The networks will be unveiling their fall schedules next week at the upfronts, but a few high-profile NBC pilots have already been picked up to series. Briefly:
- The New Normal – Ryan Murphy’s blended comedy pilot centering on a same-sex couple and their surrogate.
- Revolution – The J.J. Abrams and Eric Kripke-produced action/drama takes place in a world where all forms of energy have mysteriously ceased to exist.
- Go On – Matthew Perry stars as a sportscaster trying to move on from a loss with the help of his fellow group therapy members.
- Save Me – Anne Heche plays a woman who, after letting herself go while in a broken marriage, goes through a transformation in which she becomes the best version of herself and creates miracles.
Hit the jump for more on each project.
The New Normal
The New Normal will be the fourth show that Murphy currently has on the air, as Fox’s Glee is entering its fifth season, the hit FX anthology series American Horror Story will launch its second season this fall, and the Glee tie-in reality show The Glee Project airs on Oxygen. Book of Mormon star Andrew Rannells (who recently killed on HBO’s Girls) and Justin Bartha (The Hangover, National Treasure) star as the same-sex couple in this single-camera comedy, while Georgia King plays their surrogate who is helping them have a baby of their own. Ellen Barkin also stars. Murphy wrote the pilot alongside Glee scribe Ali Adler. Every single one of Murphy’s previous series have started incredibly strong, but the quality tends to wane as the shows go on. It’ll be interesting to see him tackle the half-hour comedy genre, and with four shows under his belt he’ll have to give up some of that Aaron Sorkin-like creative control on at least a couple of his series. Nevertheless, I’m encouraged by the promising cast and I’m more than intrigued to check the pilot out.
Revolution is described as an “epic adventure thriller” and centers on a family that struggles to reunite in a post-apocalyptic America where every single piece of technology has mysterious blacked out. The Cape’s David Lyons stars alongside Breaking Bad baddie Giancarlo Esposito and Twilight’s Billy Burke. The pilot was directed by Jon Favreau and Supernatural creator Eric Kripke wrote the script. Kripke will produce alongside J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burke. Abrams will most likely be taking a more “executive producer” role in Revolution as opposed to his heavy involvement in the first season of Lost. The premise is certainly promising and I’m a fan of the cast, so hopefully we’re in for something more along the lines of Fringe than Alcatraz.
Following the demise of the half-hour comedy Mr. Sunshine, Matthew Perry reunites with Friends writer/producer Scott Silveri in Go On. Silveri created and wrote the pilot, which centers on a charismatic sportscaster who joins a support group in an effort to move on from a loss. Perry stars alongside Laura Benanti, Julie White, Suzy Nakamura, Allison Miller and Khary Payton. The pilot was given a very early pick-up signaling a positive response from NBC. Deadline reports that NBC is considering launching the show in August right after the Summer Olympics, instead of a typical September premiere. I thought Mr. Sunshine had its moments, and we know from his work in Studio 60 and guest spots on shows like The West Wing and The Good Wife that Perry is an incredibly gifted dramatic actor, so I’m hoping that Go On has a bit of a dramedy aspect. Silveri was heavily involved as executive producer on the final three seasons of Friends, which is encouraging, so I’m really pulling for Go On to be a home run.
Anne Heche stars in the single-camera comedy Save Me as a woman who, after an accident, believes she is channeling God. The series comes from writer and executive producer John Scott Shepherd and also stars Michael Landes, Alex Breckenridge, Heather Burns, Madison Davenport, and Lanman Rucker. 13 episodes of the comedy have been ordered. I’m not exactly the biggest fan of Heche, so of these early pilot pick-ups Save Me is probably the lowest on my “must-watch” list. However, the early pick-up signals that NBC liked what they saw with the pilot, so maybe we’ll be pleasantly surprised.