America’s 2011/12 TV season hasn’t even started but already we’ve got pilot envy. So far only a handful of the top networks’ potential gems have been picked up by cautious British broadcasters. Here’s TV.com’s guide to what to watch – and what to wish for.
E4’s newly acquired cartoon is about a boy genius who has to attend elementary school with normal kids (gasp!). Critics haven’t exactly been positive about this show, so let’s move on...
Ever wondered what became of long-faced Dawson’s Creek star James Van Der Beek? Don’t worry, we hadn’t either. Anyhow, he’s finally remerged. E4 has bought the UK rights to this ABC comedy, staring Van Der Beek as a sex-crazed, post-Creek version of himself.
The Americans love a good remake! Their latest, a wartime drama based on the Israeli version of Prisoners of War, will air on Channel 4 in the UK. We’re not complaining; the Showtime series boasts an impressive casts including Claire Danes and Damian Lewis.
The second animated sitcom bought by E4 is this TV spin-off of Napoleon Dynamite. Based on the indie movie sensation, this cartoon follows the life of the awkward main character and his friends.
E4 will also show Fox’s new sitcom, which originally brandished a dirtier title: Chicks and D**ks. Zooey Deschanel plays Jess Day who, having split from her boyfriend, decides to share a flat with three guys.
The BBC has largely removed itself from the acquisitions market, so someone must have a huge amount of faith in this pilot about pilots (and air hostesses). The 1960s set drama starring Christina Ricci will go out on BBC Two.
Steven Spielberg’s sci-fi dinosaur series was snapped up by BSkyB and will air this autumn. A family from the 22nd century travel to prehistoric times to try and save mankind.
Elijah Wood stars in this new comedy drama, about a man who sees his next door neighbour’s dog as a man dressed in an animal suit. OK, it sounds ridiculous, but the clips look hilarious! So much so, BBC Three have picked up the UK rights.
COMING LATER, OR NEVER?
2 Broke Girls
Billed as a female Odd Couple, it’s a laughter-track sitcom about two New York waitresses who want to open a cupcake shop. Critics say the writing is smart so we want in.
Since Buffy ended in 2003, Sarah Michelle Gellar has specialised in Scooby Doo movies. Now, she’s back on the small screen in CW’s thriller about a woman who steals her identical twin’s identity. One for ITV2 or Sky Living, perhaps?
Here’s another contender for “the new Lost”. A detective wakes up after a car crash to discover that his wife had died. Then he skips over to a parallel universe where his wife survived but his son was killed. The trailer looks superb.
Premiering on ABC is this comedy from the makers of Parks and Recreation. A teenage girl is devastated when her dad moves her from New York to the suburbs. It’s, like, so not fair.
We can’t believe there are still no takers for the new Dallas. Larry Hagman, Patrick Duffy and Linda Gray will reprise their roles for the 10 episodes TNT has so far ordered. Desperate Housewives’ Jesse Metcalfe will play Bobby Ewing’s son Christopher.