2ND UPDATE 5:30 PM: This is a mini-shocker. Word is that CBS is passing on the Nick Stoller comedy pilot ENTRY LEVEL. There has always been concern whether CBS would schedule a single-camera comedy in its blocks of all-multi-camera sitcoms but the network had expressed commitment to …
(RE-POSTED FROM FRIDAY): Back by popular demand: Deadline’s Pilot Buzz lists. We’re earlier than normal this year while pilots have generally been late, with only a handful of them having cuts by now and the vast majority still in various stages of production. Therefore, everything on this list has to be taken with a gigantic grain of salt as a lot could change between a table read and a final cut. Take NBC’s comedy pilot SAVE ME for example. After some mixed and even negative chatter early on, mostly related to the tone of the show, originally developed for Showtime, the tide changed completely over the last two days when people saw the completed pilot, which is getting high marks. The list also doesn’t cover every pilot as some of them have not gotten into production yet or feedback has been insufficient:
The network already has one new scripted series on tap for next season, HANNIBAL, which I hear may go for midseason. With the network in such bad shape after years of neglect and bad decisions by previous regimes, NBC seems to have cast a very wide net this season, developing a vast range of projects that are all over the map, making it harder to handicap. On the drama side, mystery MIDNIGHT SUN and the Jekyll & Hyde-esque DO NO HARM are getting some solid early buzz. The Jason Katims/Jason Ritter medical drama COUNTY, which just wrapped, also has been getting positive feedback. Western-esque THE FRONTIER, which is shooting in Australia, is getting notices for its rich look. Comedy-wise, ANIMAL KINGDOM is hot, as is White House family comedy 1600 PENN, despite a last-minute recasting, as well as the Matthew Perry starrer GO ON and Greg Daniels’ FRIDAY NIGHT DINNER. The network also is high on a couple of multi-camera comedies, the untitled KARI LIZER and JIMMY FALLON projects, with TABLE FOR THREE also looking encouraging so far. The Ryan Murphy/Ali Adler blended family comedy THE NEW NORMAL is still shooting but, with the auspices involved, it is considered a strong contender. NBC brass seem to like the SARAH SILVERMAN pilot, which had an early order, but Silverman is considered acquired taste, so a lot will depend on testing.
The KEVIN WILLIAMSON project was very strong at the script stage, got even stronger with the casting of Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy, and seems to be sailing through production. Meanwhile the untitled KARYN USHER teen-spy drama, which also was an early standout during the script phase, then hit a speed bump in casting the lead, which took a very long time, now appears to be in great shape, with newcomer Saxon Sharbino getting strong reviews. The Williamson and Karyn projects seem to be the top drama contenders at the moment,
EXCLUSIVE: CBS‘ untitled Ralph Lamb drama pilot has added another prominent member to its all-star cast. Terra Nova star Jason O’Mara has been tapped to co-star in the project, joining Dennis Quaid, Michael Chiklis and Carrie-Anne Moss. For O’Mara, the pilot is in second position to prehistoric drama Terra Nova, which is still alive as talks between series producer 20th Century Fox TV and Netflix about a second season continue. O’Mara has fielded multiple pilot offers since Fox cancelled Terra Nova two weeks ago. Set in the 1960s, the untitled Ralph Lamb project, written by Goodfellas writer Nicholas Pileggi and Greg Walker and directed by James Mangold, chronicles the true story of Ralph Lamb (Quaid) – rodeo cowboy turned longtime Sheriff of Las Vegas – and Johnny Savino (Chiklis), a Chicago mob fixer whose entrepreneurial vision for transforming Las Vegas collides with the law-and-order mandate of Sheriff Lamb. O’Mara will play Ralph Lamb’s younger brother Frank, the diplomat in the family.
Also cast in the pilot in guest-starring roles are Michael Reilly Burke, Michael O’Neill and James Russo. Burke will play A.D.A. Katherine O’Connel’s (Moss) boss, D.A. Reynolds, an alpha prosecutor with a burning ambition for power. O’Neill will play Vegas Mayor Bennett, a man with a vision. He has been bucking the state’s Governor, who wants to move Vegas’s power and money up north to Reno. Russo will play Big Tuna, an old-world gangster who runs Vegas for his Chicago bosses.
Dennis Quaid-Michael Chiklis In Talks For Las Vegas Drama Pilot
After lengthy negotiations, Dennis Quaid and Michael Chiklis have closed deals to star in CBS’ untitled Ralph Lamb drama pilot, written by Goodfellas writer Nicholas Pileggi and Greg Walker and directed by James Mangold. In his TV series debut, Quaid will play the title role in the project, set in the 1960s and centered around the true story of Ralph Lamb (Quaid) – rodeo cowboy turned longtime Sheriff of Las Vegas- and Johnny Savino (Chiklis), a Chicago mob fixer whose entrepreneurial vision for transforming Las Vegas collides with the law-and-order mandate of Sheriff Lamb. In addition to starring, Quaid and Chiklis, both repped by WME, will serve as co-executive producers on the Ralph Lamb project, which is executive produced by Pileggi, Mangold, Walker, Cathy Konrad and Arthur Sarkissian. CBS TV Studios is producing.