The CW has made the second batch of its 2018 pilot orders with six pickups: a Roswell reboot with an immigration twist, from writer Carina Adly MacKenzie, Amblin TV and Bender Brown Prods.; In the Dark, from writer Corinne Kingsbury and Ben Stiller’s Red Hour Films; Skinny Dip. from writers Russel Friend and Garrett Lerner and Keshet Studios; Playing Dead, from writers Rina Mimoun and Josh Reims and Intrigue Entertainment; The End of the World As We Know It, from writers Justin Halpern & Patrick Schumacker and producer Rob Thomas; as well as Spencer, from writer April Blair and Greg Berlati’s Berlanti Prods.
The six join previously picked up Charmed reboot and Dead Inside for a total of 8 CW standalone pilots this season, up from the usual 4-6 pilots the network has been picking up in recent years. This equals the most pilots the CW has ordered in a single year. The network actually has set a new high as it also has the Wayward Sisters Supernatural planted spinoff pilot for a total of 9 this year.
As usual, the CW played Switzerland, splitting its traditional orders right in the middle with four each to each of its sister studios, Warner Bros. TV (The End of the World As We Know It, untitled Roswell, Spencer, Dead Inside) and CBS TV Studios (In the Dark, Skinny Dip, Playing Dead, Charmed).
The network also is extending its push in comedic hours with nods to The End of the World As We Know It, In the Dark and Dead Inside.
Special shoutout to In the Dark’s Corinne Kingsbury, who got both of her broadcast pilot scripts greenlighted, including comedy Fam at CBS.
Here are details about the CW’s 6 newly picked up pilots:
The WB and UPN successor the CW is resurrecting Roswell fifteen years after the cult sci-fi title ended its run on the two nets.
Like the original, the reimagined version is based on the Roswell High book series by Melinda Metz.
Written and executive produced by The Originals scribe Carina Adly MacKenzie, the new Roswell reflects the realities of its location in a state bordering Mexico. After reluctantly returning to her tourist-trap hometown of Roswell, NM, the daughter of undocumented immigrants discovers a shocking truth about her teenage crush who is now a police officer: He’s an alien who has kept his unearthly abilities hidden his entire life. She protects his secret as the two reconnect and begin to investigate his origins, but when a violent attack and long-standing government cover-up point to a greater alien presence on Earth, the politics of fear and hatred threaten to expose him and destroy their deepening romance.
Kevin Kelly Brown, who was an executive producer on the original series, is the link that connects the two Roswell incarnations. Besides him, it’s a whole new producing team. Brown and Lawrence Bender executive produce via their Bender Brown Prods, alongside Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank of Amblin TV.
The original Roswell series was developed and executive produced by Jason Katims and introduced a young ensemble that included Katherine Heigl, Shiri Appleby, Colin Hanks Jason Behr, Brendan Fehr, Emilie de Ravin, Majandra Delfino, Nick Wechsler and Adam Rodriguez — all of whom went on to star on other series.
Roswell is one of two young adult-skewing drama launched in the 1990s to get a reboot with an immigration twist, along with Party of Five at Freeform.
IN THE DARK
Written by Corinne Kingsbury, the project centers on a flawed and irreverent young woman who just happens to be blind and is the only “witness” to the murder of her drug-dealing friend. When the police dismiss her story, she sets out with her dog, Pretzel, to find the killer while also managing her colorful dating life and the job she hates at Breaking Blind- the guide dog school owned by her overprotective parents.
Kingsbury executive produces with Red Hour Films’ Stiller, Jackie Cohn and Nicky Weinstock.
THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT
The CW took in comedic drama It’s The End Of The World As We Know It in a preemptive buy. Written byu Powerless executive producers/showrunners Justin Halpern and Patrick Schumacker, It’s The End Of The World As We Know It is based on the 2012 Alloy book of the same name by Iva-Marie Palmer. In the show, when a prison spaceship carrying the universe’s most deadly aliens crashes in Southern California, two millennial women with bigger dreams than working at a kids’ pizza place in The Valley are recruited by a space cop to hunt down the escaped criminals, who have camouflaged themselves as eccentric Angelenos.
Halpern and Schumacker executive produce via their Ehsugadee Productions withVeronica Mars creator Rob Thomass and his frequent collaborators Danielle Stokdyk and Dan Etheridge via Spondoolie Productions as well as Alloy Entertainment’s Leslie Morgenstein and Gina Girolamo.
Written by Rina Mimoun and Josh Reims, the project is a dysfunctional family dramedy about a mortician and his son whose lives are turned upside down when the woman who abandoned them 15 years ago returns and asks them to fake her death.
Mimoun and Reims executive produce with Intrigue’s Tariq Jalil and Lucas Carter.
Written by April Blair (Reign), Spencer is inspired by the life of pro football player Spencer Paysinger and produced by LA Galaxy soccer player Robbie Rogers, It centers on a rising high school football player from South Central L.A. When he is recruited to play for Beverly Hills High, the wins, losses and struggles of two families from vastly different worlds — Compton and Beverly Hills — begin to collide. Dane Morck serves as consultant.
Blair executive produces with Berlanti Prods.’ Berlanti, who is married to Rogers, and Sarah Schechter.
This marks Berlanti Prods.’ third broadcast pilot order this season, joining drama God Friended Me at CBS and comedy Most Likely To at ABC.
Written by Russel Friend and Garrett Lerner based on the novel by Carl Hiaasen, in Skinny Dip, after her husband tries to kill her on what she thought was a romantic cruise to celebrate their second wedding anniversary, a woman teams with a jaded ex-cop to exact her own twisted brand of revenge on her cheating spouse, and winds up uncovering a wider conspiracy in the process.
Friend and Lerner executive produce with Peter Traugott and Rachel Kaplan of Keshet Studios, Avi Nir and Alon Shtruzman.