LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- With the upfronts just one week away, pilot "buzz" has kicked into high gear as the vague picture of the broadcast networks' new 2004-05 series is starting to come into focus.
Here's a round-up of how each pilot is faring, according to various reports:
COMEDIES - Peacock executives apparently are breathing a big sigh of relief as "Joey" tested well internally and more importantly got solid thumbs-up from independent sources. While there was no doubt the show would make the fall schedule, said results will no doubt make Jeff Zucker and co. sleep easier. Brief promos for the series began running during the "Friends" finale. As for its other comedies, both "D.O.T.S." and its untitled Deann Heline/Elieen Heisler project have repeatedly been mentioned as testing well, and the opposite is true for "Foster Hall," "The Friendlys," "Weekends" and "Americana." Straddling the middle are "My 11:30," "Beverly Hills, S.U.V." and "Men's Room." Yet to be mentioned are Rob Reiner's "Everyday Life," Marsh McCall's "The MacGregors," "Nevermind Nirvana," "The Office" and "The Father of the Pride," the latter of which already has a series order.
DRAMAS - With just a handful of drama pilots in the works, at best two new hours will make the schedule. Leading the buzz are "Revelations," "Hawaii" and Jason Horwitch's untitled medical mystery project while "HUB" and "Medium" remain off the radar.
COMEDIES - Rodney Carrington, John Stamos and Jessica Simpson's half-hours seem to be the strongest contenders, as does the Colin Hanks-led "News to Me" and Jennifer Love Hewitt's untitled comedy. On the flip side, "Earthquake" doesn't seem to be getting any traction, while "The Furst Family," "Hot Homma," "I Married Sofia," "Plan B," "The Savages," "We Are Family," "Thank God It's Monday" and Lewis Black's project remain under the radar.
DRAMAS - Gushing in the word that best describes the Alphabet's reaction to "Desperate Housewives," which seems as sure as anything to make the fall schedule. Not surprisingly "Housewives" comes from new ABC topper Steve McPherson's former home, Touchstone Television. Also considered strong or having fans are "Eyes," "Doing It," "Blind Justice" and "Under the Knife" (a.k.a. "Surgeons"). "Lost" is set to be screened this week, while mum is the word on "Countdown," "DeMarco Affairs," "Gramercy Park," "Kat Plus One" and "The Secret Service." Only "Harry Green & Eugene" has been singled out as not likely for a fall 2004 berth.
COMEDIES - The Fran Drescher-led "Shacking Up" and the Mark Burnett-produced "Miles to Go" both seem to be the biggest favorites while "Blue Collar TV" is expected to launch this summer and continue on through the fall should it perform well. Yet to be mentioned are "The Dana & Julia Show," "The Green Screen," "Joint Custody," "Then Came Marriage" and the untitled Fleiss/Sheridan project.
DRAMAS - With "Jack & Bobby" already getting a go for fall 2004 and "The Mountain" also considered a sure thing, that leaves little room for other projects. "Dark Shadows" is widely considered a long shot to make the schedule after strong initial buzz. The same goes for "The Robinsons: Lost in Space," while "Prodigy" has yet to appear on any reports.
COMEDIES - Seth MacFarlane's animated pilot "American Dad" is the only comedy looking good for a series order thus far while "Blue Aloha," "The Boondocks," "Lucky Us," "Mr. Ed," "Related by Family," "The Robinson Brothers," "The Sketch Show," "Sorry Charlie," "Sweden, Ohio" and the animated projects from Jonathan Katz and Phil Hendrie remain invisible for the time being. Keep in mind FOX is already launching "Method & Red" and "Quintuplets" this summer.
DRAMAS - Dark dramas "Point Pleasant" and "House" are said to have their fans for 2004-05 series orders, while "On the Inside" is also generating buzz. Off the radar then are "Hollywood Division," "The Deerings," "Johnny Zero" and "Ricochet."
COMEDIES - As usual, the Eye is fairly mum on its pilot reactions however the Ricki Lake/Kirstie Alley, Chris O'Donnell, Jason Alexander and John Goodman projects are said to be leading candidates. Fellow newcomers "Taste," "Saint Louie" and untitled projects from Aisha Tyler and Andrew Kennedy remain under the radar.
DRAMAS - Both of Sarah Timberman and Carl Beverly's pilot's, "Wanted" and "The Webster Report," are said to have screen well, as have "Colderon" and "The Clubhouse." Still yet to appear on any reports are "Bounty Hunter," "Cooking Lessons," "Dr. Vegas" and "Numbers."
COMEDIES - Not surprisingly the "One on One" spin-off "Splitting Hairs" and Jenny McCarthy's "The Bad Girl's Guide" lead the netlet's comedy buzz, leaving behind "Humor Me," "Me, Me, Me," "Play Nice" and "Second Time Around" as well as the untitled Soluna project for the time being.
DRAMAS - Again, it's not surprising to learn "Beck & Call" and "Kevin Hill" are considered at the top of the list to make UPN's fall schedule. Nevertheless "Veronica Mars" and "Silver Lake" are said to also be possibilities, while "Nikki & Nora" and "Mystery Girl" bring up the rear.
This article was corrected on Tuesday, May 11.