Sunday, 29 April 2012

US PILOTS 2012/3: ABC

Once again, the output at ABC for 2012/3 is very strong indeed - apart from The CW (which I can never seem to escape) ABC is the top US Network for me, and I always manage to find a new shows to watch every year. Last year it gave up Once Upon A Time (not as dark as I'd hoped, but still lots of fun), Suburgatory (which has finally found its stride and by GOD I love Yakult), Revenge (soapish heaven - but actually brilliantly scripted) and my new fave The B--- in Apartment 23 (kinda sad I never watched Dawson's Creek so I can't properly lol at everything James Van Der Beek does). Let's see what's on the plate this year...


666 Park Ave
Tell me now: A young couple move into a historic apartment building in New York City, located at 666 Park Avenue. The plan is to manage the building and its variety of residents, but strange supernatural occurrences begin to threaten their work and their stay.
And who's in it: The main couple in question are Dave Annabele and Rachael Taylor, not huge names but have both starred in Brothers and Sisters and Grey's Anatomy respectively. The haunted apartment's residents also include Terry O'Quinn (Locke from Lost), Vanessa Williams (Ugly Betty), and Robert Buckley (One Tree Hill).
Should I care?: Horror - along with fairy tales, which you'll see more of later - is a hot genre in the US TV market at the moment, particularly due to the success of American Horror Story on F/X. ABC had a bit of a spooky dud last year with The River but I have better hopes for 666 as it's based on the book by Gabriella Pierce so the source material for a series is there and lead writer is David Wilcox (Fringe). But poor Terry O'Quinn has been trying to get a pilot picked up for donkey's!


Americana
Tell me now: Soapy drama revolving around legendary fashion designer Robert Soulter and his family business.
And who's in it: Soulter will be played by Anthony LaPaglia who is best known for Without A Trace. Family members include Lost (and Once Upon A Time)'s Emilie de Ravin, The Descent's Natalie Mendoza, and David Alpay from both The Tudors and The Borgias. Also stars Ashley Greene (Twilight, pictured left), Christine Adams (Terra Nova) and Ken Olin (Brothers and Sisters).
Should I care?: Well it's set in the fashion industry and that's enough of a draw for me. ABC clearly looking to capitalise on the success of Revenge with this pretty looking soapsud - Philip Noyce who directed the pilot for Revenge is back to do this one, too. But it has a lot of other contention this year...


Beauty and the Beast
Tell me now: Set in a mythical kingdom, a fearless princess looking for help in the midst of a rebellion finds unlikely help from a mysterious beast.
And who's in it: Our Beauty and Beast are Ruth Bradley (Primeval) and - gulp - Darius Campbell (Popstars: the Rivals)!! Since when did he become a star over there? Or did he just get lucky? I'm not sure if I can take this seriously... Filling up the rest: Christopher Egan (Kings), F. Murray Abraham and Alan Dale (Lost, Once Upon A Time).
Should I care?: Not to be confused with The CW pilot of the same name which is also up for a series run at the upfronts (one of them is going to have to change their name otherwise it's going to be utterly confusing). This is the more promising of the two projects however, as we get the fantasy setting which is always the best bit about watching Once Upon A Time.


Gilded Lilys
Tell me now: In 1895 the first luxury hotel in New York City opens, and family rivalries, secrets and disdain between the classes dominate the mood.
And who's in it: Maury Sterling (Homeland), Matt Long (Mad Men), Blythe Danner, Brigid Brannagh, Sarah Bolger (The Tudors) and John Barrowman.
Should I care?: This is pretty much what Americana is going to be, except this time it'll be a hotel that's the focus of attention and not a fashion house. But, what could set Lilys apart is it's period setting - plus it's from one of the writers/producers of Gossip Girl which should be, ahem, interesting... scandal on the Upper East Side in the 19th Century, anyone? God I wonder if it'll be a bit like The Luxe?


Gotham
Tell me now: Female Detective Annie Travers discovers there's a magical world that exists within New York City - a world unknown and unseen by normal folk.
And who's in it: Newbie Megan Ketch (pictured), who only graduated from Tisch last year, is playing Annie Travers so it's a big break for her. Also starring: Barry Sloane (er, Hollyoaks), Lennie James (Jericho) and BRIAN COX!
Should I care?: This is basically the premise of Grimm but set in a different city and this time with a female lead. Hopefully this will be much, much better (I only lasted 4 episodes with the NBC drama) but I am slightly dubious about the fact the pilot is written by Michael Green, who wrote and produced The River... Guhhhhhh.


Scruples
Tell me now: Glamorama soap set in the 1970s following a socialite's quest to open up a fashion forward clothes boutique in Beverly Hills following the death of her husband.
And who's in it: Claire Forlani is socialite Billy Winthorp Ikehorn (what a name!), who has recently starred in both NCIS and CSI (but having recently watched it, she was in Kevin Smith's Mallrats). But it's a pretty strong cast all round, which makes me think it'll get picked up: Chad Michael Murray (One Tree Hill), Mimi Rogers, Gary Cole (The West Wing) and Karine Vanasse (the best thing to come out of last year's ABC drama Pan Am).
Should I care?: Truth be told this doesn't sound like the kind of thing I'd be watching, but something caught my eye as I was reading over the cast and crew... it's only going to be executive produced by NATALIE! What brought her on board the project I have no idea - was she a big fan of the best-selling novel by Judith Krantz, which was previously adapted into a mini series in the 1980s? Who knows, but word is she's planned to star in some episodes, too. Hello new favourite show of the new season!

 
Tomorrow it's the guilty pleasures of The CW.


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