Pilot Season Trends: Thirtysomethings, Dysfunction and Adaptations
Season Finale Scheduler: Your Guide to What Ends When
After a deluge of pilot orders that brought the network pilot count to nearly 50 on Tuesday, The Hollywood Reporter took a closer look at what, and who, was faring particularly well thus far this season. Among the trends: more adaptations -- from books, plays or even blogs -- as well as thirtysomething characters, dysfunctional themes and semi-autobiographical story lines.
What’s Old Is New Again
In a bid for built-in brand equity and proven plot lines, the latest crop of pilots again is heavy on adaptations. At least 15 efforts -- or nearly a third of those pilots already ordered -- have their roots in books (see Bill Lawrence’s I Suck at Girls effort at Fox), movies (CBS’ Beverly Hills Cop from Shawn Ryan), plays (NBC’s Assistance from Bachelorette's Leslye Headland), graphic novels (NBC’s The Sixth Gun from Lost’s Carlton Cuse) and overseas series (CBS’ Backstrom from Bones’ Hart Hanson). And that doesn’t include the two spinoffs -- from NCIS: LA and The Vampire Diaries) that are in contention at CBS and the CW, respectively.
All About Me
As it was during development season, semi-autobiographical fare again is garnering interest, with at least four projects in contention this pilot season. Among those who have taken "write what you know" to heart: Jim Gaffigan, whose CBS comedy pilot revolves around the stand-up comic as a happily married and harried New York City father of five -- as he is in real life, and Adam F. Goldberg, whose ABC comedy How the Hell Am I Normal? is billed as a dysfunctional Wonder Years set in the simpler times of the 1980s and inspired by his childhood. NBC’s untitled DJ Nash effort, about a son who idolizes his blind father, is bemused by his mother’s newfound adolescence and watches his family come closer together postdivorce, is said to be based loosely on his life, too. The same can be said for NBC’s semi-autobiographical Joe, Joe & Jane from Joe Port and Joe Wiseman, which centers on a conflict-avoidant children's book author caught in an ongoing tug of war between two needy, flawed people: his wife and his co-author/best friend.
STORY: TV Pilots 2013: The Complete Guide