10 Pilots to Keep an Eye on for Next Season
by Merrill Barr on February 21, 2014
With over 90 projects ordered for the 2014 pilot season, it seems we’re now in full swing when it comes to things to look forward to in the Fall. But, of course, we know what you’re wondering: which ones should we nerds focus on? Well, today we bring you an answer, with 10 pilots you should keep your eyes on going into the spring production rush.
Let’s start with some of the obvious. With casting announcements out the butt, the Arrow spin-off series is shaping up to be one hell of a ride. Ever since the reveal that Grant Gustin would be playing the fastest man on the planet, fans have been itching to get their first look at the man in red. We got a glimpse at a super powerless version of Barry Allen a few weeks ago on Arrow, and with the pilot (and almost guaranteed series order) right around the corner, it won’t be long before Flash is suiting up to fight the criminals of Central City.
Right up with the anticipation for The Flash is Fox’s Batman-adjacent cop drama. Some rumors say it’s The Shield in Gotham city. Others have it more as a villain-centric soap opera. Whatever the case may be, all the unconventional choices going on behind-the-scenes, including the casting of Jada Pinkett Smith, Donal Logue, and Ben McKenzie (along with a host of others), are really turning Gotham into the must-see drama of the Fall. Also, considering the director of the pilot is Danny “Nikita” Cannon, there’s a lot to be excited about on the creative front of this one, so keep your eyes peeled.
That’s right, the DC magician is headed back to live-action eyeballs everywhere. This time, it’s not with the aid of Keanu Reeves, but rather that of Man of Steel writer David S. Goyer. Along with Dexter writer Daniel Cerone and pilot director Neil Marshall, the latest iteration of Hellblazer will give audiences a glimpse into the early days of John Constantine as humanity’s defender against all those nightmarish forces of the dark.
It’s kind of surprising it’s taken this long for The CW to attempt another Supernatural spin-off after the planned old-west set drama about the days of Samuel Colt fell through. This time around, the plan is to keep things modern day as a new hunter, Ennis Roth, attempts to rid Chicago of its monster-run criminal underbelly. The series will take a more soap-operaesque approach to the famed franchise, getting into the dynamics of an underground war taking place between various monster families in Chicago. Some of the key players in the series will even be introduced later this season on Supernatural.
From Executive Producers Kurtzman and Orci, Fast and Furious director Justin Lin, and Breakout Kings co-creator Nick Santora, this CBS drama is probably the darkest of dark horses going into next season, but it’s also one of the most fascinating. Telling a dramatized tale about the life of William O’Brien, the CBS drama will follow the life of an eccentric genius and his team of misplaced geniuses as they attempt to solve some of the world’s most complex problems with the help of their most powerful tool: their intellect. It’s very possible this drama could end up being next season’s Blacklist-style break out hit.
From Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment and Under The Dome writer Soo Hugh, The Visitors is an alien invasion drama that, based on the logline, could end up being something really cool. “The drama is a race against the clock to defeat an unseen alien enemy out to destroy the world using the Earth’s most precious resource: children.” What “using children against us” means is pretty vague, but whether it means using them against us as leverage or going more of a Children of the Corn route, The Visitors sounds like another excellent sci-fi series from the folks at Amblin. And today, Milo Ventimiglia was announced as a cast member, so there’s that.
With his Veronica Mars movie the talk of the town, it’s no surprise Rob Thomas is utilizing the pull he has to get a new show on the air. Adapted from the DC comic of the same name, iZombie is a supernatural procedural following the life of a medical student who takes a job at the coroner’s office in order to gain access to the brains she craves because, you know, zombie. Unfortunately, eating brains has a side effect on the zombified medical student: she inherits the memories of every corpse she consumes. But to be fair, that would make anyone go crazy, really.
Last Man on Earth
Whether it’s The Lego Movie or 21 Jump Street, Hollywood’s hottest writing duo, Phil Lord and Chris Miller, have proven they’re a source of excellent content. So, of course, their latest television effort, a post-apocalyptic comedy written by and starring Will Forte, is one of the most anticipated new shows of the Fall. With a direct to series order for 2015, Fox is banking a lot on the ability of this comedy trio to deliver on one of the best new shows of next season, and with a TV track record that includes Golden Globe winner Brooklyn Nine-Nine, there’s no doubt Lord & Miller will deliver on the laughs again.
Untitled Jim Gaffigan Project
With a cast including Gaffigan, Adam Goldberg, Michael Ian Black and Ashley Williams, as well as the writing genius that is Rescue Me’s Peter Tolan, this semi-autobiographical comedy follows the life of Gaffigan, a married father of five living in New York City. It’s been a while since we’ve seen anything Gaffigan related (not including HowardCantour.com) since the stand-up special he released Louis C.K. style, Mr. Universe, so it’ll be nice to have the famed stand-up on screen again.
Continuing to lead the charge in direct-to-series orders, the six-episode first season of the Fox comedy will tell the semi auto-biographical, coming-of-age tale of SNL alum John Mulaney. Co-starring Martin Short, the series will follow the journey of an up and coming comic (Mulaney) who finds creative influence from his boss, roommate and neighbors. The series originally had a home at NBC until the network ultimately passed, but if the rumors are to be believed, this could end up being the new 30 Rock.
Keep your browsers tuned to Nerdist.com in the coming weeks for news about these pilots and many more.