Upcoming TV, or, How TV Networks have Run out of Ideas

Variety just posted up a bunch of pickups by the Fox network for Drama and Comedy TV series:

DRAMA

The Apostles (20th Century Fox TV)
Exec Producer: Chuck Pratt (writer)
Logline: Cops whose intense job pressure spills over to their personal lives.

– Old idea. Done with NYPD Blue, the Shield, CSI, and just about every other cop-drama out there.

Canterbury’s Law (Sony TV)
Exec Producers: Denis Leary, Jim Serpico (writer), Dave Erickson (writer)
Director: Mike Figgis
Logline: Female attorney makes waves while defending her innocent clients.

– Another old idea. Another lawyer show? Nope.

The Cure (Warner Bros. TV)
Exec Producers: Patrick Massett and John Zinman (writers), Akiva Goldsman, Danny Cannon
Director: Danny Cannon
Logline: A group of doctors that cuts red tape to treat patients.

– Third old idea in a row. Let’s see if they’ll make the lead a grumpy doctor like House. Or the CBS failure, 3 Lbs.

K-Ville (20th Century Fox TV)
Exec Producers: Jonathan Lisco (writer)
Cast: Cole Hauser
Logline: The few cops who stayed in New Orleans following Katrina.

-Okay, this could be interesting, but I’m not sure how long they could possibly drag this out for.


New Amsterdam (Regency TV)
Exec Producers: Allan Loeb and Christian Taylor (writers), Lasse Hallstrom, David Manson, Leslie Holleran, Steven Pearl
Director: Lasse Hallstrom
Cast: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
Logline: Police detective who is secretly centuries old.

– Interesting concept? TV Show worth? I’m not sure yet, and I’m not sure that this would have a very big audience.

NSA Innocent (20th Century Fox TV)
Exec Producers: Bob Cochran and David Ehrman (writers), Jon Cassar, Joel Surnow, Howard Gordon
Director: Jon Cassar
Cast: Stana Katic
Logline: Everyman is recruited by the NSA and forced to spy on his boss.

-Sounds like Alias! But with less action.

Nurses (20th Century Fox TV)
Exec Producers: Barry Josephson, Eileen Gallagher, Ann McManus, PJ Hogan
Writers: Samantha Goodman and Andrew Stern
Director: PJ Hogan
Logline: Nurses in a big-city hospital.

Grey’s Anatomy anyone?

Sarah Connor Chronicles (Warner Bros. TV)
Exec Producers: Josh Friedman, David Nutter, James Middleton, Mario Kassar, Andrew Vajna, Joel Michaels
Cast: Lena Headey, Thomas Dekker, Summer Glau, Richard T. Jones
Logline: “Terminator” character in L.A. fights attackers from the future.

– Given the last Terminator movie, I’m not holding high hopes for this, but it is SciFi, and it’s now got Summer Glau, so it might be interesting.

Supreme Courtships (20th Century Fox TV)
Exec Producers: Gary Tieche (writer), Marty Adelstein, Michael Thorn, Ian Toynton
Director: Michael Thorn
Cast: Kurtwood Smith, Shane West, Zachary Knighton, Leslie Odom Jr.
Logline: Six Supreme Court clerks’ personal and professional lives.

– At least it’s not the Court Justices themselves, but nope, sounds eh. Nice play on words for the title though.

Them (CBS Paramount Network TV)
Exec Producers: David Eick and John McNamara (writers), Jonathan Mostow
Director: Jonathan Mostow
Logline: Based on graphic novel “Six” about alien spies on Earth.

– If done right, might be good. Could be another Dark Angel though.

COMEDY

Rules for Starting Over (20th Century Fox TV)
Exec Producers: Brad Johnson, Peter Farrelly, Bobby Farrelly (director), Bradley Thomas
Writers: Chris Pappas & Mike Bernier
Logline: A 35-year-old and his buddies, all newly single after years of marriage, jump headfirst back into the dating scene.

– Um, no. A bunch of guys all getting divorced at the same time? This just sounds dumb.

Playing Chicken (Warner Bros. TV)
Exec Producers: Sean Anders & John Morris (writers); Tom Werner; Eric Gold; Jimmy Miller; John Pasquin
Director: John Pasquin
Cast: Norbert Leo Butz
Logline: Two brothers who differ politically are forced to live together after one suffers an accident that leaves him wheelchair bound.

-Also sounds stupid.

The Return of Jezebel James (Regency)
Exec Producers: Amy Sherman Palladino (writer-director); Dan Palladino
Logline: When a single successful children’s book editor learns she is physically unable to conceive, she is forced to ask her estranged sister to carry her baby for her.

– What happened to adoption?

The Minister of Divine (20th Century Fox TV)
Exec Producers: Suzanne Martin (writer); Richard Curtis; Andrew Zein; Mark Chapman
Cast: Kirstie Alley
Logline: A woman known for her rebellious younger days returns to the small town she grew up in to be a minister at the town church. Based on the BBC show “Vicar Of Dibley.”

– Eh, another pond jumper. Probably not.

Work Wife (20th Century Fox TV)**
Exec producers: Barbie Adler & Brad Copeland (writers)
Logline: A female reporter and her male co-worker navigate the challenges that their partnership at work brings to their relationships at home.
**(Cast contingent pickup)

– Sounds like Anchorman: The series. But not as good.

Untitled Victor Fresco Project (20th Century Fox TV)
Exec producer: Victor Fresco (writer)
Logline: A 10-year-old boy tries to navigate life in his high-achieving, overstressed family with the help of his crazy grandfather.

– Sounds like Everybody Hates Chris, just not as interesting.

Frances & Angela (Touchstone)
Exec Producers: David Zuckerman (writer); Dan Pasternak; Peter Traugott
Director: David Steinberg
Logline: Two best friends are content with their successful lives until they realized they are more “Afro-Saxons” than African Americans.

– Um? Sounds pretentious.

Life and Times of Tim (Warner Bros. TV)*
Exec Producers: Steve Dildarian (writer); Tom Werner; Eric Gold; Jimmy Miller
Logline: The stor
y of a very normal guy named Tim who somehow always finds himself in deep trouble at both home and the office.
*(presentation order)

– And this is different from the Office or ANY OTHER TV show how?

Anchorwoman (Fox 21)*
Exec producers: Chad Damiani & JP Lavin (writers); Brian Gadinsky
Logline: A reality hybrid where a supermodel settles down in a southern Texas town and becomes an anchorwoman for the local news.
*(presentation order)

– That just sounds stupid.

Hackett (Sony Pictures TV)*
Exec Producers: Sarh Timberman and Carl Beverly
Writer: Denise Moss
Logline: Bad-boy literary luminary escapes both his troubles with women and a disgraced career teaching at Yale as as a public high school teacher in Ohio.
*(presentation order)

– Eh, no.

Two Families (HBO Independent Prods.)
Writers: Barbara Wallace and Thomas R. Wolfe
Logline: A blended family centering around two sets of adult siblings who didn’t know they shared the same father.

– This sounds like it could be somewhat interesting.

The Beast (CBS Par TV)
Exec producer: Tucker Cawley (writer)
Logline: A veterinarian who can’t stand animals but loves their female owners.

– A vet who goes through something like 10 years of school, but doesn’t like animals huh? He must really have trouble meeting women.

Untitled Liz Meriwether Project (20th Century Fox TV)
Exec producers: Dawn Parouse and Jeff RichmanWriter-supervising producer: Liz Meriwether
Logline: Four single women post-college

– Like Sex and the City? Or Six Degrees? Nope.

Fox: Fire 90% of your writers and get better ones. And with that, new ideas and things that don’t sound stupid.

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