More The CW Fall '06 Stuff

TV Arts

WQ
The last batch of pilot wannabes, this one for The CW.  Between the
pilots ordered lists and these wannabe ones, the fall development slate
at the 5 nets looks pretty much covered now, except for whatever few
latecomers are still yet to show up.

My conclusion about what's in store for Fall '06: Most of what has
already been ordered to pilots stinks, with only ABC coming up with the
best lot.  Since the number of available pilot slots is shrinking at
the nets, this doesn't leave much room for a lot of the two dozen or
so wannabes that look like they deserve to be greenlit, especially more
so than a lot of the ones that have been.  Prognosis: Another wearisome
season ahead.

Anyway, here's one final crack at picking what you think should be
greenlit for pilots.  More info on these and others [reality shows,
undefined series, etc.] at www.thefutoncritic.com via the Devwatch
link.

COMEDY

FLIRT - the only guy at a women's magazine
MOMMIES WHO DRINK - single-cam comedy
about a group of women trying to hold on to
their old lives while raising their kids
UNTITLED BRANDY PROJECT - a die-hard New
Yorker [Brandy] moves to Los Angeles to take a
job as an entertainment editor
UNTITLED ELLEN DEGENERS PROJECT -
family life from two different perspectives: both
the people and their pets will have a voice in the
series, with Ellen supplying the voice of the
family dog
UNTITLED NICK LACHEY PROJECT - a famous
baseball player tries to navigate a new marriage
UNTITLED PAUL RODRIGUEZ PROJECT - a
father and son reunite after a lengthy estrangement
VIVIAN LIVES - a small-screen offshoot of the
web site of the same name chronicling the
fictitious adventures of a 26-year-old small-town
girl who ends up in New York working as a VH1
publicist
WEEKEND - single-cam comedy about a group
of friends trapped in minimum-wage jobs whose
most important life events happen on weekends
WING MEN - a male buddy comedy

DRAMA/DRAMEDY

ARMED & DANGEROUS - rookies in the
Chicago police academy
BERGDORF BLONDES - dramedy about the
exploits of a spoiled twentysomething and the
cast of characters who make up her New York-
based "Sex and the City"-esque lifestyle,
including her best friend, heiress Julie Bergdorf
THE BODY POLITIC - a young woman comes
to work in D.C. as an aide in order to get
close to her estranged biological father
CITY OF GOLD - adventure series about an
archeological expedition in the Amazon, with
the central conflict being between a father and son
EVIL - serialized "real time" drama about a
week-long camp reunion that turns into a frightfest
JUNIPER HALL - a New England boarding school
as told through a new female student
MIDNIGHTERS - strange happenings in the town
of Bixby, Oklahoma, where every night time
freezes for one hour, leaving the townsfolk prey to
various dark creatures, except for four teen outcasts
NORMAL STATE - medical drama
ON THE EDGE - a young female assistant D.A.
tries to discover who murdered her parents while
struggling with her alter ego bent on returning her
to a life of drugs and alcohol
PRETTY LITTLE LIARS - four 16-year-old girls -
whose fifth best friend went missing two years
earlier - suddenly become haunted by messages
that appear from her
SPLIT DECISION - a girl gets a chance to
reinvent herself upon moving to a new high
school, with dual plotlines following her decision
to sit with either the popular kids or the arty
outsiders on the first day of school
TANNER HALL - growing up at an all-girls
boarding school
TRIBE - five twentysomething cops - all branded
rejects by their respective precincts - come
together as part of a new undercover unit of the
LAPD
UNTITLED ALICIA KEYS PROJECT - inspired
by the life of the 24-year-old music prodigy, who
was born into a biracial family in the gritty Hell's
Kitchen area of New York
UNTITLED DARREN STAR PROJECT - New
York-based soap about a pair of orphaned teens
who end up living with their wealthy aunt and uncle

MY PICKS

Comedy: Flirt [if only because I once worked as the only male in an
office of females] and maybe the Ellen Degeneres project.

Drama/Dramedy: City of Gold, Midnighters, On the Edge, Tribe
                                            
Taylor
Aquaman with Will Toale???????????
                                            
BucketButt
<snip>

It might be one of the aforementioned latecomers, but more likely the 
pilot won't be ready in time for a Fall '06 decision.  It still might be 
picked up as a mid-season replacement, or moved back into competition 
for the Fall '07 schedule.
                                            
Patrick
In theory, they could write and shoot it in a couple of weeks, so it could 
make it into the Fall schedule. We've still got half a year to go, so 
there's plenty of time. This isn't a movie. TV shows tend to work a few 
episodes ahead of airing (depending upon the show). There's no reason why 
they couldn't have it ready by the fall.
                                            
BucketButt
Getting from the initial "pitch" to a finished pilot is a lot more 
complicated than that.  Have the producers fully fleshed out the concept 
and direction of the show?  Have they plotted a first-season story arc 
that works within the show's overall direction?  Have they secured the 
ideal shooting locations, both interior and exterior?  Have they hired 
all the regular cast members?  Has the network approved all of the 
above?  All that, and more, must come before a pilot can be shot. 
AlMiles can write their own pilot at any time, or even hire writers to 
turn out a pilot (with the possibility of regular work if the pilot 
sells), but realistically it doesn't make sense to do too much writing 
until they know exactly what the network expects and/or will insist on 
from the show.

After the principal shooting is done, there's more work to be done. 
Effects have to be rendered and integrated into the footage that shows 
the actors and locations.  Some dialogue will need to be re-dubbed. 
Sound effects have to be added by Foley artists.  The episode must be 
edited so that it tells a complete, coherent story of the proper length. 
  Music has to be composed and recorded to match the action on the 
screen.  These are just the most obvious tasks that have to be done 
before a bunch of filmed scenes can be turned into a complete pilot episode.

Finally, all the interested parties (production partners, network, DC 
Comics, others) have to watch the pilot, vote "yea" or "nay", and submit 
a list of the changes they want made.  Once that's done, the producers 
may have to schedule additional shooting to "fix" the pilot, which (if 
all goes well) will become Episode #1 of the new series.  They also have 
to go back to all the creative people -- especially the actors, but also 
writers, directors and others -- and make sure they're really on board 
for what may turn out to be a multi-year ride.  If the network or a 
production partner decides that So-and-So just isn't right for a 
particular role, the producers may also have to hold new casting calls, 
find an acceptable actor, and shoot new scenes that incorporate the new 
person into the already-shot episode; this actually happened with one of 
the cast members on Smallville.

Have AlMiles gotten past all these hurdles in the relatively short time 
since "Aqua" showed there was interest in the Aquaman character?  Maybe 
... but I really doubt it.  I still expect the Aquaseries pilot to be 
ready in time for a midseason-replacement slot at best.  But that's okay 
with me, because I don't expect The CW to need any brand-new series when 
it starts up this fall; it already has two networks' worth of 
established shows to choose from.  It even has ratings information for 
those shows, which it can use in deciding which ones to schedule 
initially and which ones might be worth holding onto as possible 
midseason or summer replacements.

If The WB hadn't been involved with Aquaseries from the very beginning, 
it might be easier to Millar and Gough to get Aquaseries onto another 
network.  But for the moment, The WB/CW has exclusive rights to it; 
AlMiles can't offer it to anyone else until the current option expires.