J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot banner had a prosperous pilot season in setting up two big dramas, Fox’s “Almost Human” and NBC’s “Believe.” So did Bill Lawrence’s Doozer banner, with comedies on Fox (“Surviving Jack”) and NBC (“Undateable”), not to mention a newbie ordered by TBS last week (“Ground Floor”).
Others who made the MVP roster in this year’s network development derby:
** David Zabel. The “ER” alum penned the pilot for the ABC Studios/ABC sudser “Betrayal” and co-wrote the pilot for ABC’s “Lucky 7,” a redo of a Brit hit.
** David Semel. The in-demand drama helmer directed the pilot for CBS’ “Intelligence” and is an exec producer on NBC’s “Ironside.” He also helmed the first seg of Seth MacFarlane’s “Cosmos: A Space-Time Odyssey” 13-episode docu-series set to bow on Fox in February.
** James Burrows. Even by his own enviable standard, the sitcom vet impressed with all three of the comedy pilots he helmed this year getting picked up: CBS’ “Friends with Better Lives” and “The Millers” and NBC’s “Sean Saves the World.”
** Derek Haas and Michael Brandt. The “Chicago Fire” scribes moved quickly to craft a spinoff involving the Chi police department once they saw a storyline clicking in early drafts of the final episodes of “Fire’s” first season.
** Alloy Entertainment. The book packager and TV producer acquired last year by Warner Bros. TV continued to cast a long shadow over the CW’s sked with two new entries, “The 100” and the “Vampire Diaries” spinoff “The Originals”
** Feature helmers. A number of big-screen boldface names trained their lenses on pilots that went the distance, including Aflonso Cuaron (“Believe”), Phillip Noyce (NBC’s “Crisis”), Joe Carnahan (“Blacklist”), Jon Favreau (NBC’s “About a Boy”), Sam Raimi (“Rake”), Allen Hughes (CBS’ “Gang Related”), Seth Gordon (“The Goldbergs”) and Catherine Hardwicke (CBS’ “Reckless”). Cuaron (pictured above far left with Abrams and “Believe” cast members) went the extra mile and co-wrote the pilot script for “Believe” with Mark Friedman.