10 Pilots We Hope *Don't* Get Made Into Series (2013 Edition)

By Tim Surette

Apr 24, 2013

Picking out 20 pilots we want to see get made was a breeze, but wile sorting through the list of potential new network shows, we also noticed that a lot of DO NOT WANT options were piling up. So here are 10 pilots we're recommending networks pass on this pilot season for reasons that range from "bad business decision" to "John Stamos." 

Of course, these selections are based on loglines and casting and not a single frame of actual footage, so there is a one-thousand-percent chance that I am wrong here. Also, all "artist renderings" are just terribly photoshopped time-wasters and should not be considered a product of talent or prescience.

King John

Network: ABC
Genre: A multi-camera John Leguizamo comedy about John Leguizamo
Starring: John Leguizamo (Spawn), John Leguizamo (Ice Age), John Leguizamo (Moulin Rouge), and John Leguizamo (ER). From John Leguizamo.
What it's about in one sentence: It's based on John Leguizamo's life as a guy from the Bronx who makes it big, and focuses on how he stays grounded with his family by staying true to his roots.
Why we don't want to see it: Nothing against Leguizamo, but watching shows from aging actors and comedians making multi-camera comedies about their lives doesn't sound like a fun way to spend our evenings. (See also: Jim Gaffigan's pilot at CBS.)
Potential saving graces: How about some good exterior establishing shots of New York!


Network: ABC
Genre: A "Romeo and Juliet... TODAY!" drama
Starring: Jennifer Beals (Flashdance!), Bruce Greenwood (Star Trek), Odette Annable (House
What it's about in one sentence: Two rival families battle for control of California's Venice Beach, but when a forbidden romance emerges between members of the warring factions, uh-oh!
Why we don't want to see it: This has bland soap written all over it, and the fact that it isn't set in a very interesting place or era (really? Present-day Venice Beach?) doesn't bode well for the show's creativity unless Venice's bodybuilders and those guys who paint themselves gold and stand really still mix it up.
Potential saving graces: A good soap is all about its characters, so it's impossible to tell how rich Westside's roster will be from just a boring logline. If the characters are good, it doesn't matter where the action takes place. But we're really praying for bodybuilders.

Untitled Tad Quill project

Network: CBS
Genre: Multi-camera comedy stopover for Broadway stars
Starring: Matthew Broderick (Ferris Bueller), Kristin Chenoweth (Pushing Daisies)
What it's about in one sentence: A widowed father balances getting back into the dating pool and raising his 12-year-old son.
Why we don't want to see it: Well this doesn't sound too good, does it?
Potential saving graces: Broderick and Chenoweth, both Tony-award winners, could spontaneously burst into song at any moment and fill our hearts with joy. But they'll more likely fill our mouths with vomit. 

I Suck at Girls

Network: Fox
Genre: A comedy from the guy who brought you Sh*t My Dad Says
Starring: Christopher Meloni (Law & Order: SVU), Alex Kapp Horner (The New Adventures of Old Christine
What it's about in one sentence: Why don't you try to make sense of this official logline: "Based on Justin Halpern's book I Suck at Girls, it's a story about a boy becoming a man, and a man becoming a father, in a time before coming of age was something you could Google."
Why we don't want to see it: Halpern is the same man who gave us the Twitter feed "Sh*t My Dad Says," which was turned into the CBS series that made us all think "Sh*t CBS makes." Do we give the guy a second chance? 
Potential saving graces: Ummm... hey look over there! *runs away*


Network: Fox
Genre: "Love stinks" sci-fi drama
Starring: Emma Roberts (Julia Roberts' niece, and more importantly, Eric Roberts' daughter), Darren Kragasoff (The Secret Life of the American Teenager), Billie Campbell (The Killing
What it's about in one sentence: In the future, love is outlawed and a medical procedure can remove a person's ability to go goo-goo-eyed over someone, but one girl falls head over heels just months before she's due to be de-loved!
Why we don't want to see it: Like, gag me with a spoon, right? This is going to be The Ending to the Fifth Element: The Series, isn't it? As a huge supporter of love, I'll need a BIG reason to believe in a society that outlaws the emotion, and if that reason doesn't suffice, it will be a fatal flaw.
Potential saving grace: Maybe the de-loving procedure will be particularly gruesome?

Bad Teacher

Network: CBS
Genre: Single-camera second-chance for a bad movie
Starring: Ari Graynor (Fringe), Ryan Hansen (2 Broke GirlsParty DownVeronica Mars), David Alan Grier (In Living Color), Sara Gilbert (Roseanne), Kristen Davis (Sex and the City
What it's about in one sentence: Based on the 2011 Cameron Diaz film of the same name, a potty-mouthed divorcee gets a job as a teacher in order to find her next husband and what? That doesn't even make sense. Is she trying to marry school kids? If so, then okay. Great plan.
Why we don't want to see it: Who's the genius who thinks a bad movie will make a good television show?
Potential saving graces: We actually like the cast, particularly Hansen and Davis. And we're curious to see what Grier is up to these days. 

Welcome to the Family

Network: NBC
Genre: Culture clashin' single-camera comedy
Starring: Mike O'Malley (Glee), Mary McCormack (In Plain Sight), Ricardo Chavira (Desperate Housewives), NOT Rob Schneider 
What it's about in one sentence: A Caucasian family and a Latino family are bonded after kids from each clan fall in love and get preggers.
Why we don't want to see it: Oh this again?
Potential saving graces: It's Modern Family with just the Jay and Gloria part, and I guess I'm being generous by saying that.

Untitled Greg Daniels/Robert Padnick comedy

Network: NBC
Genre: Single-camera comedy about being single
Starring: Mike Castle, Adhir Kalyan (Aliens in America), Eric Andre (Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23).
What it's about in one sentence: One of those "group of single friends trying to survive the labyrinth of mind games and human suffering that is dating in your early 20s" comedies, and yes, that's from the actual logline.
Why we don't want to see it: Aside from Happy Endings and maybe How I Met Your Mother, can you think of another Friends-ish comedy that's worked? This is a tough gig.
Potential saving graces: Eric F[censored]ing Andre! Also, The Office's Greg Daniels is behind it, so maybe it's one of those rare 20-something dating friends shows that works.


Network: The CW
Genre: Period piece young adult romance
Starring: Adelaide Kane (Power Rangers RPM), Toby Regbo, Torrance Coombs 
What it's about in one sentence: Historical fiction about 15-year-old Mary Queen of Scots as she's betrothed to a prince and keeps her BFFs in her court.
Why we don't want to see it: This is more of a business decision than a statement on quality. The CW is on the verge of being a genre network, and this just wouldn't fit in with its current offerings. Unless Mary Queen of Scots had superpowers! Think about it, CW.
Potential saving graces: Maybe this will get kids interested in history again! No? Okay. Nevermind. 

I Am Victor

Network: NBC
Genre: John Stamos
Starring: John Stamos (Full House)
What it's about in one sentence: It's been described as House but with a divorce attorney played by John Stamos instead of a doctor.
Why we don't want to see it: John Stamos and NBC... not sure which one is more desperate. This is basically Harry's Law with a male lead who happens to be John Stamos. Also, the whole "House but..." pitch is tired. 
Potential saving grace: Possible Full House reunion for the former cast members who can drag themselves out of their beds. Also, John Stamos!

What do you think? Do any of these sound like something you'd actually want to see? 

  • Comments (87)
Add a Comment
In reply to :
  • modernfamily120 Jul 06, 2013

    I went back to find this article after everything has been ordered and such, and what actually looks to me like the best comedy this season is Surviving Jack (formerly known as I Suck at Girls). Welcome to the Family made it, and I don't think it will be that bad, I think it will get a few more episodes ordered, like Guys with Kids this year, and maybe renewed as a midseason replacement for next year, unlike Guys with Kids. Reign will be dead, fast! And hopefully moved to Fridays right away and replaced by The 100. Bad Teacher got picked up late. Please, CBS, you already have one comedy that may be good that won't make it onto the schedule. Then you order a second, crappy one?

  • msbis May 01, 2013

    Wait a minute, didn't you guys put Delirium in the WANT TO SEE category? In any case, I do want to see it!

  • BrbaraCoelho1 May 01, 2013

    I loooooove Kristin Davis and Ryan Hansen (Dick, I miss you!)

  • spongeblog May 01, 2013

    I saw the King John Leguizamo pilot. It is so bad, but probably win't air because he's busy with two other TV projects as well as a stage show. However, I do not see how he's involved in all these projects when he's so unfunny and untalented. And his pilot is so bad...

  • Funktasm May 01, 2013

    All these shows sound like they could be used at Gitmo for enhanced interrogation. Although the last one sounds even worse. Nobody from Full House should be let back on TV!

  • JenswithaJ Apr 29, 2013

    These mostly seem like shows which are trying to be other, better, shows currently on the air. That strategy has rarely produced a hit. Take the Untitled Greg Daniels/Robert Padnick comedy, which is trying to be the next in the Friends Lineage before How I Met Your Mother even goes off the air, and with New Girl waiting in the wings as a more likely successor to that lineage anyway, since it's different enough that it can fill roughly the same niche without being a re-tread.

  • bkyle2429 Apr 28, 2013

    Reign and Delirium sound awesome, plus they sound better any of the 20 pilots we want to see made that list was awful!!!!!

  • bobster_bsas Apr 27, 2013

    A few of these i could give a shot...but not much more than that.

    And i strongly disagree with the phrase "Who's the genius who thinks a bad movie will make a good television show?" I think Buffy proves it wrong, although the movie wasn't terrible it wasn't good either

  • JT_Kirk Apr 26, 2013

    King John, because John Leguizamo thinks we've all forgotten by now... but we haven't. Never forget.

    Westside, what the fuck are you talking about "control of Venice Beach"? I was there yesterday, there's nobody in control, not gangs, not vendors, not artists, not street performers. It's also worthless to any criminal element. Sounds like utter silly claptrap, but it's "Venice" which is similar to "Verona" in that it's Italian and starts with a "V", I guess. Also, Venice, CA is nothing like the rest of the west side of LA where I live, so even the title sucks. And then ABC is mediocre at this sort of shart, Fox would do much better.

    Tad Quill Project lost me at Matthew Broderick and Kristin Chenoweth being a widowed father and a girl he's dating. Shrill and awful is what I perceive, mixed with overly sensitive.

    Christopher Meloni makes I Suck at Girls slightly not the worst thing ever, but the premise kills it again. Not as hard as Fox will kill it though, I'm sure.

    Delirium sounds like it rips off THX-1138 and Logan's Run, but I'm sure dry '70s sci-fi will translate super good to a Fox teen soap, right?

    Bad Teacher will probably be terrible, but I want to see this made on TV just for the sheer pleasure of watching CBS figure out how "bad" to let the teacher be. The premise seems pretty terrible though, I didn't know the main character was out to find a man, because teachers make so much money and aren't stressed at all, and parents love teachers that are horrible.

    Welcome to the No.

    Greg Daniels/Robert Padnick comedy, love Eric Andre but hate everything else about this premise, and I hate the idea that Eric Andre might be reduced to a boring, shallow nothing of a "black friend" character.

    Reign, oh wow that sounds unbelievably CW - "it's _____ with a teen twist!" - and terrible.

    I Am Victor, you are destined to fail.

  • sduvoisin Apr 26, 2013

    I kinda want to see "Love Stinks" from Fox only because I think it could end up being 12 awesome episodes of a beautiful mess that will make me laugh until I cry.

  • See More Comments (52)