Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Chris Colley's TV Blog*'s 2012 TV Pilot Season Slate Preliminary Analysis


I also found another series that was not listed on The Hollywood Reporter's list on Entertainment Weekly's website.  It is Hannibal (NBC).  Due to that omission, this list probably isn't complete, but I will always add more as I see them.

UPDATE (May 7, 2012):

Read the whole blog post, before reading this, for best information.  A few more series orders have been announced by NBC.  As expected, the J.J. Abrams/Eric Kripke project is a go (hopefully this will be a very exceptional partnership), and now has the title, Revolution.  However, of the other three shows that were ordered to series, two are in my "No Go" pile, and one is in my "Awwww Hellllll Nawwww" pile.  Those in the "No Go" pile are Hannibal and Save MeHannibal is serialized, and you know how I feel about that.  NBC also has an atrocious track record with fully serialized TV shows recently.  Save Me just doesn't look like it has any chance of making it, based on the premise.  The third series, probably mostly picked up due to the Glee Creator's involvement, The New Normal, is in my "Awwww Helllll Nawwww" pile.  The first cue that this show will not, or should not, make it is Nene Leakes's listing as a recurring character.  They would probably have been wiser to leave that information out.  Of the four new pickups, two are sitcoms.  As each new sitcom is picked up, sitcoms that are currently low rated, and not near syndication, on NBC, should begin to get worried.  These pickups are likely the first shots over the bows of Whitney and Up All Night.  Also, at this rate, if 30 Rock has any chance of being renewed, it will most likely just get the back nine of one of the sitcoms that gets ordered to series.

Here's an interesting side note.  As they did with Awake, 20th TV has pawned off a show on NBC (The New Normal) that would have no chance of making it on FOX, but isn't quite right for FX.  If you're looking for a vote of no confidence in a show's chances, look to situations where a network that has two good outlets for programming rejects it.  Then, add NBC into the mix, the only network where low rated shows can survive.  Finally, point and laugh, like FOX is doing, at NBC.

If you read the whole blog post, below, you will know that the shows in the bottom part of the list are shows that I don't think audiences will like, or that the shows might not be any good.  It's also based on a small one paragraph summary.  Some shows will probably be better than their summaries, and some will probably not live up to them.  The ones that don't will probably be the ones that don't get ordered to series, despite looking promising.  The ones that seem better than their summaries will be ordered to series, and then we'll get to see what audiences think.  I'll reserve final pre-season judgment, about what I think of any shows that are ordered to series, until I see the upfront presentation trailers.  As I also said, in the full post, I will update this with my thoughts as I see fit. 

At the end of the day, I also read that 1600 Penn was also ordered to series on NBC.  That's another sitcom pickup that should give the "living" sitcoms more worries.  It's still early in the game, but, based on the selections so far, they have decided to not go broad with their comedy next season.  That should be really bad news for Whitney, and for Dane Cook's Pilot, but it's still too early to tell.

And now the "House" for veterinarians comedy Animal Practice (formerly Animal Kingdom) has been picked up by NBC, as well.  Scroll down the list to see where that one resides, for me.  NBC's schedule is going to be really "interesting" next season.

UPDATE (May 9, 2012):

Dick Wolf's Chicago Fire has been ordered to series by NBC.   It's in my "No Go" pile, because Wolf doesn't have a good track record outside of the Law & Order franchise, and the premise seems boring, to me.  I'll still check it out, in hopes that I am wrong.  I'm sure that many people will check out the premiere, but where it goes after that is the big question.

NBC also picked up Guys with Kids.

FOX picked up Ben and Kate (formerly Ben Fox Is My Manny and Ned Fox Is My Manny), It's Messy (formerly Mindy), and The Goodwin Games.

FOX also picked up Mastermind and The Mob Doctor.

UPDATE (May 10, 2012):

NBC has picked up Do No Harm, and Infamous (formerly Notorious). 

UPDATE (May 11, 2012):

NBC has picked up Dane Cook's comedy Next Caller (formerly Next Caller Please).  Six episodes have been ordered.

I refreshed The Hollywood Reporter article, and found that NBC and FOX had made decisions on their entire Pilot slates.  You will see all of those listed, below.

ABC also announced the pickups of the dramas Nashville, 666 Park Ave., Red Widow (formerly Penoza), Zero Hour, Last Resort, and the comedies The Neighbors (formerly Untitled Dan Fogelman Project), Family Tools (formerly Red Van Man), and How to Live With Your Parents (formerly How to Live With Your Parents for the Rest of Your Life).  There is one other, but I won't post about it until I get confirmation of which show it is, as the name has changed.

Malibu Country (ABC) was also picked up.

UPDATE (May 13, 2012):

All the rest of the Pilot pickups have been announced.  You can find out the fates of everything below.  Here's my scorecard of what I got right and wrong (based on the tiny amount of information available).  It was ugly, but my scorecard won't really be decided until we see how these shows do.  We'll never know about the shows that didn't go, but we'll have lots of information about the shows that will.

Chris Colley's TV Blog* Final Scorecard Of The Preliminary List:

1. Looks Good-3 of 5 ordered to series
2. Looks Promising-9 of 15 ordered to series
3. Not Sure-All 4 were no gos
4. Hmm-3 of 17 ordered to series
5. No Go-9 of 22 ordered to series
6. Awwww Helllll Nawwww-8 of 13 ordered to series (the only shows that I think have any chance of making it out of those 8 are Nashville and The New Normal, and they are both stretches)


I just found this article on The Hollywood Reporter's website.  It gives summaries of all the Pilots that are being made this season, for all of the big 4 networks (and even the lolCW).  I've read all of the summaries, for the big 4 network Pilots, and I'm going to group them into six categories.  This is all my opinion, based on a small amount of information, so don't be too rough with me if I end up being really wrong (it can be hard to make a decision solely based on one paragraph) about what eventually goes to series.  You can also go through the article and let me know any places you disagree with me, if you'd like to play along.

*Apparently Serialized Drama

Looks Good:

Untitled Martin Lawrence Project (CBS) No Go
Elementary (CBS) Ordered To Series
Go On (NBC, welcome back to a leading comedy role Matthew Perry!) Ordered to series
Revolution previously Untitled J.J. Abrams/Eric Kripke Project (NBC, GO GO GO)* Ordered To Series
Guilty (FOX) No Go

Looks Promising:

Only Fools and Horses (ABC) No Go
666 Park Ave. (ABC)* Ordered To Series
Last Resort (ABC)* Ordered To Series
Red Widow (formerly Penoza) (ABC, not jazzed about the casting but like the premise)* Ordered To Series
Untitled Roland Emmerich Drama (ABC) No Go
Untitled Dorf/Falcone Project (CBS) No Go
Untitled Louis C.K., Spike Feresten (CBS) No Go
Made in Jersey (formerly Baby Big Shot) (CBS) Ordered To Series
1600 Penn (NBC) Ordered To Series
Friday Night Dinner (NBC) No Go
Guys with Kids (NBC) Ordered To Series
Do No Harm (NBC)* Ordered To Series
The Goodwin Games (FOX) Ordered To Series
Let It Go (FOX) No Go
The Following (formerly Mastermind) (FOX)* Ordered To Series
Rogue (FOX)* No Go

Not Sure: 

Beauty and the Beast (ABC)* No Go
Devious Maids (ABC)* No Go
Untitled Nick Stoller (CBS) No Go
Living Loaded (FOX) No Go


Awesometown (ABC, horrible name, though) No Go
Prairie Dogs (ABC) No Go
Gilded Lilys (ABC)* No Go
Gotham (ABC) No Go
Zero Hour (ABC)* Ordered To Series
Super Fun Night (CBS) No Go
Applebaum (CBS, decent premise, unsure about casting) No Go
Vegas (formerly Untitled Ralph Lamb) (CBS)* Ordered To Series
Downwardly Mobile (NBC) No Go
Susan 313 (NBC) No Go
Beautiful People (NBC)* No Go
Midnight Sun (NBC)* No Go
Like Father (FOX) No Go
Little Brother (FOX) No Go
Prodigy Bully (FOX) No Go
The Mindy Project (formerly It's Messy, Mindy, and Untitled Mindy Kaling Comedy) (FOX) Ordered To Series
The Asset (FOX)* No Go

No Go:

American Judy (ABC) No Go
Malibu Country (ABC) Ordered To Series
Family Tools (formerly Red Van Man) (ABC) Ordered To Series
Untitled Kari Lizer Project (ABC) No Go
Untitled Mandy Moore (ABC) No Go
Americana (ABC)* No Go
Scruples (ABC)* No Go
Partners (CBS) Ordered To Series
Untitled Greg Malins/Greg Berlanti Project (CBS) No Go
Golden Boy (formerly Untitled Wootton/Berlanti) (CBS)* Ordered To Series
Trooper (CBS) No Go
Widow Detective (CBS)* No Go
Isabel (NBC) No Go
Save Me (NBC) Ordered To Series
Bad Girls (NBC, love some of this cast, but just can't see it)* No Go
Chicago Fire (NBC) Ordered To Series
County (NBC)* No Go
Frontier (NBC)* No Go
Hannibal (NBC)* Ordered To Series
El Jefe (FOX) No Go
Ben and Kate (formerly Ben Fox Is My Manny and Ned Fox Is My Manny) (FOX) Ordered To Series
The Mob Doctor (FOX)* Ordered To Series 

Awwww Hellllll Nawwww:

How to Live With Your Parents (formerly How to Live With Your Parents for the Rest of Your Life) (ABC) Ordered To Series
The Smart One (ABC) No Go
Neighbors (formerly Untitled Dan Fogelman Project) (ABC) Ordered To Series
Nashville (ABC)* Ordered To Series
Friend Me (CBS) Ordered To Series
Animal Practice (formerly Animal Kingdom) (NBC) Ordered To Series
Happy Valley (NBC) No Go
The New Normal (NBC) Ordered To Series
Next Caller (formerly Next Caller Please) (NBC) Ordered To Series
Nic and Jen (NBC) No Go
Table for 3 (NBC) No Go
Infamous (formerly Notorious) (NBC)* Ordered To Series
Rebounding (FOX) No Go

I think anything that I placed in the "Hmm" pile or higher has a reasonable chance of being picked up to series.  Again, this is solely based on reading the very short summaries of each show.  I'm sure I could be wrong about a lot of the no gos, but I don't think these shows would make it if they went to series.  I'm specifically analyzing this stuff based on what I think looks decent, and what I also think will get decent to good ratings.  If a show ended up in the "No Go" pile, it's because I don't think the premise is good, or I don't think the ratings will be good.  If a show ended up in the "Awwww Hellllll Nawwww" pile, I think the premise and/or casting is terrible, and I think it has close to no chance of making it.  I bet there are at least a few in that pile that will go to series, and I am relatively sure almost all, if not all, will certainly fail.  My hope is that they don't go to series, so that I don't have to check them out.  If a show ended up in the "Not Sure" pile, it's because I'm unsure of the premise, casting, or that its success would depend heavily on execution.  If executed well, all of the "Not Sure" pile could go to series, and if executed poorly, none will.  They are the ones that I think are the biggest crap shoots.

If you've read my blog, you know that I have a big problem with full serialization on network TV (my full thoughts here).  It rarely ever works, anymore, but it looks like all of the big 4 networks have a significant amount of fully serialized dramas that have had Pilots ordered.  Some will go to series, and they probably will fail, unless they end up being truly outstanding.  I don't see any way some of them could move to hybrid serialization (my preferred format for serialized TV), but I suppose it is possible.  It's amazing that the networks are still having such a hard time learning this lesson.  CBS and ABC already will have a lot of their drama slots filled by current programming, so many of their drama Pilots won't go to series.  FOX and NBC have wide open drama slots, if most of my predictions hold up, and it doesn't appear they have learned anything from this season's failures.  I think 4 of FOX's shows have good potential, and I think 4 of NBC's dramas are worth a look.  NBC will probably order most of the drama series they have on this slate, since a lot of stuff needs to be waiting in the wings, based on the recent ratings disasters on that network.  The good news for NBC is that they have The Olympics to promote whatever they want to be successful (you can guarantee Go On and the J.J. Abrams project will be extremely heavily promoted).

Apparently Fully Serialized Drama Pilots By Network:

ABC-10 of 12
CBS-4 of 7
NBC-8 of 10
FOX-4 of 5

As I said in the past, I will do short breakdowns of how I think each show will do once we get the final slate of shows that have been ordered to series.  For now, this is just a game of what I would do, if I were an Exec at a network, based on the short summaries I read in The Hollywood Reporter's article.  If anyone from any of the networks is reading this, and wants to send me any of the shows to evaluate, I would be more than happy to take a look.  Thanks for reading.

1 comment:

  1. I agree GUILTY looks like a winner!


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