Strap in: networks plan 75 new shows for fall
As the current TV season wraps up, there are 75 TV pilots being produced — dramas and comedies all vying for a shot at landing on the fall schedule. Of course, they won't all make it. Last year, the five broadcast networks picked up 52 out of 100 shows.
That's a lot of broken dreams. For now, though, there is the optimism of getting a pickup order, guaranteeing that viewers will actually see the hard work of actors like Katie Holmes, Rob Lowe and Kevin Hart (pictured below). The networks will announce their new line-ups next month.
In the meantime, TODAY went trend-spotting in the log-lines. Here's how your TV viewing is shaping up for next year on ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and the CW.
14 foreign adaptations
It's a big year for borrowing from abroad, and the crop hails from Israel, the United Kingdom, Australia, Spain, Scandinavia, the Netherlands, Turkey, Canada and Venezuela. Oscar winner Octavia Spencer leads the cast of Fox's dark comedy "Red Band Society," based on a popular Spanish series about teenagers who grow up in a hospital. David Schwimmer is attempting a TV comeback for ABC in "Irreversible," which is based on the No. 1 comedy in Israel. Jamie Lee Curtis is starring in an untitled CBS comedy based on an Israeli soapy medical series about quadruplets who grow up on a reality show.
12 sci-fi projects
The love of otherworldly beings isn't going anywhere. Based on Ray Bradbury's short story, "Zero Hour," ABC has ordered "The Visitors" about aliens using children to destroy the world. The CW is sticking to the genre it has survived on with "The Messengers," which centers on a group of strangers who die when a mysterious object crashes down on earth but then awaken, and "iZombie," which is based on the DC Comics title about a medical student-turned-zombie who must eat brains to survive.
10 romantic comedies
Romance is in the air across the board. On ABC's "My Thoughts Exactly," the internal monologues of a young couple embarking on a new relationship are revealed. CBS is exploring the possibility of parenthood from the perspective of a young, happy couple on "Good Session." NBC's "A to Z" is set in the world of online dating.
CBS is not done playing with the alphabet or with middle-aged parents telling stories. The network is trying out "NCIS: New Orleans," starring Scott Bakula ("Quantum Leap"), and a new Virginia-based "CSI" set in the FBI's cyber crimes division and starring Patricia Arquette. It's also making "How I Met Your Dad," starring Greta Gerwig in a female-centric version of the just-ended "How I Met Your Mother." From the CW's "Arrow" now comes "The Flash," featuring the DC Comics characters, and from "Supernatural" is the drama "Tribes," starring Lucien Laviscount and Nathaniel Buzolic.
1 movie adaptation
"Selfie" is ABC's contemporary take on "My Fair Lady" about a self-obsessed woman in her 20s, played by Karen Gillan ("Doctor Who"), who is more concerned with "likes" than being liked.
More diverse faces
On ABC, Anthony Anderson stars in the comedy "Black-ish," Kevin Hart and Romany Malco star in Hart's semi-autobiographical comedy "Keep it Together," Cristela Alonzo stars in the semi-autobiographical comedy "Cristela," and "Far East Orlando" is based on the bestselling memoir by celebrity chef Eddie Huang and stars Hudson Yang as the young Eddie. Maggie Q is the star of an untitled CBS psychological thriller produced by Kevin Williamson. NBC cast Meagan Good ("Deception") in "Babylon Fields" about dead people rising. "Hustle & Flo" co-stars Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson are teaming up again on Fox's buzzy "Empire."
Plenty of returning favorites trying to come back for more
At ABC: David Schwimmer, Michael Imperioli, Henry Winkler, and Katie Holmes; CBS: Alyson Hannigan, Matthew Perry, Patricia Arquette, and Scott Bakula;Fox: Jane Krakowski, Jane Kaczmarek, and Rainn Wilson; NBC: Rob Lowe, Debra Messing, Katherine Heigl, Kate Walsh, Mary-Louise Parker, and Natasha Lyonne.