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Another Voice
04-05-2003, 12:47 AM
It's Pilot Season out here in Hollywood, the time of year when everyone rushes around town trying to get a new series on the air. Out of all the thousands of pitches ABC receives it orders only a handful of "pilots" to be made. These are essentially test episodes and what the executives (read as Michael Eisner, he doesn't trust anyone else to actually make the final decision) will pick ABC's new schedule for Fall.

I've listed most of the pilots have been ordered by ABC. The chances of any specific show being picked up as a series are remote, but this is the pool from which the new shows will come. The blurbs are from some internal promotional material; my comments are in italics.

10-8
An edgy dramedy about rookie cops and training officers at the Los Angeles county sheriff's department.

111 Gramercy Park
Drama about upper-crust New Yorkers and their servants. This pilot stars Frank Langella, Peter Strauss, Tippi Hedren and Joel Grey. It's one thing to make a 1980's style primetime soap, but to use the same cast…?

Alaska
Brad Johnson stars in this drama about the troopers, criminologists and prosecutors who have to uphold the law in Alaska; previously titled "The Circle".

The D.A.
Centers on an ambitious district attorney who gets help from a neophyte investigator to solve the murder of one of his co-workers. Stars Steven Weber of the old 'Wings' sitcom.

The Flannerys
Drama revolves around a recovering alcoholic who gives up his big-firm job to become a store-front lawyer.

Hench at Home
Michael J. Fox's semi-autobiographical take on a pro hockey player (Craig Bierko) who spends more time with his family after he is forced to retire. Also stars Tracy Pollan, who I believe is Mrs. Michael J. Fox.

Hope & Faith
Comedy revolves around a soap opera star (Kelly Ripa) who's forced to move in with her housewife sister (Faith Ford).

I'm With Her
Comedy follows a budding relationship between a schoolteacher and a celebrity.

Karen Sisco
Drama based on the 1998 film with a focus on Karen Sisco (played by Carla Gugino), the tough yet sexy U.S. Marshal character created by scribe Elmore Leonard and originally played by Jennifer Lopez.

My Life With Men
Comedy revolves around a woman surrounded by her four sons, her father and her husband.

Naked Hotel
Drama which takes place inside a luxury hotel where guests and staff interact. This one is supposed to be a shoe-in as a midseason replacement.

Nice Package
A dating show in which potential couples get the chance to live each other's lives for two days before choosing to date them.

The Partners
Drama follows a pair of mismatched female undercover cops (Mary Catherine Garrison, Liz Vassey).

Platonically Incorrect
Comedy revolves around a man (Tom Everett Scott) and a woman (A.J. Langer) who work together as co-hosts of a "Trading Spaces"-type cable access show and are best friends but have kept things strictly platonic.

Slice O'Life
Comedy starring Janeane Garofalo as a behind-the-scenes producer on a prestigious newsmagazine. Probably the only show that will have The Dixie Chicks on as guest strars.

The Street Lawyer
Drama based on the John Grisham book about a rising young corporate attorney (Eddie Cibrian) who quits his job at a big firm to work for a legal aid clinic run that takes cases other lawyers reject and handles clients who can barely afford to pay.

Then Came Jones
Western taking place at the turn of the 20th century when modern technology is beginning to take over the country. Stars Melissa Gilbert from 'Little House on the Prairie' fame.

These Guys
Comedy follows four men as they conquer marriage, parenthood, divorce and dating. Produced by, but not starring, Tim Allen.

Threat Matrix
Kelly Rutherford and James Denton star in this drama about former spouses who work together to fight terrorism; show's title comes from the president's morning briefing about potential terrorist threats.

Untitled
Comedy features Dan Finnerty as an ordinary joe who ends up the star performer at his family's lounge. I don't know who he is either.

Untitled
Comedy about a man from a conservative background (Reid Scott) who dates a woman (Maggie Lawson) who's the daughter of a gay couple (John Benjamin Hickey, t.b.a.).

Untitled
Comedy features Jenny McCarthy as a rich heiress who is forced to live the regular life when she loses her money.

Untitled
Comedy features a man with a wealthy background who's forced to move in with lower-class relations. Wait, didn't I just read that…?

Untitled
Described as a politically incorrect family comedy with stand-up comic Rodney Carrington at the center.

Untitled
Samantha Mathis stars in a comedy about three adult siblings - two brothers and a sister - at different stages in their lives.

Untitled
Comedy that will focus on a New York writer who gets married to a woman raised in Kansas after which the couple then move back to her hometown, forcing the husband to quickly learn how to fit into a big family situation.

Winner Take All
Set at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, the show pits pairs of contestants with preexisting relationships who are visiting sin city -- such as newlyweds, or brothers attending a bachelor party -- in a competition involving stunts.


ABC will announce the Fall Schedule the week of May 12.

dzneelvr
04-06-2003, 03:11 PM
I was surprised to see Kelly Ripa's name in one of the pilots.
With three young children and a full time job with Regis, I wonder if she's not biting off a bit more than she can chew ?? Maybe she and Regis have worked out a part time schedule if her series does make primetime.
Any thoughts on why she isn't just satisfied with the LWR&K show? I would think the hours and exposure would be enough....
She better be careful, her hubby hasn't really hit the big time after leaving AMC; usually marriages crumble in tinsletown when the woman's star begins to shine brighter than the husbands'.
:earsgirl: :earsboy: :earsboy: :earsgirl:

Bstanley
04-07-2003, 09:53 AM
This pilot stars Frank Langella, Peter Strauss, Tippi Hedren and Joel Grey. It's one thing to make a 1980's style primetime soap, but to use the same cast…?
Geez, these folks are older than video tape (even older than me - don't ask :-). I can just see the meeting - "Hey I've got an idea, how about a geriatric Soap Opera"...

Comedy starring Janeane Garofalo as a behind-the-scenes producer on a prestigious newsmagazine.
Hey, you've got to admire a woman in Hollywood who's managed to be successful in spite of not being beautiful, who has a sharp tongue, and smokes like a chimney...

Comedy features Jenny McCarthy as a rich heiress who is forced to live the regular life when she loses her money.

Comedy features a man with a wealthy background who's forced to move in with lower-class relations. Wait, didn't I just read that…?
It sounds like they're not sure who they can sign up as the lead to me...


Comedy that will focus on a New York writer who gets married to a woman raised in Kansas after which the couple then move back to her hometown, forcing the husband to quickly learn how to fit into a big family situation.
Ok, I get it - "My Big Fat Mid-Western Wedding" or "Let's make fun of some group that won't sue us".

Sounds like another powerful, winning fall season...

Snow Brite
04-07-2003, 06:12 PM
Why do they need a show about crime in Alaska!

I feel I have to stand up in defense of my fellow Alaskans! Many of whom moved here to run AWAY from the law! LOL! but seriously, other than the remoteness aspect I cannot see what would be that interesting about it. I guess the "drama" of "Alaska" which will probably be filmed in Canada or Washington State (like Northern Exposure and Snow Dogs...)

Jennifer


(who lives in semi-rural Alaska and would HATE to see herself pulled over by a State Trooper on tv for speeding in a school zone... good thing its not another reality tv series!)

Another Voice
04-07-2003, 10:01 PM
The 'Alaska' show is 100% typical Hollywood Thinking. It goes like this:

1. We're tanking in the ratings again, we need a hit show!

2. Both of the 'CSI' shows are like super popular.

3. Good, let's make a show just like 'CSI' but not too much like it so we can say it's "original".

4. Well, 'CSI' is set in Las Vegas and Miami – those are hip, trendy, hot places.

5. That's it!!!!! We'll set it someplace really cold. That will make us total original!

6. How about Alaska? I hear it's like totally cold there and we can get a marketing guy to look at a map and see if it's far away from Miami.

6. Great idea!!!! Bonuses all the way around!


"Hey, you've got to admire a woman in Hollywood who's managed to be successful in spite of not being beautiful, who has a sharp tongue, and smokes like a chimney..."

Yes, but Joan Rivers is wearing out her welcome even on E!.

HB2K
04-08-2003, 07:11 AM
LOL AV!

Luckymommyx2
04-08-2003, 05:00 PM
Hum.. lets take some reality series like Fox...
some cop & crime like CBS....
and some comedy like NBC...
put it all together along with 17 changes in time slots, cancellations of the two really good shows we have, in their place put several more really disgusting reality shows and we'll be right back on top!! ;)

I mean, we've covered all the bases our competitors have right? (AV did a better job.)

All I can say is that as long as they keep Alias I'll be happy. The rest of the time I'll just watch the other networks like I always do.

korzmom
04-08-2003, 08:49 PM
If it wasnt for alias (imo) there wouldnt even be an ABC..(except daytime, i do like the soaps)...CBS...FOX..starting to look pretty good.

Snow Brite
04-08-2003, 09:22 PM
I can't wait to see how they do this, if they do this right (or at all).

Sure won't have any "sockless" Don Johnson (frostbite his ankles!), no hip clothes (all Carhartt and X-tra Tuff Rubber boots here, dressed up are the GOOD Levis and the flannel shirt without holes) and no cool cars (I have seen exactly two convertibles here in my lifetime, and those were obviously owned by fools) we drive really muddy 4 wheel drive Ford F-150, and what do you want to bet they don't even have the 20 year old car up on blocks that is mandatory rural Alaska yard decoration.

Knowing how Hollywood depicts Alaska, it will probably have folks in down parkas hiking through the snow in July, mushing the dog team to work and then going home to the igloo which is decorated in Pottery Barns "Cabin" theme.

Should be a REAL departure from the norm, if they do it right! ROFLMBO! Hey! Maybe they need me as a consultant! LOL!

Okay that was fun, cracked myself up, if no one else. ;):jester: ;)

Jennifer

Another Voice
04-09-2003, 12:51 PM
Just so you know, the 'Alaska' pilot is being put together by John August who was the writer on both 'Charlie's Angels' movies and the animated 'Titan A.E.'. It stars Brad Johnson ('Flight of the Intruder', 'Riverworld'), Michael Ironside ('Starship Troppers'), Dahila Salem ('The Agency') and Gary Farmer ('Dreamkeeper'). There is still no word on if has been picked up as a series or if any of these stars would even appear as regulars (not that any of them are really too busy to take a TV gig right now…).

And don't think that Hollywood has anything against Alaska in particular. To the folks around here there are only two "real" locations in the county – West Los Angeles and Manhattan Island. Every place else is filled with people to be made fun of. Occasionally there will be a good person "out there", but they will have to be rescued by one of enlightened inhabitants of the Better Regions. Watch Disney's 'Sweet Home Alabama' and you'll find excellent examples of Hollywood's patronizing attitude.

But if 'Alaska' is picked up you'll probably get a small chance to extract revenge. In order for the series to paint a "realistic" picture they will have to do some location work. While 'Northern Expousre' could get away with it because of its fictional setting, 'Alaska' will at least need some shots of the characters wandering past the pipeline, in downtown Anchorage and feeding a moose, just like they have to trot the cast of 'CSI: Miami' down to Florida every once and a while.


As for Mr. Scoop's question about what I see that interesting on the schedule…I seems that I'll be getting plenty of reading done. There isn't a single pilot on ABC's rosters that bears the smallest whisp of a hint of touch of a hope of interest for me. More cop shows, more wacky family sitcoms, more sleazy reality shows. I hope they've got plenty of old episodes of 'Who's Line Is It Anyways' because there are going to be lost of holes to fill.

This week's article on CNN (http://www.cnn.com/2003/SHOWBIZ/TV/04/09/nielsens.ap/index.html) about TV ratings is highlighting the 4th place finish of ABC (even among the 18-49 demographic was claiming it was gaining ground). The network has finished fourth in six of the last eight weeks. It was only saved for those two weeks because of the Oscars and the Michael Jackson special. Of the top forty shows, ABC had only 2 ("Primetime Time Live' and 'The Bachelor'). NBC had 16, CBS had 15 and lowly Fox had 7.

The strip mining of the parks continues…

Peter Pirate
04-09-2003, 01:53 PM
Even in our family (apologist central), where we like 'Alias', '8 Simple Rules', 'George Lopez', 'My Wife and Kids' & 'Bonnie Hunt' (although we never watch it as it's on against 24), I see nothing remotly interesting about this offering...How hard can it be???

YoHo
04-09-2003, 01:59 PM
Michael Ironside


I love Micheal Ironside. Of course he's pretty much a character actor.