Pilot Season 2013-2014: My Favourites So Far

ABC, CBS, CW Show, FOX, NBC, Pilot

If someone asks me what my favourite season is, I always answer Pilot, most people don’t understand what I mean by this, but I guess if you’re reading this, you do.
For those who don’t know what pilot season is, I’ll explain a little.

Every year TV Networks will read through many scripts and decide on whether they want to bring it to TV, once they’ve decided on the scripts they want to adapt, its normally around pilot season time which means they go through the formalities like gaining rights to things, hiring directors, producers, writing the finalised screenplays, and then comes the fun parts, casting the characters.

Once they’ve done all that they will shoot the pilot and then decide on whether they actually do want to order more episodes and make it a full-fledged TV show.
Its also good to remember that hundreds of pilots may come about every year but not every one of them will pass the bar and become a proper TV show, below is a list of pilots that I personally want to see picked up, but there’s no guarantee I’ll get to see them all on television next year.

Doubt (Drama)
EP : David Shore (House)
DIRECTOR : Thomas Schlamme (The West Wing, Pan Am)
CAST : Rockmond Dunbar (Sons of Anarchy), Greg Grunberg (Heroes, Alias), Kacey Rohl (Hannibal) Carla Gugino (New Girl, Political Animals)
A legal drama focused on a former cop who’s now a cunning but charming low-rent lawyer who uses his street smarts to work the system for his clients while battling his own demons and wooing his ex-wife.

Why I’m Excited?
David Shore brought me one of my all time favourite TV shows when it came to House, and ever since that finished I’ve been on the search for a TV show that has the same feel to that and I’ve come up short everytime.
This pilot definitely reminds me of House, and the cast seems pretty solid as of yet, the only thing that concerns me is I don’t want it to be an exact replica of House as that’ll feel like a rip off but I’m putting my faith in David, & I’m sure he won’t disappoint if this does get picked up.

Gothica (Drama)
EPs : Matt Lopez (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice), Mark Gordon (Grey’s Anatomy), Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas (Reaper)
DIRECTOR : Anand Tucker (Leap Year)
CAST : Raza Jaffrey (Smash), Chris Egan (Kings), Tom Ellis (Merlin), Janet Montgomery (Jersey Girl), Tracie Thoms (Cold Case), Emma Booth (Underbelly), Seth Gabel (Fringe), Melissa George (Hunted, Alias)
A modern-day Gothic soap that weaves together the mythologies of Dracula, Jekyll and Hyde, Frankenstein and Dorian Gray, among others.

Why I’m Excited?
All of the monsters named above have been some of my favourite characters to read about, so to finally give them some recognition and have a TV show based on characters considered monsters is something I’m very excited to see. Another thing I’m excited to see is how ABC will make them likeable as people, as you normally never find yourself rooting for Dracula or Frankenstein etc. (Unless you’re weird like me, haha.)

Killer Women (Drama)
EPs : Hannah Shakespeare (The Playboy Club), Ben Silverman, Sofia Vergara, Luis Balaguer, Martin Campbell
DIRECTOR : Lawrence Trilling (Parenthood, Alias)
CAST : Tricia Helfer (Battlestar Galactica), Marc Blucas (Necessary Roughness), Michael Trucco (Battlestar Galactica), Alex Fernandez (Commander in Chief), Marta Milans
Based on the Argentine series Mujeres Asesinas, it centers on the only woman in the notoriously male Texas Rangers — a ballsy, beautiful badass who knows how to get to the truth and isn’t afraid to ruffle a few feathers.

Why I’m Excited?
Any show that has a strong, sexy, empowering female lead is a must for me. Most TV shows nowadays have male orientated casts or have a female who can’t hold her own, so this pilot is definitely very refreshing in that sense. I also love a good southern accent so the fact that its set in Texas and will have plenty of eye candy is also a plus.

Marvel’s S.H.I.E.L.D. (Drama)
EPs : Joss Whedon (The Avengers), Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen (Dollhouse)
CAST : Ming-Na (ER), Clark Gregg (reprising his Avengers role), Elizabeth Henstridge (Hollyoaks), Iain De Caestecker (Coronation Street), Brett Dalton (Killing Lincoln), Chloe Bennet (Nashville)
The adventures of the agents of a covert, quasi-military peace-keeping organization, S.H.I.E.L.D. (or the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division), which was featured in last summer’s Avengers movie.

Why I’m Excited?
The fact that there’s going to be spin-off of one of my favourite superhero movies is the best news I’ve heard in a long time. I enjoyed Avengers immensely and as a big fan of Joss Whedon I just know already this pilot will be a massive hit and its a definite pick up by the looks of things so that gets me even happier.

The Returned (Drama)
EPs : Aaron Zelman (The Killing), JoAnn Alfano (30 Rock), Jon Liebman (Ringer), Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner
CAST : Omar Epps (House), Kurtwood Smith (That ’70s Show), Devin Kelley (Covert Affairs), Frances Fisher, Samaire Armstrong (The Mentalist), Sam Hazeldine, Nicholas Gonzalez (Off the Map, Melrose Place), Mark Hildreth, Landon Gimenez
The potential series asks the provocative question, “What happens when the people you have mourned and buried suddenly appear on your doorstep as if not a day’s gone by? The lives of the people of Arcadia are forever changed when their deceased loved ones return.”

Why I’m Excited?
Any show that has a former House star is something I’m immediately interested in, plus the fact that there’s a supernatural element to it gives it two thumbs up. I also like that this is pretty fresh in terms of pilots so far and quite unique in that there’s never been anything similar to this before.

Bad Teacher (Comedy)
EPs : Hilary Winston (Community, Happy Endings), Lee Eisenberg, Gene Stupinsky, Sam Hansen, Jimmy Miller
CAST : Ari Graynor (Fringe), David Alan Grier (In Living Color), Ryan Hansen (Veronica Mars), Sara Gilbert (Roseanne)
Based on the film, a sexy, foul-mouthed divorcee becomes a teacher to find her next husband in this single-cam comedy.

Why I’m Excited?
I was a huge fan of the movie mainly because of Justin Timberlake, and although he won’t be starring in this series I’m excited to see how they adapt it into episodes and make it a long running arc rather than a ninety-minute movie. Ryan Hansen was great on 2 Broke Girls which also airs on CBS and so I have no doubt that he’ll bring great things to this pilot if it airs.

Intelligence (Drama)
EPs : Michael Seitzman, David Semel (No Ordinary Family), Tripp Vinson, Rene Echevarria (Terra Nova)
DIRECTOR : David Semel (No Ordinary Family)
CAST : Josh Holloway (Lost), Marg Helgenberger (CSI), Meghan Ory (Once Upon a Time), Michael Rady (Emily Owens, M.D.), James Martinez (Breaking Bad), John Billingsley (True Blood)
Centered at US Cyber Command, and focuses on a unit that has been created around one agent with a very special gift, a microchip that has been implanted in his brain that allows him to access the entire electromagnetic spectrum.

Why I’m Excited?
Josh Holloway. ‘Nuff Said. Oh and I’m ecstatic that Meghan Ory has finally got her own pilot as she definitely has the chops to be female lead and I feel like Once Upon A Time wasn’t showcasing her as best as she could have been.

Super Clyde (Comedy)
EP : Greg Garcia (Raising Hope)
DIRECTOR : Michael Fresco (Raising Hope, Suburgatory)
CAST : Rupert Grint (Harry Potter), Tyler Labine (Animal Practice), Justine Lupe (Harry’s Law)
A single-camera sitcom about a meek fast food worker who decides to become a superhero.

Why I’m Excited?
As a big fan of Harry Potter I’m over the moon that Rupert is finally back on our screens and will be gracing us with his presence every week if the series gets picked up. I also loved Tyler Labine on Reaper and can’t wait to see him and Rupert together.

The CW
The 100 (Drama)
EPs : Jason Rothenberg, Leslie Morgenstein, Gina Girolamo, Matt Miller (Chuck)
DIRECTOR : Bharat Nalluri (Emily Owens, M.D.)
CAST : Eliza Taylor (Neighbours), Bob Morley (Home and Away), Eli Goree (Emily Owens, M.D.), Henry Ian Cusick (Lost), Marie Avgeropoulos (Cult), Paige Turco (Person of Interest), Isaiah Washington (Grey’s Anatomy), Kelly Hu (Arrow), Thomas McDonell (Suburgatory), Christopher Larkin
Based on upcoming Alloy books written by Kass Morgan, the project is set 97 years after a nuclear war has destroyed civilization. A spaceship housing the lone human survivors sends 100 juvenile delinquents back to Earth to investigate the possibility of re-colonizing the planet.

Why I’m Excited?
I’m a fan of anything that comes on The CW and always give every single one of their pilots a chance as its by far my favourite network. This pilot is one of the many I’m excited about that comes from The CW mainly because I like the fact that they’re delinquents and also that they’re an adaptation of books, which I’m also definitely going to be checking out. Another thing I’m excited to see is Thomas McDonell who I’ve been a fan of since Disneys PROM last year. I really do hope it gets picked up as a TV series as it fits in nicely with the network aswell.

The Originals (Drama)
EPs : Julie Plec (The Vampire Diaries), Leslie Morgenstein, Gina Girolamo
CAST : Joseph Morgan, Daniel Gillies, Claire Holt, Phoebe Tonkin, Daniella Pineda (Homeland), Charles Michael Davis (The Game), Danielle Campbell (Prison Break), Leah Pipes (Sorority Row)
This planted pilot, airing as an April episode of The Vampire Diaries, Klaus returns to the French Quarter of New Orleans, a supernatural melting pot that he helped build centuries ago, and is reunited with his diabolical former protégé Marcel.

Why I’m Excited?
GAH, words do not explain how excited I am for this pilot. Its almost a certain pick up and I salute Julie Plec for running with the whole Originals idea. As an avid-fan of The Vampire Diaries I find myself tuning in every week because of one man, Klaus (Joseph Morgan) and now to find out he may have his own TV show is just the icing on top of the cake. I also really enjoy Claire Holt on my TV and so that’s an added plus. The only thing that upsets me is the fact that this pilot puts an end to Klaroline.

Oxygen (Drama)
EPs : Meredith Averill (The Good Wife), Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec, Scott Rosenberg, Richard Shepard, Bryan Furst, Sean Furst, Daniel Gutman
DIRECTOR : Gary Fleder (Beauty and the Beast)
CAST : Aimee Teegarden (Friday Night Lights), Matt Lanter (90210), Malese Jow (The Vampire Diaries), Titus Makin Jr. (Glee), Grey Damon (The Secret Circle), Natalie Hall (Pretty Little Liars), Chelsea Gilligan, Greg Finley (The Secret Life of the American Teenager)
Passion and politics threaten the peace and an epic romance ignites between a human girl and an alien boy when he and eight others of his kind (The Orion 9) are integrated into a suburban high school ten years after they and hundreds of others landed on Earth and were immediately consigned to an internment camp where they’ve been imprisoned ever since.

Why I’m Excited?
Aimee Teegarden, Matt Lanter & Malese Jow have all been favourites of mine to watch on TV and so to have a show with all of them on is fantastic! I also like the idea about the alien love triangle as it doesn’t seem to have been done recently, as aliens have taken a back seat for vampires, werewolves, zombies etc. This is a show I definitely pray will get picked up.

The Selection (Drama)
EPs : Elizabeth Craft and Sarah Fain (Dollhouse, Vampire Diaries)
DIRECTOR | Alex Graves (666 Park Ave, Fringe)
CAST : Yael Grobglas, Michael Malarkey, Lucien Laviscount (Coronation Street), Anthony Head (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Louise Lombard (CSI), Sean Patrick Thomas (Save the Last Dance), Peta Sergeant, Celia Massingham, Sarah Winter (An Adventure in Space and Time)
Getting a pilot order for the second year in a row, the project, based on Kiera Cass’ book series, is an epic romance set 300 years in the future. In it, a poor young woman is chosen by lottery to participate in a competition to become the next queen of a war-torn nation at a crossroads.

Why I’m Excited?
Now, one of the only shows I was excited about last years pilot season was The Selection, but sadly it wasn’t picked up. But in a twist of good luck the CW decided to revamp and recast it for this years pilot season. The network definitely want to keep ahold of this pilot and so I feel it’ll be a definite pick up, something I’m very happy to hear about. The three main leads are fairly unknown but Lucien is someone I’ve watched before and every time I’ve seen him, I’ve loved him so I’m glad he’s landed his breakthrough role. The books are also awesome!

The Tomorrow People (Drama)
EPs : Phil Klemmer (Chuck), Greg Berlanti (Arrow), Julie Plec (The Vampire Diaries), Danny Cannon (Nikita)
DIRECTOR | Danny Cannon (Nikita)
CAST : Peyton List (Mad Men), Luke Mitchell (Home and Away), Robbie Amell (Revenge), Mark Pellegrino (Lost), Madeleine Mantock
Adapted from the 1970s UK series, it follows several young people from around the world who represent the next stage in human evolution, all possessing special powers including the ability to teleport and communicate with each other telepathically. Together they work to defeat the forces of evil.

Why I’m Excited?
Julie and Greg have been trying to gain the rights to TTP for years now and so to finally be moving forward this project is something I’m excited about as I feel like they’ve put a lot of thought into it and a lot of effort.
Robbie Amell is cousin to Stephen Amell star of CW hit show Arrow and from what I’ve seen of him he’ll definitely be another hit if it gets picked up. Luke Mitchell I’ve been a fan off since Home& Away and so to finally see him in a role like this is amazing and I think he’ll do extremely well.

Delirium (Drama)
EPs : Karyn Usher (Prison Break), Peter Chernin, Katherine Pope
CAST : Emma Roberts (Scream 4), Billy Campbell (The Killing), Daren Kagasoff (Secret Life of the American Teenager), Corey Reynolds (The Closer), Gregg Sulkin (Pretty Little Liars), Jeanine Mason (Bunheads), Michael Michele (ER)
Based on a bestselling trilogy about a world where love is deemed illegal and is able to be eradicated with a special procedure. But with 95 days to go until her scheduled treatment, lead character Lena Holoway does the unthinkable and falls in love.

Why I’m Excited?
I’m a big fan of all three leads and am a fan of the dystopian take on things, this TV pilot is sure to be a hit with the YA market and I think FOX can definitely do it justice. Its also nice to see Emma Roberts back on our TV screens.

Untitled J.J. Abrams/J.H. Wyman Project (Drama)
EPs : J.H. Wyman, J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk (Fringe)
DIRECTOR : Brad Anderson (Fringe)
CAST : Karl Urban (Star Trek), Michael Ealy (Common Law), Lili Taylor (Six Feet Under), Minka Kelly (Friday Night Lights), Michael Irby (The Unit), Mackenzie Crook (Pirates of the Caribbean)
An action-packed buddy cop show set in the near future when all LAPD officers are partnered with highly evolved human-like androids.

Why I’m Excited?
FOX did good by landing Karl Urban as a lead for this already fantastic looking premise. Another hit is Michael Ealy who I can see doing great as a human like android. Minka Kelly has been a favourite of mine for a long time and so I’m excited to see her on my TV again. With a cast like this FOX are sure to make a hit with this.

About a Boy (Comedy)
EP : Jason Katims (Parenthood)
DIRECTOR : Jon Favreau (Revolution, Iron Man)
CAST : David Walton (New Girl), Minnie Driver (The Riches), Anjelah N. Johnson (MADtv), Benjamin Stockham (1600 Penn), Leslie Bibb (GCB)
Based on the book and subsequent 2002 film starring Hugh Grant and Nicholas Hoult, the single-cam comedy centers on the relationship between a man-child and the young boy who moves in next door.

Why I’m Excited?
As a fan of the original movie and David Walton I’m super excited to see how they transition it from movie to tv, and I think Walton is perfect as the man child who lives next door, as from watching New Girl we know he does comedy well.

Believe (Drama)
EPs : Alfonso Cuaron (Children of Men), J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk (Fringe)
CAST : Kyle MacLachlan (Desperate Housewives), Johnny Sequoyah, Jake McLaughlin (Savages), Delroy Lindo (The Chicago Code), Jamie Chung (Once Upon a Time), Sienna Guillory (Resident Evil)
Follows an unlikely relationship between a gifted young girl and a man sprung from prison who has been tasked with protecting her from the evil elements that hunt her power.

Why I’m Excited?
This is probably the pilot I’m most excited about as it has everything I look for in TV, an ex convict, supernatural elements, and an obvious romance. I love the whole ex-con protecting a young girl aspect of things, and if it doesn’t get picked up I may just shed a few tears. With a strong cast so far I feel like NBC most definitely will pick this up, it also helps that J.J Abrams is on board as Executive Producer as his pilot from last year Revolution turned out to be a hit. I can definitely see NBC pairing both shows up which will give Believe a great lead in.

The Blacklist (Drama)
EPs : Jon Bokenkamp (Perfect Stranger), John Eisendrath (Alias), John Fox, John Davis
CAST : James Spader (The Office), Megan Boone (Law & Order: LA), Ryan Eggold (90210)
The world’s most wanted criminal suddenly turns himself in and offers to give up anyone he’s ever worked with. The catch: He’ll only work with a new FBI agent, one with whom he has no known connection.

Why I’m Excited?
As a fan of FOX’s new drama the Following you can see why I’m instantly interested in this pilot? It sounds similar but I think it can definitely stand on its own if NBC go about it the right way.

Bloodline (Drama)
EPs : David Graziano (Awake), Peter Berg and Sarah Aubrey (Friday Night Lights)
DIRECTOR : Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights)
CAST : Skyler Samuels (The Nine Lives of Chloe King), Jonathan Banks (Breaking Bad), KaDee Strickland (Private Practice), Chris Zylka (The Secret Circle)
The Kill Bill-esque stylized drama follows an orphaned girl named Bird Benson who’s caught between two families of murderers and mercenaries. In order to eventually have a normal life, Bird learns, she must defeat her mother via mortal combat.

Why I’m Excited?
A strong empowering lead once again? Yes please. This pilot is definitely unique and right up my street with the whole Kill Bill take on things. One thing I should suggest is that they change the leads name from Bird Benson to well anything? I’m also excited to see Chris Zylka back on my screen as I enjoyed seeing him in the short lived CW show The Secret Circle.

Hatfields & McCoys (Drama)
EPs : John Glenn (Eagle Eye), Charlize Theron, AJ Dix, Dawn Olmstead, Beau Flynn
CAST : Virginia Madsen (Sideways, Scoundrels), Rebecca De Mornay (John From Cincinnati), Jesse Lee Soffer (The Mob Doctor), Patrick Flueger (The 4400), Sophia Bush (One Tree Hill), Nick Westrate, Annie Ilonzeh (Charlie’s Angels, Switched at Birth), James Remar (Dexter)
Set in present-day Pittsburgh. When a startling death re-ignites the two clans’ legendary battles, the blue collar McCoys will put the Hatfields’ wealth and power at risk as they go to war for control of the city.

Why I’m Excited?
Charlize Theron is an Executive Producer for this show, so I’m definitely on board as I’m a massive fan of hers, I’m also excited to see Sophia Bush on screen again, hopefully its her year this year. A clash of any sort always reels me in and this pilot premise has done just that.

The Sixth Gun (Drama)
EPs : Newcomer Ryan Condal, Carlton Cuse (Lost), Eric Gitter (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World), Andy Borne
DIRECTOR : Jeffrey Reiner (Awake)
CAST : Michiel Huisman (Nashville, Treme), Laura Ramsey (The Ruins), W. Earl Brown (Deadwood), Graham McTavish (The Hobbit), Aldis Hodge (Leverage), Pedro Pascal (The Good Wife), James LeGros (Ally McBeal), Chin Han (The Dark Knight)
Based on the graphic novel of the same name, the supernatural western examines six mythical guns that each have their own otherworldly powers.

Why I’m Excited?
Another pilot I really hope gets picked up. You can check out a proper in-depth look at this on my previous post. But its got love, supernatural elements, action, its western, AND its a comic book adaptation. I’m definitely in love.

That’s it for all the pilots I’m excited about this year, with any luck atleast eleven of them will be picked up.
The few I hope and pray will do good are-
‘The Sixth Gun’
‘The Selection’
‘Tomorrow People’
‘The Originals
‘The 100’

Comment below on which pilots you are excited for, and let me know if you think I’m missing out on any I might enjoy?


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