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Friday, April 11, 2014

Amy Sedaris and Cheyenne Jackson are coming to your TV this fall . . . maybe



Every spring I compile a list of network and cable TV pilots being filmed for the upcoming television season that sound interesting to me. Last April I featured 13 potential shows, and six of them were ordered to series:

The Goldbergs (aka How the Hell Am I Normal?): ABC better renew this hilarious series - and my favorite new sitcom of the season - starring the wonderful Wendi McLendon-Covey.

Growing Up Fisher (aka Family Guide): Once Parker Posey left this NBC sitcom after filming the pilot, my interest in the show went with her. It's on the bubble for a second season.

Looking (aka Lorimer): This HBO series about three gay friends in San Francisco was renewed for a second season.

Mom: The dismal previews for this sitcom kept me from tuning in, but CBS renewed it for a second season, preventing Allison Janney from finding a better gig.

Sean Saves the World (aka Happiness): Even the fabulous Linda Lavin couldn't save this NBC comedy, which featured a horrible laugh track instead of funny jokes.

Super Fun Night: I like Rebel Wilson, but I stopped watching this disappointing sitcom after a few episodes (and ABC will probably cancel it).

So here is my list of series that may or may not appear on your television during the 2014-15 season:

Bambi Cottages (ABC): I like Molly Shannon, who is one of the stars of this sitcom about a father who moves his family to New Hampshire to open a group of tourist cottages. It will also be getting a new name.

Cabot College (Fox): Tina Fey is an executive producer of this sitcom about a women's college, which begins accepting men for the first time in its history. Margaret Cho is one of the stars.

Dangerous Liaisons (ABC): Director/screenwriter Richard LaGravenese (Living Out Loud, Behind the Candelabra) is the creator of this drama about two powerful New York socialites who play out their obsessive attraction and seduction of each other through their manipulation of others. The cast includes Rufus Sewell, Katie Holmes and Daphne Rubin-Vega.

Dead Boss (Fox): This comedic mystery has a great cast - Jane Krakowski, Amy Sedaris, Rachel Dratch, Katharine McPhee and David Cross. It's about a woman who - after being wrongfully convicted of murdering her boss - has to rely on her train wreck of a sister to prove her innocence.

Empire (Fox): Director Lee Daniels (The Butler, Precious) and screenwriter Danny Strong (The Butler, Game Change) are the creators of this family drama set in the world of a hip-hop empire.

Feed Me (NBC): Mary Louise Parker, Hart Bochner and Debra Monk star in this comedy about a dysfunctional family and the restaurant they run together.

Home (Fox): This family thriller/soap delves into the secrets lingering behind the facade of a suburban family. Sounds like my kind of show.

Madam Secretary (CBS): This drama about a female Secretary of State stars Tea Leoni, Tim Daly and Bebe Neuwirth.

The McCarthys (CBS): This sitcom was retooled after a pilot was shot last season, and now Laurie Metcalf (Roseanne) is one of the stars. The series revolves around a gay son in a sports-crazed Irish-Catholic Boston family.

The Mysteries of Laura (NBC): Debra Messing returns to television as a homicide detective who can handle murderous criminals - but not her evil twins.

The Odd Couple (CBS): Matthew Perry and Thomas Lennon have big shoes to fill in this reboot of the classic sitcom about roommates Oscar Madison and Felix Unger.

Old Soul (NBC): Amy Poehler is an executive producer of this comedy about a young woman (Natasha Lyonne) who works as an aide to a group of elderly people. The cast also includes Rita Moreno, Fred Willard and Ellen Burstyn.

One Big Happy (NBC): Ellen DeGeneres is an executive producer of this sitcom about a lesbian and her straight male friend who decide to have a baby together. Things then get complicated when he finds the love of their life.

Only Human (CBS): This soapy medical drama, which is getting a new name, revolves around quadruplets who grew up on a reality show. Could be interesting - and Jamie Lee Curtis is one of the stars.

Open (HBO): This Ryan Murphy drama explores human sexuality and relationships - and it stars Scott Speedman (Felicity), Wes Bentley, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Cheyenne Jackson.

The Pro (NBC): Rob Lowe stars as a former tennis champion who is now working as the pro at a tennis and golf club.

Salvation (NBC): Ashley Judd stars in this family saga set against the backdrop of a Texas mega church.

Sea of Fire (ABC): This drama set in a small town is about three teenage girls who star in a pornographic film, which tears their families apart and leads to murder. The cast includes Jennifer Carpenter (Dexter) and Jack Davenport (Smash).

The Winklers (ABC): Henry Winkler and the lovely Judith Light star in this sitcom about a construction worker living with his in-laws.

Younger (TV Land): Sutton Foster stars in this comedy from creator Darren Star (Sex and the City). She plays a suddenly-single housewife and mother in her early 40s who passes herself off as a twentysomething in order to get a new job at a publishing company.

Your Family or Mine (TBS): This sitcom revolves around Oliver and Kelli, who are living proof of the adage, “When you marry someone, you don’t just marry them, you marry their whole family.” Each episode focuses on a different side of the family: one week featuring the couple dealing with Kelli’s family, the next spent with Oliver’s. And the cast includes Jobeth Williams and Richard Dreyfuss.

And here are some series that have already been picked up:

The Club (ABC): This upstairs/downstairs soap is centered around a private country club in Connecticut.

The Comedians (FX): Billy Crystal stars as a superstar veteran comedian who is reluctantly paired with a younger, edgier comedian (Josh Gad) for a late-night comedy sketch show.

Grace and Frankie (Netflix): Former Nine to Five co-stars Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin are reunited in this comedy about two long-time nemeses whose husbands announce they are in love with each other and plan to get married.

Gracepoint (Fox): This American remake of the excellent British drama, Broadchurch, stars David Tennant and Breaking Bad's Anna Gunn as detectives investigating a murder in a California seaside town.

Mulaney (Fox): This sitcom follows an aspiring comedian (John Mulaney) and his boss (Martin Short) who was a major stand-up comedian in the 1980s and ’90s and now hosts a game show. I think I would combine this series with FX's The Comedians so that Short and Billy Crystal could play together.

Secrets & Lies (ABC): Ryan Phillippe and Juliette Lewis star in this drama about a family man who becomes a murder suspect after he finds the body of a young boy.

Tooken (NBC): Tina Fey is also an executive producer of this sitcom about a woman (The Office's Ellie Kemper) who escapes from a doomsday cult and starts her life over in New York City.

We will find out next month which series get selected when the networks reveal their 2014-15 schedules. Below you can vote for which shows you would watch (choose as many as you want).


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