Judging from the number of passed over 2014 TV pilots that featured big-name stars, top behind-the-scenes talent, and other elements (read: spinoffs) that made them appear to be sure-fire bets to snag a spot in the primetime lineup, you might assume the series that did make the cut will ensure one fantastic 2014-15 network season.
But as you peruse this list of pilot rejects, keep in mind, rejection isn't always a permanent thing in TV land. Several of the vetoed pilots are still in play for possible pickups elsewhere.
In fact, of the series that were added to the broadcast networks' lineups for fall, several were rejects themselves last pilot season. Backstrom, the Fox crime drama starring The Office alum Rainn Wilson, was given the heave-ho at CBS last year. Comedian John Mulaney's self-titled Fox comedy — which is being compared to Seinfeld — was kicked to the curb by NBC last season. And the CBS family sitcom The McCarthys was also rejected for the 2013 fall schedule last season ... by CBS.
Agent X (TNT)
Sharon Stone plays the widow of a U.S. senator, who launches her own political career when she is elected to fill her husband's vacant seat, and she eventually becomes the first female Vice President. Gerald McRaney co-stars in the drama, which despite not making TNT's fall schedule, is the subject of some retooling, reports Deadline.
Cabot College (Fox)
30 Rock producers Tina Fey, Robert Carlock, and Matt Hubbard created the comedy, starring Margaret Cho as the president of a New Hampshire women's college that admits a small group of men for the first time. The series even had a series commitment penalty attached, but when Fox unveiled its fall schedule on Monday, it included only three new comedies: Weird Loners, and two series involving other Saturday Night Live alums, SNL writer John Mulaney's self-titled comedy and Will Forte's Last Man on Earth.
Cuz-Bros, from Happy Endings creator David Caspe and Community/Happy Endings producer Erik Sommers, was to star Enlisted alums Geoff Stults and Parker Young as Odd Couple-ish cousins who find out one is neat and one is a mess when they become roommates. The problem for Cuz-Bros: CBS chose to go with a remake of the actual Odd Couple, starring Matthew Perry as slob Oscar Madison and Reno 911!'s Thomas Lennon as his tidier pal and roommie, Felix Unger.
Dangerous Liaisons (ABC)
Katie Holmes was also looking to make a TV comeback in this primetime soap, about "the love and rivalry between two equally matched, powerful socialites who play out their obsessive attraction to and seduction of each other through their manipulation of others." Despite the guilty pleasure potential of the storyline, as well as a pilot written and produced by Richard LaGravenese (Behind the Candelabra) and directed by Taylor Hackford, ABC passed.
Dead Boss (Fox)
Also losing out in Fox's commitments to just a handful of new comedies for fall: Dead Boss, a British remake which was to star 30 Rock alum Jane Krakowski as Helen, a woman who is wrongfully convicted of murdering her boss. Not only was David Cross set as the boss, but the cast also included Rachel Dratch, Amy Sedaris, and Reno 911!'s Cedric Yarbrough as the various members of Helen's inner circle who may be conspiring to keep her in the hoosegow.
As we learned from Weeds, no one can do a dysfunctional family dark comedy better than Mary-Louise Parker, yet ABC passed on Feed Me, in which MLP's character and her fam ran a restaurant together. Family eatery, family weed business… sad we won't get a chance to see this one.
[Photos: Which TV Shows Won't Be Back This Fall?]
Could the third time be a charm for comedian Jim Gaffigan, who has now created pilots for this series for the last two pilot seasons? Maybe, as Sony Pictures Television's Zack Van Amburg tells The Hollywood Reporter his company is still talking to CBS execs about the comedy, while also fielding calls from other networks interested in Gaffigan. The series — an autobiographical story about a couple raising five kids in a two-bedroom New York City apartment — is written by Gaffigan and Peter Tolan (Rescue Me), and co-produced by the duo and Gaffigan's wife, Jeannie.
How I Met Your Dad (CBS)
HIMYD was set with Golden Globe nominee Greta Gerwig as its star, Meg Ryan as its narrator, and How I Met Your Mother co-creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas, along with Up All Night creator Emily Spivey, at the helm. But the series was MIA from CBS's fall lineup, with network honcho Nina Tassler saying she was "heartsick" that "there were elements on the pilot that didn't work out." But was it the pilot... or the lingering reactions to that divisive HIMYM series ender that doomed the spinoff series?
Matthew Perry wasn't the only Friends alum playing the pilot waiting game this season. ABC passed on the opportunity to be the home of David Schwimmer's first regular series role since Friends ended a decade ago. The actor, who has guest starred on shows like 30 Rock and Entourage, was to play Andy, a husband, father, and writer in Irreversible, a comedy in which Andy was described as spoiled, sarcastic, and pessimistic — Ross meets Chandler? Adapted from a hit Israeli series, Irreversible's fortunes at ABC may not be, yes, irreversible, just yet. Sony's Van Amburg says the network has offered to work with producers — including Peter Tolan — on casting changes and a pilot re-do.
Keep It Together (ABC)
The Kevin Hart-produced comedy was based loosely on Hart's real life, revolving around a divorced couple who tries to maintain a friendship for the sake of their children. The 40 Year Old Virgin scene stealer Romany Malco was cast as the lead, with Greek alum Amber Stevens as his on-screen ex. But while The Hollywood Reporter reported Keep It Together was atop ABC's comedy wish list, another African-American-led sitcom, the Anthony Anderson/Laurence Fishburne comedy Black-ish, earned a spot on ABC's diverse fall lineup, while Together was left to be shopped elsewhere.
Old Soul (NBC)
It was created by Amy Poehler, the pilot was directed by David Wain, and the cast includes Orange Is the New Black comeback kid Natasha Lyonne, Ellen Burstyn, Rita Moreno, and Fred Willard. Not enough? Old Soul unfolds the story of a woman (Lyonne) working as an aide to a group of senior citizens while trying to figure out what she wants to do with her life. Though NBC neglected to put the series on its sked, the comedy with Golden Girls-esque possibilities is being shopped elsewhere.
The Pro (NBC)
It was all about the Robs — Lowe and Riggle — in this sitcom about a pair of tennis doubles champions who have a public feud and end their partnership, only to find themselves, after many disappointing years, working together as tennis pros at a club. Here's hoping this one continues to be shopped around, because Lowe and Riggle — lit-ruh-lee — could make for one of the funniest duos in primetime.
Hot Fuzz star Nick Frost was to play a self-destructive attorney who is assigned a sober companion (Justin Long) after spinning so out of control he passes out in court. The pilot, written and produced by The Middle producer David S. Rosenthal and 90210 producer Jennie Snyder Urman, was considered a top prospect at Fox, but when the network upped its Mulaney order from six to 16 episodes, Sober Companion was among the sitcoms left without a home. However, The Hollywood Reporter reports producers are still in discussions with Fox about Sober Companion's future.
St. Francis (ABC)
Christufuh, The Sopranos' Michael Imperioli, was on the other side of the law in this comedy pilot, playing a conservative Long Island cop. Titular Francis is also a family man whose mother (Sharon Gless) lives in his basement, and both of them freak out when Francis's unmarried sister (Spencer Grammer) gets pregnant. Sure, that sounds like an antiquated storyline, especially after so many iterations of Teen Mom and other shows that have featured unwed mothers, but it's tough to believe this pilot didn't play better than Selfie.
Supernatural: Bloodlines (The CW)
The original series, which enters its 10th season in the fall on the heels of its most successful season in four years, was ripe for a spinoff. But Bloodlines, which focused on characters introduced in the April 29 episode of the same name and would have revolved around a Hunter tracking monsters in Chicago, isn't it. The CW president Mark Pedowitz says the Bloodlines pilot "just didn't quite get there," but adds that he believes in the brand so much that the network will develop another Supernatural spinoff for the 2015-16 season.
The Winklers (ABC)
Another ABC reject, this one robs us of the chance to see Henry Winkler back on the network that made him a household name as The Fonz. The Winklers would have co-starred with Judith Light, Domenick Lombardozzi, and Eva Amurri Martino in an autobiographical comedy about a reserved construction worker who has to get used to oversharing and over-hugging when he moves in with his boisterous in-laws. Sorry ABC, but we're going to be thinking of all the jump-the-shark references that could have been made on The Winklers while we're not watching Selfie next season.