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January 17, 2011 / TerranceTheTrailerTrasher

Six New TV Shows in Development

Today let’s take a special look at some TV shows in development. Is this really what they think we want to watch?

UNTITLED JASON ALEXANDER SERIESCBS is developing a one-hour drama series for “Seinfeld” star Jason Alexander. In it, he plays a down-on-his-luck former TV star forced to join his ex-wife’s detective agency, where he ends up having a knack for investigating with a penchant for disguises.

@ – Sounds like part “Moonlighting” mixed with a premise George Costanza cooked up. Will it be called the Vandalay Detective Agency? There is no “Seinfeld” curse. Just plain stupidity in selecting projects. He should do a sitcom where he accidentally marries Britney Spears.

AUSTIN AND ALLY – 15-year-old Ally Dawson is an aspiring singer with a terrible case of stage fright. Austin Ray, another wannabe singer, steals one of her songs and has a viral, Bieber-like YouTube hit with it. The two teens team up to figure out what to do next. From the producers of “Hannah Montana” and “Sonny with a Chance.” Disney Channel describes it as a pint-sized “Entourage.”

@@@ – It’s a cute enough excuse for a replacement series in the wake of Hannah’s exit, keeping up with the times (there was no such thing as a mainstream internet superstar when Hannah started out a mere five years ago). It will be implausible and trite, but It’s a Laugh Productions knows their market. This should be a watchable hit that tweens will eat up.

PLAYBOYNBC, along with 20th Century Fox TV and Imagine TV, is developing a one-hour drama series set in the 1960s in the New York Playboy Club. The show centers on a group of “bunnies” at the club as a prism for exploring the nation’s changing mores and the coming sexual revolution. It was previously developed with a different writer under the title “Bunny Tales.”

@@ – In the wake of the success of AMC’s “Mad Men,” every network is trying to come up with their “original” take on the 1960s. ABC will be giving us “Pan Am” centering on the airline’s wild crew of the era and Starz is putting together “Magic City” set in late 50s/early 60s Miami. Do we really need more than one show at a time set in this period? I haven’t tried “Mad Men” yet. The advertising world doesn’t seem like the best place to find a microcosm for exploring a cultural shift, but I get the dichotomy of business people in a “professional” environment behaving in ways we would never get away with today. But what can they say about that at the Playboy Club, where the supposedly loose attitudes were crafted for consumption as opposed to gotten away with? Of the four examples, I think “Pan Am” has the opportunity for the richest story lines.

HELL ON WHEELSAnson Mount stars as a Confederate soldier bent on revenge. He travels west to work on the construction of the first transcontinental railroad. The AMC period Western will capture the greed and corruption associated with the railroad building boom and examine the wave of immigration and the plight of emancipated slaves during Reconstruction.

@@@@ – While everyone else is following AMC to the 1960s, AMC is going to the 1860s. Just on risk-taking alone I have to applaud them and give this show a chance. It actually sounds like they can cram a lot of issues of both historical importance and contemporary relevance into that setting. I’ve never been able to get involved in those dry TV Westerns of the 1950s, but this one sounds fascinating.

BIG MIKEA&E scripted hour-long drama series about a plus-size detective in the San Diego Police Department. Produced by Adam Sandler‘s Happy Madison company. Pilot written by the guys who wrote THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY.

@@ – I wonder if the success of “Mike and Molly,” a sitcom about a plus-size Chicago cop (and his plus-size girlfriend) has anything to do with this. (They didn’t even change the cop’s name!) Will TV be cluttered with fat people from now on? It’s a good thing we all switched to widescreen TVs. But I thought being a cop had some sort of physical fitness requirements. Are there really that many obese cops in America to justify them becoming the newest TV trope?

AKA JESSICA JONES – Superhero Jewel suffers from post traumatic stress disorder and walks away from the superhero biz. She opens a detective agency and ends up assisting other superheroes. TWILIGHT screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg is developing the series for ABC and Marvel Television, based on Marvel’s comic book “Alias,” part of their Max line of more mature titles.

@@@ – There’s no end to the twists on the superhero genre that are following in the wake of “Heroes.” I gave ABC’s NO ORDINARY FAMILY a try and it’s fairly watchable. This sounds like it could be edgier and may end up being even better.


One Comment

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  1. thejamminjabber / Jan 17 2011 10:53 am

    These are all teh suck.

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