Promising Pilot Premises, Part 3: The CW

E: We’ve arrived at part three of our review of the more interesting pilots the networks will be deciding between at this year’s up fronts.  This is by no means a comprehensive list (either in pilots or the cast and crew that make them) but it’ll give you an idea of what’s out there, and what fun things we might, just might, have to look forward to.  We’ve already looked at ABC and CBS.  Here’s what they’ve got going on at the CW (hint – it’s all about young women) :


“Two sisters come of age and face off amid the beginning of a zombie uprising.”  Starring Lucy Griffiths and Titus Welliver, among others; created by William Laurin and Glenn Davis.

E: Okay, so, I hate zombies.  Hate them.  But I dunno, maybe I could deal with this?  I used to hate vampires, too, before – well, actually, it was an X-Files episode, but mostly Buffy that made me calm down about the genre.  If this is as entertaining, I might be in.  Yay for Titus Welliver (who damn well better still do guest stints on The Good Wife).

C: I’m intrigued to see Lucy Griffiths, one-time Maid Marian of the BBC’s Robin Hood series, on an American TV show. Intrigued, but not enough to watch the undead moan their way across my TV screen.

M: Ok, so we have our Lost link (Titus Welliver) and we have zombies, so this is hitting a few hot buttons for TV execs right now.  Unless it’s a Shaun of the Dead type zombie production, I don’t know if it will fly for me.

Danni Lowinski

“A young female law school grad who can’t find a job decides to open her own law office – in a kiosk at the mall.”  Starring Amanda Walsh, Carla Gallo, Neal Bledsoe and George Dzundra,  with writing by Jennie Snyder Urman.

E: I basically had to mention this just because of Carla Gallo (terrifically annoying as Daisy on Bones) and George Dzundra of CSI.  It’s Ed in a mall instead of a bowling alley, and we really liked Ed at first.

M: Ed was great for a while, but it had completely fantastic comedic talent, from Tom Cavanaugh to the incomparable Justin Long, and the star of every episode of “I Love The insert decade here”, Michael Ian Black, among many others.  Will the cast of Danni Lowinski hold up?

Hart of Dixie

“Culture shock awaits a young New York doctor after she inherits a medical practice in a small Southern town inhabited by eccentrics.” Starring Rachel Bilson, Jaime King and Scott Porter; executive produced by Leila Gerstein and Josh Schwartz.

E: Because what else is a small Southern town inhabited by?  (Well, unless it’s vampires, werewolves and witches.)  I like fish-out-of-water stories.  And I highly approve of someone poaching Scott Porter so he never, ever ever does another guest stint on The Good Wife.  He’s found Leila, and I’m happy for him.  Anyway, clearly Schwartz likes Rachel Bilson, and I enjoy her comedic work.  I think this is a fruitful idea.

C: So very been done, though.

M: Yeah, from the wonderful Northern Exposure, to the pilot Suburbatory that we discussed in the ABC post, even movies like Doc Hollywood, this has been done over and over.  Not sure they can come with anything fresh enough.


“A dedicated young female attorney and a former angel team to tackle cases at her legal aid clinic. She rescues the clients; he saves their souls.”  Stars Ben Alridge, Lauren Cohan and Ryan Eggold; the team behind it is Richard Hatem and Rob Doherty with direction by Mimi Leder.

E:  Wow.  I kind of can’t believe there would actually be soul-saving on the CW.  I’m intrigued.  Don’t know the glossy young cast, though.

C: I’m sure it’s the vaguely heartwarming kind of soul-saving, not the really religious kind. Either way though… meh.

M: I think this could go either way, actually.  It could be the Ghost Whisperer, “put things right with whatever this spiritual thing that’s out there is” kind of soul saving.  On the other hand, it could be closer to Joan of Arcadia, and that would be a very good thing.  In the end, maybe someone loved The Adjustment Bureau and thought it would be cool to build on the idea of the angel helping people.  That wouldn’t be bad either.

E: Wahuh?  The fedora wearing men in The Adjustment Bureau were – angels?  That can’t be what you’re implying, can it?  Am with you on the Whisperer/Joan divide, though.

The Secret Circle

“A young woman moves to a new town and discovers that not only is she a witch, she’s also the key that will unlock a centuries old battle of good vs. evil.” Starring Britt Robertson, Thomas Dekker, Natasha Henstridge and Gale Harold, among others; written by Kevin Williamson.

M: Burn her! She’s a witch!  She turned me into a newt!

C: Sounds terrible. I suppose the writing could elevate the premise, but I’m not holding my breath.

E:  Probably not for me, but hey, it’s certainly within the right ballpark.  I was never Dawson’s Creeky, but I hear The Vampire Diaries is pretty addictive.  And I liked Britt Robertson in the little I saw of Life, Unexpected.  Thomas Dekker was also pretty interesting on Heroes.

M: I’ve watched bits of Vampire Diaries…  it’s not nearly as addicting as it’s made out to be.  The only real draw was seeing Boone from Lost playing a badass.


2 comments on “Promising Pilot Premises, Part 3: The CW

  1. Pam says:

    I don’t watch it, but Sarah Shahi (formerly of Life, the tv show) has a show very similar to the Danni L one you describe – Fairly Legal
    and Kathy Bates has the old version of it with Harry’s Law… store-front lawyers, how we love them.

    Don’t forget Britt Robertson’s work in Swingtown and Dan in Real Life…

    • E says:

      Pam, I’ve seen bits of that – she’s a mediator, which is a nice quirk on the legal genre. I like Sarah Shahi, and the show was okay, but I didn’t get involved enough to remember when it’s on.

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