A pass on a project at the broadcast networks used to equal a “damaged goods” stamp. That couldn’t be further from the truth this season, especially for passed-over projects based on a format. Russian spy drama Allegiance, based on Keshet’s Israeli series The Gordin Cell, is probably the hottest new NBC hourlong series for next season. Fox’s hospital coming-of-age drama Red Band Society, based on the Spanish series Polseres Vermelles, has been garnering rave early reviews. The two landed series pickups yesterday, followed by multi-camera comedy Your Family Or Mine, ordered today by TBS. All had been previously developed but didn’t even make it to pilot.
All three have undergone changes. In the case of Allegiance, originally set up at NBC last season, and Red Band Society, first developed at ABC two seasons ago, new writers were brought in to take a stab at adapting the format. Allegiance was written and directed by feature scribe George Nolfi; Red Band Society was penned by Margaret Nagle. The first versions of the projects were written by Peter Berg and Marta Kauffman, respectively. In the case of Your Family Or Mine, originally developed at ABC last season, the writer, Greg Malins, stayed the same but the format changed from single-camera to multi-camera. That project also is based on a Kashet format.
Fox’s slate of new series for next season is full of projects given a second chance. The network not only took in comedy pilot Mulaney after it got passed on by NBC last season and, after reworking it, gave it a six-episode order. Yesterday, Fox upped that order to 16 episodes. The network also picked up last season’s drama pilot Backstrom after CBS passed on it and handed it a 13-epsiode order. The tweaked pilot has screened well. And, after coming painfully close to a pilot order but missing the cut at Fox during the 2011-12 development season, Travis Beacham‘s fantastical action-adventure spec Hieroglyph is going straight to series for next season. We will see if CBS picks up either of its redo pilots from last season, comedies The McCarthys and Jim Gaffigan.
Speaking of second chances, after her abrupt exit from Grey’s Anatomy four years ago, Katherine Heigl is getting another shot, making a comeback with a starring role in high-profile new NBC drama series State Of Affairs.
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