EXCLUSIVE: The CW has officially wrapped its 2019 pilot pickups with six orders, and three high-profile projects, The 4400, The L.A. Complex and Good Christian Bitches, were not among those getting a green light but neither is dead. All three have been rolled to next season, which is something the CW President Mark Pedowitz does with IP he believes in.
In 2017, there also were two big-title projects that did not make the cut to pilot, Charmed and The Lost Boys. Both were rolled and subsequently made it to pilot — Charmed did it last season, when it was picked up to series and was recently renewed for a second season. It took another year, but The Lost Boys too nabbed a pilot order last month.
The reasons for The 4400, The L.A. Complex and Good Christian Bitches being rolled vary from project to project.
For The 4400, the script could not be finished and delivered on time for this pilot cycle . The 4400, a reimagening of the 2004 USA Network drama, hails from writers/executive producers Craig Sweeny, who got his break as a writer on the original series, Taylor Elmore and CBS TV Studios where both are under deals. Both Sweeny and Elmore are executive producers/showrunners on upcoming CBS series, the midseason drama The Code, which Sweeny also co-created, and summer drama Blood & Treasure, respectively, which interfered with their availability to work on The 4400.
For The L.A. Complex, I hear the reasons were largely due to the numbers game involved in each round of pilot orders by the CW, which is co-owned by CBS and Warner Bros. and supplied by their studios, CBS TV Studios and Warner Bros. TV.
Both studios have to have parity in the CW’s pilot orders, with Batwoman, which came out of the Arrowverse crossover, taking a spot for WBTV this year. The L.A. Complex, from Martin Gero, creator of the original L.A. Complex Canadian drama as well as of NBC’s Blindspot, also is from WBTV. It became the “odd man out” after the CW ordered six pilots — three each from WBTV and CBS TV Studios. The network had to pickup another pilot from CBS TV Studios in order to greenlight The L.A. Complex, and I hear there was no obvious candidate. The network opted to roll the project to next season instead.
Good Christian Bitches, Inspired by Kim Gatlin’s book of the same name, which was previously the basis for a short-lived ABC series. I hear the CW brass remain high on the underlying IP, with the producers, Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment, CBS TV Studios and ABC Studios, expected to start from scratch and take another stab at turning it into a TV series next season.