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Friday, May 8, 2015

PILOT PICKUPS: The Muppets, Dr. Ken, The Real O'Neals, The Catch, The Family, Untitled Pate & Fishburne Project, Of Kings and Prophets, Wicked City, Quantico

It has been a busy night for ABC, cancelling four shows and renewing 22. They also picked up nine shows - three comedies (The Muppets, Dr. Ken, The Real O'Neals) and six dramas (The Catch, The Family, Untitled Don Johnson, Of Kings and Prophets, Wicked City, Quantico).

The Muppets was one of the very last contenders we heard about but it quickly became a favorite. Bringing the beloved characters back to primetime, The show is documentary style and described as being slightly more for adults. The last regular Muppets show was the short-lived 1996 ABC Friday night entry Muppets Tonight.

Dr. Ken stars Ken Jeong as a brilliant physician who doesn't really know how to interact with his patients or his family. After Fresh Off the Boat, it will be the second comedy now after a 20 year break to have an Asian American star. The show also stars Suzy Nakamura, Tisha Campbell-Martin, Dave Foley, Jonathan Slavin, Albert Tsai, and Krista Marie Yu.

The Real O'Neals was a bit controversial and still might be because of the involvement the liberal provocateur Dan Savage. It centers on a Catholic family who has a member come out of the closet among other secrets. The show stars Martha Plimpton, Jay R. Ferguson, Noah Galvin, Matthew Shively, Bebe Wood, and Mary Hollis Inboden.

The Catch is the latest entry from Shondaland, giving the studio four shows on the network. This one stars Mirelle Enos as a fraud investigator who is also a victim of fraud herself by her fiance. The show also stars Alimi Ballard, Damon Dayoub, Jay Hayden, Jacky Ido, Bethany Joy Lenz, Rose Rollins, and Elvy Yost. Will this share a timeslot with How to Get Away with Murder?

The Family (formerly Untitled Jenna Bans) centers on a politician's son who was presumed dead but returns after a decade. The show stars Joan Allen, Allison Pill, Margot Bingham, Zach Gilford, Liam James, Floriana Lima, Madeline Arthur, Rarmian Newton, Rupert Graves, and Andrew McCarthy. This show sounds a little bit too much like Resurrection to me.

The Untitled Pate & Fishburne Project (formerly Boom) is one of the most interesting pilots in terms of the log line. The show is about two brothers who move to North Dakota after the biggest oil discovery in history. They have to go toe to toe with a ruthless tycoon in a modern day Wild West. The show stars Don Johnson, Chace Crawford, Rebecca Rittenhouse, Delroy Lindo, Amber Valetta, Scott Michael Foster, India De Beaufort, Yani Gellman, and Caitlin Carver.

Of Kings and Prophets is a biblical saga told through the eyes of a king, a prophet, and a shepherd. Despite the failure of A.D. on NBC, this has been strong pilot in recent weeks for ABC. It stars Ray Winstone, Haaz Sleiman, Maisie Richardson-Sellers, Oliver Rix, Simone Kessell, James Floyd, Mohammed Bakir, and Tomer Kapon.

Wicked City (formerly LA Crime) is a dark anthology drama that will follow a different era in LA crime each year. The first season is set in 1982 and centers on the cocaine-infused Sunset Strip of that time period. The show stars Adam Rothenberg, Ed Westwick, Taissa Farmiga, Gabriel Luna, Karolina Wydra, Holley Fain, Darrell Britt-Gibson, Anne Winters, and Erika Christensen.

Quantico follows a group of recruits at the FBI base. Though they all have been vetted, one of them is suspected of being a mastermind of the biggest US attack since 9/11. The drama stars Priyanka Chopra, Dougray Scott, Jake McLaughlin, Aunjanue Ellis, Yasmine Al Massri, Johanna Braddy, Tate Ellington, and Graham Rogers.

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