Idol Chatter

Idol Chatter


Network Pilot Season: Popular Stars, Producers, Premises Abound

posted by Esther Kustanowitz

If you’ve ever looked at a TV network’s programming slate and wondered, “how the heck do they decide to include that?” then you might be interested in the Wall Street Journal’s inside peek at potential dramas and comedies and some of the considerations that networks have when crafting their seasonal slates.
In general, the magic formula seems to be shows with proven star/writer/producer talent (built-in audience base, loyalty, fandom) + relatively inexpensive (goodbye, shows like “Lost” and “Flash Forward”) + familiar premises (because nobody really likes change).
For instance:
Audiences loved the Jolie/Pitt joint “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” (to the tune of $186,336,279 box office). And people loved “Lost.” And people in the cult of JJ Abrams will watch anything he touches. So welcome to “Undercovers,” which is being billed as an “hour-long drama [which] follows a husband-and-wife team of CIA agents.” (Expect “How was your day, dear?” to take on new meaning.)
Capitalizing on the slavish devotion of the online fan base is key. For instance, take “Wilde’s Kingdom,” which features GOB Bluth (Will Arnett), Felicity (Keri Russell), and the writing/producing team from “Arrested Development” (Mitch Hurwitz and Jim Vallely) and is described as a “romantic comedy about a wealthy playboy who reunites with a beautiful social worker who tries to save him from himself.” This will actually be a real test of how long a fan base can remain passionate after the demise of the show that bound them as a media power unit in the first place. (“Arrested Development” has been off the air since February 2006, but the movie is in process.)


A few potential pilots indicate that even within the formula, there are some possibly risky themes. Is America ready for “Funny in Farsi,” which is about a Persian family that flees Iran for California? (As someone who lives in Los Angeles, I can tell you that the Persian community is actually fairly large and influential – my neighborhood is probably ready.) The fact that “Middle East themes” may come up in this show makes it not the safest bet to land on a programming schedule near you.
From a different angle, there’s “Mike and Molly,” being billed as “‘Mad About You’ meets ‘The Biggest Loser,'” and is about a couple that meets at a support group for overeating. It’s from Chuck Lorre, who’s also behind hits like “Two and a Half Men” and “Big Bang Theory.” But here’s the challenge: the article reports that “media buyers say they wonder how advertisers will respond to overweight lead actors. Sitcoms like ‘Roseanne’ may have featured heavy stars but didn’t center around weight.” If a network goes for this concept, the writers will be saddled with the greatest challenge of all – writing the show as something beyond the classical comedy-writing go-to: fat jokes.
And since we’re in the age of social media, we now have a pilot based on a Twitter feed, Bleep My Dad Says. This show features William Shatner as the Tweeter’s 73-year-old Dad, who says the darnedest things, which are then tweeted out to an audience of millions. Which is possibly the magic formula TV’s been looking for.
Which pilots will be chosen for at-least-temporary life on American networks? The citizens of America will wait and see (and perhaps make their own predictions after reading this blog post and the original article).



Previous Posts

Author Ted Dekker Wows Us Again With A.D. 30: A Novel
Critics are raving about Ted Dekker's new book A.D. 30: A Novel. Readers will experience the story of Jesus as they never have before. Publisher's Weekly said, "The reigning king of Christian thrillers...kicks down the door of biblical fiction." Booklist said, "This is the kind of book term 'sweepin

posted 3:42:39pm Oct. 20, 2014 | read full post »

#IAMUnbroken Campaign Celebrates Louis Zamperini’s Unbroken Spirit
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZeGuTYHuI4&feature=share[/youtube] Do you have a story of perseverance, triumph or the power of God delivering you from a trial? UNBROKEN, a powerful faith-revitalizing film, chronicles the life of former Olympian, WWII veteran and POW Survivor, Louis Z

posted 9:50:55am Oct. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Jennifer Garner Discusses Film, Dirty Diapers, and Husband’s Secret Talent
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_dideF5qvk   Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is based on the children’s book of the same title, follows Alexander and his family’s crazy and brutal day. Whether it is baby Trevor eating a dark green highlighter since his p

posted 9:57:51am Oct. 17, 2014 | read full post »

The Rise of ISIS
“It’s past time for American to hear this truth. By minimizing the challenge,” Jay Sekulow (American Center Law Justice) wrote in his September opinion piece on FoxNews.com. The world is facing a serious threat in the Middle East with ISIS, a group of terrorists dedicated to mass executions

posted 10:16:20am Oct. 14, 2014 | read full post »

OWN and Rob Bell Partner for eCourse
As part of an ongoing program to expand its online learning platform on Oprah.com, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network announced today an all-new eCourse, taught by renowned pastor and author Rob Bell. Bell was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World by Time magazine in 2011 and a New York

posted 12:12:25pm Oct. 13, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.