Ranking NBC's In-Progress Pilots, from Sarah Silverman to Snoop Dogg

Holding steady at fourth place with a lackluster fall 2011 season, NBC has seemingly nothing—and everything—to lose in 2012. And so the network is spending unprecedented amounts (The Hollywood Reporter estimates the cost of the Peacock's development season to be somewhere in the $100 million range) in its desperate search for the one hit, or hits, that can turn the ship around. With news of NBC pilot orders arriving every day (today’s was for Sarah Silverman’s still-untitled autobiographical sitcom), we thought we’d take a closer look at where all that money is going—and play a little armchair quarterback based on whatever information is available thus far. Keep in mind: These are all snap judgments! We haven’t read any of these pilots.



HEAVY INTEREST


The Munsters (ordered to pilot)

Logline: A “visually spectacular” one-hour drama. Like [Bryan] Fuller’s previous series, Pushing Daisies, the project features striking visuals mixed with all the classic Munsters archetypes. Grandpa Sam Dracula is essentially Dracula who assembled Herman because no man was good enough for his daughter Lily, a sexy vamp. Lily’s niece Marilyn the freak is actually normal and Lily and Herman’s only child, Eddie, has his werewolf tendencies surface in puberty, forcing the family to relocate to their famous 1313 Mockingbird Lane address.
Talent: Written by Bryan Fuller, beloved TV auteur.
Prognosis: EXCELLENT
Everything about this project sounds like TV crack. The Munsters is a great vintage sitcom that has huge potential as a darker and more ambitious show, and Fuller is just the guy to mine it. We're hearing great things about the script, too. Let’s hope they keep the theme song.


Untitled Sarah Silverman Comedy (ordered to pilot)

Logline: An autobiographical series about a woman readjusting to the single life after a decade-long live-in relationship.
Talent: The great Sarah S.
Prognosis: EXCELLENT
Silverman has changed the landscape for women in comedy (there would be no Whitney without her, for better or for worse), but no one matches her amazing mind. I’ve always felt the best is yet to come with Silverman, and I’m kind of hoping this is it.


Untitled Ryan Murphy/Allison Adler Comedy

Logline: A heartwarming comedy about a blended family of a gay couple and the woman who becomes a surrogate to help them start a family. Murphy and Adler conceived the idea for the comedy drawing on their real-life experiences of having a family or looking to have one.
Talent: Murphy, ‘nuff said. And Adler is co-E.P. of Glee.
Prognosis: VERY GOOD
I hate shows about parenting almost as much as I hate hearing people talk about their kids. Sorry, Up All Night. And gay parents on network TV—it may work as one-third of Modern Family, but I wonder if there’s really an appetite for it out in Americaland. But the pedigree is superb, and American Horror Story has managed to win over most of the early naysayers (including me), making this project a must-see before a word has been put on the page.


Isabel (ordered to pilot)

Logline: A single-camera family comedy with “a magical twist,” based on French-Canadian series Le Monde De Charlotte.
Talent: Director Todd Holland, who won two Emmys for his work on Malcolm in the Middle.
Prognosis: GOOD
Too little to go on here, but assuming it’s a Coraline-style story, I’m in. You may not know it, but I’m a “little girl lost in a magic world” kind of guy at heart.


Beautiful People (ordered to pilot)

Logline: A character-driven futuristic drama set 10 minutes into the future where families of mechanical human beings who look human exist to service the human population—that is, until some of the mechanicals begin to “awaken.”
Talent: Written ten years ago by MAD TV alum/Cougar Town co-executive producer Michael McDonald.
Prognosis: FAIR
Sci-fi has been so spotty on TV, I’m finding it hard to believe this story of replicants and their oppressors is really going to catch on with a wider audience.


Wiseguy

Logline: A “re-imagining” of the original series centers on a disgraced former cop who, while serving time in prison, cuts a deal to work undercover for time off his sentence. The show begins as he’s being released — now he’ll put the connections he made behind bars to good use in the field as he helps the police take down a criminal organization.
Talent: Homeland’s Alex Cary writes.
Prognosis: GOOD
Wiseguy is one of those classic series that has been elevated over the years to the pantheon of TV legend. With Cary—who crafts gripping mindf*ckery every week on Homeland—on board, this could be a reboot in great hands.



BUZZY


Hannibal

Logline: Based on the iconic literary and film character Hannibal Lecter. [Bryan] Fuller, a well-known foodie as evidenced by his previous series Pushing Daisies, loved the dark, sick side of Hannibal, who tends to feast on his victims.
Talent: Bryan Fuller again.
Prognosis: GOOD
Hannibal Lecter, the TV show? Are you kidding me? Worth a check-out at least.


Big Men

Logline: Single-camera comedy about a group of men who meet at a weight-loss clinic.
Talent: Written by Irish Bridesmaids star and comedian Chris O’Dowd, based on his idea.
Prognosis: GOOD
O’Dowd won over hearts in Bridesmaids as a puppydog policeman, and the premise of this show is so out-there, I’m extremely intrigued.


The New Nabors

Logline: A comedy from The Jim Henson Company about a human family and the repercussions they encounter living next door to a family of puppets.
Talent: Muppets people and John Hoffman, who wrote and directed 2003 family comedy Good Boy!.
Prognosis: GOOD
Puppets are hot again.


1600 Penn

Logline: About a dysfunctional family that just happens to live at the most famous address in America, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Talent: Created by Josh Gad (Broadway’s Book of Mormon) and Jon Lovett, former speechwriter for Barack Obama.
Prognosis: GOOD
We have already explored the possibilities of this show, and concluded a White House sitcom seems like it could be good if done right.



POSSIBILITIES

Vanish

Logline: Centers on a man with a mysterious past who protects deserving people from danger, and helps them disappear.
Talent: Written by Moonlight creator Trevor Munson and produced by Sam Raimi.
Prognosis: FAIR
From the man who brought us Moonlight, CBS’s ill-fated Shannon Sossamon werewolf vehicle (just kidding about the werewolf part, chillax!), comes this story about a professional disappear-er. Seems like a lot of other shows that hinge on one gimmick, then promptly fade away.


RIP

Logline: Single-camera comedy about a reluctant angel: “A ‘Kindness Guru’ who happens to be an asshole dies and in order to get to heaven is forced to return to earth and help people with the aid of his simple-minded brother.”
Talent: Written by veteran TV director Marc Buckland, who most recently directed the Grimm pilot.
Prognosis: FAIR
Sounds like Cupid meets My Name is Earl. Not really my cup of tea, but maybe it’s yours!


Kept Men

Logline: A multi-camera comedy about two friends who become supported by their respective wives after their business closes down.
Talent: From Kevin Heffernan and Steve Lemme, members of the Broken Lizard comedy filmmaking group behind such movies as Super Troopers and Beerfest.
Prognosis: FAIR
Well, say what you will about Broken Lizard, but the guys have worked in the comedy trenches and have an inkling about what’s funny. This show will probably never see the light of day, but I’d be willing to give it a shot if it did.


Major Crimes

Logline: “ER in the LA prosecutor’s office.” Major Crimes is set in the world of young ADAs in a Los Angeles downtown court building. Moving at a bullet pace, the show focuses on an ensemble cast of massively overworked ADAs falling in love, battling their own demons and ambitions, while seeking out justice on the run.
Talent: Written by Josh Goldin and former LA Times entertainment reporter Rachel Abramowitz. FX recently passed on their other pilot, Outlaw Country, a crime story set in Nashville.
Prognosis: FAIR
Outlaw Country was supposed to be a sure thing, which just goes to show that nothing is ever a sure thing! This one might need a new title, though. Major Crimes sounds weird, like your little sister is saying it. “Guys! Major crimes are happening! Stop fooling around and prosecute them!”



DON’T COUNT ON IT


Untitled Karaoke Comedy Project

Logline: A comedy set in a karaoke bar.
Talent: Adam Levine.
Prognosis: POOR
A karaoke sitcom from Adam Levine. Right.


The Infidel

Logline: Based on the 2010 British feature film, a comedy, it centers on “a devoutly Muslim family man who is shocked to discover upon the death of his mother that he was adopted, and was actually born a Jew."
Talent: Stars Iranian actor-comedian Omid Djalili, who starred in the film. Written by Mark O’Keefe, who wrote Bruce Almighty.
Prognosis: POOR
America is not ready for another racist sitcom based on a movie. Just ask the makers of Outsourced.


Untitled Jim Gaffigan Comedy

Logline: Gaffigan will write and star in the project based on his life as a lazy man, married to a strong woman, raising four children in a two-bedroom apartment in New York City.
Talent: Jim Gaffigan, duh.
Prognosis: POOR
It’s just kind of hard to get excited about a Jim Gaffigan vehicle, you know? The guy has worked steadily forever, but has never really broken through to the next level. At what point do we stop giving him chances?



ARE YOU KIDDING ME?


Untitled Tim and Michael Hobert Comedy

Logline: Written by brothers Tim and Michael Hobert based on their experience working together, the single-camera comedy centers on a twentysomething man who lands a dream job as the assistant to a commercial director—his older brother Tim—only to learn that his job is mostly about keeping his brother’s hectic home life running smoothly.
Talent: Tim Hobert, co-executive producer on ABC’s The Middle, and his littler brother, who's twelve years his junior.
Prognosis: POOR
Wow, it’s our lives, reflected on the screen: The successful sitcom writer and the little brother he transforms into his personal slave! People outside Hollywood don’t care about Hollywood. (And you can’t use Entourage as your evidence against that anymore, sorry.)


Palm Beach

Logline: A family soap about “an Upstairs, Downstairs-style family in the exclusive enclave of Palm Beach.”
Talent: Written by Burr Steers, writer/director of films like Igby Goes Down, and Zac Efron vehicles 17 Again and Charlie St. Cloud.
Prognosis: POOR
Doing nighttime soaps isn’t as easy as it sounds, and this one just sounds kind of boring. Palm Beach? Upstairs, Downstairs? At least compare it to Downton Abbey so someone has some idea of what you’re referring to.


Life As I Blow It

Logline: Single-camera comedy based on a comedian in the Midwest surrounded by her eccentric friends and family whose opinions and actions know no boundaries.
Talent: Chelsea Lately comedian Sarah Colonna.
Prognosis: POOR
I realize not all loglines are going to give you goosebumps, but this one seriously put me to sleep before I reached “eccentric.”


Satellites

Logline: It’s set in the chaotic world of satellite radio and centers around a former reluctant ’90s boy-band member and a female blogger/podcaster who co-host a relationship call-in show. They must contend not only with their loaded animosity for each other but also the insanity of working in the new world of radio—where the hip-hop station is across the hall from the gay station, which is next door to the nothing-but-windchimes station.
Talent: Weeds writer Stephen Falk is penning the script.
Prognosis: POOR
Seriously? Satellite radio? They know most of those stations are programmed by computers, right?


Downwardly Mobile

Logline: The ensemble comedy revolves around a family and friends living in a mobile home community.
Talent: Roseanne Barr co-created with her boyfriend and former Roseanne E.P. Eric Gilliland.
Prognosis: POOR
I totally concede that Roseanne was one of the best, most ahead-of-its-time sitcoms in TV history. But it belonged in a certain time and place, and as much as it pains me to say, there will be no comebacks for Roseanne Barr. Her outspokenness has turned her into something of a Hollywood pariah, and her reality TV show was atrocious.


Untitled Snoop Dogg Comedy

Logline: Snoop Dogg is the dad of a sitcom family.
Talent: Don Reo (Two and a Half Men, ‘Til Death) is writing.
Prognosis: POOR
This show will never see the light of day. If it does, I pledge to smoke an eighth of weed as my penance.


All loglines from Deadline.com.


Anything here sound good to you? Which of these ideas would you like to see get picked up to series?

Comments (45)
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I hope they either put Vanished and The Finder in the same timeslot or back to back.

I'm hesitant about a remake of the Munsters, but Fuller always delivers top notch shows, though the EXCELLENT prognosis might be a little much considering they're always cancelled too soon.

Also, some of those sitcoms sound like the description of Man Up... I thought the ratings were making it pretty clear that no one wants to watch that sort of thing.
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Funny. All the "racist" attacks about "Outsourced" but never a peep about the Asian guy on 2 Broke Girls. Hippycrits!
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I guess you don't read this site very much!
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Oh gods, not another Sarah Silverman show! What deal with the devil did she make?!
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I'll have my fingers crossed for the Bryan Fuller ones, Munsters more than Hannibal. I absolutely love Pushing Daisies, Wonderfalls, and Dead Like Me. :) I agree with pretty much all these predictions, if they get through. Big Men doesn't seem like my kind of show, but I'll still root for it until I see it as Chis O'Dowd starred in IT Crowd, which is sadly going away soon.
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Now that I know Sarah Silverman is going to have another show I can make the conscious decision not to watch it, instead of ignoring it on accident.
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They all sound worth missing. However NBC had the good sense to pick up Grimm!!! Oh yay!!!
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There is nothing on the list that caught my attention or interest. NEXT!
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For the love of all that is good and holy please do NOT give Sarah Silverman another show.
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I would list Ryan Murphy as a detraction actually, not as a plus. He's extremely heavy-handed with his directing and writing, often overexploiting stereotypes for no discernible reason.

And "Beautiful People" sounds like Battlestar Galactica, except not nearly as good.
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Anyone who thinks the Munsters will be bad clearly is not familiar with Bryan Fuller. I'll watch anything he does.
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Michael McDonald's Beautiful People is up my alley, but Vanish has more to offer plot-wise. You got to know that guy will be struggling to make anyone disappear these days! Sadly, the other pilots lack imagination.
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I'd love to see Jim Gaffigan's show make it.
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Seriously NBC should leave the Munsters alone. You hear that, leave it alone.
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The Munsters is a show that's very dear to me. NBC better not ruin it (they will.)
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Scanning through these list of awful pilots made me want to eat enough turkey to pass out, hopefully until the apocalypse starts. WHY NBC WHY!!!!! Community NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
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It should be mentioned that Chris O'Dowd was a well respected and known talent long before he did "Bridesmaids", at least for his awesome work in "IT CROWD".



This being said, "Big Men" sounds a bit like a spin-off to "Mike and Molly"..
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I am not interest in any of those in the Heavy and Buzzy List. A remake there? No, thanks. Another show about fat people? sigh



I will watch Vanish from your possibily list. If the main character is written well and with the right actor, I think it is a show I will love to watch . Viewers love that type of characters that protect and save others. We all love heroes. A show is about characters and the story, if they make a connection with the viewer, then u have a hit, if not, it is the show you watch while you do laundry.Vanish is the only show in which I can see that.



And I would try The Infidel. Sounds like a fun concept.



Other than those two, bleh.
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A LITTLE RESEARCH WOULD BE NICE BEFORE YOU START WRITTING ABOUT "MOONLIGHT" AND MR. MUNSON..HE HAS A DECIATED FOLLOWING, WHO ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO ANYTHING HE PUTS OUT THERE..WE FELL IN LOVE WITH MOONLIGHT FOR THE STORY, WHICH HAPPEN TO BE TAKEN FROM HIS BOOK "ANGEL OF VENANGE" IT'S ABOUT A VAMPIRE AND NOT A WEREWOLF..WE WILL BE WATCHING FOR A CORRECTION TO THIS ARTICLE...
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Seriously?Shannon Sossamon vehicle? werewolfs? Wow someone really didn't do their research,Before you put something to print please know what your talking about!

Trevor Munson is great I hope NBC picks Vanish up for fall,I'm looking forward to seeing something from him again.
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why WHY is Sarah Silverman continually allowed to put her drivel in front of us? She's nasty and not funny in the least. she is the absolute freaking worst. I didn't even watch the episode of the League she was on because I can't stand her stupid face and voice.
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I lerve her.
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I just don't get it. I've never even cracked a smile at anything she's ever been in that I've seen.
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OK first off you need to get your facts straight before you post about someone you apparently know nothing about....MOONLIGHT WAS NOT ABOUT WEREWOLF IT WAS VAMPIRES YOU MORON... second although Shannon was in the show and an important part as she turned Mick St John into the monster he thought he was...she was NOT the star...this show was a great show that was taken off the air before it's time...as for Vanish..I am 100% sure this is going to be a great show as Trevor is a great writer and knows what the viewers want and listens to them....plus he gets his fact straight..I suggest you go back and recant this story on VANISH and put the Moonlight synopsis right....werewolf....grrrrrrrrr
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Chill out dude...(yes i know youre a girl. Please dont have a hissy fit over that too)
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There were no Werewolves in Moonlight and it was the best TV show ever - with Trevor writing for Vanish how could it go wrong?? He has a lot of fans that are desperately waiting for his next venture!
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Interesting, was that movie "The Infidel" generally considered racist in America? In England, or most elsewhere in Europe, i would think it was considered to be the total opposite of racist.
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The time of the workplace sitcom has passed, I think. Bring in some fresh ideas, NBC can't survive on the corpse that is The Office any more. P&R is still okay but I think they need to do a clean slate. A slate that includes Community obviously...
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My first impression of all these preliminary reviews: It's hilarious that you put Sarah Silverman's picture above the text of The Munsters.



End of transmission.
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"Major Crimes" was supposed to be the name of the "The Closer" spin-off show (with the reference to the division), which had nothing to do with ADAs or channel FX.. at least that was the rumor in summer..
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Not one thing here I want to see... the closest they come is the Gaffigan project.
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I'm sorry, why is Sarah Silverman even allowed to exist, much less spread her completely talentless and unfunny brand of "comedy" to the masses? Didn't America suffer enough when her awful show was being broadcast by Comedy Central? Now NBC is just gonna make it worse? Christ, a show about a retarded chimp would be more entertaining than watching her try to be funny. And if she's responsible for Whitney Cummings, then she's twice as guilty for inflicting trash on the world.
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Wow, NBC sure is trying hard to succeed! Some of them have potential, but can NBC hold on to them in the long run? This is the same network which gave the horrible Whitney a full season and benched Community!



Vanish has a premise which is similar to Person of Interest. But I'm interested in: The Munsters, Beautiful People (really needs a change of name) and Hannibal. Hope these shows make it to primetime next season.
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Wow, NBC sure gave up on workplace comedies fast. Aside from maybe the satellite radio one, I don't see a single new entry in that genre. Right now, it's all they do, but they do it well.
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It's hard to tell with only log line and I rarely care about big names .

Nothing really stands out for me and I hope that NBC have other pilots but from this list I might give a shot to

the Sarah Silverman Comedy ,

Wiseguy log line is interesting but a reboot is a dangerous thing and even more if "Wiseguy is one of those classic series that has been elevated over the years to the pantheon of TV legend. ".



The New Nabors seems like a false good idea to me and even though I enjoyed many Jim Henson's programs and movies in my childhood (The Muppets, Fraggle Rock, Labyrinth), I'm still not convinced
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Can I be kinda excited for Vanish? Sigh, it's the Moonlight thing...
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Anyone remember That's My Bush!, Comedy Central's short-lived comedy from Trey Parker and Matt Stone? That's the first thing I thought of when reading about 1600 Penn. It could be decent.



As for the rest, I'm interested in The Munsters (of course), Beautiful People, Wiseguy, The New Nabors, and Snoop Dogg's show (if it's actually picked up) just because I'm a fan. Hannibal might be all right too. By the way, do you think enough comedies are being developed? Good God.
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Bryan Fuller. Enough said. There are few show runners whose shows I would give more than a season to out of trust to their talent. Bryan Fuller is one of them. There is absolutely no reason that his show of "The Munsters" will not be fantastic. The other two show runners I have absolute faith in are Joss Whedon and Aaron Sorkin. These three guys are gold. If I ran a network, I would approach them and say "I will give you five seasons. Give me gold." I'd then spend money like mad promoting the first season of the show, knowing that they will justify every penny I spent and that the audience would follow. If that doesn't work then I don't know what would. Also, I'd cry.
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Actually, "The Infidel" sounds pretty appealing to me! And the Snoop Dogg comedy could well be a hit - just not on NBC.
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The Munsters could be a big hit but only if NBC manages it right, unlike what they did with Grimm. I just hope they don't decide to wait until Halloween to premiere it.



The New Nebors could be interesting but looking at how badly Aliens in the Family did I wouldn't expect it to do well. And The Jim Henson Company has been deviating lately from family entertainment; it's just not the same company anymore.



Satellites sounds like it's way off the mark. If it's satellite radio then it's not podcasting, which is made available through Internet file downloads. Although radio shows can be made available as podcasts. And to the best of my knowledge, satellite radio shows are done out of private studios, not one massive building, although I can't say that such studios don't exist. Almost all podcasts are made in people's homes.

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Anything Silverman!!!! Was killer on The League!
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Despite my general skepticism about re-imagining and/or remakes, The Munsters sounds like it'll be pretty darn good.



Hannibal actually sounds pretty cool to me, but I have doubts about it working on network television. Put it on a cable network, and I'm all for it.



As much as I love Sarah Silverman, I don't think much about that pilot idea. I wouldn't be surprised if it's as bad as Whitney.



Wiseguy and Vanish seem cool enough, but they seem like they'll be procedural-y (mainly because they're not on cable) and I think they'd do better as half-to-full serial dramas.
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Um do you mean 10 years not 10 minutes into the future for Beautiful People?! And did you say Brian Fuller enough said I am in!
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Nope, apparently it's 10 minutes!
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