It was a busy day in pre-upfront broadcast network land, with Fox deciding the fate of all of its pilots (nine picked up to series, six dead) and NBC narrowing down the field by passing on 7 pilots. No major surprises, with none of the hot NBC pilots getting the ax. That includes front-runners on the drama side Blacklist and Crisis (Rand Ravich), which are moving on, along with Ironside, Believe, I Am Victor and After Hours as well as strong comedies About A Boy, Welcome To The Family, Family Guide, Assistance, Sean Hayes, and Undateable, plus dark horses Craig Robinson and John Mulaney and even darker horse Robert Padnick, which is dead. And let’s not forget the potential Chicago Fire spinoff, which I hear turned out well.
At ABC, comedy pilot Spy is dead. So is Keep Calm. Trophy Wife seems to be a go, with reshoots already scheduled. Adam Goldberg and Cullen Bros. continue to be hot, and Rebel Wilson’s growing popularity continues to drive Super Fun Night toward a pickup despite some issues with the pilot. Multi-camera Divorce, one of the last ABC pilots to be delivered, came in surprisingly good, so it is in the mix, though fellow multi-cam pilot King John appears a more suitable companion for Last Man Standing. Bad Management, Middle Age Rage and Mixology also seem in various degrees of contention. Bad Management would mark ABC’s return to workplace comedy, a genre that has been missing from the network. On the drama side, besides S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Once Upon A Time spinoff, Lucky 7 and Betrayal are still strong, The Returned has maintained its late charge to the front of the pack, and Big Thunder‘s last cut was well received. Killer Women and Murder In Manhattan are possibilities on the procedural side. Gothica does not look good, though some kind of reworking for midseason is a possibility. Also soft are Doubt, Reckless and Influence.
At CBS, which just picked up Chuck Lorre’s Mom, the usual comedy suspects appear still in contention, including the untitled Greg Garcia multi-cam project, Friends With Better Lives, Rob Greenberg and Robin Williams, with the network also exploring other possibilities, including the edgier Bad Teacher. With so many potential half-hours, comedy expansion on the schedule is a real possibility. In addition to the logical stretching of the current Thursday block to two hours, I also hear a possible hourlong comedy block on Friday bandied about. On the drama side, things are murky, with Beverly Hills Cop, Hostages and Backstrom as possibilities, along with a show from CBS’ sibling studio, maybe the NCIS: LA spinoff.