For the past four days, we at Zap2it have either flown across the country or woken up insanely early in the morning to tell you what shows the networks have picked up for next fall. Now that the orgy of ad-buying dollars know as "upfronts" are over, the time has come to sift through the settling dust to look at a few of the more interesting pilots that didn’t get the call.
Keeping in mind that I haven’t seen a single one of these pilots, here are just a few shows that part of me laments never getting to see.
Football Wives (ABC, Drama): Popular British format (from Footballers Wives), A-list director (Bryan Singer), top-of-the-line TV cast (including Eddie Cibrian, Gabrielle Union, James Van Der Beek, Kiele Sanchez, Lucy Lawless and Ving Rhames), plus easy-to-imaging programming slots (Thursdays or Sundays at 10, perhaps)? All the pieces seem to have been there. However, there were rumors of creative retooling and ABC obviously wasn’t impressed enough.
Mr. & Mrs. Smith (ABC, Drama): How were Jordana Brewster and Martin Henderson going to fill Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s shoes? Now we’ll never know. Regency is reportedly shopping the project to other networks.
Marlowe (ABC, Drama): All the buzz was super on this reiminaging of Raymond Chandler’s Lost Angeles-based detective, starring Jason O’Mara. It sounds like there were questions as to whether viewers would warm to the material on a weekly basis.
The Thick of It (ABC, Comedy): Another show based on a successful British format with a strong cast (Oliver Platt, Michael McKean, John Michael Higgins). plus it was being adapted by Mitchell Hurwitz (Arrested Development) and directed by Christopher Guest. Seemed like a good mix.
Babylon Fields (CBS, Drama): A comedic drama about a town in which the dead are resurrected and try to resume their lives, featuring Amber Tamblyn, Ray Stevenson and Kathy Baker. The pilot was supposed to be really good, but CBS went for vampires (Moonlight) over zombies. Need more braaaaaaains.
The Man (CBS, Drama): LL Cool J as an undercover cop? Did somebody not tell CBS how much ladies love cool James?
Star-studded CBS Sitcoms: You had Chris Klein and Jeffrey Tambor in The Captain, Freddie Prinze Jr. and Leslie Bibb in Atlanta, Jason Biggs and Erika Christensen (plus David Cross) in I’m in Hell, Marisa Tomei in The Rich Inner Life of Penelope Cloud, plus Jay Mohr and Brian Austin Green in an untitled comedy. All gone and all apparently considered less funny than The Big Bang Theory.
Supreme Courtships (FOX, Drama): Fine cast (Camille Guaty, Kate Burton, Kurtwood Smith, Shane West, Zachary Knighton), but mostly we were engaged by the ridiculously silly title.
Area 57 (NBC Comedy): Matthew Lillard mugging relentlessly? Paul Reubens as an alien? That’s what the people want.
M.O.N.Y. and Fort Pit (NBC Dramas): When NBC decidedly to become the sci-fi network instead of the gritty procedural network, these two pilots (the first from Tom Fontanta and Barry Levinson and the second from Denis Leary and Peter Tolan) went from buzz-worthy to gone.
8 Days a Week (CW Comedy): A fun cast featuring Anna Chlumsky (My Girl!!!), Christina Milian and Mario Lopez, plus a sharp script co-written by Friend of Zap2it Marcie Ulin.
Were there any rejected pilots you’d heard about that you were looking forward to? Or intrigued by?