×

Pilot Buzz: ‘Supergirl,’ ‘Rush Hour’ Flying at CBS; Comedies, Medical Dramas Have Pulse

As April turns to May this week, network execs are huddling in screening sessions and debates over the pilots in contention for series orders to be unveiled in less that two weeks during the broadcast upfronts.

The volume of new comedy series is expected to be high, and medical dramas have momentum at several nets. And don’t believe the rumors: Greg Berlanti’s “Supergirl” pilot for CBS is not destined to fly over to the CW, sources said.

Though sources caution it’s still hard to declare definitive winners and losers, the picture is getting sharper. Here’s a look at what the broadcast networks have their eye on for the 2015-16 season.

For detailed information on production and creative auspices of this year’s pilots, see Variety.com’s searchable Pilot Scorecard chart.

CW

While “Supergirl” would seem to be a fit with CW’s “The Flash” and “Arrow,” the show is seen as too expensive for the younger-skewing network, and would be more profitable for CBS Corp.’s overall portfolio, if it lands at CBS, where it currently has a good chance to go to series.

Meanwhile, sources say the CW will preview a first-look trailer at the DC superhero spinoff at their May 14 upfront presentation.

ABC

ABC is also looking to continue its superhero saga with talks of keeping “American Crime” creator John Ridley on the Alphabet’s air by handing him the keys to a new top-secret Marvel project.

As Shonda Rhimes already owns Thursday night on the network with her “TGIT” programming, no surprise here — Shondaland’s next drama “The Catch” with leading lady Mireille Enos, is seen as a lock.

“Dr. Ken,” starring “Community” alum Ken Jeong, was well received at the Alphabet, along with the Chevy Chase-Beverly D’Angelo sitcom and the untitled NBA buddy comedy, set to star Skylar Astin. Though not a favorite, Judah Miller’s comedy is still standing, sources said.

CBS

Besides “Supergirl,” CBS is pulsing for a medical drama with “Code Black” and LFE” both hot among execs.

The network is also eyeing the movie-to-television trend with two pilots high up on the list: “Rush Hour,” a take on the ’90s film, and “Limitless,” adapted from the 2011 film starring Bradley Cooper, who will serve as an exec producer if the thriller, set to star Jake McDorman and Jennifer Carpenter, goes to series.

The “Criminal Minds” spinoff with Gary Sinise and Anna Gunn playing FBI agents who handle troubled Americans overseas is also a good bet at CBS.

Fox

The 1990s may be making a comeback next season as John Stamos’ comedy, Rob Lowe’s “Grinder,” and Eric McCormack’s celebrity drug dealer-inspired “Studio City” dramedy are all hot at Fox.

Like CBS, Fox is also looking at a movie adaptation with “Minority Report,” a take on Steven Spielberg’s movie, plus, it wants to get into the medical genre with “Rosewood,” an early frontrunner, which would add another diverse lead in Morris Chestnut to the net’s slate, following “Empire’s” success.

On the comedy, front, “48 Hours to Monday” is looking good.

NBC

NBC is already staffing three series for the new season, sources say: sniper thriller “The Player” (formerly titled “Endgame”) from “The Blacklist” producers, “Blindspot” from Berlanti, and medical drama “Heart Matters.”

Comedy pilots “How We Live” and “People Are Talking” are said to be in good shape at the Peacock, as is paranormal laffer “Strange Calls,” which would bring another “Community” alum, Danny Pudi, into the 2015-16 season.

Lastly, Dick Wolf will likely have a “Chicago” trifecta next season — and four shows total with the 17th season of “SVU” — as it appears the “Chicago Med” spinoff looking good for a midseason order. The planted spinoff aired this month as an episode of “Chicago Fire.”

Debra Birnbaum and Cynthia Littleton contributed to this report.

More TV

  • Ubisoft Developing Live-Action 'Skull & Bones'

    Ubisoft Developing Live-Action 'Skull & Bones' TV Show

    Video game publisher Ubisoft is teaming up with Atlas Entertainment (“Dirty John,” “12 Monkeys”) to develop a live-action pirate drama series based on its upcoming action title “Skull & Bones,” it announced on this week. “Skull & Bones” is expected to launch on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One sometime in 2019-2020. The game takes [...]

  • Speaker of the United States House

    Nancy Pelosi, Ava DuVernay Honored at VH1 Trailblazers Event

    Cher is feeling a little better about what’s happening in Washington, D.C. “When I see Trump spew his hate and tell his gazillion lies, I get pissed off and feel uneasy at the same time,” the Oscar winner and frequent Trump critic said on Wednesday while introducing Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi at “VH1 [...]

  • Wendy Williams

    Wendy Williams Sets March 4 Return to Syndicated Talk Show

    After a six-week leave with health issues, Wendy Williams is set to return to her syndicated daytime talk show on March 4. Williams has been on leave from “The Wendy Williams Show” since Jan. 18 to deal with health issues including a fractured shoulders and complications from Graves disease, an immune system disorder which the [...]

  • Kelly Abcarian - Nielsen

    Nielsen Forms Addressable TV Ad Group After Buying Sorenson Media's Assets for $11.25 Million

    Nielsen thinks it has the pieces in place to finally drive up the scale of addressable TV advertising, targeted based on a television household’s profile the way internet ads have been served for years. The media-measurement firm has formed Nielsen Advanced Video Advertising, a new group focusing on developing addressable advertising initially for internet-connected smart [...]

  • Telefonica’s Movistar + Ups Pay TV

    Telefonica’s Movistar + Ups Spanish Pay TV Growth by 28% in 2018

    MADRID —  Telefonica, the European telecom which has made the largest bet on content over the last two years, saw a 6% year-in-year growth in pay TV customers in Spain, the country where that drive is most noticeable, Telefonica confirmed on a Thursday conference call, walking analysts through its full-year 2018 results. Net subscriber additions [...]

  • Name Of The Rose

    Germany's Tele München Group Sold to Investment Firm KKR

    Global investment firm KKR has acquired Tele München Group, one of Germany’s largest television businesses. The surprise deal was announced Thursday. New York-based global investor KKR has holdings in multiple sectors, including infrastructure, energy and real estate. Tele München Group, or TMG, is active in both production and distribution; its projects include the highly anticipated [...]

  • UCLA Hollywood Diversity Report: Women, Minorities

    Hollywood Diversity Gains in TV but Falls Short in Movies

    Minorities and women have registered gains in several key areas of television but women continue to lag in movies, according to a report issued Thursday by the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA. “My basic take is that TV is improving more for minorities and women than film,” said Dr. Darnell [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content