NEW YORK, May 11, 2010: With networks set to announce their fall TV lineups next week, TVGuide.com has the scoop on which pilots stand the best chance of flourishing next season.
From medical dramas and romantic comedies to spies and William Shatner, we offer 14 solid bets for fall. Among them are the new Hawaii Five-0, HBO's horse-racing drama Luck (starring Dustin Hoffman), and Terra Nova, a sci-fi drama that reunites Steven Spielberg and dinosaurs.
1. Body of Proof (ABC)
Attached: Geoffrey Arend, Nicholas Bishop, Dana Delany, John Carroll Lynch, Windell Middlebrooks, Jeri Ryan, Sonja Sohn
Summary: Delany stars as Dr. Megan Hunt, a no-nonsense doctor-turned-medical examiner who struggles to balance her work and personal life.
Why it has a shot: If you liked Delany's character on Castle, you'll probably like Dr. Hunt.
2. Breakout Kings (Fox)
Attached: Laz Alonso, Malcolm Goodwin, Domenick Lombardozzi, Brooke Nevin, Jimmi Simpson, Nicole Steinwedell
Summary: Three wise convicts (Goodwin, Simpson and Steinwedell) are pulled out of jail to help track down escapees. They get a month off their sentences for each one they take down.
Pedigree: Prison Break producers Matt Olmstead and Nick Santora will act as executive producers and showrunners.
Why it has a shot: It's a fun and original setup for a procedural: a new breakout each week.
3. Chase (NBC)
Attached: Kelli Giddish, Cole Hauser, Jesse Metcalfe, Amaury Nolasco, Rose Rollins
Summary: The drama centers on Annie Frost (Giddish), a wholesome-yet-lethal Texan who leads a task force against violent fugitives. Those at the top constitute what's known as "The Bitch List."
Pedigree: Jennifer Johnson created the series, with Jerry Bruckheimer as executive producer.
Why it has a shot: Well, it's already been picked up for the fall. Our heroine's antics in the pilot show she isn't afraid to die and that she knows when she's being played. The criminals' super-violent streaks raise the stakes. And Frost seems to be chasing more than criminals.
4. Hawaii Five-0 (CBS)
Attached: Scott Caan, Daniel Dae Kim, Taryn Manning, Alex O'Loughlin, Grace Park, Jean Smart
Summary: The reboot of the CBS cop series follows Det. Steve McGarrett (Moonlight's O'Laughlin) and his team as they hunt criminals that plague the islands.
Pedigree: Fringe producers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci are showrunners and executive producers.
Why it has a shot: Fond memories of the old show, and a strong cast led by O'Loughlin and Lost's Kim.
5. Hitched (CBS)
Attached: Jack Carpenter, Sara Fletcher, Sharon Lawrence, Eugene Levy, Riki Lindhorne, Thomas Middleditch, Kurtwood Smith
Summary: Two nice kids (Carpenter and Fletcher) get -- you guessed it -- hitched, but realize all too quickly that they don't know much about each other. The half-hour comedy chronicles the enlightening moments the twentysomethings share as they navigate their new life.
Pedigree: Created by Chuck's Josh Schwartz and Matt Miller, who are also executive producers.
Why it has a shot: The scenario's built-in tension offers lots of comedic potential.
6. Livin' on a Prayer (CBS)
Attached: Kyle Bornheimer, Joe Manganiello, Jaime Pressly, Lindsay Sloane
Summary: This half-hour series focuses on a couple (Sloane and Bornheimer) at the precipice of taking their relationship to the next level.
Pedigree: How I Met Your Mother producers Carter Bays and Craig Thomas are showrunners and executive producers.
Why it has a shot: The Mother team is bringing another romantic comedy to CBS. Plus the characters talk to the camera in a Better Off Ted-esque style that feels inclusive. And the show shares a name with a totally awesome song.
7. Love Bites (NBC)
Attached: Becki Newton, Jordana Spiro
Summary: The comedy follows three loosely connected romantic story lines involving love, dating and marriage.
Pedigree: Created by Sex and the City producer Cindy Chupack, who is also an executive producer.
Why it has a shot: Spiro (Frannie) and Newton (Annie) are a perfect comedic match, and the story lines offer something for everyone. Except little kids who think love, dating and marriage are gross. Plus: It's already been picked up for the fall.
8. Luck (HBO)
Attached: Kerry Condon, Ritchie Coster, Kevin Dunn, Dennis Farina, Jason Gedrick, Ian Hart, Jill Hennessy, Dustin Hoffman, Richard Kind, Nick Nolte, John Ortiz, Tom Payne
Summary: The drama breaks down the real aspects of the horse-racing biz, from the degenerate gamblers at the track to the million-dollar horses, young jockeys and egotistical trainers on the track. It's anchored by Hoffman's Ace, who did a stint in prison protecting all the aforementioned cronies.
Pedigree: Miami Vice producer Michael Mann and David Milch of Deadwood and NYPD Blue will executive-produce, with Milch as showrunner.
Why it has a shot: It has a two-time Oscar winner in the lead, major talents holding the reins, and true grit.
9. Mr. Sunshine (ABC)
Attached: Andrea Anders, Portia Doubleday, Allison Janney, James Lesure, Matthew Perry, Nate Torrence
Summary: This comedy follows Ben (Perry) as he jumps into his 40s without a wife or even a true friend. As he struggles to find any kind of connection, he learns the one girl he's been sleeping with is actually pregnant with what is likely his nemesis' baby. He also has to take charge at work when he realizes his boss (Janney) is a pill-popping eccentric.
Pedigree: Friends' Perry has teamed up with Rules of Engagement's Alex Barnow and Marc Firek to executive-produce.
Why it has a shot: The dialogue is fast-paced and quippy. Ben's efforts to convince himself that he's happy alone are funny and character-building. Plus, Perry's return to TV after his failed stint on Studio 60 will certainly attract viewers, especially since his former work wife, Courtney Cox, is on the tube as well.
10. Nikita (The CW)
Attached: Xander Berkeley, Melinda Clarke, Lyndsy Fonseca, Tiffany Hines, Maggie Q, Sebastien Roberts, Aaron Stanford, Shane West
Summary: The reboot follows an assassin (Q) who has defected from a top-secret government organization. As she tries to shut down its operation, her former colleagues attempt to hunt her down and kill her.
Pedigree: Craig Silverstein of Bones and K-Ville created the series and will act as executive producer with McG.
Why it has a shot: The series has a sweet twist from the original film and spin-off USA Network show: Nikita is actually trying to take down the organization she used to work for. She also has an inside man, or woman.
11. Nomads (The CW)
Attached: Luke Ford, Warren Kole, Michaela McManus, Scott Porter, Gabriella Wright
Premise: The drama follows a group of backpackers who pick up random jobs from the CIA to finance their travels. John (Porter) joins the group of misfits while searching for his missing brother in Southeast Asia.
Pedigree: Ken Sanzel of Numb3rs created the series and will executive-produce.
Why it has a shot: The project's mix of sex, drugs and guns recalls The Beach and the Bourne trilogy.
12. Off the Map (ABC)
Attached: Valerie Cruz, Caroline Dhavernes, Jason George, Mamie Gummer, Martin Henderson, Enrique Murciano
Summary: The story centers on three docs (Dhavernas, Gummer and Murciano) with troubled pasts who leave the U.S. to do some good at a clinic where they deal with alternative medicine and a tight budget.
Pedigree: This jungle drama comes from ABC's resident doc producer Shonda Rhimes, who will executive-produce with Betsy Beers and Jenna Bans, who created the series.
Why it has a shot: The formula may sound similar to that of Grey's Anatomy, but these docs are looking for redemption, and it will be intriguing to discover what they're atoning for.
13. Sh-- My Dad Says (CBS)
Attached: Ryan Devlin, Stephanie Lemelin, Will Sasso, William Shatner, Nicole Sullivan
Summary: This Twitter-born half-hour comedy is about exactly what the title says. By freely discussing bowel movements and comparing girlfriends to subway trains, Shatner's Ed constantly embarrasses his son, Henry (Devlin), who's had to move back in with him.
Pedigree: Will & Grace producers David Kohan and Max Mutchnick will executive-produce.
Why it has a shot: Shatner finally gets a show where he will have no filter, other than that provided by the FCC. What happens when you bring a date to your dad's house after 9 p.m.? For Henry, the answer involves nudity and a shotgun.
14. Terra Nova (Fox)
Attached: Kyle Chandler and Kevin Bacon have both turned down the lead.
Summary: In 2149, to alleviate overpopulation, the government finds a crack in the space-time continuum that opens up to a parallel universe in prehistoric times. A family crosses over to find that the military, using fear of the dinosaurs, has created a dictatorship that the original universe has no knowledge of or control over.
Pedigree: Created by Craig Silverstein and executive-produced by Steven Spielberg.
Why it has a shot: It's a grim look at the future that isn't so unfamiliar. Plus, a dino-drama from the man behind Jurassic Park is a hot property for Fox, which will likely give the series a blind 13-episode order.
Which pilot sounds the most promising?