Pilot Pirate: NBC, ABC and Fox pick-ups and no-gos

It’s been a flurry of news from the TV networks this past week and more announcements are coming as ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and the CW present their fall schedules in the coming week. AfterEllen.com takes a look at what made the cut and what gay-friendly projects won’t see the light of day. First up, NBC.

NBC had the most buzz-worthy pilot this season in Wonder Woman, which failed to make the cut. New network boss Robert Greenblatt told TVLine that the Adrianne Palicki remake from David E. Kelley didn’t feel like the right take on the beloved character.

Of the network’s 22 pilots, NBC ordered 11 — five dramas and six comedies – and renewed Parenthood, Chuck and Harry’s Law. However, Law & Order: Los Angeles, The Event and Outsourced were all canceled. Here’s a look at the pilots that were ordered to series at NBC:

The Playboy Club, a drama starring Amber Heard as a newbie Playboy Bunny who navigates the mob – and the politics and drama with her fellow bunnies — in1960s Chicago. Leah Reneee Cudmore co-stars as closeted lesbian Bunny Alice. NBC slated it for Mondays this fall at 10 p.m.


Up All Night, a comedy starring Christina Applegate, Will Arnett and Maya Rudolph revolves around a working mother (Applegate) and her stay-at-home husband (Arnett) who never thought she’d be a mom. The show air Wednesdays at 8 p.m., followed by —

Free Agents, a comedy starring Hank Azaria and Kathryn Hahn as two quirky co-workers who are on the rebound. Buffy’s Anthony Head co-stars. It airs Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m.

Whitney, a romantic comedy starring stand-up comic Whitney Cummings, will air at 9:30 p.m. on Thursdays after The Office. You’ll notice that NBC’s fall schedule, announced Sunday, doesn’t include 30 Rock; the comedy will return mid-season to accommodate star Tina Fey’s pregnancy.

Prime Suspect, a remake of the Helen Mirren miniseries starring Maria Bello as the hard-nosed detective who has to make it in a New York precinct dominated by men. NBC scheduled it for Thursdays at 10 p.m.

Grimm, a dark cop drama that’s set in a world in which the Brothers Grimm fairy tale characters exist, will follow Chuck’s fifth and final season Fridays at 9 p.m.

Smash – dubbed “Glee for adults” – features an ensemble cast including Katharine McPhee and Debra Messing as they prepare to launch a Broadway musical revolving around Marilyn Monroe. NBC will launch the drama mid-season.

Pilots picked up to series but not yet on the schedule include:

Awake, a drama from Lone Star creator Kyle Killen, stars Jason Isaacs and Cherry Jones in the story of a detective who can’t let go of any aspect of his life after his wife dies in a car crash. It’s a high-concept procedural hybrid in which Isaacs leads parallel lives, one in which is wife is alive, the other in which she’s dead.

Are You There Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea, starring Laura Prepon from That ’70s Show. The comedy, which is based on the book of the same name by Chelsea Handler, will feature Glee’s Dot Jones as a lesbian bully.


Best Friends Forever, a romantic comedy starring Lennon Parham and Jessica St. Clair as a woman and her live-in boyfriend who are forced to deal with her best friend who moves in after a divorce.

Bent, a comedy starring Amanda Peet as a single mom who tries hard not to fall for the sexy surfer-dude contractor she hires to redo her kitchen (David Walton). Arrested Develoment’s Jeffrey Tambor co-stars.

Among the pilots that failed to make the cut:

17th Precinct, The so-called Battlestar Galactica reunionfrom Ron Moore and staring Jamie Bamber and Tricia Helfer in a police drama that’s set in a world where magic is real.

Help Wanted, which starred Sarah Paulson as a woman with relationship issues who guides the newly unemployed through career counseling.

I Hate That I Love You, the comedy in which a straight couple introduces their lesbian friends to one another that results in attraction and a pregnancy.

Next page: A look at ABC’s pilots!