Pilot Season: First look at NBC's 2010 drama pilots
NBC has been busy ordering drama pilots to make up for the void in its 10 p.m. time slot. The nine shows fall in the following categories: one remake, one almost remake, three action, three legal and one supernatural.
"The Rockford Files," you might guess, is the remake. Written by David Shore ("House") and produced by Steve Carell, it kinda makes you go hmm. No one has been cast.
"Love Bites," a dramedy in the style of "Love, American Style," was written by Cindy Chupak ("Men In Trees," "Sex and the City" and "Everybody Loves Raymond") and features Becki Newton, pictured left, ("Ugly Betty") as one of the leads. For those two reasons alone, I would check this out. Newton and Jordana Spiro ("My Boys") will play the only regulars in the anthology series that will be told in vignettes. Fran and Annie are the last two single girls standing after all their friends get married and they will thread through the series. Greg Grunberg ("Heroes") is a guest star in the pilot.
The three action dramas have interesting people behind and in front of the camera.
"The Event," by Nick Wauters ("The 4400"), is a thriller told with multiple points of view, centering on a regular guy who is fighting his way through a mysterious conspiracy. It stars Jason Ritter ("Joan of Arcadia"). The cast also includes Saran Roemer ("Disturbia"), Scott Peterson, Zjelko Ivanek ("Damages," "Big Love"), Ian Anthony Dale ("The Hangover"), and Taylor Cole ("Secret Girlfriend").
"Cold Case" scribe Jennifer Johnson has penned "Chase," produced by Jerry Bruckheimer TV, which follows a team of U.S. marshals in a game of cat and mouse with the most-wanted criminals they chase. The cast includes Kelli Giddish ("Past Life"), Cole Hauser ("Good Will Hunting"), Jesse Metcalfe ("Desperate Housewives"), Amaury Nolasco ("Prison Break"), Rose Rollins ("The L-Word"). Based solely on its director, I am calling this one as a series pickup. David Nutter currently holds the winningest record of directing pilots that go to series. "Eastwick" last year made him 15 for 15. (But Nolasco is a sweet plus.)
J.J. Abrams and Josh Reims have written "Undercovers," about a husband and wife who, after a few years of retirement, are reactivated as agents for the CIA. Working together for the first time, they rediscover their passion for each other. The cast includes Boris Kodjoe ("Soul Food"), Gugu Mbatha-Raw, ("Doctor Who"), Gerald McRaney ("Jericho" and "Deadwood"), Jessica Parker Kennedy ("Kaya"), writer-actor Ben Schwartz and Carter MacIntyre ("American Heiress"). I wonder if they wind up living on an island with the Observer.
David E. Kelley is back in legal action with another unconventional law practice in "Kindreds." So far, Ben Chaplin ("The Thin Red Line") and Aml Ameen ("The Bill") have been cast. The series follows a curmudgeonly ex-patent lawyer and his group of misfit associates. Think Denny Crane but moodier.
"Rex Is Not Your Lawyer" is co-written by actors Andrew Leeds and David Lampson and produced by Gail Berman and Lloyd Braun. It's a comedic drama about a brilliant lawyer who begins coaching those seeking to represent themselves after he suffers debilitating panic attacks, which make it impossible for him to litigate in court. The cast includes David Tennant ("Doctor Who"), pictured left, Jerry O'Connell ("Cougar Town"), Abigail Spencer ("Mad Men"), Jeffrey Tambor ("Arrested Development"), Jane Curtin ("Crumbs"), Cleo King ("Sons of Anarchy"), and Lindsey Kraft ("Southland").
The last legal offering is an untitled project by John Eisendrath ("Playmakers") about a conservative justice of the Supreme Court who steps down to start a law firm to challenge the system. No one has been cast.
"The Cape," also produced by Berman and Braun, and written by Tom Wheeler ("Empire"), centers on a former cop who is set up as a criminal and must become "The Cape," a masked hero to clear his name and reunite with his son. No one has been cast.
-- Maria Elena Fernandez (follow me on Twitter @writerchica)
Photos: Becki Newton. Credit: Getty Images. David Tennant. Credit: Stefano Paltera / For The Times
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