The casts have been set, the pilots have started the shooting phase, and early word is now coming out about what these shows are actually like! Up first, ABC. Seems that in the middle of planning pilots, ABC threw us a curve ball by fast tracking a spinoff! Turns out they weren’t the only ones.
Keep in mind, a lot of pilots are scheduled to be shot soon, or have just finished and haven’t been delivered in their finished form to the network. All early buzz here is based on finished pilots and a few great table reads. It’s also based on rumor and speculation from those that actually saw the pilots or happen to have spies that have access to focus group reports. A lot comes from Deadline too.
Still a shoo-in: S.H.I.E.L.D, except now it’s called Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Good to know. Time to start predicting what time slot it gets on the schedule!
New information: There’s a new drama in the mix! It’s a Once Upon A Time spinoff set in Wonderland. It’s called shockingly, Once Upon A Time In Wonderland. The premise is it’s a drama told from the point of view of Alice. The cast is Emma Rigby, Michael Socha, Paul Reubens, Peter Gadiot, and Sophie Lowe.
ABC Studios was part of the NBC pilot Wonderland, and bailed out because the project was too expensive. So they start their own in spinoff on their home network? Ah, so that’s what their diabolical plan was! That really screws NBC since their pilot shoot was delayed. Anyway, ABC has brought on Once Upon A Time producers Jane Espenson, Eddy Kitsis, and Adam Horowitz to work on the pilot, along with producer Zack Estrin (Prison Break), so that gives the project some real creative muster. Rumor has it if the show does get a pickup, it’ll only be for 13 episodes. Can you say midseason?
Front Runner Status – Drama: I’m stunned to say it, but Big Thunder tops this list. This is one of the shows I wasn’t very optimistic about. Another top show, and I did predict this, is Westside, or Venice depending on who you ask. Gothica’s pilot is definitely impressing, and Once Upon A Time In Wonderland is in “very high hopes” status right now. The presentation won people over.
The Others – Drama: Betrayal, Reckless, The Returned, and Murder In Manhattan have made an impression enough where they are on the contender list. Influence has made an impression with the chemistry between Christian Slater and Steve Zahn, but there’s no indication if that’s enough to get a series order.
No word: Doubt, Killer Women, and Lucky 7 are still MIA. The Killer Women pilot was shot in Austin, TX in late March, Doubt just finished filming in Chicago a few days ago, and Lucky 7 just finished in Queens, NY.
Front Runner – Comedy: Back In The Game, aka the formerly Untitled Cullen Bros Project. This one is looking like a done deal. The script is amazing and the cast is wowing everyone. I’m seeing this one after Modern Family!
The Others – Comedy: Bad Management starring David Spade is looking good, just about nailing the coffin shut for Rules of Engagement since he’s in first position for this new pilot. How The Hell Am I Normal (or The Goldberg’s?) seems strong. John Leguizamo’s new pilot has a name now too, King John. The pilot is due to shoot this week, but the table read ended up with many laughs. Trophy Wife and Super Fun Night were early pickups, and reaction to both of those is mixed, although Rebel Wilson is hot right now so Super Fun Night has the edge. Rumor has it though they had to do some reshoots.
No word: Keep Calm and Carry On, Mixology, Pulling, Divorce: A Love Story, Middle Age Rage.
Biggest Disappointment: Seems that a show I was keen on, SPY, did terrible with test audiences. Thats never good when trying to sell a comedy to a network!
Up next FOX. Turns out they have too many good pilots and not enough slots.
For those wondering what my initial predictions where, here’s the article!