Thursday, 19 May 2011

US TV Upfronts: Pilots Becoming TV Shows Revealed!

So a few weeks ago (or was it a month? Time flies when you're fast-forwarding through Gossip Girl) I previewed what was in the pilot cooking pots for the US TV networks 2011-12 season. And now we've found out which lucky few had the oven door yanked open in time, and which others have been left to burn. There's an array to be excited about, a few slabs of disappointment, and a sprinkling of surprises (Why exactly are Fox still making Touch?)


*Alcatraz - from January/February 2012, Mondays

I can't hide my disappointment at how rubbish this looks. Perhaps I'm being too harsh? Is it a bad trailer? I'm just not sure I care.

*Terra Nova - from September, Mondays
Now it just looks like Jurassic Park on Avatar. Well, at least Sam Worthington isn't in it.

*The X Factor - from September, Wednesdays and Thursdays
Surprisingly the US have never had the pleasure of IT'S TIME (breathe) TO FACE (phew) THE MUUUUSIIIIIIIC! But now Simon Cowell has brought his sob story money bucket (oh, I love it really) to Fox, also home of American Idol which continues. It's kind of like having two cycles of America's Next Top Model as we do every season. Only this move has now blown a hole in the UK equivalent leaving us with Louis Walsh and some random from N Dubz. What exactly is N Dubz? Is it like the So Solid Crew? or Blazin' Squad? Anyway, good news for US peeps, shocker for us.
Fox are encouraged by this (they called it "compelling"!) and will continue development in the Kiefer Sutherland haz autistic son Tim Kring lolz for a future airing, possibly mid-season, possibly later. Who cares.

*Exit Strategy
Being 're-tooled' I have observed. This is some American slang. It means throwing everything in the bin and starting again, because Ethan Hawke has a pretty face.


*Locke and Key
I am so, so disappointed they passed on this. They were apparently already hesitant about ordering sci-fi shows for the new season - with Terra Nova already long being confirmed (it was supposed to pilot in May) it looks as though the genre box has been ticked by Alcatraz, and there was no room for Locke and Key on the schedule. Here's hoping that's the reason, and it's not because the pilot - with such a fine, fine cast - sucked. And here's also hoping this cookie isn't dead, and one of the cable channels will pick it up.

The full Fox line up can be viewed here.


*Smash - from January/February 2012, Mondays

This looks like so much fun and will hopefully have more depth and quality than the squeaky Glee.

*Grimm - from September, Fridays
OK, so I wasn't that bothered before, but the trailer looks several kinds of awesome (it also helps the Grimm is pretty). Unfortunately - a) NBC have put it on Fridays, and b) it's up against Supernatural and Fringe.

*The Playboy Club - from September, Mondays
Now this looks like Mad Men meets Burlesque. It's a formula, but an intriguing one at that. Although Cole from Sunset Beach is never going to be Jon Hamm.

*Awake (previously REM) - from January/February 2012 (day tbc)
Also pleasantly surprised at how good this looks: there's a lot of layers there, and Jason Isaacs is always class.


*17th Precinct
NBC have passed on the new one from Battlestar Galactica creator Ron Moore, probably as they have enough sci-fi/fantasy in the schedule already. Fans of the cylons will be disappointed though, especially after the bombing of Caprica. Back to the boxsets, eh?

You can see NBC's full line up here.


*Two Broke Girls - from September, Mondays

Mmm, kind of put off by the laughing track, but Kat Dennings is lovely. I'll see if it endears me.


But never fear, it's gone to The CW instead! Speaking of which...

(you can see CBS' mediocre full line up here)


*Ringer - From September, Tuesdays

Wow, if a trailer was going to lack further tension and charisma it would be a blank screen. Sorry SMG, this looks yawnsville.

*The Secret Circle - From September, Thursdays

Oh please. I've sat through eight seasons of Charmed and seen The Craft a dozen times. Give us something new, CW!


*The Awakening
The sisters fighting through a zombie apocalypse premise didn't favour with the Network, who chose Buffy, witches and a bland country medical practice instead. Too bad because this would have been, if not necessarily different, refreshing for a network that is really struggling at the moment - hence why it renews a lot of its stale bread while it ponders on how to make more dough.

You can view the rest of the CW line up here.


*Once Upon A Time - From September, Sundays
Oh my, this looks utterly ridiculous (and disturbingly like Enchanted). But I'm still on board! The fantasy land looks gorge.

*Pan Am - From September, Sundays
Disappointment! I can't believe The Playboy Club looks better than this. It's just too girly for me.

*The River - From January/February 2012 (day tbc)
I do like the way someone has described this as Paranormal Activity on a boat. Surely that black smoke is from somewhere else...?

*Suburgatory - From September, Wednesdays

Yay, fun times! Someone has decided to take Mean Girls, Easy A and Juno and make a TV comedy out of them. Why has no one done this before?


I guess there's just been too many shows about a town being torn apart by good and evil shown before, but it's still a shame Terry O'Quinn won't be joining his fellow Lost alumni in a new show this year.

Not too devastated this 19th Century detective series wasn't picked up - looks as though other fantasy/sci-fi premises were stronger.

But I am upset that this hasn't been taken to a full series. Poor Katie Cassidy - when is she going to get a break?

You can view the rest of the ABC line up here.

As you can see lots to look forward to! Let me know if you'll be adding any to your own personal schedules below.

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