This time last week, The CW — coming off what they deemed to be a very successful pilot season, having several viable projects to choose from for fall pick up — was preparing to officially announce the three shows that will go to series for them in September.
"The Beautiful Life" — which revolves around young models living and working together in Manhattan — "The Vampire Diaries" — based on a book series about a girl torn between two blood-sucking brothers — and the "Melrose Place" spin off were the lucky winners and I'm not going to rag on any of those projects as I have yet to see them.
However, as internet clips and the script for "Body Politic" — a D.C.-based drama about a Senator's young intern and her housemates who work on Capitol Hill — began to circulate, the buzz in the TV world was that "BP" was actually the network's best pilot. Some were even saying "Body Politic" turned out so well that it was too good for The CW, so we at Zap2it thought we should investigate.
Having not only read the script now, but having stumbled upon the pilot presentation as well, I have to say, The CW best be thinking long and hard about letting "Body Politic" go. Network president Dawn Ostroff did tell reporters last week that there's still a midseason slot open for one more scripted drama and I'm going on record now saying, "Body Politic" should be it.
I mean, imagine for a moment that the "Melrose Place" complex was transformed into a cool brownstone and transplanted in D.C… And that the attractive 20 and 30-somethings who live there are intelligent, ambitious kids with goals beyond making money and getting laid… though they are still getting laid. This is "Body Politic."
Imagine "The West Wing" took place in a Senator's office instead of in the White House and focused more on the young staffers instead of on the President, yet still covered the same sort of heavyweight issues… a ban on torture one week, the Senator's reelection campaign the next. This is "Body Politic."
But it's not all business. Each character has dimension, their own problems, their own point-of-view, their own secrets, love stories and personal battles to navigate… which brings me to the kick ass cast.
If you're a fan of television, this line up kills: Minka Kelly ("Friday Night Lights"' Lyla Garrity), Jason Dohring (I'd forgotten how likeable "Veronica Mars"' Logan Echolls could be), Jay Hernandez ("Six Degrees"' Carlos Green), Brandon Scott (You'd recognize him as one of the young interns on "Grey's Anatomy" this season), Ben Shenkman (You may know him from "Angels In America" or maybe as the dude whose wife McDreamy accidentally killed on "Grey's" a couple months back), Matt Letscher (Eli Stone's blonde brother, Kitty's extramarital crush on "Brothers & Sisters") and of course, a few names that need no introduction to the entertainment-savvy, Brian Austin Green, Gabrielle Union and Tim Matheson.
Like I said, I haven't yet seen "The Beautiful Life," "The Vampire Diaries" or The "Melrose" spin off, and while all three may be fantastic and fit incredibly well with The CW's vision for itself, I have to believe the network would benefit from trying something a little bit different in that vacant midseason slot Ms. Ostroff spoke of.
Listen,"Gossip Girl" is The CW's flagship show and is the series that sort of put them on the map. And almost 20 years ago, "Beverly Hills 90210" did the same for FOX. But at some point, FOX broadened its menu to include scripted series that didn't fall into the "90210"/"Melrose" genre, even though that formula had proved successful for them. No doubt the decision to do so has played a major part in FOX's rise from an upstart netlet to the "Idol"/"House" giant we know today.
And let's be honest, if "Gossip Girl" is being rated solely on numbers, one can't really even deem it a true success. The CW's "90210" spin off, which launched this past season? Same deal.
So why not try a series like "Body Politic" which could potentially appeal to a larger demo as well as to the young female one The CW's already so focused on?
It's a baby step, but a solid one. And bottom line, "Body Politic" might just be something special.