The 81 Pilots You’ll Be Watching Next Fall
Thanks to the Winter Olympics, TV is currently in an incredibly bleak dead zone — even American Idol can’t compete with Bodie Miller. So what better time to look at the networks’ newly-announced slate of pilots for the 2010-11 season. After the jump, we’ve rounded up the new shows and weighed in on what sounds like it has the most potential. Let us know if you agree with our off-the-cuff analysis.
ABC 1. Awkward Situations for Men: “British TV star moves to America with his wife” Executive produced by British humorist Danny Wallace, the man whose book inspired Jim Carrey’s Yes Man. We’re saying no.
2. Freshmen – “Three freshman Congressional reps share a row house in D.C.” Set to star Sarah Chalke and two guys who are TBD. We find her likable enough, so we’ll give it a try.
3. Funny in Farsi – “Family show through the eyes of an Iranian teenager growing up in 1970s Newport Beach” Based on Iranian-American author Firoozeh Dumas’ autobiography of the same name. Score one for some diversity in primetime.
4. How to Be a Better American – “Father embarks on journey to be a better person” A multi-camera comedy about patriotism. We blame the Tea Party movement.
5. It Takes a Village – “Teenage boy is raised by an unconventional extended family” What they’re not telling you: The dad turned out to be gay. We’re skeptical, but we’ll still watch.
6. Mr. Sunshine – “Matthew Perry plays a 40-year-old manager of an aging sports arena in San Diego” We’re sorry Chandler, but we fear your involvement with any show that’s not Friends is a kiss of death.
7. Untitled Couples Project – “Revolves around two very different sisters” Wasn’t this called Sisters? And weren’t there five of them?
8. Untitled Dana Gould Project – “Gould stars as high school guidance counselor” There’s only one high school guidance counselor who we feel deserves his own series — Jeff Rosso from Freaks and Geeks.
9. Untitled David Caspe Project – “Group of friends is disrupted when one couple breaks up at the altar” This could either be hilarious or incredibly uncomfortable to watch. It really depends on how we feel about the couple.
10. Who Gets the Parents – “Three adult siblings deal with the fallout from their parents’ divorce” A little too close to home for way too many people, we’d imagine.
11. Women are Crazy, Men are Stupid – “Based on couples’ self-help book of same name” Gag us.
12. Wright vs. Wrong – “Revolves around a sexy conservative femme pundit” Unless this is fictional CNBC “Hot Box” host Avery Jessup getting a 30 Rock spin-off, we’re not interested.
13. 187 Detroit – “Humorous docu look at Detroit’s top homicide squad” Humor and homicide.
14. Body of Evidence – “Procedural centers on a crime-solving femme medical examiner” Executive producer Matt Gross describes it as “a female postmortem ‘House’.” We’ll watch that.
15. Cutthroat – “Ambitious single mom in Beverly Hills runs drug cartel” So it’s like Weeds on steroids.
16. Edgar Floats – “Police psychologist becomes a bounty hunter” But is he better than Dog?
17. Generation Y – “Follows a group of people with flashbacks to their high school days” We don’t even enjoy flashbacks to our own high school days.
18. Matadors – “Feuding families run Chicago D.A.’s office, prominent law firm” Stars Friday Night Lights‘ Zach Gilford in the role of a Romeo lawyer. Yum.
19. No Ordinary Family – “Michael Chiklis heads family that discovers they have superpowers” The Shield meets The Incredibles? We’d watch, but Chiklis scares us.
20. Off the Map – “Three doctors looking for a fresh start work in a foreign medical clinic” From Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes. This is where they should have sent George O’Malley.
21. True Blue – “San Francisco homicide detectives reunite to solve the murder of one of their own” It sounds a bit like that cancelled FOX show, Reunion .
22. Untitled Richard Hatem Project – “Femme detective teams with disgraced ex-cop to tackle the conspiracy that framed him” Stars Battlestar Galactica alum Katee Sackhoff, which will definitely turn on the sci-fi set.
23. The Whole Truth – “Legal show depicts defense and prosecution stories to keep auds guessing until final scene” From producer Jerry Bruckheimer. It sounds pretty generic to us.
24. Hitched – “Ensemble centers on newlywed couple and their friends” Josh Schwartz + Kristin Kreuk + Jack Carpenter = a show we will definitely watch.
25. Mike and Molly – “Couple who both struggle with overeating” This just sounds depressing.
26. Open Books – “Femme book editor has a circle of friends with romantic entanglements” A sitcom about book publishing. We’re already bored.
27. Shit My Dad Says – “Revolves around a young man and his opinionated father” William Shatner is playing said dad, which means we’ll tune in at least once.
28. Team Spitz – “Rob Riggle plays a bombastic high school football coach” We love him on The Daily Show. So much, that we think this might actually work.
29. True Love – “Revolves around relationships between two couples” This sounds a lot like How I Met Your Mother.
30. Untitled Ant Hines Project – “British low-life moves to L.A. to reconnect with his daughter, a teen star” We think this would be funnier if it was about a Southern low-life.
31. Untitled Bays/Thomas Project – “Revolves around an unmarried couple in Pittsburgh” Again, this just sounds depressing.
32. Untitled Tad Quill Project – “Widowed father of a 12-year-old son reenters the dating world” Sounds like Sleepless in Seattle, but without Meg Ryan’s character.
33. ATF – “ATF agent juggles work and fatherhood” We had to Google. It stands for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
34. Chaos – “Follows team of rogue CIA” If it’s anything like Burn Notice, we’ll try it. Brett Ratner is attached.
35. Criminal Minds spinoff – “Forest Whitaker plays FBI investigator” Our dads will watch this.
36. The Defenders – “Follows a pair of charismatic Las Vegas defense attorneys” … in bed.
37. Hawaii Five-O – “Update of the vintage gumshoe drama” Alex O’Loughlin is the inadvertent black widow of CBS dramas. Not a smart casting choice, people.
38. I Witness– “Professor uses her psychological and physiological skills to solve crimes” This needs a Patricia Arquette/Kyra Sedgwick level star to make it interesting.
39. The Odds – “Buddy cop show set in Las Vegas More dudes in Las Vegas? We blame The Hangover.
40. The Quinn-Tuplets – “Follows the lives of five grown quintuplets whose lives have been documented since birth” Based on the Israeli series The Ran Quartet, not to be confused with Andy Richter ‘s Quintuplets, which ran on FOX back in 2004.
41. Untitled Burgess and Green Project – “Revolves around a family of New York City cops” Is this a reality show? If so, we’re interested. Otherwise, snore.
42. Untitled Medical Project – “Medical team travels the country helping people in life-threatening situations” This sounds like that Amy Grant show that ran on NBC. But medical.
43. Untitled Redlich/Belluci Project – “Femme NYPD detective has the ability to remember everything” We’re already annoyed by her.
44. Betwixt – “Changelings in urban settings protect against evil” We don’t plan on watching this, but based on the success of The Vampire Diaries, we bet a lot of tweens will.
45. Hellcats – “Set in the world of competitive cheerleading” Smallville‘s Tom Welling will executive produce. This could be either really awesome (Bring It On) or really lame (Stick It).
46. Nikita – “Reboot of 1990 feature” When will The CW learn about reboots? We’re wary, even with McG involved.
47. Nomads – “Young backpackers recruited by CIA to work in foreign countries” This makes us think of patchouli.
48. Untitled Amy Holden Jones – “Woman navigates her freshman year at Harvard Medical School” We’re imagining Felicity: The Med School Years. That could work.
49. The Wyoming Project – “Family show set on a horse farm” Do little girls still find horses cool? Weird.
50. Keep Hope Alive – “Guy in his 20s moves back home to raise his child” Our initial reaction was, “awww.” How manipulative is that?
51. Most Likely to Succeed – “People voted most likely to succeed, 20 years later” This would be better as a reality show.
52. Nevermind Nirvana – “Two Indian brothers, one traditional, one who defies his family’s wishes” More diversity! And from FOX, no less.
53. Security – “Computer geniuses are tasked with hacking into security systems” Sounds like they’re hoping to steal some of The Big Bang Theory’s geek audience.
54. The Station – “Set in a CIA field office in South America” Ben Stiller will executive produce. We’re in.
55. Strange Brew – “Set in a family-owned brewery” Only if it’s animated and the family-owned brewery is Duff.
56. Tax Man – “Workplace vehicle set in IRS district office” Yuck.
57. Traffic Light – “Based on an Israeli series about three male friends” Another Israeli rip off.
58. Untitled Dana Carvey/Spike Feresten Project – “Sketch comedy” We want this to be good…
59. Untitled Will Arnett Project – “Beverly Hills man falls for a woman who can’t stand his obnoxious ways” We know that this will be good.
60. Breakout Kings – “Marshals and ex-cons work together to catch fugitives” From the writers of Prison Break, so it will be done right. We’ll bite.
61. Midland – “Con man juggles two very different lives” (500) Days of Summer‘s Marc Webb is directing the pilot, and it’s billed as a primetime soap. We’re obligated to watch.
62. Pleading Guilty – “Lawyer assigned to find the firm’s missing star litigator” A good sign: Bones creator Hart Hanson is attached. A bad sign: We originally read “litigator” as “alligator” and found the premise much more exciting.
63. Ridealong – “Cops in the field in Chicago” Another cop drama from The Shield‘s Shawn Ryan. Are we sick of these yet?
64. Worthy – “Politician finds himself indebted to drug cartel” The script from In Treatment writer Davey Holmes was inspired by real-life political scandals. Sounds juicy.
65. Beach Lane – “Matthew Broderick runs a struggling small town newspaper” We would enjoy a Matthew Broderick comeback.
66. Friends with Benefits – “Five friends look for love but for ‘friends with benefits'” Barf.
67. Love Bites – “Romantic comedy” The thought of Alicia Silverstone and Amy Heckerling working together again on a romantic comedy about vampires is so ridiculous that it might just work.
68. Nathan vs. Nurture – “Over-achieving heart surgeon reunites with his biological parents” We like Jay Harrington and Bill Pullman — but this likely means that Better Off Ted is dead.
69. Outsourced – “Customer service manager is sent to India to oversee call center” This is based on George Wing and John Jeffcoat’s indie film of the same name, and has been kicking around the network for a few years.
70. Perfect Couples – “Three couples have different definitions of relationships” There’s nothing more boring to us than other people talking about their relationships.
71. The Pink House – “Two male friends move to L.A. after college” This comedy is from Conan O’Brien’s production company. So that’s uncomfortable.
72. The Strip – “Former child star owns a Hooters franchise in Las Vegas” Another one that would be more interesting if it was a reality show. Starring Emmanuel Lewis.
73. This Little Piggy – “Two adult siblings move back home after hitting hard times” This would be so much better if one of the stars was Miss Piggy. It was originally picked up by ABC, which isn’t a good sign.
74. Untitled Adam Carolla Project – “Contractor rebuilds his life after a divorce” We’re turned off by the punning in the description and the fact that Adam Carolla is involved.
75. The Cape – “Former cop turns into superhero to prove his innocence” Could this comic book-inspired pilot out hero Heroes? It wouldn’t be hard at this point.
76. Chase – “Femme-led group of marshals track down notorious criminals” Another Jerry Bruckheimer-produced drama. P.S. What’s with the obsession with bounty hunters?
77. The Event – “Conspiracy thriller from multiple POVs” We love picking apart government cover-ups, but the format could be the death knell.
78. Kindreds – “Set at an unconventional law firm” No one does quirky law firm like David E. Kelley. But are we sick of his shtick yet?
79. The Rockford Files – “Remake of ’70s series about maverick P.I.” You know how we feel about remakes, but this one is courtesy of House‘s David Shore. We’ll reserve judgment.
80. Undercovers – “Husband and wife go back to CIA after years in retirement” More from J.J. Abrams. Yes, please.
81. Untitled John Eisendrath Project – “Follows a former judge who starts his own law firm” This sounds rather dry, but he executive produced Alias and Felicity.