Sunday, May 6, 2007

Monitoring The Latest TV Pilot Speculation

The 2007 fall television schedules for the major broadcast networks will be unveiled next week in New York, but those fans of particular projects and for the men and women who may be getting the call that their series is going to be picked up, it is going to be a nerve-wracking seven days. I've already written about the top 5 TV shows to save for next season (1 vs 100, Studio 60, Jericho, How I Met Your Mother, and Friday Night Lights) and wrote about some of the most promising fall pilots, at least in their early stages, but now we are getting down to the decision making time.

I'm a creature of habit, and for new fall TV shows, the first pilots I look at (and give a second look even when the plots don't sound all that great) are ones which star actors and actresses I've seen and liked in other shows. Peter Krause, who stars in Dirty Sexy Money, for example, was Casey McCall on the perennially underrated Sports Night. While I never watched HBO's Six Feet Under, on which Krause starred for the past many years, it'll be good to see Casey McCall back on ABC again. We just need to do something to get Dan Rydell (or as he's known in real life, Josh Charles) back on TV. And whatever happened to Sabrina Lloyd, who played the cute and spunky Natalie on Sports Night? She had a great series of episode on NBC's Ed (one of my favorite all time shows) and was on CBS' Numbers for a while, but not much lately.

Similarly, Perfect Gentlemen has a cast full of familiar faces. Michael Vartan from Alias, Nia Long, who I remember from Fresh Prince of Bel Air when I was a kid, but is probably more famous for her movie roles, Sports Night and West Wing almunus Josh Malina (that's 2 for 2 for those keeping track at home -- Maybe that's why Studio 60 failed, unlike every other Aaron Sorkin project, Studio 60 was sans Malina) and The Practice star Dylan McDermott (speaking of, the first season and a half of The Practice comes out on DVD next month, about time). And the Grey's Anatomy spinoff stars all sorts of recognizable people from Prison Break's Kellerman (Paul Adelstein), Day Break's Taye Diggs, and Alias' Merrin Dungey.

And, as it looks, some of these pilots I talked about back in March are actually gaining traction. According to TV website Zap2It, Dirty Sexy Money, Perfect Gentlemen (which was titled 'Bedrooms & Boardrooms' when I talked about it in March), and the Grey's Anatomy spinoff, now titled Private Practice' all look good for ABC's schedule

Among the apparently surer things to land spots on the 2007-08 schedule are ABC's drama "Dirty Sexy Money" [which] stars Peter Krause ("Six Feet Under") as the harried lawyer for a wealthy family; the cast also includes William Baldwin, Samaire Armstong, Jill Clayburgh and Donald Sutherland, and tonally sounds like it might be a good fit with shows like "Desperate Housewives," "Brothers & Sisters" and "Grey's Anatomy."

ABC also reportedly likes [. . . ] "Perfect Gentlemen," starring Michael Vartan and Josh Malina, among others; The "Grey's" spinoff "Private Practice" also stands a decent chance.

The Hollywood Reporter also says that Perfect Gentlemen is "proceeding with high-level staffing" which is "a sign that the show might be joining the "Grey's Anatomy" spinoff on the schedule next season."

And, a word on the Grey's Anatomy spinoff, now that the Grey's episode/spinoff pilot has aired and I've had a chance to watch it. First, I'm not ashamed to admit I watch Grey's Anatomy, although, as I've said before, it can get rather annoying at times. In fact, there is a great article on MSNBC which talks about the show's popularity among male viewers.
All right, everybody, take your seats. I hereby call to order this meeting of the “Dudes Who Watch “Grey's Anatomy” support group. Grab some beer and pretzels and settle in.

Hold up — guys watching “Grey’s”? Shouldn’t we be using our barely opposable thumbs to flip between “The Sopranos,” “24” and hockey? Nope. If you think “Grey’s” is only for the ladies, you’re even more wrong than Izzie and George’s drunken hook-up. Believe it or not, more than 6.4 million men tune in each week. That’s more people — men and women combined — than watch just about anything on the CW.

But bring it up at softball practice, and watch the men scramble for cover. Because of “Grey’s Anatomy’s” overwhelmingly — and, frankly, undeserved — feminine reputation, you’d be hard-pressed to find a guy who’ll admit to tuning in. So I’ll go first.

In fact, the Addison led spinoff has the potential to be everything I enjoy about Grey's Anatomy (the smart and clever writing, the strong story telling, great acting) without the annoyances (anything having to do with Meredith, anything that looks like Dawson's Creek in a hospital setting). The cast is top-rate (even though they wasted , in the spinoff episode, in a guest shot, David Anders, who played the evil Sark on Alias. He was in the same scenes with Merrin Dungey, who he both killed and then teamed up with (sounds strange, but that was Alias), and there was no Alias-esque reunion, a definite missed opportunity) and the show, with older, more mature characters, can be a more mature show without the melodrama which annoys me about Grey's Anatomy.

We'll know for sure in a week what's in and what's out, and I'm sure I will be posting a lot about these shows (and some others) then.

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1 comments:

Clever WoT said...

They're breaking down the Studio 60 sets. http://www.tvsquad.com/2007/05/07/studio-60s-sets-are-being-dismantled/

 

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