Yesterday the CW network announced five pilot scripts they have picked up for the fall season. While I normally plotz every time the CW announces anything (see Supernatural, Melrose Place 2.0, Life Unexpected, Ghostfacers web series...), this time I am left underwhelmed. While I love Amy Sherman-Palladino and found her script for The Wyoming Project to be endearing and heartfelt (and therefore will definitely be tuning in), the rest of the stories don't seem to match up.
First there is Betwixt, which is apparently based on a novel (of the same name, not "Push" by Sapphire!), and tells the story of changelings in an urban setting. I'm thinking it's like Vampire Diaries but with changelings. However, it completely rewrites the lore in that in this version, the changelings are actually saving humans from evil; they are not evil themselves. And they will probably be attractive but angsty teenagers instead of little kids-- you know, to keep with their usual demographic. Strike one.
HMS is another young, hot, up-and-comers tale dealing with med students. Deemed "aspirational and sexy fresmen" at Harvard, the major players here will embark upon their biggest challenges and adult lives. At the center of the story is a female character (like a younger Meredith Grey), who is vaguely and uninterestingly both "excited and intimidated by her surroundings." Considering Scrubs is introducing a new female lead who will take over the voice over, and the aforementioned Ms. Grey, it doesn't seem there is a need for yet another one of these shows. Besides, Hayden Panettiere is credited as co-executive producer, and y'all know how I feel about celebrities who aren't really writers selling stories just because they have already achieved some level of "fame!" Strike two...and two and a half.
It's slightly odd that Panettiere isn't at the helm of Hellcats, though, seeing as how that has already been called "Bring it On for the television set." Featuring an ensemble cast set in the world of competitive college cheerleading, it also has the potential to steal from ABC Family's Make it or Break It audience. Current CW star Tom Welling will be pulling double duty if this gets a full season order, as he is still playing Clark on Smallville and is billed as the executive producer of this new project. Strike three.
Should I even have to talk about the last one then? Le sigh. But I will.
And finally, there is a remake of La Femme Nikita in the works, in which the titular character has gone rogue, so a new one is being trained to replace her. From executive producer McG, this is simply titled Nikita.
When Life Unexpected got its order, I really believed the CW was on it's way back to the programming that put the (then WB) channel on the map. However, with the announcements yesterday, it appears that once again, an original, unique, character-driven piece (The Wyoming Project) is going to get buried by the flash and glitz and gimmicks of the rest.