They Could Be Series: Your Guide To The New TV Pilot Season

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The creative highways of Hollywood will be littered with the corpses of abandoned concepts between now and this May when the American television networks decide on their fall schedules. But in the meantime, there are dozens of potential series vying for a space on the schedule — some seemingly brilliant, others shockingly bad on the conceptual level — and Empire has compiled the following guide to what could possbly be coming your way.

9J, 9K, And 9L


Mark Feurstein (who recently concluded his run as Dr. Hank Lawson on Royal Pains) stars in this comedy inspired by a period in his actual life where he found himself living in an apartment between one occupied by his parents and another occupied by his brother, sister-in-law and their baby. Sounds like space issues will be a problem.

Network: CBS

Behind Enemy Lines


Somewhat based on the 2001 film, this series — about military personnel literally trapped behind enemy lines — will be told from multiple perspectives. Cast so far are Gabriel Chavarria, Melia Kreiling, B.J. Britt and Marg Helgenberger. McG directs the pilot.

Network: Fox

Black Lightning


Greg Berlanti’s fifth potential superhero series from DC Comics (following Arrow, The Flash, DC’s Legends Of Tomorrow and Supergirl). Cress Williams plays the title character, aka teacher Jefferson Pierce, who comes out of crime-fighting retirement to protect his daughter, who is seeking justice by any means necessary; and a student that a local gang is attempting to recruit into its ranks.

Network: CW

The Crossing


Refugees are, sadly, coming from everywhere these days, so why shouldn't that include the future? Such is the concept behind this drama to be set in an American town which becomes the recipients of visitors who live two hundred and fifty years from now. This allegory of our times also has a conspiracy at its heart (of course, when isn't there a conspiracy at the center of these things?). Fear The Walking Dead's Sandrine Holt will portray the female lead.

Network: ABC



High profile magician Cameron Black attempts a bit of real-life magic to rise above a scandal that has rocked his career by using his abilities of deception and illusion to help the FBI take down spies and criminals. Sounds like a cross between Mission: Impossible (but, you know, with one guy) and Psych. It’s got a strong pedigree, coming from producers Greg Berlanti, Chris Fedak, Sarah Schechter and Martin Gero.

Network: ABC



This one could scare the shit out of you: the concept is based on the reality that following the events of 9/11, the American government put together a team of the most inventive scientists and creative filmmakers they could gather. The goal: imagining the very worst things that could be perpetuated against humanity, along with possible solutions to those scenarios. Extrapolating on that, this potential series will look at what happens when one of those events actually occurs, and it becomes obvious that someone has gotten their hands on the doomsday playbook. Rachelle Lefevre (Victoria in The Twilight Saga), Claire Holt (Aquarius) and Taye Diggs (Murder In The First) star. Blame writers Mark Bianculli and VJ Boyd (Justified) for this one. Brrr.

Network: ABC

Drama High


Based on the book of the same name, this show would be inspired by the real life of Lou Volpe, a high school drama teacher and the students he taught. According to the official description, he's a "passionate teacher and family man whose dedication to the program galvanizes the entire town." One of the students will be played by Moana voice actress Auli'i Cravalho. From Jason Katims (Friday Night Lights) and Jeffrey Seller (Hamilton).

Network: NBC



Let the reboots continue, as one of two shows to capture '80s excess (Dallas being the other) gets a new shot on life as the feud between the enormously wealthy Carringtons and the Colbys begins anew. How is this one going to capture those iconic bitch fights between Joan Collins and Linda Evans that was a hallmark of the original? Executive producers include Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage (also behind the Hulu Marvel series, Runaways). Cast so far is Grant Show, who starred in the long running prime time soap Melrose Place, in John Forsythe's role of Blake Carrington.

Network: CW

For God And Country


One of several pilots that focus on the death-defying (sometimes) adventures and sacrifices of the men and women in America’s military. The cast includes Anne Heche, Mike Vogel, Noah Mills and Demetrius Grosse.

Network: NBC



If The X-Files was a comedy, it could be this pilot, which follows Craig Robinson’s skeptic and Adam Scott’s paranormal believer as they investigate L.A.’s unexplained phenomena, which could ultimately threaten the world. Ally Walker (Sons Of Anarchy) co-stars. Network: Fox

The Good Doctor


Have you any idea how difficult it is to add a fresh twist to a doctor/medical series? Well, creative minds in South Korea have done so with this pilot that’s being adapted for the English-speaking audience. The idea is that a surgeon who is a savant goes to work in a pediatric unit of an important hospital. As the official description asks, “Can a person who doesn’t have the ability to relate to people actually save their lives?” If we had to guess, we’d go with “Yes!” One of the executive producers is actually Daniel Dae Kim (Lost, Hawaii Five-0). David Shore, the creator of Sneaky Pete, serves as writer/executive producer.

Network: ABC

Good Girls


What happens when three wives and mothers from suburbia decide to stop living the safe life and attempt to wrestle back control of their destinies when they find themselves in desperate circumstances? Such is the premise of this potential series. From executive producer Jenna Bans (Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, The Family). Starring Retta from Parks And Recreation.

Network: NBC

Happy Peppers


After one of them suffers a great loss in their lives, a brother and sister decide to live together as adults, helping each other through life, work and love, and encouraging each other to move forward. From executive producers Max Mutchnick (Will And Grace) and Jeff Astrof (Friends), and starring Genevieve Angelson.

Network: NBC

Household Name


Comedy legend Carol Burnett might be returning to television if this pilot gets the green light to series. It's about a family who can buy their dream home, if they're willing to live with the current owner — an eccentric actress (played by Burnett) — until she dies. Also starring Mary Holland and Matt Oberg.

Network: ABC

Killer Instinct


Alan Cumming, last seen on American network television in The Good Wife, portrays a professor and writer who also happens to be a former CIA operative. When the New York Police Department seeks him out to help solve a serial killer case, he finds himself reluctantly pulled back into his old world. The potential series is based on a forthcoming James Patterson novel. Could be interesting, but why not have the actor reprise the role of Nightcrawler and hunt serial killers that way? That would be a cop drama we'd watch.

Network: CBS

Libby & Malcolm


Seemingly born out of the last Presidential election, this single-camera comedy focuses on a blended family, the parents of which could not be more diametrically opposed politically, but somehow find common ground. Not so sure about the premise, but the cast of Felicity Huffman and Courtney B. Vance definitely raises the curiosity factor.

Network: ABC

Me, Myself And I


The point of view of this series is three-fold as it looks at a man’s life through a period of fifty years, the focus shifting back and forth between 1991 (when he was all of fourteen), the present (where he’s forty) and in 2042, when he’s sixty-five. From producer Ken Kopelman with Kelen Coleman signed as the female lead and Saturday Night Live's Bobby Moynihan cast as series lead.

Network: CBS

Mission Control


For Andy Weir, author of The Martian, space continues to be the place. He serves as writer/execuetive producer of this sci-fi story looking at the next generation of NASA astronauts and scientists. Reportedly it will focus on both the personal and professional lives of the characters at the same time that a critical mission is underway. Among the producers is Simon Kinberg.

Network: CBS

The Passage


Justin Cronin’s best-selling trilogy could become a vampire series that begins by tracking a conspiracy theory, but as it continues onward morphs into a post-apocalyptic tale with the world overrun by vampires. The only possible savior to what remains of humanity is a young girl named Amy. From Elizabeth Heldens (Friday Night Lights), Matt Reeves and Ridley Scott.

Network: Fox

Perfect Citizen


The former NSA General Counsel joins a Boston law firm, though the baggage he brings with him seems insurmountable. He's been identified as a whistleblower in a scandal with international repercussions, finding himself in a position where the public’s view of him is either that of hero or traitor. From The Good Wife’s Craig Turk. Quantico’s Lenny Platt is among the cast.

Network: CBS

Raised By Wolves


Based on the British show of the same name, the focus is on a mother in a Midwestern town who is struggling to raise five kids, each of whome is fairly eccentric and definitely opinionated. The real question about this one is how the hell Greg Berlanti could be producing yet another series.

Network: ABC



Based on the short stories of Charlaine Harris (True Blood, the forthcoming Midnight, Texas), the concept has a pair of former spies who are pulled into a conspiracy that brings them back into action, while they simultaneously attempt to maintain the undercover lives they've created for themselves. It's closest kin seems to be Mr. And Mrs. Smith as it will combine action, humor and romance. Shaun Cassidy and Kelly Sue DeConnick are adapting the stories. Cast so far is Betrayal's Hannah Ware.

Network: NBC



When a next generation virtual reality program reveals itself to have dangerous consequences for its users, a former detective whose expertise is in human behavior is brought in to help solve the situation. From Extant writer/executive producer Mickey Fisher, and starring Dennis Haysbert and Kathryn Morris.

Network: NBC



A brother and sister, who couldn’t be more different in personality, come together a decade after the death of their parents and find themselves embarking on an adventure that could reveal that the stories their parents told them might be true. Said stories concern many of the legends, myths and unexplainable mysteries the world has to offer. The set-up sounds a little bit like Supernatural, and it’s obvious how long that show has gone on. Cast includes Josh Kidd, Zane Holtz and Alex McGregor. Greg (“Yep, him again”) Berlanti is an executive producer.

Network: CW

Spaced Out


In this single-camera comedy, a working class genius desperately tries to fit in with a team that’s well-established as they collectively try to work together to build a rocket to Mars. This one, from Undateable’s Adam Sztykiel, is described as a workplace comedy. Brett Goldstein stars.

Network: NBC

Start Up


Zach Braff, who has been missing from the television landscape since the end of Scrubs seven years ago, could be coming back with this comedy series based on the podcast of the same name. The actor will play journalist Alex Schuman — also a husband and father — who quits his job to start a business. C’mon, Alex! In this business climate?

Network: ABC



The '70s television series that became the 2003 feature film, could be returning to television. Shemar Moore (who spent eleven years on Criminal Minds) will play Daniel "Hondo" Harrelson, who is given the assignment of heading a special crime-fighting unit in Los Angeles. Also starring are Lina Esco and Kenny Johnson. From executive producers Shawn Ryan, Neal H. Moritz and Justin Lin. Network: CBS

Untitled Charlie Grandy And Mindy Kaling Project


The lives of two brothers sharing an apartment is disrupted when one of his high school flings (played by The Mindy Project’s Mindy Kaling) drops off a son that one of the brothers never knew existed. Surprise! A single camera comedy.

Network: NBC

Untitled City Mayor Project


This is one premise that defies credibility: in an effort to gain publicity for himself, a rapper decides to run for Mayor, and somehow gets elected. That would be like a reality star becoming Pres….Okay. Maybe not so far fetched. Which means that the other part of the mayor project the rapper finds out he’s actually good at the job and begins to positively impact the city is just as credible...ah, who are we kidding? Brando Michael Hall and Glee's Lea Michele will star.

Network: ABC

Untitled Kourtney Kang Project


What’s it like to be the only girl in the only mixed-race family in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania suburbs? Kourtney Kang knows the answer to that, and this comedy, based on her experiences, explores it all humorously while at the same time taking on issues of race and gender. Signed to star is Isabella Russo from Broadway’s School Of Rock.

Network: NBC

Untitled Seth Meyers/Mike O’Brien Project


An Ivy League professor plots revenge against the co-worker who snagged his dream job, and to achieve it he uses his students. Kind of sounds like a lighter take on How To Get Away With Murder. Executive producers include Seth Meyers, O’Brien and Saturday Night Live’s Lorne Michaels. Actress Lyric Lewis has signed on.

Network: NBC


Shonda Rhimes (Gray’s Anatomy, Scandal, How To Get Away With Murder) is producing this potential series set in the Southern District Of New York Federal Court, focusing on the lawyers who work for both the defense and prosecutors. Cast includes Vondie Curtis-Hall, Hope Davis and Rege-Jean Page.

Network: ABC

Untitled Warren Leight Project


When a disastrous hurricane strikes New York, the staff of a Brooklyn hospital will have to make life and death choices while attempting to survive the storm. This is being described as unfolding in real time. Paola Lazaro and Matthew James Thomas star; show is from Law & Order: SVU’s Warren Leight, and executive producer Paul Haggis.

Network: NBC

Untitled X-Men Series


A family goes on the run from the government when parents discover their children are actually mutants. Eventually they meet and become a part of an underground network of mutants, all of whom have banded together to survive oppression from anti-mutant sentiment. True Blood's Stephen Moyer will serve as the lead, with Natalie Alyn Lind playing one of the children, Lauen. Bryan Singer is expected to direct the pilot. Simon Kinberg and Lauren Shuler Donner are among the executive producers.

Network: Fox

What About Barb?


Remember the 1991 film What About Bob? This proposed series is another TV adaptation of a feature, and beyond the gender switch of the main characters, the premise remains the same: a psychotherapist (Richard Dreyfuss then, Leah Remini now) desperately tries to rid himself of an incredibly needy patient (Bill Murray then, Jessica Gunning now), but finds all attempts to do so unsuccessful. Even worse, he finds that Barb is endearing herself to the rest of his family.

Network: NBC

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