There are currently just over 80 pilots, between comedies and dramas, that have the potential to become full series on the broadcast networks for the 2015-2015 U.S. TV season. VideoAge will run a full list in the April 2015/MIP-TV issue, but for now, here’s sneak peek of what you can expect.
1. Diversity: Whether the networks are making a conscious effort to have their stars reflect the American population or they’re just spinning off the success of this year’s new series like Black-ish, Fresh Off the Boat and Empire, it’s immediately apparent that many of the shows’ stars are Black, Hispanic and Asian, including the family at the center of ABC’s Uncle Buck and Jerrod Carmichael, the star and creator of an untitled sitcom for NBC that’s already received a series order.
2. Big screen to small screen: Movies like the aforementioned Uncle Buck, Rush Hour and Minority Report are being spun off. It makes sense if you think about it — the concepts have already proven to be hits with audiences, creating less of a risk for the producer and the network. ABC comedy Chev and Bev isn’t a spin-off of a movie per se, but it does star Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo, best known as the couple from a string of National Lampoon movies.
3. Reluctant caretakers: Chev and Bev is also one of several pilots that focus on people who are burdened with kids/grandchildren they never expected to have to take care of. In Chev and Bev’s case, two baby boomers find their retirements turned upside down when they suddenly need to raise their grandchildren. In ABC’s Delores & Jermaine, an estranged grandmother finds her grandson moving in. In CBS’s The Mistake (a holdover from last year’s slate — another trend this year), a couple that thinks they’re done raising kids have an accidental pregnancy.
4. Comedian-centric comedies: Between Jerrod Carmichael’s show, the Untitled Tommy Johnagin sitcom for CBS and Delores & Jermaine, expect laffers that are based on the lives of stand-ups. Hey, it worked for Seinfeld didn’t it?
5. Holdovers from last year: Hey, it’s expensive to produce a new pilot. Maybe that’s why the networks are giving second chances to a number of shows from last year, including ABC’s Irreversible, NBC’s Strange Calls, CBS’s The Mistake and Taxi-22.