10 TV Pilots We Hope *Don't* Get Made Into Series

By Tim Surette

Mar 11, 2011

We've already selected 20 TV pilots that we hope get picked up to series from a group of about 100 that are currently in-development at networks. And with that many to choose from, there are bound to be a fair share of stinkers as well.

Today we present you with ten pilots that we hope don't make it past the test stage—you know, so they don't end up on our screens and ultimately become dusty reminders of must-not-see TV. We've based these choices purely on the limited information we have (some casting news, a vague log line), so this list is built on nothin' but speculation. Except regarding the Colin Cowherd show, which we know will be absolute garbage.

Untitled Colin Cowherd Project
Network: CBS
Log Line: A sitcom inspired by ESPN personality Colin Cowherd’s outspoken sports talk show, "The Herd with Colin Cowherd."
Starring: No cast yet
Why this show shouldn't be made: If you've ever had the misfortune of listening to Cowherd talk, then you know why this pilot should be canned. Cowherd is an arrogant talking head who is only in his shock-jock post because he goads people into conversation by provoking a certain emotion: debilitating rage. He's a moron who doesn't need his ego fueled anymore.
Potential saving graces: None.

Man Up!
Network: ABC
Log Line: A comedy about a group of guys who are all in different stages of relationships. (Note: This is not to be confused with the Tim Allen project that's also tentatively titled Man Up)
Starring: Dan Fogler, Chris Moynihan
Why this show shouldn't be made: Do we really need another show that I assume is about one guy who is a bachelor, one guy who is married, and one guy who is in-between? Can we get at least a semi-original idea, please?
Potential saving grace: Fogler can bring the funny. But is he funny enough to keep this stale idea afloat?

Bad Mom
Network: ABC
Log Line: The comedy follows a single mother of two who is forced to raise her own kids after her mother, who was taking care of them before, decides she wants her life back.
Starring: Jenna Elfman (Dharma & Greg)
Why this show shouldn't be made: A mom who doesn't want to care for her own kids? Not exactly the type of character we look forward to seeing on-screen. Elfman hasn't had much luck on TV since Dharma & Greg, and we don't foresee this show changing things. Plus, it has same-joke-itis written all over it.
Potential saving graces: If the writers can somehow manage to make the mom's plight understandable (and cast some ridiculously cute kids who give their mom hell), this might have a chance.

Wonder Woman
Network: NBC
Log Line: A re-imagining of the popular female superhero in modern times, with Wonder Woman now a successful corporate executive who fights crime by night and tries to balance her personal, professional, and super-powered lives.
Starring: Adrianne Palicki (Friday Night Lights) as Wonder Woman, Elizabeth Hurley as her nemesis, and Cary Elwes (The Princess Bride)
Why this show shouldn't be made: A lot of people are excited about this reboot, but what happened to the sanctity of source material? Turning Wonder Woman into a corporate female just sounds... icky. Rumor has it the pilot script is littered with Katy Perry jokes.
Potential saving graces: Creator David E. Kelley (Boston Legal, Ally McBeal) knows how to write television. Fact. However, his specialty is the law, not Amazonian superbabes. Should we give him the benefit of the doubt? His track record says "yes." And we're in love with Palicki.

Network: ABC
Log Line: This drama centers on a dysfunctional family involved in the world of professional dance.
Starring: Eric Roberts, Abigail Spencer (Mad Men)
Why this show shouldn't be made: It's the brainchild of Dancing With the Stars (Pssst! Also on ABC!) judge Carrie Ann Inaba and another case of a network sucking up to one of its personalities. Just because YOU think dancing is great it doesn't mean it will make a good TV show.
Potential saving graces: Can Grace do for dance what Glee has done for singing?

Network: Fox
Log Line: This drama follows a father who discovers that his mute, autistic son can predict events before they happen.
Starring: Kiefer Sutherland
Why this show shouldn't be made: The only reason this pilot is on this list is that it comes from Tim Kring, creator of the once-brilliant but ultimately awful Heroes. Are we really ready to give him another shot at television?
Potential saving graces: Provided that Kiefer wasn't drunk when he read the script, the guy has his pick of projects—so this might be a winner. Perhaps Kring has learned from his mistakes?

Network: NBC
Log Line: A romantic comedy about a recently divorced single mom who tries not to fall for the sexy surfer-dude contractor she hired to re-do her kitchen.
Starring: Amanda Peet, Jeffrey Tambor
Why this show shouldn't be made: The log line seems like a description of one half of an episode. Where's the depth? And do we need another Cougar Town? I guess ABC does.
Potential saving graces: If Jeffrey Tambor signed on to the show, it must be decent, right? Right? Hello?

Home Game
Network: CBS
Log Line: Based on the life of former NFL player Mark Schlereth, this comedy is about a retired NFL player who returns home to his wife and his daughters.
Starring: Rob Riggle (Garry Unmarried, Human Giant)
Why this show shouldn't be made: This looks like another case of an athlete getting his own TV show when he shouldn't. *cough* *Michael Strahan* *cough* *Brothers* But at least Strahan was a known name to the casual sports fan. Schlereth may be an ESPN personality, but I got news for you jock-heads: People watch ESPN for the highlights, not the football analysts. With this and the Cowherd project, we're wondering what kind of wise guy at CBS decided that the network needs to force through horrible comedies that are tangentially related to sports?
Potential saving graces: We're hesitant to say that Riggle is actually a good fit for the part, but we also know he's better than this.

Cooper and Stone
Network: The CW
Log Line: Two young female detectives are as adept at talking fashion and pop culture as they are at solving crimes.
Starring: Alexandra Breckenridge (Dirt)
Why this show shouldn't be made: The thing that scares us about this one is the log line's insistence on telling us that these two ladies will babble about fashion and pop culture all the time. We're cringing at the potential ocean of Kim Kardashian and Marc Jacobs jokes made just to pass the time during stakeouts.
Potential saving graces: That said, Veronica Mars was great. Can this project capture that magic?

Network: The CW
Log Line: A young female attorney and a former angel (yes, an angel) work cases. She saves clients from jail, he saves their souls.
Starring: None yet
Why this show shouldn't be made: Just when you think there couldn't be any more spins on the legal genre, this Eli Stone wannabe comes along. We look forward to the season finale, where Lou Siffer is the opponents' lead counsel.
Potential saving graces: The CW has proved that it can make angels interesting (Supernatural's Castiel), so who knows.

Does anything on this list sound better to you than it does to us?

Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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  • cgforbes Jun 11, 2011

    I'll agree with all of this except for Touch. Don't forget that there were still twenty-three good episodes of Heroes in the first season, there's been a chance for Kring to learn his mistakes, and plus, there were a lot of people working on the last three seasons of Heroes, whose to say Kring was the one to mess up?
    Danny Glover and Uncovers' Gugu Mbatha-Raw have also been cast for the pilot, which is actually why I'm excited about it.
    The Heavenly description also sounds interesting, but you can't be too expectant of a CW show.

  • MattCurrie0 Mar 24, 2011

    was thinking about the whole wonder woman being a corporate type its not that great of a stretch i mean shes been an ambassador a lawyer for female rights and a journolist whats the difference/?

  • NaveenBaskaraan Mar 23, 2011

    I think that heavenly is a good idea.Hope to see it made .

  • Cranky_Old_Batt Mar 20, 2011

    To answer your question, no.

    In fact, I have no idea how some of those premises could be stretched into more than one really tedious episode, let alone an entire season.

  • acmb Mar 19, 2011

    Oh boy, they don't sound interesting.

  • headclub Mar 18, 2011

    If I could ask Tim Surette one question that he would have to answer, it would be-- what's the deal with your immense hatred of the Cowturd???

  • Frankburnsflagg Mar 17, 2011

    *ugh* All of these sound like they're from the bottom of a barrel or something.

    @ tubeguru: Good one.

  • DaveySan Mar 17, 2011

    These shows do not sound great.However,most pitches probably don't.What I don't understand:CBS is pitching shows either based on or starring ESPN "personalities"?CBS is promoting their competition,both in TV and sports coverage?OK.But Cowherd and Schlereth?**Shudders**

  • moondreamie Mar 17, 2011

    These shows aren't any worse than the drivel that made it to TV in the 2010-11 season.

  • tubeguru Mar 17, 2011

    10 more reasons to consider a Netflix subscription. What does ABC stand for these days? Awesomely Bad Concepts.

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