Robot cops, international conspiracies, spinoffs, and illegal love are just a sample of what networks are cooking up for fall. Only the best (and most marketable) shows will get on the air. Can you pick the winners based on these titles, writers, and loglines? Here’s the current list of broadcast drama pilots (we’ll post the comedies next week):
S.H.I.E.L.D. (Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon, Maurissa Tancharoen). Based on the fictional and secret law-enforcement agency in the Marvel Universe as seen in the film The Avengers. Marks Whedon’s return to series TV, also expected to resurrect Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg).
The Returned (Aaron Zelman). What happens when the people you have mourned and buried suddenly appear on your doorstep as if not a day’s gone by? The lives of the people of Aurora are forever changed when their deceased loved ones return. Based on a novel by Jason Mott.
Betrayal (David Zabel). A beautiful but unhappily married female photographer begins a torrid affair with a lawyer for a powerful family. When he turns out to be defending a murder suspect who is being prosecuted by her husband, the relationship and the case begin a spiraling series of betrayals with cataclysmic results for everyone involved.
Big Thunder (Jason Fuchs). When a brilliant, late 19th century New York doctor and his family are given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to relocate to a frontier mining town run by a powerful, but mysterious tycoon, they quickly realize that not everything in Big Thunder is as it seems. Based on the Disney theme park ride.
Venice (Byron Balasco). From producer-director McG, a soap about the haves and the have-not’s of California’s most seductive city, Venice. Venice will focus on two rival families and a forbidden and dangerous romance emerging between them as the two families battle for control of Venice.
Reckless (Chris Black). When his wife is unjustly imprisoned during a political uprising overseas, resourceful problem solver David, desperately pursues every legal option to secure her release. But when he’s stymied by the US government in the name of diplomacy, David is forced to consider less-than-legal options – entering a world of political intrigue, dangerous alliances and high emotional stakes.
Divorce: A Love Story (Mike Sikowitz & Daniel Lappin). A multi-camera comedy revolving around Kenny and Robin, a recently divorced couple, who were bad together but discover they’re even worse apart and can’t seem to stay out of each others’ lives. Based on the Israeli format, Life Isn’t Everything.
Lucky 7 (David Zabel, Jason Richman). From a producing team that includes Steven Spielberg, a show about seven employees of a service station in Queens whose lives are changed in many unexpected ways when they win the lottery jackpot.
Murder in Manhattan (Maria Maggenti). Hour long dramedy set in NYC centering on a mother and daughter who team up as amateur sleuths.
Gothica (Matt Lopez). A sexy gothic soap set in present day that weaves together a mythology that incorporates the legends of Dracula, Jekyll and Hyde, Frankenstein and Dorian Gray among others.
Killer Women (Hannah Shakespeare). It’s hard to fit in when you’re the only woman in the notoriously male Texas Rangers, but that doesn’t stop Molly Parker – our ballsy, beautiful badass who knows how to get to the truth and isn’t afraid to ruffle a few feathers on her way there. Based on the Argentine series Mujeres Asesinas.
Influence (Kyle Killen). Provocative workplace ensemble centered on the complicated relationship between two brothers who head a unique agency designed to attack their clients’ problems using the real science of human motivation and manipulation.
Doubt (David Shore): A former cop who’s now a cunning, but charming low-rent lawyer uses his street smarts to work the system for his clients while battling his own demons and wooing his ex-wife.
Wild Blue (Taylor Elmore). ER, The West Wing and Top Gun collide in this young ensemble about the working men and women on board a US Aircraft Carrier. Equipped with a 500 foot landing strip, a nuclear reactor and 6000 souls on board, Wild Blue is an upstairs/downstairs look at pressure-cooker lives of the US Navy. Producers include Graham Yost.
Gang Related (Chris Morgan). Follows a gang member who is sent in to infiltrate the San Francisco Police Department As he rises through the ranks, he must balance his obligations to his crime family with an increasing sense of loyalty to his new “family” – the SFPD’s Gang Task Force.
Boomerang (Davey Holmes). Focuses on the usual, everyday drama surrounding a family business — except this family is in the business of executing hits as assassins for the U.S. government.
Sleepy Hollow (Alex Kurtzman, Bob Orci). Follows Ichabod Crane as he partners with Sleepy Hollow’s local female sheriff to solve the mysteries of a town ravaged by the battle between good and evil.
Delirium (Karyn Usher). Based on bestselling trilogy about a world where love is deemed illegal and is able to be eradicated with a special procedure. With 95 days to go until her scheduled treatment, Lena Holoway does the unthinkable: she falls in love. Emma Roberts stars.
The List (Paul Zbyszewski) Centers on U.S. Marshal Dan Shaker, who leads the hunt for the person who stole “the list” — a file with the identities of every member in the Federal Witness Security Program — after those in the program begin popping up dead.
Rake (Peter Duncan, Peter Tolan). Follows the chaotic and comedic life of criminal defense lawyer (Greg Kinnear). Brilliant, frustratingly charming, and with zero filter, Keegan is one of life’s great addicts. In addition to Keegan’s cases within the justice system, the show follows his personal trials and tribulations, including his ongoing battle against the IRS, his mounting debt to his bookie, overlapping affairs and liaisons with women, a hormonal son, an exhausted ex-wife and the evolving relationship between his two married best friends.
Untitled J.J. Abrams (J.H. Wyman). An action-packed buddy cop show, set in the near future, when all LAPD officers are partnered with highly evolved human-like androids. (Formerly called Inhuman).
Wonderland (Whit Anderson). From producer Anthony Zuiker, seven years ago Clara’s life took an unexplained turn for the worse, but a mysterious stranger tells her there may be an explanation after all… an explanation that lies in the fantastical world of Wonderland. Determined to revive her dreams and get her life back on track, Clara agrees to wage war against the reigning but malevolent Queen, the woman we once knew as Alice.
After Hours (Gabe Sachs, Jeff Judah). More MASH than ER in tone, the show follows the San Antonio hospital night shift from 7pm to 7am and irreverent doctors who bring humor and rock-n-roll energy to the chaotic Level One Trauma Center, a hot zone for the worst and the weirdest cases. Led by adrenaline junkie T.C., this team of doctors isn’t your fresh-faced med school graduates, but instead, is composed of rogue ex-Army surgeons who have seen it all in the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq.
Untitled Rand Ravich. When Washington’s most powerful players are pulled into an international conspiracy, an unlikely puppeteer will bring everyone from CEOs to The President of the United States to their knees by threatening the things they hold most dear. Forced together by dire circumstances these power brokers, the FBI and a rookie secret service agent must unravel the mystery to take back control of their lives.
The Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives (Sascha Penn). From producer Jerry Bruckheimer, secrets and lies within a tightly woven group of three couples and their families in the “idyllic” community of Saddle Hills, California.
Believe (Alfonso Cuaron, Mark Friedman). From producer J.J. Abrams, an unlikely relationship develops between a young girl with a gift and a man sprung from prison who has been tasked with protecting her from the evil elements that hunt her power.
I Am Victor (Mark Goffman). Based on Jo Nesbo’s forthcoming novel, is about an iconoclastic divorce attorney who helps clients embrace the hope and possibilities in their new lives. The series offers a modern look at love, marriage and relationships through the eyes of LA’s most sought-after divorce attorney.
Bloodline (David Graziano). From producer-director Pete Berg, Bloodline is a pulpy, highly stylized, thrill ride that catapults the viewer into the cheeky world of Bird Benson, a smart, irreverent and strong young girl who, due to an accident of birth, finds herself caught in the middle of an epic struggle between two warrior families set against the backdrop of modern suburbia.
Hatfields & McCoys (John Glenn). Set in present day Pittsburgh, a startling death re-ignites the feud between these two legendary families. Unleashing decades of resentment, the blue collar McCoys will put the Hatfields’ wealth and power at risk as they go to war for control of the city
The Blacklist (Jon Bokenkamp). The world’s most wanted criminal mysteriously turns himself in and offers to give up everyone he has ever worked with. His only condition is he will only work with a newly minted FBI agent with whom he seemingly has no connection.
The Sixth Gun (Ryan Condal). A drama that’s based on the best-selling supernatural graphic novel that follows the story of six mythical guns, each with its own other-worldly powers.
Ironside (Michael Caleo). From a producing team that includes David Semel and Teri Weinberg, a tough, sexy but acerbic police detective relegated to a wheelchair after a shooting is hardly limited by his disability as he pushes and prods his hand-picked team to solve the most difficult cases in the city. Remake of the classic series; Blair Underwood to star.
Backstrom (Hart Hanson). Drama based on Swedish detective series of same name about an overweight, offensive irascible cop as he tries and fails to change his self-destructive behavior.
The Surgeon General (Samuel Baum). Medical show centered around America’s doctor: the Surgeon General of the United States.
The Ordained (Lisa Takeuchi Cullen.) The drama follows the son of a Kennedy-esque family who leaves the priesthood and becomes a lawyer to get closer to his family’s enemies and prevent his politician sister from being assassinated.
Reckless (Dana Stevens). Sultry legal show set in Charleston, South Carolina, where a gorgeous Yankee litigator and a Southern City Attorney struggle to hide their intense attraction while clashing over a police sex scandal.
Beverly Hills Cop (Shawn Ryan). Continuation of the movie franchise, centered around Axel Foley’s police officer son, who takes down the criminal elements of the rich and famous in Beverly Hills. Brandon T. Jackson and Eddie Murphy star.
NCIS LA Spin-off (Shane Brennan). The planted spinoff, will follow a small mobile team of agents, who are forced to live and work together, as they crisscross the country solving crimes. John Corbett to star. Will air as an embedded pilot in the NCIS: LA slot later this season.
The Advocates (Bruno Heller). A female lawyer and a male ex-con team up as “victim advocates,” going to the very edge of the law to right wrongs and fight for the underdog. Directed by pilot master David Nutter.
Anatomy of Violence. (Howard Gordon, Alex Gansa, Alex Cary) A criminal psychologist with an expertise in sociopaths who partners with a young female detective with whom he shares a conflicted past.
Hostages (Jeffrey Nachmanoff). A family is caught in the middle of a grand political conspiracy that will change their lives forever. Stars Toni Collette.
Intelligence. (Michael Seitzman). Centered at the U.S. Cyber Command, which focuses on a unit that has been created around one agent with a very special gift, a microchip that has been implanted in his brain that allows him to access the entire electromagnetic spectrum.
Second Sight (Michael Cuesta, Gerald Cuesta). Based on the UK series of the same name by Paula Milne, Second Sight is a gothic psychological thriller about a detective who is suddenly afflicted with an autoimmune virus that causes hallucinations reflective of his subconscious. He discovers that catching the killer depends as much on insight as eyesight.
The Tomorrow People (Phil Klemmer). Based on the original UK series, The Tomorrow People is the story of several young people from around the world who represent the next stage in human evolution, possessing special powers, including the ability to teleport and communicate with each other telepathically. Together, they work to defeat the forces of evil.
Blink (Vera Herbert). Warm, quirky, humorous drama about a family whose lives are forever changed, for better and worse, when the patriarch has a car accident resulting in a coma like syndrome where he cannot speak or move, but can see and hear all.
The Hundred (Jason Rothenberg). 97 years after a nuclear war has destroyed civilization, a massive spaceship housing the lone human survivors sends 100 juvenile delinquents with dark secrets back to Earth to investigate the possibility of re-colonizing the planet.
The Selection (Elizabeth Craft & Sarah Fain). Set 300 years in the future, an epic romance centering on a working class young woman chosen by lottery to participate in a competition with 25 other women for the Royal Prince’s hand to become the nation’s next queen. Balancing her loyalty to family, true love, and kingdom, she must attempt to remain true to herself as she navigates the cutthroat competition and palace intrigue, all while a budding rebellion threatens to topple the crown. Based on the book by Kiera Cass. This marks the second time The CW has shot a Selection pilot.
Reign (Stephanie Sengupta & Laurie McCarthy). The previously unknown and untold story of Mary Queen of Scots rise to power when she arrives in France as a 15-year-old, betrothed to Prince Francis, and with her three best friends as ladies-in-waiting. The secret history of survival at French Court amidst fierce foes, dark forces, and a world of sexual intrigue.
Company Town (Sera Gamble). A scandal at a Naval base in Virginia touches the lives of both civilians and military personnel in the area, launching us into a multigenerational, multi-class, family and relationship series centered around two early 20something women who grew up together, were once best friends, but now are on opposite sides of the Townie/Military divide.
Oxygen (Meredith Averill). Passion and politics threaten the peace and an epic romance ignites between a human girl and an alien boy when he and eight others of his kind (The Orion 9) are integrated into a suburban high school ten years after they and hundreds of others landed on Earth and were immediately consigned to an internment camp where they’ve been imprisoned ever since.
The Originals (Julie Plec). The upcoming Vampire Diaries episode (airing 4/25/2013) would serve to set-up a potential new series in consideration for next season centering on the Original family, as Klaus returns to the supernatural melting pot that is the French Quarter of New Orleans — a town he helped build centuries ago — and is reunited with his diabolical former protégé Marcel. Elijah, intent on helping his self-destructive brother find redemption, must side with Marcel’s enemies in order to keep Klaus in line.