Upfronts 2012: 5 buzzed-about pilots that didn't make the cut
Lost in all the hoopla surrounding the fall lineups on the major broadcast networks were updates about pilots with major stars and producers that received a lot of buzz in the last few months but for whatever reason didn't make the schedule. Those missing shows include:
The "Snoop knows best" sitcom: NBC had been developing a sitcom that would have featured rapper Snoop Dogg as a father. Deadline Hollywood last October reported that TV comedy veteran Don Reo was producing the pilot. Snoop had been featured in a reality series about his family on E! and has appeared in several movies and TV series. Still, it's hard to imagine the gangsta rapper being on the same network that showcases upscale series like "Smash" and the freshly scrubbed Whitney Cummings.
The Sarah Silverman project: The comic was developing a pilot for NBC about a woman reentering the dating world after the decline of a lengthy live-in relationship. The comedy was loosely based on Silverman's life, and Jeff Goldblum and Ken Leung ("Lost") were among the stars attached. With the failure of Chelsea Handler's "Are You There Chelsea?" and the renewal of the struggling "Whitney," perhaps NBC felt there was room for only one edgy female comic voice.
—The return of Roseanne: One of the most-buzzed-about pilots reunited Roseanne Barr with her "Roseanne" co-star John Goodman in a comedy that would have featured them in a trailer park setting. Instead of playing a married couple, Roseanne starred as the manager of the park, while Goodman played a friend who also worked at the park. Despite the failure of her talk show and several reality series, Barr remains a compelling performer. Perhaps instead she can dedicate herself to her presidential campaign.
The return of Martin Lawrence: Martin Lawrence, whose film career has sagged, was set to star in a sitcom for CBS playing a widower with two teenage sons who decides to become a police officer after he loses his construction job. The pilot always seemed like a long shot for CBS, whose comedies generally revolve around young, predominantly white casts. The network is the one major broadcast network that does not have a minorty in a lead role in a comedy or drama.
—"Devious Maids": One of the most anticipated fall ABC pilots was "Devious Maids," the follow-up series from "Desperate Housewives" creator Marc Cherry and co-executive produced by actress Eva Longoria, about four Latina maids who work for rich families in Beverly Hills. Some observers speculate that the series' chances were not helped by potential controversy over Latina stereotypes.
Which of these shows would you like to have seen on the fall schedule?
Photo: Snoop Dogg. Credit: Frederic J. Brown / AFP / Getty Images.