NBC Orders Five New Series, Including J.J. Abrams' Believe

A young girl and a con! International conspiracies! Man-boy bonds! Man-girl bonds! Man-blind-boy bonds! That's what part of NBC's new fall schedule will feature, as some of the network's secrets have hit the internet in advance of its Upfront presentation in New York, which is scheduled for Monday. So far it's three new comedies and two new dramas for the network, with many more announcements soon to come unless NBC wants to broadcast a lot of dead air. Let's run down the new series:

Believe has J.J. Abrams' name attached to it, like half of all TV shows on the air right now. He'll executive produce along with Bryan Burk for Bad Robot. The drama sounds like a supernatural thriller and follows a young girl with "a gift" who gets protection from a recently sprung con to keep evil forces at bay. The best part about this show is that the actress playing the young girl is named Johnny Sequoyah, which sounds like the name of an alcoholic poker player in the Old West. Jake McLaughlin, Kyle MacLachlan, Delroy Lindo, Jaime Chung, and Sienna Guillroy also star. 

Crisis comes from Rand Ravich, the creator of NBC's Life. This one goes all the way to the top! In the drama, a mystery man brings all of Washington to its knees through an international conspiracy that threatens everyone. Please make this The Event Part IICrisis marks the triumphant return to television of Gillian Anderson, The X-Files' Scully. Also starring are Dermot Mulroney (Enlightened), Max Martini (Revenge), and Rachael Taylor (666 Park Avenue). 

About a Boy is a single-camera comedy adaption of the Nick Hornby novel and the 2002 Hugh Grant film that spawned from it. David Walton (Bent) plays a bachelor who forms a friendship with his neighbor's young boy. And yes, the neighbor happens to be a hot single mom (Minnie Driver). Jason Katims (Friday Night Lights, Parenthood) is writing and producing, so you can bet it's going to be all weepy and exhilarating and make you feel feelings you never thought you could. 1600 Penn's Benjamin Stockham will play the boy (assuming NBC doesn't renew 1600 Penn). Leslie Bibb (Judd Apatow movies) and Al Madrigal (The Daily Show) also star. This show is going to be very easy to like. 

Sean Saves the World continues Sean Hayes' relationship with NBC. Hayes (Will & Grace) produces and stars as a man dealing with his 14-year-old daughter and his temperamental boss. It's a multi-camera joint. Thomas Lennon (Reno 911!), Echo Kellum (Ben & Kate), and Linda Lavin (Alice) also star.

Family Guide is a single-camera sitcom about a boy who worships his blind father and becomes closer to his mom after the two divorce. Parker Posey, JK Simmons, and Eli Baker star, with Bent's DJ Nash behind the series.

These five new shows join Chicago Fire, Revolution, Law & Order: SVU, Grimm, Parenthood, The Voice, and The Michael J. Fox Show (new series) on NBC's schedule for 2013-2014. There will be more NBC pickups coming soon, as well as decisions on which of the networks comedies will return. 

According to reports online, NBC has passed on the following pilots, taking them out of consideration: Brenda Forever; Drop-Off (previously known as The Gates); Holding Patterns; Joe, Joe, & Jane; Bloodline; Hatfields & McCoys; The Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives; and The Sixth Gun. 



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Comments (41)
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BTW, you mention Gillian Anderson's "triumphant return to television" That should be to U.S. TV. She's been working across the pond.
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crisis the only thing that sounds good the rest can just pass
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Really sad about Brenda Forever. Ellie Kemper needs her own show! (or at least co-star in one)
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Thanks for "None of the Above", these don't have a chance. Sean Saves the World might have been my pick, but multicamera sounds like a missed opportunity. Also, as great as Thomas Lenon is, no show survives with him that isn't improv.
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I may watch Crisis or About a Boy.
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The Sixth Gun could have been interesting but I'm not the least bit surprised that it wasn't picked up. Sci-fi Westerns just don't do well on TV.
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Crisis and Believe sound interesting. I hope Crisis will involve something alien or supernatural.
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How can JK Simmons be the star of two shows simultaneously?
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Because the odds of ABC keeping Family Tools are very slim, so he won't be starring on that.
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I wanted Bloodline! :(
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All trash.
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1600 Penn and Whitney were just cnacelled. Finally!
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Oh, and I'm disappointed that The Sixth Gun wasn't picked up to series. On a lesser level, Bloodline too.

I went back and checked the "20 TV Pilots We Hope..." article to see what I wrote about em:

"-- Bloodline: Kinda sounds awesome to me. I can imagine it being really really lame, though, like Red Widow.
-- The Sixth Gun: YES. Wait, ugh, it's on NBC? Still a yes, but my enthusiasm dropped a few notches."
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Screw these! I was looking forward to seeing Bloodline with Skylar Samuels and Chris Zylka! Far out, you can get a cactus and shove it up your a** NBC!
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I want to like Sean Saves the World because Victor Fresco is the creator (he created Andy Richter Controls the Universe and Better Off Ted -- awesome!), but I've never liked Sean Hayes much except in small guest roles.

Believe sounds coolest of this bunch but I'm most excited for Crisis because *ahem* RAND RAVICH! I had been patiently waiting over the last 3 years or so for his next project after Life, and it looks like the time has finally come! Now I just have to hope that it doesn't suck.
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Thumbs up for Victor Fresco. Sean Hayes is a very talented guy, tons of range, aside from Will & Grace he's not done more than guest roles on TV since though, has he? As long as he doesn't play Jack again, I think he'll bring it.
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Crisis will probably fail only because I think people may be getting tired of shows that drag out a plot like this and usually end up getting burned by it getting dragged out and getting confusing/complex to remember and/or follow. I just don't think people really have the patience for this kind of show anymore. Too many similar have died, yet networks keep trying over and over again and expecting different results. That's a definition of insanity, isn't it? If it does succeed, don't expect it to be a blockbuster, maybe 7 overall million viewers at best.

Believe sounds like a show from the same genre as Touch and look how well that is doing - not. Abrams is more miss than hit lately. This could be another show with big ambition, but then gets lost in mediocrity, so-so acting, and pacing with too much time taken for payoffs.

Sean Saves the World sounds like a stupid title for the premise. Also neglected to mention it's about a gay man and his daughter. If it goes into stereotypes and cliches with been-there, done-that episodes, expect it to barely get by, if not fail.

Family Guide may be too odd a show for people to get into. This could be a toss-up depending on execution. Bent was bad though, so I expect this to fail.

About A Boy is a toss-up. People may feel they have seen the film (or read book) so why bother? Then again, if it's a well done, positive family kind of show, then it may do well enough to succeed, perhaps like Parenthood itself, which barely hangs on as it seems. I am not liking the cast though, so who knows?

The big surprise, and perhaps mistake, is The Sixth Gun. The pilot (or script/treatment?) must have been seen as bad enough to pass on it. We need more original stuff on TV even if taken from other sources like comics. This might have been a fine example. I've not read the comic, so I could be wrong, but at least try something different. Instead we get the same old stuff they want.
More+
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They pretty much all sound bad. I liked About a Boy though, and I like Nick Hornby in general. And I like David Walton. So I'll watch it. Why am I not more excited for this?

Crisis sounds bad. But... good cast.
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Some sound great others not so much. They cancel so many great ones with true possibilities. I look forward to seeing how some of these play out!
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PARKS AND RECREATION HAS JUST BEEN OFFICIALLY RENEWED FOR SEASON 6!!!
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And every single one of them will be promoted in ads with "Radioactive" blaring in the background.

WELCOME TO THE NEW AGE WELCOME TO THE NEW AGE
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crisis hell ya love to see new X files style
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None of these sounds even remotely interesting. So basically its exactly what you would expect from NBC.
Is it to early to start a deadpool list yet?
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It's a short description for something that's going to run for 13-22 episodes. I think some of these sound interesting if done well. I'm mostly positive about About a Boy since it has Jason Katims. That guy is a master at family dramas.
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Dang I really liked the plot of The Sixth Gun, sounded like Bisco County Jr which I am a huge fan of.
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Crisis, About a Boy, and Believe are the three I might give a chance, but NBC has a lot of work to do to try and pry me away fro their rivals.
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Same picks. + MJF Comedy
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There is also Crossbones and Dracula.
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Anything with J.J. Abrams has my direct interest. Could be crap, could be awesome. We'll see how it is later on. Crisis has my attention because it's from the creator of Life. About a Boy could also be an excellent addition to the NBC lineup, depending on its balance of comedy and drama. Go On did pretty good mixing both this past season.
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If Crisis is half as good as Life, it'll be worth watching. And Gillian Anderson ... nuff said.
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Watch Hannibal tonight then. She's guest staring on it.
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In last week's episode of The Office Kevin told Andy, "You're too character-y to lead and you're not fat enough to be a character actor."
That's Sean Hayes in a nutshell. I believe his show will be DOA.

Another J.J. Abrams' stamped project. He's having too many rubber stamped projects. Quality gets diluted if his brand gets stretched too thin.
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Yah about Crisis and Believe! They join Almost Human, Gang Related on my list of top pilots for the next season.
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Ugh, I've slowly and sadly come to believe that any TV show with J. J. Abrams' name on it is bound to suck and/or disappoint, and probably sooner rather than later. It wasn't always this way, but the ever lengthening string of duds and debacles on which he's put his rubber stamp just can't be denied.

I once looked at his name on a project as meaning it would probably be something cool, now I look at it as meaning something that won't end up being very good at all. I hope I never come to feel this way about seeing Shawn Ryan's name on something, too.
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Believe could be interesting if done right, but as I said in the Fox drama article, I don't plan to get into any more JJ Abrams shows until they at least get a second season. Crisis seems like it will either be really good, or really bad, but the chances are much higher for the latter. I may want to see a trailer or something to see how it looks though. The rest... Not really interested in any of them.
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Believe and Crisis sound interesting. It will be great to see Gillian Anderson and Rachael Taylor again.
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Meh. Nothing sounds that interesting. Last year's panel was more exciting.
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Really shocked that they dumped The Sixth Gun. I'd have guessed Carlton Cuse's involvement would have sealed the deal.
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Those all sound like they will be dead before 6 episodes.
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That would be fun to see how NBC covers them in its schedule.
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I thought more The Voice was there go to thing.
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