Monday, 2 March 2009


Every season, Hollywood works hard in order to urge Lee Goldberg to write a new edition of his great Unsold Television Pilots ( Den of Geek has published a list of 36 pilots which may or may not become regular series. Strictly on paper this is the less attractive pilot lineup of the decade (

Sommersby 9/11 style? Mark Pellington (Arlington Road) directs Back, where a victim of the attack on the WTC reappears after 8 years presumed dead. The pitch is one of the most exciting of the year (by the standards of network television), but the problem of US contemporary television is that it never goes beyond pitches. Should CBS pick it, let's hope that they'll have a whole season written before shooting.

Since Yo soy Betty la fea went global bonanza through worldwide adaptations, latin shows are on the radars of every television exec of the planet. Hermanos y detectives (2006), an Argentinian tv series about a cop and his 11 year-old brother, a genius super-sleuth child, has already been remade in Spain as Hermanos & detectives (2007) for Telecinco, the channel of Spanish RIS ( Now ABC is doing it as Brothers & Detectives, and it is directed by Gregory Hoblit (Hill Street Blues). Well done, it could be ABC's Monk or Psych. On the contrary, it could hurt your humble servant's teeth badly. Remember Ugly Betty...

Has the success of the BBC's revival of Survivors, the monument imagined by Terry Nation, inspired NBC? Day One describes a small group of... survivors, after a mysterious event destroys the world as we know it. « You can't copyright the end of the world », wisely writes Martin Anderson in his Den of Geek article. And you can't copyright a group of con artists acting as Robin Hood. NBC Universal's courage is admirable, remember Jericho. By the way, is Freema Agyeman in it?

After courage, bravery: two failed attempts in 1992 and 2002 ( did not discourage ABC to order a pilot based on John Updike's book The Witches of Eastwick, and the namesake movie. It's called Eastwick and it is directed by the talented David Nutter. I expect Desperate Housewives meets Charmed, or is it the reverse? NBC wants to remake Parenthood, the 1989 movie... Trying to make weekly series out of films is so nineties.

Please cry for me, Argentina. Fox adapts Lalola (2007), an Argentinian comedy about a playboy transformed into a blonde, as Eva Adams. The show, like Hermanos y detectives, has already been remade in Spain. So you can copyright the old trick of the gender switch? ITV has a very similar concept called Boy meets girl, starring Martin Freeman (1).

Looking for the next Lost... (not me) FlashForward, from a novel written in 1999 by Robert J. Sawyer: a glitch during a scientific experiment accidentally allows everybody to have glimpses of their lives in the future. I had a glimpse of the 2009-2010 television season, and I'm in a quasi-trauma, so imagine. David Goyer (co-writer of The Dark Knight) directs for ABC.

What else? The new project from Paul Scheuring (Prison Break) for Fox: Masterwork is sold as « A thriller about a race against time to recover the world's most sought-after artefacts ». Martin Anderson calls it The Da Vinci code - weekly. I'm not a fan of neither Prison Break nor of Dan Brown.

There's also a Mentalist wannabe with a twist, a bunch of political dramas and legal dramas, the new candidate to the Don't tell them Supersoaps died in the nineties Award: after Cane or Dirty Sexy Money, Empire State, described as « Romeo and Juliet in modern Manhattan » (ABC). A new version of Human Target (Fox), from a DC comic book by Len Wein and Carmine Infantino, with the excellent Mark Valley as a freelance bodyguard who literally impersonates his clients to protect them. It's directed by Simon West (Con Air) and produced by McG (Charlie's Angels, Terminator Salvation) so it has potential for a good action/adventure show. Rick Springfield starred in a 1992 entertaining but short-lived adaptation. Trying to make weekly series out of comic books is so... (you know the rest) but I don't care. If picked for a series I just hope it will not have the fate of Knight Rider 2008.

At least it seems we will be spared of new Hawaii Five-O, Lost in Space or The Streets of San Francisco, but ABC has ordered a remake of V ( Someday fascist lizards in orange mechanic suits will eat us... again. Groundhog Day with reptiles, and we are Phil Connors.

(1) As Corinne Auffret-Nguyên, of the essential Beans on Toast - the French-speaking Doctor Who website (, recalls me after some research.

No comments: