As the broadcast networks finalize pilot pickup decisions, a handful of this year’s freshman series are still awaiting the yea or nay for a season two.
ABC’s “Agent Carter” and NBC’s “The Mysteries of Laura” are said to be looking better for renewals but are not slam dunks. CBS’ “Battle Creek” may be on the rebound toward a second season order. “Cristela,” on the other hand, is likely heading for the exit at ABC. Same is true for “Marry Me” at NBC.
Among other returning series still on the bubble, the decision on “The Mindy Project” at Fox is going down to the wire. The end of the road is said to be coming at the network for “The Following.”
ABC’s “Last Man Standing” is living up to its name and is said to be getting a nod for season five. The betting is that CBS’ “CSI” will get a farewell 16th season order, if perhaps shorter than a full 22 episodes. Meanwhile, the latest addition to the franchise, “CSI: Cyber,” is a lock to renew.
As for the latest pilot pickup chatter, here’s a rundown:
ABC is expected to make most of its series pickup calls on Friday. Drama-wise, “Runner” remains a heavy favorite, as is the Shondaland-produced “The Catch.” Biblical epic “Of Kings and Prophets” has come on strong. And then there are the Marvel entries: a spinoff of “Agents of SHIELD” and a top-secret project from “American Crime” creator John Ridley. Can’t count anything with “Marvel” in the title out as it is a powerful driver of international and digital sales.
Comedy-wise, the heatseeker continues to be the untitled NBA buddy comedy. “Uncle Buck” has been gaining steam in screenings the past few days, and so has “The Real O’Neals,” which hails from the same writing duo as the NBA comedy. “Delores and Jermaine,” “Dr. Ken” and “Chev and Bev” are still contenders.
Word is that the “Heroes Reborn” limited series will land on the fall schedule.
NBC is believed to have two or three drama slots left after giving greenlights last week to “Chicago Med,” “Heartbreaker” and “Blindspot.” “The Player,” the Wesley Snipes starrer from producers of “The Blacklist,” is still seen as a shoo-in, but the lack of an order raises questions of whether the conversations are wrapped up in larger discussions with producer Sony Pictures TV.
Remaining drama contenders are said to be “Curse of the Fuentes Women,” which has come on strong in recent days; “Warrior”; and “Game of Silence.” “Silence,” from writer David Hudgins, has been buzzed about as one of the year’s most compelling scripts, but there are questions about whether the subject matter — revolving around a group of adults coming to grips with a trauma they all suffered in childhood — might be too dark for broadcast tastes. If the pilot doesn’t go at NBC, look for Sony TV to shop it elsewhere on the TV dial.
NBC’s comedy pilots are harder to forecast, given the Peacock’s struggles of late and the straight-to-series orders for “Telenovela” and the “Coach” sequel. The untitled multicamera vehicle from “Hot in Cleveland” creator Suzanne Martin has stayed hot. So has workplace comedy “Superstore” and “Strange Calls.” “People Are Talking” could be a dark horse.
Fox is very high on its drama slate. The network has straight-to-series orders for Ryan Murphy’s “Scream Queens” and “The X Files” revival already on tap. Among pilots, “Minority Report” and “Studio City” are seen as cinches. Medical drama “Autopsy” and “Frankenstein” have had legs during the screening process.
On the comedy front, Rob Lowe’s “The Grinder” and John Stamos’ “Grandpa” were hot early out of the gate and have remained so. “Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life” has been on the see-saw of being hot, cold and then hot again after strong testing. “48 Hours Til Monday” has gained some steam.
The Eye’s drama roster is taking shape, with Greg Berlanti’s “Supergirl” officially ordered to series. Dramas “Code Black,” “Limitless” and the “Criminal Minds” spinoff are all seen as safe bets.
“Rush Hour” is said to be on the fence after getting mixed reviews in screenings. “Sneaky Pete” has been well received creatively but may be too esoteric. The dimming prospects for “Sneaky Pete” may have improved the pickup chances for “Battle Creek” as both projects count David Shore as showrunner.
Comedy-wise, “Life in Pieces” and “Super Clyde” have strong momentum. “Taxi-22,” starring John Leguizamo, is still a contender.
The CW wants to keep expanding its relationship with showrunner Julie Plec — the showrunner behind “The Originals” and “The Vampire Diaries.” Plec’s pilot “Cordon” is a favorite among execs.