10 TV Pilots Likely to Score Series Pickups
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As broadcast network executives sit behind closed doors screening pilots and poring over focus group testing results on more than 80 pilots, scores of showrunners, writers, producers and actors are on stand-by as the decisions on which comedies and dramas will land slots on the 2015-16 schedules are expected to come in the coming weeks.
The Hollywood Reporter dialed up industry insiders and has compiled 10 of the thrillers, soapy procedurals, comic adaptations as well as family and workplace comedies that stand the best shot of earning series pickups. Of course, these are in addition to several dramas and comedies that have already landed series orders. Those include Ryan Murphy's star-studded Fox comedy horror anthology Scream Queens, which is already in production; NBC's Coach follow-up with Craig T. Nelson; and Eva Longoria entry Telenovela.
Read more TV Pilots 2015: The Complete Guide
Development season's slow start seeped into pilot season and has subsequently impacted production, with several comedies and dramas wrapping as late as this week with network executives also receiving late cuts and pushing decisions closer to game time than ever.
And like last year, multiple sources tell THR that there aren't as many clear frontrunners as the overall pilot class consists of interchangeable broad-skewing comedies and dramas competing for the same slots. (See CBS' Code Black and LFE and ABC's Family Fortune and The Real O'Neals.)
Here's a look at the pilots most likely to land series orders, which — as always —should be taken with a grain of salt as buzz changes like the wind.
1. Minority Report (Fox)
The reboot — with a known title and fan base — was one of the hottest scripts heading into pilot season and was Fox's first official drama pickup of the season and has been a front-runner ever since. From Amblin TV, Paramount TV and 20th TV, Stark Sands and Meagan Good star in the drama from showrunner Kevin Falls and Max Borenstein. The drama is already making firm offers to writers and will join a genre lineup at Fox that also includes Gotham and Sleepy Hollow. On the flipside, Fox has also been targeting a big push for soapy fare to join mega-hit Empire with Krista Vernoff's semi-autobiographical dramedy Studio City also considered a lock. The soap with music written by co-star and Idol alum Chris Daughtry stars Eric McCormack and will also present a second revenue stream for the network. Of Fox's remaining dramas, Autopsy (formerly Rosewood) has a good chance, while Frankenstein and Lucifer appear less likely.
2. Grandpa (Fox)The Fox comedy stars John Stamos as a version of himself: a longtime bachelor whose life is upended after he learns he's a father and grandfather. With Netflix's Full House and Lifetime's tell-all in the works, Stamos could not be any hotter on the small screen. The comedy features a marketable star and hails from an established producer (Galavant, The Neighbors' Dan Fogelman) and comes as multigenerational comedies (The Goldbergs, Black-ish, Modern Family) continue to perform well. Meanwhile, Fox's Rob Lowe-Fred Savage starrer The Grinder is also considered a lock; and Cooper Barrett's Guide to Surviving Life, starring Jack Cutmore-Scott and Meaghan Rath, is already taking meetings for writers. The latter comedy, which explores the misadventures people have after college but before they settle down, has been considered the sleeper hit of the season and, sources say, tested through the roof. Meanwhile, buzz appears to be less than ideal for