It’s that time of year again: Deadline’s annual Hot List for the first very early intel on the 2010-2011 primetime pilots for the broadcast networks. Based primarily on feedback from scripts/table reads/dailies as the vast majority of pilots have not been completed yet, these have heat heading into the final weeks before the network upfronts. Polled are agents, executives, showrunners, producers, directors, writers, as well as word from the set or editing room. Look for frequent updates:
MIDLAND: Called an early standout on the drama side at the script stage. Attracted hot feature director Marc Webb (500 Days Of Summer, Spidey reboot). Continues to be one of 2 frontrunners.
RIDE-ALONG: The other frontrunner. Shawn Ryan doing a cop drama. ‘Nuff Said.
BREAKOUT KINGS: The U.S. Marshals drama heats up with promising dailies.
TERA NOVA: Steven Spielberg’s dino drama is expected to fulfill one of the Peter Chernin company’s series commitments. Midseason launch.
TRAFFIC LIGHT: The Israeli format is a big favorite on the comedy side.
KEEP HOPE ALIVE: After a couple of casting tweaks, the new Greg Garcia comedy looks strong.
WILDE’S KINGDOM: Will Arnett who is starring reportedly killed at the table read of this single-camera comedy.
MOST LIKELY TO SUCCEED: The ensemble comedy may live up to its name with positive buzz.
SECURITY (formerly Untitled Adam Goldberg): Third time could be the charm for Christian Slater who stars in this talked-about comedy set at a digital-security firm.
NBC right now is the agencies’ wet dream. With more needs at 10 PM than any other network following the quick demise of The Jay Leno Show, NBC is supposed to pick between 5 and 7 new drama series for next season. Here are the early frontrunners:
ROCKFORD FILES: Pre-sold title, great baby boomer nostalgia, comes from House creator David Shore
UNDERCOVERS: J.J. Abrams. That about sums it up.
CHASE: Strong early buzz on this Jerry Bruckheimer-produced thriller.
KINDREDS: Solid effort from David E. Kelley with Oscar-winner Kathy Bates in the lead.
LAW & ORDER: LA: Done deal. The Law & Order spinoff set in Los Angeles already has been picked up to series for fall.
LOVE BITES: Cindy Chupack’s anthology dramedy series stars two of the hottest young actresses, Becki Newton and Jordana Spiro.
THE EVENT: NBC brass is looking for an event series, and this conspiracy theory thriller’s chances look good so far.
THE CAPE: Promising dailies for the Simon West-directed high-concept drama is giving it a lift. But it may have to fight with The Event for a spot on the schedule.
On the comedy side:
THIS LITTLE PIGGY: Against all odds. This was a leftover project from last season produced by the sister studio of a rival network, ABC. Yet the sibling comedy is packing some serious heat.
FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS: Another hot ABC transplant. (ABC passed onits own project in February.)
NEXT: Paul Reiser’s semi-autobigraphical comedy also is heating up in the filming stage. (I won’t go for the easy Mad About You one-liner.)
OUTSOURCED, PERFECT COUPLES: Both have supporters at NBC.
HAWAII FIVE-O: Iconic brand, CBS staple Alex O’Loughlin as Steve McGarrett. Looks like a sure bet, along with:
CRIMINAL MINDS SPINOFF: Same reasons as above. Forest Whitaker stars.
CHAOS: Good buzz on the Brett Ratner-directed CIA drama.
DEFENDERS: The legal drama starring Jim Belushi and Jerry O’Connell also looks promising. Maybe competing with Chaos for a series order.
UNTITLED BAYS/THOMAS COMEDY: Great auspices (How I Met Your Mother creators Carter Bays, Craig Thomas. And great table read (Everyone loved Kyle Bornheimer and Jaime Pressly).
MIKE & MOLLY: Ditto. Comes from reigning comedy king Chuck Lorre.
BLEEP MY DAD SAYS (aka SHIT MY DEAD SAYS): Ditto again. The Twitter sensation in the hands of Will & Grace creators Max Mutchnick and David Kohan. With William Shatner as the larger-than-life central character, this had a hilarious table read.
NO ORDINARY FAMILY: An early drama standout from top showrunner Greg Berlanti. This high-concept drama has been garnering momentum through casting (landing Michel Chiklis as the lead), and through filming.
THE WHOLE TRUTH: Solid legal show. Good chemistry between stars Joely Richardson and Rob Morrow
TRUE BLUE: Scribes Jon Feldman and Chris Brancato’s different take on the cop drama sets it apart. Having a strong woman lead in Poppy Montgomery helps on a female-centric ABC.
BODY OF EVIDENCE: One of the best-liked drama scripts at the network. Big–name star in Dana Delany.
WRIGHT VS. WRONG: Early frontrunner on the comedy side based on a well-received script by Stephnie Weir and a solid table read. Very strong cast, too, led by Debra Messing.
NIKITA: Strong buzz for the La Femme Nikita reboot starring Maggie Q has made it an early frontrunner.
UNTITLED WYOMING PROJECT: Classic CW genre: family soap, from a proven showrunner, Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino.
BETWIXT: The drama about “changelings” falls into CW’s current sweet spot: genre shows. (A possible Vampire Diaries companion?)
TV Editor Nellie Andreeva - tip her here.