The 2009-2010 TV season isn’t even over yet, but networks are surging forward with announcing their plans for new shows for the 2010-2011 season. As with every pilot season (when networks pick up new shows and cancel dying ones), spring offers hope for a better next year and hopes of forgetting the past. This year, some networks would like to forget a lot (The Jay Leno Show? Eastwick? The Beautiful Life? Remember those gems?). So, as we say goodbye to the good and bad (LOST! Don’t go!), we get to look forward to next year’s inevitable bombs and that one or two breakthrough hit. Here are some that have already made it past the elimination rounds and will get a chance to make it or break it in your living room next year.
The Undercovers – NBC
With Lost signing off, I guess JJ Abrams needed something to do (apparently Star Trek 2, Cloverfield 2, Fringe, and Mission Impossible IV weren’t keeping him busy). This is his first collaboration with NBC, and it seems like we’re returning to his Alias-era focus on government agencies:
Outwardly, Steven Bloom (Boris Kodjoe, “Resident Evil: Afterlife”) and his wife, Samantha (Gugu Mbatha-Raw, “Bonekickers”), are a typical married couple who own a small catering company in Los Angeles and are helped by Samantha’s easily frazzled younger sister, Lizzy (Jessica Parker Kennedy, “Smallville”). Secretly, the duo were two of the CIA’s best spies until they fell in love on the job five years ago and retired. When fellow spy and friend Nash (Carter MacIntyre, “American Heiress”) goes missing while on the trail of a Russian arms dealer, the Blooms are reinstated by boss Carlton Shaw (Gerald McRaney, “Deadwood”) to locate and rescue Nash. The pair is thrust back into the world of espionage as they follow leads that span the globe — and Steven and Samantha realize that this supercharged, undercover lifestyle provides the excitement and romance that their marriage has been missing. Also starring is Ben Schwartz (NBC’s “Parks and Recreation”). [THRfeed]
Criminal Minds Spinoff – CBS
When CBS does something right, they replicate it until there is no more room on the schedule for anything else (see NCIS, CSI, Survivor, etc.). So, why not do the same to proven ratings success Criminal Minds? With Forest Whitaker cast, this pilot hasn’t been officially picked up yet, but it looks about as safe a bet as you can get on TV.
Mr. Sunshine – ABC
Also not officially picked up, but incredibly likely to be filling up your TV screen is Matthew Perry’s new sitcom. With a strong comedy block on Wednesday nights (Modern Family, Cougar Town, The Middle), ABC just needs to fill up a few missing slots to brand the night as its own. And with Matthew Perry onboard, there’s absolutely no doubt that ABC is hoping for a Friends-level hit…but I think we all remember what happened when NBC tried that. Joey? Yeah, most of us wish we didn’t remember.
Among other titles being considered for pickup are The Rockford Files and Hawaii Five-O. I honestly don’t get why networks think remakes are such solid bets – any of the 5 people who tuned into Dragnet, Bionic Woman, Melrose Place, The Fugitive, or Knight Rider should be able to tell them it’s normally not a good idea. But, then again, when you can’t rehash an old title, I guess the next logical step is rehashing an old star or idea – a legal drama from David E. Kelley, a sitcom with Paul Reiser, a medical drama from Shonda Rhimes, and a slacker comedy from Greg Garcia. No, these aren’t Boston Legal, Mad About You, Grey’s Anatomy/Private Practice, or My Name is Earl. They’re Kindrids, Next, Off the Map, and Keep Hope Alive. With all of these ideas being regurgitated, forget it being too early to speculate about next season’s new shows…can we start speculating about what will be next season’s cancellations?
Contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.