It won’t be an upfront if we don’t get a last-minute surprise. We may be having one in the making at Fox, with drama Lucifer coming from behind en route to a potential series order. That underlines the fact that you can never bet against Len Wiseman. He took a script that only had been getting lukewarm reception at Fox 2 years ago, Sleepy Hollow, and directed it into a slam-dunk pilot. The route was even more twisted for the Warner Bros. TV-produced Lucifer, written by Tom Kapinos based on the Vertigo comic and executive produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. Just like the studio scored a last-minute upset a few years ago when Alcatraz, also from an A-list producer, JJ Abrams, landed a surprise 11th hour pickup at Fox, WBTV may have done it again with the Tom Ellis-starring Lucifer. That is despite talk that Kapinos had not been very involved in the pilot — I hear the project is looking for a new showrunner.
Lucifer‘s unlikely rise seems to be happening at the expense of another WBTV pilot, early favorite Studio City starring Eric McCormack, from Krista Vernoff and John Wells. Word is that Fox may actually be picking up all of its drama pilots except for Studio City, including frontrunner Minority Report, Morris Chestnut starrer Rosewood and Frankenstein, which had been steadily rising and comes from one of 20th TV’s top producers, Howard Gordon. That means three out of four new Fox drama series may feature genre/sci-fi elements.
For now, there don’t seem to be last minute upsets on the comedy side, with early frontrunners The Grinder and Grandfathered (untitled John Stamos) looking good, possibly joined by Cooper Barrett’s Guide To Surviving Life.