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Pilot Season: Which Shows Will Make it, and Which Should?


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#1

Phishbulb

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Posted Apr 28, 2006 @ 12:29 PM

I'm not sure if this is the right place to start this topic, or even if it will take off, but this news was announced by FOX today and I thought people might be interested.

With three weeks to go until its upfront presentation, FOX has given early green lights to two of its pilots - the Brad Garrett-led comedy "'Til Death" and the Josh Berman-created drama "Vanished."

Both have been given orders for 12 additional episodes beyond their respective pilots, sources close to each project confirmed this afternoon. The network is no stranger to early pickups, as last season FOX committed to "Prison Break" nearly a month before its upfront.

"Death" revolves around newlyweds (Eddie Kaye Thomas, Kat Foster) who move in next door to a couple who has been married for 25 years (Garrett, Joely Fisher). Cathy Yuspa and Josh Goldsmith ("The King of Queens") are behind the half-hour, which comes from Sony Pictures Television. Ted Wass directed the pilot.

As for "Vanished," the 20th Century Fox Television-based project is a serialized drama about the search for a senator's wife who goes missing as part of a larger conspiracy, as told through the eyes of law enforcement, family members and the media. The show's ensemble cast includes Christopher Egan, Gale Harold, Joanne Kelly, John Allen Nelson, John Patrick Amedori, Margarita Levieva, Ming-Na, Rebecca Gayheart and Robert Hoffman. Mimi Leder directed the pilot from a script by Berman with Paul Redford also serving as an executive producer.

Expect more details to be released when FOX formally announces its 2006-07 schedule in a few weeks.

For a complete list of all pilots under consideration by all the networks, go here . NBC will announce its 2006-07 schedule on Monday, May 15 at its annual "upfront" presentation. ABC will follow on Tuesday, May 16 with CBS on Wednesday, May 17, and FOX and the CW on Thursday, May 18.

Are there any shows people are looking forward to? Which pilots do you hope get picked up? This can be kind of a catch-all topic for any discussion of upcoming pilots.
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#2

Corcat

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Posted Apr 28, 2006 @ 7:09 PM

Interesting thread, Phishbulb, and checked out the NBC lineup.

I don't watch comedy, but I can be drawn into the dramas, so I gave them a look.

Well, well, well. Timothy Hutton is costarring on Kidnapped and he's a great actor. The problem is the other costar: Dana Delaney (I dislike her with the heat of one thousand halogen lamps (lots of UV radiation). For me she ruined NYPD Blue, so I may decide just on principle not to watch it.

And a question about Heroes. What is up with all these superhero dramas Mutant X, Smallville? Don't we keep the superhero stuff relegated to thecartoon slot on Saturday morning?

Edited to add

Shrink (Anne Heche) whose husband cheats on her moves to Alaska and is surrounded by available men

This one on ABC is called "Men in Trees". I predict that it'll be a winner (NOT).

Edited by Corcat, Apr 28, 2006 @ 7:12 PM.

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#3

Mexicanguy

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Posted Apr 28, 2006 @ 8:00 PM

This one on ABC is called "Men in Trees". I predict that it'll be a winner (NOT).


Industry insiders are claiming that this pilot could get the post-Desperate Housewives slot.
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#4

Eegah

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Posted Apr 28, 2006 @ 8:14 PM

I don't recognize anyone in Vanished, but I'll be watching.
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#5

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Posted Apr 28, 2006 @ 10:01 PM

Calista Flockhart, Rachel Griffiths, and Balthazar Getty are in Brothers and Sisters, an ABC drama pilot about a gaggle of siblings who run a family business together. Apparently, Calista is testing horribly with test audiences. If it gets picked up, it'll be interesting to see if they replace her.

Also, here's a list of the fall pilots that feature gay characters.
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#6

Nikki125

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Posted Apr 29, 2006 @ 12:05 AM

I'm really looking forward to seeing Jeffrey Donovan in series television again, so I hope Enemies on ABC gets picked up. Donovan plays a mobster at odds with his childhood friend who is in law enforcement. The only drawback for me is that Peter Facinelli plays the friend. I am really not a fan of his acting, but the show's premise and Donovan will get me to tune in.
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#7

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Posted Apr 29, 2006 @ 6:15 AM

And a question about Heroes. What is up with all these superhero dramas Mutant X, Smallville? Don't we keep the superhero stuff relegated to thecartoon slot on Saturday morning?

I'm just surprised, considering that huge numbers and positive reviews from critics that the recent X-Men, Spider-Man, and Batman movies have pulled in, that we aren't seeing more live action superheroes on TV.
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#8

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Posted Apr 29, 2006 @ 9:00 AM

(CBS) Waterfront
Warner Bros. TV
Jack Orman

Joe Pantoliano stars as the wildly charismatic and ethically challenged mayor of Providence, R.I.; Mary Stuart Masterson co-stars


That doesn't sound at all familiar. I'll admit to a lot of laughter on my part when I read that. I may actually tune in if it gets picked up. I liked Pantoliano in The Fugitive.
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#9

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Posted Apr 29, 2006 @ 11:47 AM

Vanished sounds kind of boring to me. Maybe it's just because I could never get into 24 or Lost.

Apparently, Calista is testing horribly with test audiences. If it gets picked up, it'll be interesting to see if they replace her.


That's too bad, she can't seem to catch a break, acting-wise. But I don't blame test audiences, if she was anything like she was in Ally McBeal, I don't blame them
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#10

Corcat

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Posted Apr 29, 2006 @ 3:38 PM

Industry insiders are claiming that this pilot could get the post-Desperate Housewives slot.


I am officially agog. It'll be interesting to see how this show rolls out.


positive reviews from critics that the recent X-Men, Spider-Man, and Batman movies have pulled in, that we aren't seeing more live action superheroes on TV.


I think that this year they'll be trying Heroes out, and if it flies (no pun intended) we can expect more superheroes making TV appearances in 07-08. Like the cop show trend in the early 90's, I'm guessing the Superhero trend has ramped up with Smallville and will continue, just as long as the ratings are relatively high. I'm certainly seeing more Sci-Fi, and the superhero shows can be considered both Drama and Sci-Fi.

Edited by Corcat, Apr 29, 2006 @ 3:38 PM.

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#11

ralmcgs

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Posted May 1, 2006 @ 11:34 AM

Corcat, Dana DELANY did not star in "NYPD Blue". KIM Delaney did.
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#12

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Posted May 1, 2006 @ 12:46 PM

Secrets of a Small Town sounds good but only because I love Veronica Mars and I except some Twin Lakes stuff to show up.


I'm kinda surprised CW is ordering pilots. They already have enough to worry about with bringing two different channels into one.
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#13

Vermicious Knid

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Posted May 2, 2006 @ 4:40 AM

Dana Delaney was fantastic in China Beach. But I'm not really interested in the series.

I predict everything on the CW will crash and burn. Sorry Nick, try again.
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#14

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Posted May 2, 2006 @ 6:26 AM

I may get laughed at here, but I think the dark horse is the new Aquaman pilot. Aquaman may be one of the lamest superheroes around, but the show is basically going to be Smallville crossed with Baywatch. Lots of healthy looking young people in bathing suits. Throw in the obligatory dolphin character and as long as they don’t give the show a silly name (I’m convinced that’s the reason Buffy was never really accepted by the mainstream) I think it could be successful with the target audience that they’re trying to reach.
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#15

Justin Cognito

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Posted May 2, 2006 @ 8:52 AM

Well, going rumor is that the Aquaman series will be called Mercy Reef, which doesn't sound so goofy. And Aquaman doesn't talk to fish in this one.
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#16

Phishbulb

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Posted May 2, 2006 @ 10:49 AM

Well, here's my two cents on what I'm interested in:

ABC- "Untitled Burnett/Beckerman Project" aka "Let's Rob Mick Jagger"- Interesting premise, and I don't think anyone has attemped a "24"-style ongoing real time situation in a sitcom before. Plus the showrunners are Rob Burnett and Jon Beckerman, who did a pretty good job with "Ed". I like Donal Logue too.

"Untitled Bonnie Hunt Project"- I love Bonnie Hunt, but she's had so many failed series, I can't believe they're letting her shoot another pilot. The premise for this one doesn't sound all that exciting

"Untitled Brad Copeland Project"- Copeland was a writer for "Arrested Development" and "My Name is Earl", but I read the script for this and didn't laugh much. Plus it has one of the annoying kids from "Quintuplets" in it.

CBS- "You've Reached the Elliotts"- Can't wait to see Chris Elliott on TV again. I really hope this gets picked up, because nothing else on CBS's plate is really grabbing me at the moment.

NBC- "Andy Barker, P.I." and "Untitled Tina Fey Project"- Both of these shows sound funny, and they should be good companions to "My Name is Earl" or "The Office", since they're single-camera shows without a laugh track. I wonder if Fey's pilot is going to get picked up though, since I hear "Studio 60" is already a lock for fall. I bet Fey's show might be a midseason replacement.

"Community Service"- The premise for this show sounds very similar to "Earl". But I liked Jay Mohr's last series "Action", so I'd probably watch this.

FOX- "The Winner"- This sounds like a live-action "Family Guy", what with FG writer Ricky Blitt creating it and Seth MacFarlane producing it. Rob Corddry has been frequently hilarious on "The Daily Show". Plus, FOX has to pay a cash penalty if it's not ordered to series, so it's a good chance this might be a go.

Nothing on the drama side is really wowing me, although I'll probably check out "Studio 60", "Heroes", and maybe the Aquaman show.

Edited by Phishbulb, May 2, 2006 @ 10:52 AM.

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#17

ainoarwen

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Posted May 3, 2006 @ 12:06 PM

The pilots that have caught my eye include Sorkin "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip", which I have already selected as the target of my next obsession. The pilot is truly that good.

Like Phishbulb, I like the sound of "Community Service". The premise seems to have a lot of promise.

"Orpheus" (at CBS) stars Mena Suvari and deals with a woman who becomes involved in a cult. It sounds interesting.

Although it's still in development at Fox and won't be considered for season '06-'07, I'd love to see Michael Rosenbaum's semi-biographical "Welcome to Paradise" on my screens.

Likewise, I am praying that HBO's "sexLIFE" will go into production, because that would bring Ally Walker back to my tv.

As for shows that shouldn't make it, well, I already have a simmering resentment towards "Mercy Reef/Aquaman" project. The idea that a quality show like "Everwood" might be cancelled and this type of show be put on the air instead is almost enough to discourage me from getting up in the mornings.
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#18

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Posted May 3, 2006 @ 7:07 PM

I'm guessing the Superhero trend has ramped up with Smallville and will continue, just as long as the ratings are relatively high.

There's been superhero shows off and on prime-time for a while - Spider-Man and the Hulk and Batman from the 60s, Lois & Clark and the short-lived Flash series of the 90s... And then there's quasi-superhero shows without external intellectual property : Buffy, Angel, Now and Again, Six Million Dollar Man, Greatest American Hero, John Doe (I'm really stretching here).

But yeah, considering the Star Wars series debuts in the 07-08 season (I think), maybe it will be a boom time for sci-fi/superhero type shows. At least effects are starting to not be embarrassingly bad on series TV budgets.
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#19

pinkmoon

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Posted May 4, 2006 @ 12:28 AM

For me it's all about the new Aaron Sorkin show, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. I'm soooo excited for this show... Why? First it's Aaron Sorkin. I believe that the Sorkin West Wing was one of the greatest shows ever. Then there's the cast... Bradley Whitford, Matthew Perry and a bunch of other people that I really like. And finally there's the script. Dude! It's amazing. I can't wait. Me and a lot of people since the S60 thread on the Drama section is like 160 pages long.

I'm hearing that Victor Garber was cast in a pilot about lawyers or something? Is it true? I'm gonna miss SpyDaddy like whoa so I'll probably give it a try, but did it have to be a crime show?
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#20

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Posted May 4, 2006 @ 4:18 PM

For me it's all about the new Aaron Sorkin show, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.

pinkmoon, you'll be glad to know that NBC has officially picked up the show.

It's strange how the networks are picking up pilots and renewing current shows before the upfronts, now. Unless you're a fan of a show that is seriously on the bubble, it's not very exciting waiting for the network's fall schedules anymore.

ABC is apparently developing a series version of Mr. and Mrs. Smith for 2007. (I guess no one at ABC watched My Big Fat Greek Life.) Anyhow, I think they should get Larry Hagman and Linda Gray to fill in for Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.
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#21

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Posted May 4, 2006 @ 6:10 PM

Why not Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers?
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#22

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Posted May 4, 2006 @ 9:44 PM

I think I'm a ABC whore because all the pilots that I'm interested in are on ABC


Secrets of a Small Town


Cast:
Angie Harmon: Beth Steele
Samantha Mathis: Samantha Steele
John Terry: Russell Rhodes
Brian Van Holt: Tom Wilson
Tyler Christopher: Grant Wilson
Sean Patrick Flanery: Jimmy Lee
Jacob Smith: Peter Rhodes
John L. Adams: Quinn Gaiser
Denise Richards: Brenda Rhodes
Matt Long: Chad Wilson
Leighton Meester: Kayla Rhodes
Lucy Hale: Tisha Steele
TBA: Nash Coburn


Welcome to Santa Ruiz, voted America's most desirable place to live. That was before a murder and a kidnapping of twin high school girls took place here…the first serious crimes since 1909. Now everyone's in shock. People claim that things like this just don't happen here. But in this small town, everyone has secrets and there's no place to hide.

Beth escaped from Santa Ruiz's small-town life when she walked out on her wedding eight years ago and she's never been back. Now as a reporter fresh from assignments in Rome and Afghanistan, Beth's come back to cover this front page story for the sake of her career. Her boss (and new fiancé), Nash, thinks she has unfinished business in Santa Ruiz and it's clear during the hostile reunion with her sister, now the town sheriff, that he was right. Beth may have a hometown advantage over other reporters, knowing the town's three big families as intimately as she does, but she won't like covering the story if the dirt she uncovers is her own. Even as her investigative reporting helps locate the kidnapped twin, she has managed to dig up other secrets revealing just how undesirable this town may really be.

From a writer for General Hospital and Desperate Housewives, Angie Harmon (Law & Order) and Denise Richards (Wild Things) lead an ensemble cast of friends, neighbors and secrets in a story of idyllic suburbia gone terribly wrong.



Six Degrees


Cast:
Jay Hernandez: Carlos
Bridget Moynahan: Whitney
Hope Davis: Laura
Campbell Scott: Steve Caseman
Dorian Missick: Damian
Erika Christensen: Mae Anderson



It's said that six people separate any one person from another. Considering the millions of people in the United States alone, it's an amazing thought that we're connected to anyone and everyone by a chain of six.

Laura, a grieving single mother, begins the chain. Then to Whitney, the self-made success story who thinks her boyfriend is cheating. Move on to Steven, the artist/photographer who believes he's lost his 'eye.' Follow with Damien, who can't escape his criminal brother's shadow. Then to Mae, the girl with a dangerous past she's hiding from. And finally to Carlos, the good guy with a crush who doesn't know what he's in for.

These six strangers are going about their normal lives but not realizing the impact they're having on each other – yet. It's a mysterious web of seeming coincidence and happenstance that draws these people closer to those who will change their lives forever. Even decisions made freely will seem part of a larger design begging the question if there is a greater force at work in our world, guiding us along and connecting our lives.

The producers of Lost and Alias create an intriguing tale of intertwined strangers. It's a story that will prove just how small the world really is and how someone just five people away could be shaping your future right now. Starring Jay Hernandez (Friday Night Lights), Erika Christensen (Flightplan), Bridget Moynahan (Sex and the City), and Hope Davis (About Schmidt).


Untitled Steinberg Project


Cast:
Chi McBride: Malcolm
Jessica Collins: Lizzie
Tim Daly: Nick
Kim Raver: Kathryn
Scott Wolf: Jeremy
John Billingsley: Ethan
Lourdes Benedicto: Eva
Camille Guaty: Franny
Owain Yeoman: Lucas
Dana Davis: Felicia


So much in life is beyond your control. One day you wake up and go to work like a regular day. Suddenly a random moment, an accident, a blessing, even a stranger, comes from out of the blue and redirects your life forever. But it's up to you to decide if that moment will stop you in your tracks or lift you up to new heights.

Today nine people face just such an unexpected twist when they are caught in a bank robbery gone wrong and endure a 52-hour hostage standoff that will leave one person dead. When all is said and done, these nine people will never be the same. They will always share the common bond of what happens inside the bank…which only they'll know. And they will be forever affected and intertwined because of it.

From the creator of Without a Trace and an executive producer of The West Wing comes a dramatic character study that will keep audiences hooked from the beginning of the bank robbery to the end of the hostage standoff. Taking a twist from Lost, each episode will begin with a flashback to reveal another 10 minutes of the hostage crisis, uncovering why and how these nine strangers are still linked today. Starring Tim Daly (Wings), Chi McBride (Boston Public), and Scott Wolf (Party of Five).


Traveler


Cast:
Matthew Bomer: Jay Burchell
Logan Marshall-Green: Taylor Fog
Aaron Stanford: Will Traveler
Viola Davis: Agent Jan "Naj" Marlow
Steven Culp: Agent Fred Chambers



How well do you know your friends? Would you bet your life on it? It's not what we share with our friends, but what we keep hidden that defines what kind of people we are.

After spending every minute of the last two years living, working, and partying together, Jay, Tyler and Will are departing on a summer journey. But being together ends today…simple prank to rollerblade through one of New York City's most famous museums has made Jay and Tyler prime suspects in the terrorist bombing that destroyed it seconds later. The guys hope Will can help clear up this misunderstanding, but he's been missing since the explosion and they think he might be dead. Jay wants to talk to the police about finding Will, but quickly realizes they can't even prove Will exists – in every photo for the last two years, Will managed to block his face. He was their only alibi. The F.B.I. confirms a man matching Will's description died in the explosion, but also learns the explosion was triggered by a call from Jay's cell phone. It's a highly suspicious coincidence that may prove Will, the glue in their friendship, may have meticulously planned this betrayal for over two years. Perfectly framed and on the run, the friends must rely on each other to get away from the F.B.I., and try to get to the bottom of a conspiracy that has destroyed their future. But what can they do when they're merely pawns in a game of global intrigue?

Director David Nutter, who has defined many series including The X-Files, Without a Trace and Supernatural, along with the writer of Eight Below and the Oscar®-winning producers of American Beauty, combine The Fugitive with Enemy of the State in a taut, tense thriller of innocents on the run. Flashing back to the prior two years to illustrate the formation of this friendship and Will's insidious behavior, this action-packed drama taps into our paranoia with pure adrenaline-fueled entertainment.

Edited by PoiPounder, May 4, 2006 @ 9:45 PM.

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#23

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Posted May 6, 2006 @ 11:25 AM

Secrets of a Small Town sounds like Veronica Mars' first season, minus the teenage factor. Small rich town? Girl detective knows the three most influential families personally and intimately? Close relative works/worked in law enforcement? The investigation leading to many uncomfortable personal revelations? Young girl getting murdered for no apparent reason? I bet one of the big families' sons is her ex, too.


Okay, you could also blame Twin Peaks as obvious source of inspiration here, but you say "derivative", I say "derivative".

The casting director, however, has really picked the crop of last year's showkillers for this show. Regulars from Inconceivable, Threshold, Surface, Sex, Love & Secrets, Jack and Bobby... Someone really wants to jinx the show.
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#24

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Posted May 6, 2006 @ 2:42 PM

I've never watched Veronica Mars or Twins Peaks so I can't really compare but I do know from reading across the net that Secrets of a Small Town tested the best out of all ABC Drama's

Six Degrees: The pilot was really good. I wasn't sure about it before but now I think it will end up post Grey's Anatomy. Everyone really seemed to enjoy it a lot.

Traveler: This pilot came out of nowhere really. Though it was pretty strong. It comes from WB and their pushing hard for this along with Untitled Steinbergs (Nine Lives) which also tested very strong.

Secrets of a Small Town: Actually tested the best out of all the ABC dramas so far. It's not saying that much though. It should have no problems behind Housewives.

A House Divided: Tested pretty good but not as well as the others. Wouldn't really count on it making it.

Drift: Tested a little better than House Divided but still needs a lot of work.

20 Questions: Didn't test too well. Wasn't really much of a contender in the first place.




and it's also considered the next big thing by TV Guide

ABC: Secrets of a Small Town — a drama starring Angie Harmon about a small town whose residents have plenty of skeletons in the closet — is believed to have the inside track for the Sunday-night slot after Desperate Housewives. (It's now a given that the network will move the superhot Grey's Anatomy to another night where it can help launch a new show.) Also hot are Six Degrees — another ensemble soap about six strangers whose lives intertwine in New York — and Traveler, about three graduate students involved in a national-security emergency.


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#25

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Posted May 6, 2006 @ 9:19 PM

Where are you guys seeing the pilots?
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#26

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Posted May 7, 2006 @ 12:15 AM

Where are you guys seeing the pilots?

I don't think they are saying they have seen them. The quotes above are from online articles.


Here is a very interesting/gun jumping article about what may be ABC's 06-07 line up.

Note to smug smirk lovers everywhere: No Freddie!
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#27

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Posted May 7, 2006 @ 2:53 AM

Secrets of a Small Town sounds like Veronica Mars' first season, minus the teenage factor.

Karma. VM had a plucky girl who sniffed out the hidden stories, rocked a flippy haircut, had a black friend/sidekick, featured a friend tied up to a pole in the pilot episode, met an ambiguously evil bald guy, all in a high school setting... I'm just thankful they didn't take the suckiness of "Smallville" too.

The casting director, however, has really picked the crop of last year's showkillers for this show.

Well, think of it another way: here you've got a group of actors who all got past the network auditions very recently and yet here they are, available for work!
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#28

Zombiefrog

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Posted May 7, 2006 @ 3:51 AM

Blade:the series.

Filming now outside my apartment this week, and men in trees was as well a few weeks ago.

I have no expectations for Blade at all, and wondering who actually gave the green light to this premise. Aieee.

I thought Men in Trees was a Can-Con movie.

( The only inconvienience is that I can't walk around my apartment nekkid. The blinds don't cover them fully. Oh the hassle?)

Edited by Zombiefrog, May 7, 2006 @ 9:38 AM.

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#29

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Posted May 7, 2006 @ 8:20 AM

PoiPounder - have any links to the quotes you posted above? I'm REALLY curious about Traveler but can't find any recent info online on how it's doing with audiences aside from your quotes and the link that Still Ill posted (but I don't trust About.com).
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#30

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Posted May 7, 2006 @ 8:59 AM

PoiPounder - have any links to the quotes you posted above? I'm REALLY curious about Traveler but can't find any recent info online on how it's doing with audiences aside from your quotes and the link that Still Ill posted (but I don't trust About.com).


Deadlinehollywood has a few words about how the pilots are going. There are also threads at Zap2it forums that have some info.

There seems to be a glut of 'on the run' shows this season but I'm most interested in Traveler because of the prettier cast and the suposed Three days of the Condor aspect. I get the impression from what little I have read that it will get picked up or be mid-season.

Edited by Still Ill, May 7, 2006 @ 9:03 AM.

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