January 22, 2013 marked a monumental day in TV journalism where reporters typed out news regarding pilot orders till their fingernails were wedged off. In under 3 hours, the Big 4 ordered almost two dozen pilots and email inboxes across Hollywood were flooded with frantic updates, and prayers were said for agency coordinators everywhere.
Now that I’ve slept (a little), it’s time to make sense of the mess. With that, I give you: everything you need to know about yesterday’s pilot orders, with bold font and a dash of sheer delirium:
(If you need to know more, you can always trek over to our real story here.)
Being 30-something is so in: 2012 was the year for HBO’s “Girls” and all 20-somethings caught in
romanticized, unemployed hell. But 2012 is so last year! 2013 pilots give nod to a decade that seems far more perilous according to loglines, with words like “dysfunctional” thrown into the mix. ABC’s “Pulling” is exemplary here, as it follows a few 30-something women who, per the logline, are doing whatever the hell they want and society can just deal with it. But there’s another layer…
“Friends,” but on CBS, a little older, and doing enviable things: “Friends with Better Lives” at CBS centers on a group of 30-something friends. (Told you.) And just when you thought you had read the word “friends” enough in this paragraph, I blow your mind by telling you a vet of NBC’s “Friends” wrote the CBS pilot. #brainexplodes
ABC renames network “Betrayal”: Okay, not true, but the pilot for drama “Betrayal” fits the net’s bill pretty perfectly. Needless to say, if you’re having issues with trusting people and/or need encouragement regarding loyalty in your romantic relationships, ABC may not be the network to watch. (Reference: “Mistresses,” “Revenge,” now-defunct-but-still-relevant “Desperate Housewives.”)
Dick Wolf, purveyor of funny: You decide what sounds funnier — Dick Wolf moving into comedy, or the phrase “Girlfriend in a Coma.” NBC is hoping you laughed at both, since the net ordered a pilot for the Wolf-produced laffer. Story centers on a woman who wakes up from a coma to find out she has a teenage daughter that she, I’m guessing, birthed while in a coma. The funny un-funny part is that Wolf’s “Law & Order: SVU” had a similar plot where a doctor raped patients in vegetative states and comas, so maybe he’s looking at his expansive drama franchise as potential backdoor pilots for comedies. Who knows.
Brilliant + self-destructive = PILOT ORDER: Fox’s “Rake” and CBS’s “Backstrom” follow men — criminal defense lawyer and detective, respectively — who are really good at their jobs but really bad at being humans. I sense solid HBO comedy spinoff potential where the two men meet and become fast friends, bonding over case files and life’s inevitable missteps.
Shout out to law firm assistants: I was one for a month, it was a harrowing experience, and now Fox has ordered a comedy pilot about how that job can be so stressful that it is, truly, laughable. “To My Assistant” may trigger PTSD in folk like me, but I’ll tune in to reminisce nevertheless.
Congrats, Dads: More TV shows about you. Pilot at Fox about becoming a dad, pilot at NBC about Sean Hayes being a dad, and a series order at Fox from Seth MacFarlane about when dads stop being dads and move in with their well-adjusted, adult children. It’s literally full circle and you can whet your palette with “Guys with Kids” reruns on NBC.
Happy pilot season! Let’s take some naps.