Fleet of pilots ready

More than 100 pilots have now been ordered by the three networks and Fox Broadcasting Co. as the primetime development season slowly rolls along.

Even with several more orders expected in what has turned out to be an unusually late-arriving development process, the four services are clearly going to punch up fewer series hopefuls than last year, when Fox alone ordered 37 pilots and the four-service total climbed to 120 series aspirants.

ABC, in particular, has ordered fewer pilots this season, in part because the web anticipates making relatively few changes next fall.

Following is an update of existing pilot orders, compiled from information provided by the networks and other sources. Because the process remains in flux, the list can’t be viewed as entirely comprehensive.



Blue Skies — Sitcom about two friends who start an upscale catalog business. Producers: Judd Pillot, John Peaslee (Universal)

Bringing Up Jack — Focuses on an irreverent sports radio talkshow host who marries a single mother. Producers: Mitchell Katlin, Nat Bernstein (ABC Prods.)

Cherry St., South of Main — Multiethnic female comedy set in a beauty shop. Producers: Roseanne & Tom Arnold (Wapello County Prods./Warner Bros.).

Grown Ups — Howie Mandel plays a childlike dad. Producers: Bob Brush, Sy Rosen (TriStar).

Steve Harvey Project — Vehicle for the stand-up comic. Producer: Bob Myer (ABC Prods.).

Life Happens — Former “Growing Pains” star Kirk Cameron plays a surrogate father to his three younger brothers. Producers: William Bickley, Michael Warren (Warner Bros.)

Margaret Cho Show — Sitcom built around the Asian-American comic. Producer: Gary Jacobs (Disney).

On Our Own — Family comedy. Producers: Tom Miller, Bob Boyett (Miller-Boyett Prods./Warner Bros.)

Worlds Apart — A generational clash between former-hippie parents and their ungrateful kids. Paul Junger Witt, Tony Thomas, Rob Lazebnik (Witt-Thomas).

DRAMA (10)

Dark Eyes — Kelly McGillis stars in a female cop drama. Producers: Wayne Grigsby, Barbara Samuels (Alliance).

Edgeville/Extreme Team — A rescue unit based in the Rockies. Producers: Bob Wolterstorff, Alan Barnett (Universal).

Interrotron — Sci-fi adventure. Producers: Donald Kushner, Peter Locke (Kushner-Locke Co.). Kansas — Small-town drama starring Patricia Wettig, who returns home after separating from her husband. Producer: Wettig, Ken Olin, Michelle Ashford (ABC Prods.).

Last Days of Russell — Family drama through the eyes of a 13-year-old boy. Producers: Reginald & Warrington Hudlin (Twentieth).

The Marshal — Jeff Fahey stars as a man-hunting U.S. marshal. Producers: John Mankiewicz, Dan Pyne, Aaron Lipstadt (Paramount).

McKenna — A family has adventures in the wilderness. Producer: Gil Grant (ABC Prods.).

Morgan — A”Matlock” spinoff. Producers: Fred Silverman, Dean Hargrove (Viacom).

Mystery Dance — A professor and his wife investigate murders. Producers: Wendy Goldman, John Wells (Warner Bros.)

Time Well Spent — The friendship of three junior-high students, and their families. Producer: Clyde Phillips (Columbia).


Director’s Cut — Documentary series from filmmaker Phil Alden Robinson (Berkeley Group).

Life’s Funnier Than a Sitcom — Comedy/reality show, in which writers build mini-sitcoms around family stories. Producer: Vin Di Bona, Tom Moore, Phil Keller (Di Bona/HBO Ind. Prods.).

The New Ripley’s Believe It or Not — New TV version based on the books. Producer: George Zaloom.



Ask Rita — Comic Rita Rudner as an advice columnist. Producers: Rudner, Martin Bergman (Columbia Pictures TV).

The Canterberrys’ Tales — Comedy anthology with the same family playing out roles in various fairy tales. Producers: Rob Reiner, Alan Zweibel (Castle Rock Ent.).

Clarissa Explains it All — Adaptation/continuation of the Nickelodeon series. Producer: Mitchell Kriegman (Viacom)

Cybill — Cybill Shepherd plays a former model who starts over as a single mom. Producer: Jay Daniel (Carsey-Werner Co.).

Dixie Fixin’s — Dolly Parton stars as a TV cooking-show host in this romantic-comedy (Sandollar Prods., Disney).

Dudley — Dudley Moore tries again, this time as a man dealing with his three grown daughters. Producers: Witt, Thomas, David Landsberg (Witt-Thomas).

Faith Prince Project — Prince stars as a single woman trying to make it as an actress in New York. With Wendy Malick. Producers: Danny Jacobson, Jeffrey Lane (TriStar).

Galaxy Beat — Sci-fi comedy about intergalactic peacekeepers. Producer: Alan Spencer (HBO Ind. Prods.).

Double Rush (formerly Lickety-Split) — Robert Pastorelli will move over from “Murphy Brown” to star in this held-over concept about a New York bicycle messenger service. Producers: Diane English, Joel Shukovsky, Stephen Nathan (Shukovsky English Ent.).

Untitled (formerly “Not My Three Sons”) — Hal Linden and Suzanne Pleshette star about as a couple whose grown kids move back home. Producer: Matthew Carlson (ABC Prods.).

The Wind Beneath My Wings — Ensemble comedy about a wealthy and wicked family. Producer: Pam Veasey (CBS Ent. Prods.).

DRAMA (14)

Carrick O’Quinn — Don Michael Paul stars as a police sharpshooter in this presentation being developed out of Cannell’s “Renegade” series. With Cecelia Peck. Producers: Bill Nuss, Stephen J. Cannell (Cannell Ent.).

Crowfoot — Two-hour pilot about a detective in Hawaii. Producer: Don Bellisario (Paramount).

The Gray Area — Drama about a struggling private eye. Producers: Michael Bregman, Martin Bregman, Bo Dietl (CBS Ent. Prods.).

Keys — Marg Helgenberger runs a helicopter business in the Florida Keys. Producer: John Sacret Young (ABC Prods.).

Montel Williams Project — The talkshow host plays a counselor in a tough high school. Producers: Steve Smith, Jim Parriott, Williams, Tom Tannenbaum, Dolores Robinson, Scott Lambert (TriStar).

One West Waikiki — Cheryl Ladd headlines a high-tech, futuristic police drama. Producer: Glen A. Larson.

Pilot — Medical drama from producer David E. Kelley (Twentieth).

Rose City — Karen Sillas plays the only woman detective on hand in a gritty police drama. Producer: Jacqueline Zambrano (Warner Bros.).

Sherwood’s Travels — Adventure drama starring Jamey Sheridan and Serena Scott Thomas as husband-and-wife travel writers circling the globe. Producers: Ron Koslow, Joshua Brand, John Falsey (Warner Bros.).

Taking Liberty — Fantasy-adventure set around the Revolutionary War. Producers: John Watson, Richard Lewis, Pen Densham (Trilogy Ent. Group).

Under One Roof — An extended African-American family in middle-class Seattle. Producer: Thomas Carter (CBS Ent. Prods.).

XXX’s & OOO’s — Drama set in Nashville about four ex-wives of country-music stars. Tartikoff, John Wilder (Moving Target).

Untitled — Olympia Dukakis and Lorraine Bracco play a mother and daughter who work together as doctors. Producers: Craig Zadan, Neil Meron (Twentieth).

The Wright Verdicts — Mystery drama revolving around a criminal lawyer. Producer: Dick Wolf (Universal).



Behind the Eight Ball — Rick Duccommun stars as the father of two sons who runs the neighborhood hangout. Producers: Danny Jacobson, Lillah McCarthy, Bill Bryan (TriStar TV).

Best Friends — Father-daughter comedy. Producer: Allan Katz.

Big Daddy’s Barbecue — Stand-up Jeff Wayne offers his often politically incorrect views of the world. With Tom Poston. Producers: Barry Kemp, Mark Ganzel (Bungalow 78/Universal TV).

Close to Home — Young couple grappling with hubby’s dangerous job as a fireman. Starring Lindsay Frost. Producers: Witt, Thomas, Racelle Rosett Schaefer (Witt-Thomas Prods.).

A Dad’s Life — Multi-generational sitcom. Producers: Witt, Thomas, Howard Gould (Witt-Thomas).

Duane Martin Project — Vehicle for Martin as a newlywed dealing with a new job and managing his family’s duplex. Producer: Alan Haymon (NBC Prods., TriStar).

Friends Like Us — Ensemble comedy about “anti-thirtysomethings.” Producers: Kevin Bright, Marta Kauffman, David Crane (Warner Bros.)

The Gene Wilder Show — Reworked sitcom starring Wilder as a late-in-life father. With Jennifer Grey, Jake Weber. Producers: Barnet Kellman, Lee Kalcheim (Warner Bros.)

Homecoming Queen — A former Hollywood jetsetter returns to her home town in Mississippi. Producers: Witt, Thomas, Chris Thompson (Witt-Thomas).

Housewarming — A former workaholic discovers it’s not so easy spending “quality time” with his family. Producer: Bob Stevens (Warner Bros.)

Madman of the People — A gonzo newspaperman clashes with his new publisher, who happens to be his daughter. Producers: Chris Cluess, Stu Kreisman (Spelling TV).

Martin Short Project — The former “SNL” star plays a family man who also stars in a primetime variety show. Producers: Short, Paul Flaherty (NBC Prods.).

Phil Hartman Project — Another “SNL” alumnus gets a shot at primetime, here in a sketch comedy (Brillstein-Grey Entertainment).

Pig Sty — Five former college buddies cram into the same New York apartment. Producers: Dan Staley, Rob Long (Paramount Network TV).

Ralph Macchio Project — The former “Karate Kid” star plays a blue-collar guy married with a 2-year-old. Producer: Bruce Rasmussen (Warner Bros.).

Wayans Project — Marlon and Shawn Wayans play two very different brothers sharing their first apartment in New York. With John Witherspoon. Producers: Tom Anderson, Eric Gold, David Steven Simon & Leslie Ray (Warner Bros.)

The World According to Noah — A look at family life through the eyes of an inquisitive 12-year-old boy, starring Graham Sack. Producer: Winifred Hervey (NBC Prods.).

DRAMA (14)

The Book — Anthology series based on a mysterious book, whose readers are selected by those both needful and worthy. Producers: Brandon Tartikoff, Jeffrey Lewis (Moving Target Prods.).

The Cosby Mysteries — Bill Cosby in a light mystery format, flanked by Lynn Whitfield, James Naughton. Series commitment. Producers: Cosby, William Link, David Black (Columbia Pictures TV, NBC Prods.).

E.R. — Medical drama starring George Clooney, Anthony Edwards. Producers: Michael Crichton, John Wells (Amblin TV/Warner Bros.)

Earth 2 — Another big-budget, 22-episode sci-fi series from Steven Spielberg , this one set in a space colony. Producers: Spielberg, Michael Duggan, Carol Flint, Mark Levin (Amblin/Universal)

Frogmen — O.J. Simpson heads a group of former Navy SEALs who carry out unauthorized missions. Producers: Arnold Kopelson, Jeff Freilich (Magnum TV/Warner Bros.).

Golden Gate — Drama about two U.S. district attorneys with different personal lives. Producers: Dave Alan Johnson, Michael Pavone (Warner Bros.).

Law Men — Two lawyer brothers, one played by “Twin Peaks’ ” Dana Ashbrook, become partners. Producers: Daniel Pyne, John Mankiewicz (Paramount).

Lewis & Clark — Adventure based on the real-life exploits of the two frontiersmen in the early 1800s. Producer: Michael Duggan, Christian Williams (Universal).

On the Line — Kelly Lynch stars as supervisor of an FBI violent crimes division. Producers: Barbara Hall, Joe Stern (Paramount).

OP Center — Ensemble drama from Tom Clancy about an elite U.S. government crisis management team. Producers: Clancy, Tartikoff, Steve Pieczenik, Steve Sohmer (Moving Target).

Sweet Justice — Legal drama set in the South starring Melissa Gilbert & Cicely Tyson as unlikely partners in an offbeat law firm. Producer: John Romano, Scott Brazil, Erwin Moore (Berlin Prods./Columbia).

Trial by Jury — Anthology dramatizing unusual legal cases, leaving the audience to judge before the actual verdict is revealed. Producers: David L. Wolper, Mark Wolper, David Salzman, Quincy Jones, Peter Lance (Wolper Organization/QDE/Warner Bros.)

The Vesey Way — (working title) A detective and recovering alcoholic tries to get his life back in order. Producer: Heywood Gould (TriStar).

Wing and a Prayer — Patty Duke returns to series as a minister helping others while dealing with her own past. Producers: Bonnie Raskin, Duke (NBC Prods.)



Bullpen — Rowdy baseball comedy. Producers: Jeff Martin, Kevin Curran (Disney).

Carlos — Multi-ethnic comedy starring stand-up Carlos Mencia. Producers: Howard Meyers, Marco Pennette (HBO Ind. Prods.).

Chris ‘n Chris — Kid ‘n Play vehicle from Brillstein-Grey Ent. (TriStar).

Face Value — Comedy about New York models. Producers: Pam Norris, Paul Clay (Twentieth).

Get Smart — Revival with Don Adams and Barbara Feldon reprising their roles as well as Andy Dick as their son. Producers: Michael DiGaetano, Lawrence Gay (HBO Ind. Prods.)

Kauffman, Crane & Bright Project — Look at high school through the eyes of a 16-year-old (Warner Bros.).

Harvey Berger, Salesman — Vehicle for stand-up Lewis Black. Producers: Jay Tarses, Rick Dresser (Brillstein-Grey Ent./TriStar).

Hollywood Wash — Lovable lunatics at a Hollywood car wash. Producer: Alan Haymon (TriStar).

House of Buggin’ — Half-hour sketch comedy starring John Leguizamo. Producers: Michael Bregman, Leguizamo (HBO Ind. Prods.)

Howe High — High-school comedy. Producers: Ron Leavitt, Arthur Silver (Disney).

Jonathan — Stand-up Jonathan Solomon as a 30-year-old magnet for beautiful women. Producers: Robert Benabib, Karl Fink (Warner Bros.)

LAX 2194 — A freeze-dried 20th century guy awakens 200 years in the future. Producers: Barry Kemp, Ken Estin (Bungalow 78/Universal).

Lisa Ann Walter — Stand-up comic Walter speaks for frustrated wives and mothers in this domestic comedy. Producers: Shawn Schepps, Paul Stupin (Columbia).

Metropolitan Hospital — Wild satire set in a hospital. Producers: Ivan Reitman, Brian Levant (Universal).

Pearl’s Kitchen — Sitcom vehicle for Bernie Mac, who plays the proprietor of a neighborhood hangout in Chicago. Producers: Ralph Farquhar, Stan Lathan (Brillstein-Grey/TriStar).

Platypus Man — Richard Jeni plays the host of a cult cable cooking show. Producers: Mort Nathan, Barry Fanaro (Paramount).

Sammy and Friends — Ensemble comedy. Producers: Sam Henry Kass, Laurie David (Twentieth).

TV Guys — Two former child stars of ’70s comedy series are shown grown up. Producers: Tartikoff, Andy & Susan Borowitz (Stuffed Dog/Moving Target).

Wild Oats — Ensemble comedy depicting the lives of a group of twentysomethings. Producer: Lon Diamond (Twentieth).


Avenging Angel — Action-adventure. Producer: John Sacret Young (Rysher Entertainment).

Fortune Hunter — Adventures of an ex-secret agent. Producer: Paul Stupin, Steve Aspis (Columbia Pictures TV).

The Great Defender — Legal drama. Producers: George Schenk, Frank Cardea, Frank Renzuli (Warner Bros.).

Medicine Ball — Medical intern ensemble. Producers: Robert Lieberman, John Sakmar, Kerry Lenhart (Warner Bros.).

Party of Five — Family drama. Producer: Chris Keyser, Amy Lippman (Columbia).

Sliders — Hourlong sci-fi adventure about parallel universes. Producers: John Landis, Robert K. Weiss, Tracy Torme (Universal).

Uptown Undercover — Urban cop drama with black and Hispanic leads. Producers: Dick Wolf, Andre Hurrell, Alonzo Brown (Wolf Films/Uptown Records/Universal).

Wild Life — Action-adventure. Producers: Steven Long Mitchell, Craig Van Sickle (Twentieth).

More TV

  • Tammy Filler Nathan Najarian NBC

    E! Expands News Coverage, Brings 'Today' Vet Tammy Filler Aboard (EXCLUSIVE)

    E! is expanding its entertainment-news programming, with plans to add three more hours of coverage to its linear schedule in 2020, Variety has learned. To help spearhead the effort, the cable channel is bringing aboard Tammy Filler, a veteran producer on NBC’s “Today,” to lead creative and production for E! News. The expansion of news [...]

  • Armando Iannucci

    Armando Iannucci Space Comedy 'Avenue 5' Ordered to Series at HBO

    HBO has given a series order to the comedy “Avenue 5” from creator Armando Iannucci. The series is described as a space tourism comedy set forty years in the future when the solar system is everyone’s oyster. Hugh Laurie stars as Ryan Clark, the captain of the space cruise ship Avenue 5. The series also [...]

  • NCIS Los Angeles and NCIS New

    'NCIS: Los Angeles' and 'NCIS: New Orleans' Renewed at CBS

    CBS has renewed “NCIS: Los Angeles” for an 11th season, and “NCIS: New Orleans” for a sixth season. Both action drama are spinoffs of “NCIS,” which was renewed in early April. “NCIS: Los Angeles” follows a Naval Criminal Investigative Service division based in the City of Angels that is tasked with catching dangerous and elusive [...]


    Brazil’s Ancine Freezes Incentives, Threatening Film-TV Industry Paralysis

    Brazil’s Ancine agency, its foremost public-sector source of film funding, has frozen all of its incentive programs, potentially near paralyzing new production in Latin America’s biggest film-TV industry. The dramatic decision, which has left Brazil’s industry is a state of shock and intense fear for its future, comes as it has taken further hits. In [...]

  • TV Shows to Watch the Week

    TV Shows to Watch the Week of April 22, 2019: 'Gentleman Jack' and the NFL Draft

    Welcome back to Tune In: our weekly newsletter offering a guide to the best of the week’s TV. Each week, Variety’s TV team combs through the week’s schedule, selecting our picks of what to watch and when/how to watch them. This week, “Gentleman Jack” debuts on HBO, and “Kobra Kai” season two drops on YouTube [...]

  • Steve Golin The Revenant Spotlight Producer

    Steve Golin, Prolific Producer and Founder of Anonymous Content, Dies at 64

    Steve Golin, an Oscar-winning producer who was founder and CEO of Anonymous Content, died Sunday in Los Angeles of cancer. He was 64. Golin was a pioneer in blending the business of talent management with production. Anonymous Content, which Golin founded in 1999, worked with a stable of big name artists such as Steven Soderbergh, [...]

  • The Iron Throne, which has been

    'Game of Thrones': Six Books for Fans to Read

    As the final season of “Game of Thrones” draws to a close, we’ve found six best-selling books that keep the stories of Westeros and beyond alive. From the original novels that inspired the hit HBO show, to collectible tomes that highlight behind-the-scenes secrets, these books make a great addition to your bookcase, whether you’re a [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content