto when his maverick inspector gets into hot water, yet again.” So there.
- Confidence level: Undecided. I don’t know, it could be good, but nothing about this is making me jump out of my chair yet. Plus Gary Cole will always be Lumbergh to me. I know, it’s shallow considering he’s been in a lot of things, but it’s the truth. This is the first Fox pilot this year to have a “tweak”, with Egerton taking over the role for Charity Wakefield so Hiliarie Burton could take her old one.
- Casting: Tom Mison, Nicole Beharie, Orlando Jones, Katia Winter
- New info: Oh, you’re gonna love this. So this dude, Ichabod Crane, after performing the legendary act of taking off the head of the headless horseman in the Revolutionary War, gets inconceivably time warped into modern day. The modern conveniences throw him for a loop, but it turns out that Icabod Crane is a good detective. Go figure. It’s useful because the headless horseman comes back because time warps never have stopped ghosts before.
- Confidence level: You’ve got to be effin kidding me! I’m all for out of the box, supernatural thrillers but this is a big stretch even for my imagination. Plus it comes from Orci and Kurtzman, who are the kings of predicable plots and cliché. Still, I could see Fox picking this up, just so they can be called avant garde.
Untitled JH Wyman Project
- Casting: Michael Ealy, Karl Urban, Lili Taylor, Michael Irby, Minka Kelly, Mackenzie Crook
- New info: A buddy cop story, where all cops are paired with “highly evolved” human androids. Well, at least they’re evolved.
- Confidence level: Very high. I wish they would hurry up and title this thing, but I guess the previous decent title of Inhuman wasn’t good enough for this network that let such titles like House of Buggin’ live on. Anyway, this is produced by J.J. Abrams and Bad Robot, who are on this mega winning streak right now. J.H. Wyman has just come off a successful run as showrunner on Fringe. The casting is amazing, and people are very excited about Karl Urban coming aboard. Plus, Fox needs a strong Friday show, and this sort of sci-fi fare fits the bill. Although, they probably wouldn’t waste such a strong show on Fridays, but who knows?
There’s one I’m leaving off the list. Dads has already been given a six episode order, so consider that one picked up! How are the rest faring though?
- Casting: Rob Riggle, Angela Kinsey, Brooke Sorenson, River Alexander, Sara Sevigny, Tim Meadows
- New info: There’s a few more specifics on the characters. Rob Riggle’s character is a little immature, Angela Kinsey’s character is a therapist, and Tim Meadows plays the local principal. The concept is the Gabriels are anti-social people learning to make friends for the sake of the kids in a very polite small Midwestern town.
- Confidence level: Good. I still love this concept, and the casting of Riggle and Kinsey is awesome! Again, it’s all going to rely on material, but so far so good.
I Suck at Girls
- Casting: Claudia Lee, Conner Buckley, Christopher Meloni (Claudia, Conner and Chris?)
- New info: Here’s something about Meloni’s character from TV Line – “Meloni will play Jack Dunlevy, a military man-turned oncologist who talks to everyone like they’re 75-years-old and dying of cancer: just a no bulls–t guy. Up to this point in his life, Jack’s just been the guy who’s gone to work early in the morning, come home late, eaten the big piece of chicken, yells at his kids, and goes to bed. But now his wife is going to law school, and he’s going to have to take a much more active role in his kids’ lives.”
- Confidence level: Positive. Granted not superb or anything, since the writers of the pilot and producers are Justin Halpern and Patrick Schumacker, the same people who brought you “$#*! My Dad Says” but it’s also got Bill Lawrence tied to the project, who always brings something different and quirky. Casting Meloni is certainly a coup, but we’ll have to see about the rest.
- Casting: Keith David, Geoff Stults, Angelique Cabral, Chris Lowell, Parker Young.
- New info: One of the brothers, Stult’s character, was sent home from Afghanistan after punching a superior officer. Other than that, the concept is still three brothers at a small Army base in Florida.
- Confidence level: Low. This is single camera. I’m having trouble seeing how the concept can fly in that setting. The cast doesn’t stand out for me either.
Friends and Family
- Casting: Alexis Bledel, Jason Ritter, Jane Kaczmarek, Kurt Fuller, Ashlie Atkinson, Dustin Ybarra, Kerri Kenny-Silver.
- New info: Kaczmarek’s character will be following her comfort zone. She plays an overbearing, loud Upper West sider with zero filter. A Real Housewife type. Otherwise, Ritter and Bledel are Gavin and Stacey, forming a relationship through online social media. Their first date is in New York and as you can expect, it’s riddled with disaster.
- Confidence level: Good, but that comes from the cast alone. This is a top notch ensemble. It’s based on an already successful British concept, Gavin and Stacey, but as we know that usually doesn’t assure success with the US counterpart. Still, as a single camera concept I think this can fly.
- Casting: Chris Klein, Erin Richards
- New info: None.
- Confidence level: Bottom of the basement low. The pilot order happened based on a ten minute presentation, the original lead, Rob Riggle, is now on another pilot for Fox, and it’s an HBO reject. Three strikes right there. It could see the light of day in another development season, but I don’t see it making the fall slate.
To My Future Assistant
- Casting: Brittany Snow, Catherine O’Hara, Melissa Tang, Steven Root, Joe Egender, Tone Bell
- New info: The lead character, played by Snow, is an ambitious legal assistant looking to become an associate lawyer at the firm.
- Confidence level: Undecided. The creators behind this have a good rep, and this could be a good companion to New Girl. But lawyers? Overdone.
- Casting: Kelli Garner, Jake Hoffman, Mimi Kennedy
- New info: None. It’s a couple whose friends don’t think they are right for each other.
- Confidence level: Not even on the radar. If it makes it, I say summer filler.
Untitled Goor and Schur Project
- Casting: Andy Samberg, Andre Braugher, Joe Lo Truglio, Melissa Fumero, Stephanie Beatriz, Terry Crews.
- New info: Nothing really. It’s still about a diverse bunch of detectives at a precinct in New York.
- Confidence level: High, even though they really should title their show. This is a very hot project that Fox snagged in a brutal bidding war. They were kind of obligated to send it to pilot. Given Samberg’s involvement, that makes it very promising. It still sounds like a remake of Barney Miller to me, but it’s single camera so it’s sure to be different.
What do you think of Fox’s pilot slate so far?
Coming up next, the desperate to fill many, many holes NBC.