CBS Pilot Update: Will ‘LA Confidential’ Find Streaming Home?

The Mysterious Press/CBS

CBS picked up five of its drama pilots to series, F.B.I., which already had a series commitment, Magnum PI, The Red Line, The Code, and God Friended Me, and three of its comedy pilots, Welcome to the Neighborhood, Untitled Damon Wayans Jr. and Fam.

All CBS pilots that did not get series orders are dead at the broadcast network, including such profile projects as the Cagney & Lacey reboot and the Gloria Calderon Kellett’s comedy History of Us.

As is the case every year, studios will try to find new homes for many of the pilots that got a pass which is always a daunting task. But there is an intriguing proposition among the pilots that didn’t make the cut at CBS – 1950s drama LA Confidential, based on James Ellroy’s classic novel.

It a project that drew the same reaction throughout pilot season – from script stage to network screenings – it’s a great show but does it belong on CBS? (CBS in 2012 took a chance with a period crime drama, Vegas, which only lasted one season.) Because of that, from the get-go there has been speculation that LA Confidential could go to CBS’ streaming sibling CBS All Access.

LA Confidential was one of the best received pilots at CBS this season, described as beautifully shot with premium quality that could work on a streaming platform.

I hear LA Confidential producer CBS Studios, which last season was able to get its passed-on CW pilot Insatiable picked up to series at Netflix, plans to shop it to digital platforms. I hear sibling CBS All Access has first crack because of its corporate ties.

So far, there has been a perception that, as part of CBS All Access’ effort to establish its own identity, the platfoprm has been reluctant to take in a project that originated on CBS.

Additionally, some say that the addition of LA Confidential may dilute CBS All Access’ upcoming drama series Strange Angel, which also is set in the 1950s. Others argue that both series could co-exist and could actually create stronger environment for both to do well.

Regardless of the outcome, there is a lot of good will for the pilot and a strong effort to find it a new home.

To recap the pilot status at Fox and ABC — Fox is still considering the Ilene Chaiken drama starring Katie Holmes, Dan the Weatherman and the Erin Foster comedy; ABC has extended the cast, set up a writers room and ordered three additional scripts from drama False Profitsfor midseason consideration, and NBC will weigh in on comedy pilot Bright Future after the upfronts.

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