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New Pilots Roundup: What the Networks Have Ordered

By on January 23, 2013
Image © ScreenSpy. The ScreenSpy Logo is a registered trademark.

Image © ScreenSpy. The ScreenSpy Logo is a registered trademark.

Adaptations, both movie and literary, are the order of the day where the Networks’ newest pilot orders are concerned. This pilot season sees a collection of new dramas and comedies, as well as a supernatural mystery and a Scifi Western all going into pilot production and later consideration for a full series pickup.

We’ve rounded up a collection of the newest pilots on order from FOX, NBC, CBS and ABC. Check them out below.




Rake is described by FOX as a character-driven comedic drama centering on Keegan Joye, a brilliant, but self-destructive criminal defense lawyer. Brilliant, frustratingly charming, and with zero filter, Keegan is one of life’s great addicts. His staggering lack of discretion and inability to self-censor land him the cases that nobody else wants, but behind that lies a resolute optimism and belief in justice that fuel his dogged determination to defend those who seem beyond redemption. In addition to Keegan’s cases within the justice system, the show follows his personal trials and tribulations, including his ongoing battle against the IRS, his mounting debt to his bookie, overlapping affairs and liaisons with women, a hormonal son, an exhausted ex-wife and the evolving relationship between his two married best friends, Ben and Scarlett.




Brandon T. Jackson will take the lead in this movie-franchise-to-TV-show adaptation. The story centers around Alex Foley’s son (Jackson) who works in Beverley Hills taking down the criminal element among the rich and famous. The film’s original star Eddie Murphy is set to make a guest appearance in the pilot, reprising his role as Axel Foley. Murphy is also set to executive produce along with Shawn Ryan and Marney Hochman who wrote the pilot.


This pilot is based on the Backstrom books by famous Swedish criminologist/novelist Leif G.W. Persson. The books focus on Evert Backstrom – who CBS describe as a detective version of Dr. Gregory House. Overweight, offensive and irascible, Backstrom tries and fails to change his ways as he works through his cases. Hart Hanson (Bones executive producer) wrote the pilot and produces the project with Persson.


Who has it better? this new multi-camera comedy from Dana Klein attempts to answer that question as a group of 30-something friends each think the other has a better life.The pilot is written and executive produced by Klein and executive produced by Aaron Kaplan and studio 20th Century Fox TV..


Toni Collette (The United States of Tara, The Sixth Sense) will star in Hostages, a drama centering on a promising surgeon whose family is taken hostage when she is selected to perform surgery on the president of the United States. The show, based on an original Israeli series is written by Jeffrey Nachmanoff (The Day After Tomorrow).



Venice has been described as modern day Romeo and Juliet style drama focusing on two rival families and a forbidden and dangerous romance that emerges as they battle for control of Venice, California. McG (Wonderland) will direct the pilot. Byron Balasco (Without a Trace, FlashForward) is on board to write and executive produce.


What if the dead returned as if nothing had ever happened? The Returned takes a look at what happens to the people of Aurora when their deceased loved ones suddenly reappear on their doorsteps as if not a day has gone by.

The Returned was written by Aaron Zelman (Criminal Minds). Brad Pitt’s Plan B is attached to executive produce this ABC Studios project.


Pulling, based on the 2006 British comedy of the same name, centers on three dysfunctional women in their 30s living their lives the way they want, even if society tells them they should have it all figured out by this point.

Pulling is written and executive produced by Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky (Bad Teacher).

Venice, The Returned and Pulling join ABC’s high-profile S.H.I.E.L.D. and comedy Mixology, among others.




This scifi-western is based on an Oni Press comic book series from writer Cullen Bunn and artist Brian Hurtt.

Set during the American Civil War, a motley bunch of cutthroats come into possession of a collection of six pistols which posses other-worldly abilities. However, when the sixth gun goes missing and ends up in the hands of an innocent girl, dark forces set their sights on retrieving it and killing the girl. However, she is protected by Drake Sinclair, a gunfighter with a shadowy past, who is determined to help her.

The Sixth Gun sees Carlton Cuse (Lost) as show runner, with comic-book adaptation duties falling to Ryan Condal.

The Sixth Gun is currently among nine other pilots on order from NBC.




Originally pitched lat year, The Selection (based on the book by Kiera Cass) is up for grabs again this year. Redeveloped, and re-scripted, the series (should it get a green light) will be set 300 years in the future, where a young working class woman is chosen by lottery to take part in a competition with 25 other women. Unlike The Hunger Games, there are no epic death matches. The competition’s prize in this instance is the hand of the Royal prince in marriage.  The young woman must learn how to balance her loyalty to her family while becoming savvy to the nature of her cutthroat competition and palace intrigue.


Following a scandal at the Naval base in Virginia, the lives of both civilians and military personnel will never be the same again, as two young women who grew up together and were once best friends, find themselves on opposite sides of the civilian/Military divide.

Company Town was written by Sera Gamble and will be directed by Taylor Hackford.


This Vampire Diaries spin off chronicles the early days of the Original Vampires in New Orleans and will star Daniel Gillies, Joseph Morgan and Phoebe Tonkin. It’s likely other ‘original’ cast members will make their way to this new backdoor pilot. Watch for new announcements.