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February 24, 2010

Know Your TV Drama Pilots 2! More cops, lawyers, docs compete for fall


New idea






Special abilities

This time, they're not just cops, doctors and lawyers. They're cops, doctors and lawyers with families. And special skills. And living it up in exotic locations.

How will you ever tell them all apart?

The Live Feed is here to help, with Know Your TV Drama Pilots II.

The plan was to ditch the cop, doctor and lawyer icons and do something new this year. But networks insisted on a reprise, ordering an even more insane percentage of procedurals than last season. There's at least 22 (!) cop dramas, five lawyer shows and two medical projects in the running for next fall.

That's a lot of impossibly insightful, yet emotionally wounded, professional problem solvers trying to balance their home life and high-stakes careers while maintaining a degree of unresolved romantic tension with their mismatched partners.

Oh, there's also two new mini-trends. Gone are the heavily serialized projects (gee, thanks "FlashForward"). Instead, many shows are weaving family life into their story lines, or taking a cue from "The Mentalist" and "Castle" by having protagonists with special unique knowledge from a current or previous profession (ex.: "Jake Evergreen used to be a Tustin gardener, but now he's helping the cops weed out murderers in manicured Bel Air in ABC's 'Crimescape'").  

So let's get to it!


Talent: Michael Dinner (w, d, ep), Sarah Timberman (ep), Carl Beverly (ep)
Logline: An ATF agent hunts down the most dangerous criminals while trying to balance life as a dad to his teenage daughter who has re-entered his life.
How it's different: He's not just a cop, he's an ATF agent -- with a daughter. Will she have a problem with alcohol, tobacco and/or firearms that will cause his job to intersect with his home life? And CBS must be thrilled to find a new crime drama acronym.

Talent: Tom Spezialy (w, ep), Brett Ratner (d, ep), Freddy Rodriguez (star)
Logline: A group of rogue CIA operatives combat bureaucratic gridlock, rampant incompetence and political infighting.
How it's different: They're not cops, they're CIA, goin' rogue and fighting those damn bureaucrats. What, no exclamation point after the title? Brett Ratner's slipping.

Criminal Minds spinoff
Talent: Chris Mundy (w, ep), Mark Gordon (w, ep), Ed Bernero (ep), Forest Whitaker (Cooper), Matt Ryan (Mick), Beau Garrett (Gina), Michael Kelly (Prophet)
Logline: Revolves around a new group of profilers, led by Cooper (Forest Whitaker), who work outside the FBI bureaucracy.
How it's different: More bureaucracy fighting? Why, red tape isn't going to stand a chance next fall on CBS. They're not cops, they're super-smart profilers just like you watch on "Criminal Minds," only different ones. 

Talent: Niels Mueller (w, ep), Kevin Kennedy (w, ep), Carol Mendelsohn (ep), Joe Gantz (ep), Harry Gantz (ep), Davis Guggenheim (d, ep); Jim Belushi (star)
Logline: Two charismatic and fiery Las Vegas defense attorneys go to the mat for their clients.
How it's different: They're not just lawyers, they're fiery and go to the mat. Not to be confused with those other TV dramas starring passive clock-punching attorneys.

Hawaii Five-0
Talent: Roberto Orci (w, ep), Alex Kurtzman (w, ep), Peter Lenkov (w, ep); Alex O'Loughlin (Steve Garrett), Daniel Dae Kim (Chin Ho Kelly)
Logline: Updated take on the original series centered on an elite branch of the Hawaii State Police headed by Steve McGarrett and answerable only to the governor.
How it's different: Not just cops, they're patrolling in paradise. What are the odds O'Loughlin will take off his shirt … in the pilot … in the first 10 minutes?

Untitled Burgess/Green project
Talent: Mitchell Burgess (w, ep), Robin Green (w, ep), Leonard Goldberg (ep)
Logline: Multi-generational show revolving around a family of cops in New York.
How it's different: What's better than a cop? Why, a whole family of cops! Wonder if the young idealist will clash with his veteran elders ...

The Quinn-Tuplets (presentation)
Talent: Mike Kelley (w, ep), Giyora Yahalom 9ep), Oren Jakobi (ep), Yona Wiesenthal (ep), Eilon Ratzkovsky (ep), Arik Kneller (co-ep), Chris Kelley (w, p)
Logline: Follows the personal and professional lives of the Quinn quintuplets -- five adults whose lives were documented and broadcast since childbirth; based on an Israeli format
How it's different: "Jon & Kate" + 20 years. This is a drama? On CBS?

The Odds
Talent: Jeff Wadlow (w, ep), Joel Silver (ep), Ian Biederman (ep), Beau Bauman (p)
Logline: Buddy cop show set in Las Vegas where the cops are just as outrageous as the crimes they solve.
How it's different: They're not just cops, they're outrageous. And since when did Sin City become the capital of cop-doctor-lawyer TV-level professionalism? Don't you generally assume the ethics in that town are only marginally stricter than Tijuana?

Untitled medical drama
Talent: John Wells (ep), Hannah Shakespeare (w, co-ep)
Logline: A mobile medical team travels the U.S. helping those in need get through life-or-death medical crises.
How it's different: They're not just doctors, they move around a lot.*

Untitled Redlich/Bellucci
Talent: Ed Redlich (w, ep), John Bellucci (w, ep), Sarah Timberman (ep), Carl Beverly (ep)
Logline: A female NYPD detective possesses the special ability to remember everything -- although a gift in her job, it's also a curse in her personal life.
How it's different: Hey, don't all women remember everything? (kidding, kidding…). Yes, recalling what you ate for lunch on President's Day in the fourth grade could be useful to solving that homicide. She's not just a cop, she's a remember-it-all. The pilot is untitled so let's try to help out. "The Rememberist"? "Unforgotten"? "The Recollector"?

I Witness
Talent: Trey Calloway (w, ep), Pam Veasey (w, ep)
Logline: A detective/professor uses her psycho-physiological skills to solve crimes.
How it's different: Each year I allow myself to answer "I have no idea" once to the "How it's different" question. "I Witness" wins. Now, on to ABC...

Click to go on to ABC


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