As NBC just kicked off pilot-to-series pickups this afternoon with medical drama New Amsterdam, here is the final installment of Deadline’s annual feature that tracks buzz on broadcast pilots. With networks wrapping up pilot screenings, their executives will have the weekend to mull over their choices before the wave of series pickups next week.
Every year there are late pilot-season surprises that shake up the field. Fox’s bid to resurrect former ABC comedy series Last Man Standing starring Tim Allen is one such twist. The growing momentum to get the multi-camera sitcom on the air next season has helped a seemingly dormant pilot, the off-cycle multi-camera Cool Kids, from the It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia team. The retirement-home comedy largely had kept a low profile despite solid testing and screenings. But it is considered a very suitable companion to Last Man Standing, which makes it a strong contender. Early comedy standout Rel, the multi-camera pilot starring Lil Rel Howery, remains in the mix, along with the Tom Lennon starrer Dan the Weatherman and Daddy Issues, starring Erin Foster and Don Johnson.
Related 2018 Fox Pilots
The retooled The Passage pilot continues to be the big front-runner on the drama side at Fox. Beyond that, the Untitled Ilene Chaiken/Melissa Scrivner Love FBI drama starring Katie Holmes and the Untitled Danny Strong/David Elliot procedural are in the running. Reaction to Mixtape still is mixed, though the romantic musical drama has fans and could be redeveloped.
DJ Nash’s ensemble A Million Little Things continues to lead the drama pack at ABC, with Whiskey Cavalier, toplined by Scott Foley and Lauren Cohan, the Eva Longoria-produced Grand Hotel, toplined by Demian Bichir and Roselyn Sanchez, the Nathan Fillion comedic cop show The Rookie and suburban drama False Profits starring Bellamy Young and Vanessa Williams all in strong contention. This is Whiskey Cavalier‘s first appearance on the hot list as the globe-trotting spy drama was not delivered until early this week, but it made a strong first impression, quickly garnering buzz.
Beyond these five pilots, I hear there are a couple of other possibilities, including The Fix, The Mission and The Finest.
Related 2018 ABC Pilots
ABC’s early comedy standouts — Single Parents, starring Taran Killam and Brad Garrett, and the untitled Tim Doyle 1970s family comedy — remained strong. The Justin Noble workplace comedy starring Kat Dennings is a possibility if ABC decides to go outside of the family-comedy genre. (The network already has romantic comedy/family hybrid freshman comedy Splitting Up Together, which looks promising to return.) Blended-family comedy Steps starring Ginnifer Goodwin might be too similar in concept to Single Parents. Reaction to Diablo Cody’s Most Likely To has been a bit mixed, but the timing on the decision is fortuitous as Oscar winner Cody’s latest movie, Tully, is opening to great reviews this weekend. ABC already gave a series order to The Goldbergs spinoff for next season.
The CW’s two reboots, Charmed and Roswell, continue to be leading contenders, along with football drama Spencer, executive produced by Greg Berlanti, considered one of the CW’s strongest pilots this season. In the Dark, about a blind woman and her dog, also continues to be in the running, with at least one of the two spinoffs — Supernatural offshoot Wayward Sisters and the Hope Mikaelson-centered The Vampire Diaries/The Originals universe show — looking good to make it as the CW likely would rely on familiar titles to relaunch Sunday night. Two quirky projects, Skinny Dip and Playing Dead, while longer shots, also have support as a dark-horse possibility.
Related 2018 The CW Pilots
CBS’ comedy pilots Welcome to the Neighborhood, co-starring Cedric the Entertainer, the Damon Wayans Jr. starrer untitled Austen Earl/Tim McAuliffe, and Fam toplined by Nina Dobrev still are considered very much in contention, joined by late bloomer Pandas of New York, about a family of Indian doctors, and early order History of Them. The network has the Murphy Brown revival on tap for thefall.
Peter Lenkov appears to have done it again, with Magnum P.I. looking like a sure thing to join Hawaii Five-0 and MacGyver, the two other CBS reboots of classic dramas that Lenkov got on the air. Dick Wolf’s drama F.B.I., which has a series order, has gotten solid feedback. It is hard to handicap the remaining pilots as virtually all appear to be in some degree of consideration.
LA Confidential is one of CBS” best received pilots, beautifully shot with a strong cast. CBS has rolled the dice on a period crime drama with big-name stars before with 2012’s Vegas, which ran for one season. While I hear LA Confidential is very much in contention at CBS, there is a lot of talk that it may be a better fit for streaming sibling CBS All Access (or Netflix).
The high-concept God Friended Me might be a little young for CBS, but it did test well, something the network typically takes in serious consideration. Of the rest, there might be a shot for Main Justice/The Code or one of the female cop dramas, Cagney & Lacey/Chiefs.
NBC just ordered to series the Universal TV-produced medical drama pilot New Amsterdam (fka Bellevue), which has been a fixture on the hot list alongside the Bad Boys offshoot L.A.’s Finest, which comes from Sony TV.
Beyond that, The Between (fka In Between Lives) is said to be in the running, and ensemble apartment-building drama The Village still is being talked about, along with Manifest and Hitchcockian thriller No Way Back (fka Suspicion).
On the half-hour side, bar comedy Abby’s, Like Family and untitled Aseem Batra still are getting attention, with Bright Futures and Guess Who Died? as possibilities.
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