13 Promising Pilots: New Shows from Kevin Bacon, Connie Britton, Ryan Murphy and Mindy Kaling
Kevin Bacon, Connie Britton | Photo Credits: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic, Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images
Before the networks unveil their fall lineups in May, TVGuide.com has chosen the 13 most promising pilots:
1600 Penn (NBC)
Starring: Bill Pullman, Josh Gad, Jenna Elfman
Summary: It's a family drama set in the White House. Papa POTUS (Pullman) and his first lady (Elfman) live very public lives, but behind the scenes, their kids (including Gad and Superbad's Martha MacIsaac) are a hot mess.
Pedigree: Book of Mormon's Gad wrote the pilot and will executive-produce with Modern Family's Jason Winer.
Why we like it: It's Modern Family, but the Jay Pritchett character is the leader of the free world.
Why it has a shot: ABC revived the family format to great success, and NBC could afford to jump on those coattails, especially in an election year. Plus: Who wouldn't want to peek behind the curtain of the most powerful family in America? (No, not the Kardashians.)
Starring: Stephen Amell, Katie Cassidy
Summary: Hung's Amell stars as DC superhero Green Arrow in this modern retelling of the legendary archer's adventures. Melrose Place reboot alum Cassidy plays his love interest, the future Black Canary.
Pedigree: Brothers & Sisters' Greg Berlanti and Marc Guggenheim will executive-produce with The Vampire Diaries' Andrew Kreisberg.
Why we like it: While the concept is similar to Smallville, it's grittier and more fast-paced than its predecessor. Plus: Oliver Queen is a wealthy playboy who decides to hone his natural-born skills to make a difference, which makes it much more like Batman Begins than Superman Returns.
Why it has a shot: Smallville fans and comic-book aficionados — i.e. men — will flock to it, giving the CW audience a much-needed boost of testosterone.
The Carrie Diaries (CW)
Starring: AnnaSophia Robb, Austin Butler
Summary: Based on the novel by Candace Bushnell, a teenaged Carrie Bradshaw (Robb) comes of age in the '80s, when she first wondered aloud about love, sex —Butler plays a proto-Mr. Big — friendship and family.
Pedigree: Bushnell will executive-produce alongside Gossip Girl superstars Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, Len Goldstein and Sex and the City writer Amy Harris.
Why we like it: Have you seen Sex and the City? Wouldn't you love to go back 20 years and find out how Carrie Bradshaw fell for the love of her life: New York City?
Why it has a shot: The brand already has a built-in audience, and its high school setting will indoctrinate a new generation into the world of Manolos and Cosmos.
Starring: Jonny Lee Miller, Lucy Liu
Summary: It's a modern take on the cases of Sherlock Holmes, in which Sherlock (Eli Stone's Miller) is a recovering addict and consultant for the NYPD. Liu plays his distaff Watson.
Pedigree: Robert Doherty (Medium) penned the pilot and will executive-produce with Justified duo Sarah Timberman and Carl Beverly.
Why we like it: Watson is a woman! And that woman is Lucy Liu! Awesome, right?
Why it has a shot: More than 100 years after first appearing in publication, the Sherlock Holmes mythology still entertains. (Just ask Robert Downey Jr.)
Last Resort (ABC)
Starring: Andre Braugher, Scott Speedman, Robert Patrick
Summary: A renegade crew of a nuclear submarine (among them Speedman and Patrick), led by Men of a Certain Age's Braugher, go AWOL after defying an order to fire nuclear missiles. They find sanctuary at a NATO base where they declare themselves the world's smallest nuclear nation.
Pedigree: The Shield's Shawn Ryan executive-produces the pilot, which he wrote with Karl Gajdusek (Dead Like Me).
Why we like it: The immaculately scripted pilot plays like a tense wartime thriller (think of sub-based classics like The Hunt for Red October or Das Boot), a genre not often seen on episodic television.
Why it has a shot: ABC could really use a series that appeals to men.