Ten days from the start of the network upfronts, a healthy amount of buzz is beginning to coalesce around several pilots.
Predicting what will actually end up on the nets' schedules is, at best, an inexact science -- to quote screenwriter William Goldman, "Nobody knows anything." But sifting through some of the chatter about the 90-plus pilots the five broadcast networks have made this spring, several names keep coming up.
Among the apparently surer things to land spots on the 2007-08 schedule are ABC's drama "Dirty Sexy Money" and The CW's "Gossip Girl." The former stars Peter Krause ("Six Feet Under") as the harried lawyer for a wealthy family; the cast also includes William Baldwin, Samaire Armstong, Jill Clayburgh and Donald Sutherland, and tonally sounds like it might be a good fit with shows like "Desperate Housewives," "Brothers & Sisters" and "Grey's Anatomy."
ABC also reportedly likes "Marlowe," an updated take on Raymond Chandler's detective; "Perfect Gentlemen," starring Michael Vartan and Josh Malina, among others; and "Pushing Daisies," a drama from Bryan Fuller ("Wonderfalls," "Heroes") whose touch can revive the dead. The "Grey's" spinoff "Private Practice" also stands a decent chance.
On the comedy side, where the network's needs are more pressing, Christina Applegate's "Sam I Am," about a woman with amnesia, and the workplace comedy "Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office" are contenders. ABC is also making a pilot based on the Geico "Cavemen" ads, which has received alternately good and horrid notices.
The CW's "Gossip Girl" also has a strong chance. It comes with pre-sold name recognition thanks to the series of young-adult novels on which it's based, and "O.C." creator Josh Schwartz is adapting it. The fledgling network is also liking "Reaper," a Kevin Smith-directed pilot about a guy (Bret Harrison) who hunts escapees from hell for the devil.
NBC is said to like the dramas "Lipstick Jungle" and "Journeyman" and the broad comedy "The IT Crowd," while FOX is high on "The Sarah Connor Chronicles," the New Orleans-set drama "K-Ville" and the comedy "Back to You," which stars Kelsey Grammer and Patricia Heaton and already has an episode order.
CBS is, as usual, officially quiet about its prospective new shows. Reports indicate, though, that the network may venture out of its comfort zone a little with Cynthia Cidre's family drama starring Jimmy Smits and the zombie dramedy "Babylon Fields."Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times