Santa Monica, CA — Chins up, Scribes! Some original ideas for Television do actually get developed. Huzzah, Creativity!
These are TV series, pilots and scripts that are not based on IP (Intellectual Property) which means the Buyers of these ideas will have to aggressively market them to the audience and spend lots of money to explain what these shows are about and why the audience will love them. Today’s television landscape is that crowded.
So, for the moment, let’s forget the Trends we’ve come to know as constants in TV for the last few years (and forseeable future): Adaptations, Reboots (Beverly Hills 90210 anyone?), Spinoffs, and Super Heroes (or some combo of each!).
Here’s the inevitable list that you’ve come to expect, but the one common denominator shared by each is The Auspices: An Actor who’s signed to produce; A Producer who has a proven track record, etc., or a Genre missing from TV (or a combo of each!):
- Space Force (Netflix) Steve Carrell is set to star and EP in a half-hour comedy ensemble centering on the group of people who must create Donald Trump’s Space Force. Greg Daniels (The Office, King of the Hill) scripts and EPs. Sounds like a lot of fun.
- Mrs. America (FX) Cate Blanchett EPs and stars as ’70s anti-feminist/conservative activist Phyllis Schafly in this 9-episode limited series that explores the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment and the Women’s Movement and the central figures like Schafly and Gloria Steinem. Love that Blanchett will play the possibly villainous role! Dahvi Waller (Mad Men) scripts. THR Has The Scoop.
- Secret Society (NBC) Kay Cannon (Girl Boss, Pitch Perfect) EPs along with Laverne McKinnon, former head of Drama at CBS, this female reporter comedy set within the world of a dying all-male secret society. Emily Heller (Barry) scripts. Sounds fun!
- What/If (Netflix) Renee Zellweger toplines this anthology series EPd by Robert Zemeckis which focuses on moral questions and the fallout when people start pushing the boundaries of acceptability. Huh? I have no idea where this series is gonna go, but I’m intrigued by the auspices, which is why Netflix bought it, I imagine. Mike Kelley (Revenge, Swingtown) writes and EPs. I’m a fan.
- Filthy Rich (FOX) A Southern Gothic ensemble family drama that sounds more like dark comedy to me (which is why I am drawn to it, natch). Tate Taylor (The Help) helms this series that kicks off when the president of a religious TV network dies and his illegitimate family is discovered, so mayhem ensues between two matriarchs and a lot of adult children. Pilot order. Kim Cattrall set to star.
- Scare Club (Freeform) Imagine reading Interview with The Vampire then traveling to New Orleans with your three best twentysomething pals to discuss the book only to get swept up in gothic vampire intrigue! Well, that’s the promising premise here (but without the Anne Rice analogy). Matt Hastings (Shadowhunters) scripts and EPs.
- Lyle & Caroline (FOX) This animated comedy pilot from Eric and Justin Stangel (The Tick) focuses on an unusual grandparent/grandchild relationship. That sounds new and different, yes? Lisa Kudrow voices Caroline, the high school-aged grandchild.
- Reef Break (ABC) A summer crime drama set in a seductive Pacific island paradise that stars Ray Stevenson (Rome, Black Sails). I’m in. Poppy Montgomery also stars as a Thief/Fixer and EPs (show was her idea!). Ken Sanzel scripts and EPs. This series was pitched to ABC International, picked up by French TV and then ABC got on board, which makes for an interesting Origin Story should it become a hit.
- Spinning Out (Netflix) An ice skating drama that centers on two disparate sisters (one is played by Willow Shields from The Hunger Games) and one can only imagine the operatic highs and lows that can be enjoyed here. Samantha Stratton scripts and EPs (along with about five other peeps).
- Gold Dust Nation (HBO) A period drama set in the ’90s at British Vogue as seen by former editors who look at the cultural and political life in Great Britain through the POV of the Fashion World. Could be interesting and also stylish. Jane Trantner (His Dark Materials) EPs.
- The Dolls (HBO) Okay, this limited series is inspired by a really wild true event from the 1980s. Set in Arkansas during the release of those infamous Cabbage Patch Kids dolls and the riots that ensued over trying to buy them. Issa Rae and Laura Dern EP (both already in business with HBO) and will portray two disparate mothers. Rae scripts.
Speaking of IP, did you know that 50,000 Books, Films, Music, etc. just entered the Public Domain and are ripe for free adaptation/exploitation (i.e., Pride and Prejudice and Zombies!)?
Here’s the list courtesy of the LA Times:
2019 Additions to Public Domain.
N E X T U P:
When Is Too Much TV Just Too Much? I’m Goin’ Surfin’!