I don’t remember networks announcing as many potential replacements as they have this year. It’s like they’re saying to advertisers and viewers, “Look, we know making a hit TV show is a crap shoot. We’ve got a plan B in place. Heck, we’ve got plans C through F if needed.”
Not all of these are in the same development stages, but the networks announced them and some even have trailers and info readily available. Will any of these make it on the air? Who knows.
Because these are still in development, cast changes, title changes, etc. may happen.
First up, CBS and Fox, the networks with the most confidence in the scheduled season. Each only announced one in development series.
CBS – The 2-2
It used to be called Rookies, which is a little more descriptive of a show about … um … NYPD rookies on patrol in upper Manhattan. Leelee Sobieski (having given up on a career of playing some Helen Hunt relative) and Adam Goldberg are the name actors attached. All the characters have nicknames in the official CBS promo (Jennifer “White House” Perry, Ray “Lazarus” Harper, Daniel “Yoda” Dean, Ahmad “Kiterunner” Khan) that I hope goes away because it hurts my eyes to read the names like that. Producers are DeNiro and other people; really, after DeNiro, do you need another name? Expect this one to be on your screens at some point.
Fox – Touch
Otherwise known as the Keifer Sutherland’s been away from Fox for too long show. In a nutshell, Sutherland’s autistic son can connect patterns of numbers. Sutherland interprets the numbers and the viewing audience realizes how interconnected and dazzlingly precise the universe is. Seriously, that’s how Fox describes part of the plot: an interconnected, dazzlingly precise universe. Because of Sutherland, I’ll expect to see this one, but I won’t expect it until next year and I won’t expect it to last.
NBC – Awake
Perhaps the most intriguing show that didn’t make it on the regular schedule. Jason Isaacs stars as a husband and father whose family is in a car accident. His son dies. He goes to sleep and when he wakes up, it’s his wife who died, and the son’s alive. When he goes to sleep again, it switches. In both realities, he’s a cop but investigating different cases with different partners. He sees a psychiatrist in both realities (BD Wong and Cherry Jones). I don’t know where the series is going – Isaacs says in the trailer he has no desire to get better – but I think I’ll enjoy the journey. I hope this comes on the air.
NBC – Are You There Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea?
Have you seen Chelsea Handler’s show? Have you read her books? Okay, then you’ve seen this. But cast Laura Prepon as Handler in her 20s. Amusingly, the ad on the NBC page for the show was for Smirnoff Premium Malt Mixed Drinks. I expect this to air this season and stick around for a season or two. It looks amusing.
NBC – Best Friends Forever
BFFs end up living together again when one’s marriage falls apart. Unfortunately the other BFF’s boyfriend just moved in. How can these three coexist? It’s an in development series that will stay that way.
NBC – Bent
Single-mom Amanda Peet falls for her contractor in a romantic comedy sitcom. The first season should be the story of will or won’t the main characters get together. It’s got potential.
ABC – Good Christian Belles
It’s a soap in the vein of Desperate Housewives. Former bad girl moves back to Dallas society when her marriage ends. Schemes and hilarity follow. It’s got Annie Potts and Kristen Chenoweth. If it makes it on the air, it could catch on, but how well has Desperate Housewives been doing?
ABC – Missing
Ashley Judd stars as a woman hunting for her son who went missing while studying in Europe. By the way, Judd and the kid’s dad were CIA agents. Dad was murdered while the kid watched. It could be a good ABC drama if paired up with something like Castle.
ABC – The River
A famous TV wildlife expert (Bruce Greenwood) goes missing in the Amazon. His wife and son and a team go looking for him. Mysterious stuff happens that involve a lot of quick camera cuts and fuzzy recovered footage. It looks like it might be a better movie than a show that catches on. I can see it making it on the air, but it has the feel of a show you can’t miss an episode of without getting lost. Yeah, it has the feel of ABC trying to create Lost.
ABC – Scandal
Political scandals bring in ratings for news shows. This series is a natural evolution of the public’s fascination with politician’s peccadilloes. Kerry Washington runs a PR firm that fixes scandals. Naturally her staff can’t fix their own problems as easily. It’s got potential.
ABC – Work It
Remember Bosom Buddies? It’s back… sort of. Two guys end up working in pharmaceutical sales after passing them off as women. How can they make it work? Short answer – they’re not going to have to try. If this makes it on the air, it won’t last long.