In less than a month, the broadcast networks will be announcing which new series they’re picking up for the 2013-14 season. Zap2it can’t wait for that, though, so this week we’re doing a series of pilot previews.
In addition to this gallery of 22 shows we hope the networks order to series, we’re also going to take a closer look at pilot scripts from each of the networks. While a lot can change between now and a series premiere, and these are by no means full reviews, we hope to offer some insight at some of the projects the networks are considering this spring
New shows at The CW are always something of a gamble — some are amazing and some fail miserably — but at least one 2013 pilot, “The Tomorrow People,” has a good shot at brilliance.
The pilot’s sci-fi and youth-friendly premises seem tailor-made for The CW, and it doesn’t hurt that the pilot is loosely based on a 1970s British series of the same name. While not well-known stateside (reruns of the show aired on Nickelodeon in the early 1980s and got a brief revival in the early 1990s), the original “Tomorrow People” took on major human issues and crazy alien problems in a style similar to “Doctor Who.”
What it’s about: “The Tomorrow People” follows the adventures of a group of young adults who have reached the next stage of human evolution and developed supernatural powers. Think “X-Men,” but with less of a comic-book vibe and no strange costumes.
Who’s in it: Robbie Amell (“1600 Penn”) as Stephen, Peyton List (“Mad Men”) as Cara, Luke Mitchell as John Young, Mark Pellegrino (“Supernatural,” “Lost”) as Jedikiah Price, Madeleine Mantock as Astrid and Aaron Yoo as Russell
Who’s behind it: Greg Berlanti (“Brothers & Sisters,” “Everwood,” “Golden Boy”), Julie Plec (“The Vampire Diaries”) and Phil Klemmer wrote the pilot script and will executive produce. Danny Cannon (“CSI,” “Nikita”) is the pilot director.
Pros and cons: This could be one of the biggest hits of the 2013-2014 season if The CW gets it right. The pilot script is excellent — lots of crazy sci-fi mixed with plenty of action and just enough romance. While the update only resembles the original British show, this version is a far better fit with shows like “Arrow” and “Supernatural.”
There aren’t many things to complain about in the pilot. The only possible issue is the necessarily serialized nature of the show. We start with something of an origin story — the apparently main character, Stephen (Robbie Amell), finds out about the Tomorrow People and his own powers during the pilot — and everything follows from there.