9 TV Pilots We Wish Made It to the 2020–2021 Schedule
If there’s one upside to this year’s pandemic-disrupted pilot development season, it’s that the broadcast networks haven’t been as ruthless in their cuts.
Only a few pilots have gotten a hard pass—including, surprisingly, the highly anticipated thirtysomething spinoff, thirtysomething(else) —as ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, and The CW have pushed many prospective TV shows until later next season and even the following season.
We’re sorry the following TV shows didn’t make the 2020–2021 schedule—at least, not yet, in some cases. But we’re optimistic we’ll see at least a few of them at some point!
At That Age (NBC)
Ballers’ Emayatzy Corinealdi and In Contempt’s Christian Keyes were cast in this exploration of an African-American family in Harlem. In the drama’s pilot, a family navigates a foundational shift after a catastrophe befalls the golden child. NBC rolled this pilot to next year’s development cycle.
Ugly Betty dream team Becki Newton and Michael Urie (pictured above) would have reunited in this multi-camera sitcom about two fun-loving siblings: a sister running a Pennsylvania funeral home and a brother who helps her with the day-to-day operations after he leaves showbiz. Unfortunately, CBS passed on the pilot.
Harlem’s Kitchen (ABC)
The Good Fight’s Delroy Lindo leads the cast of this ensemble drama about a family running an acclaimed restaurant in Harlem, a family whose secrets are unearthed after a sudden death in the family. ABC seems intent on filming this pilot later this year, having extended the cast options until September 30.
Maverick (The CW)
One of The CW’s only pilots not based on pre-existing IP, Maverick tells the story of a daughter of an authoritarian U.S. President, a woman whose devotion to her dad unravels after she is challenged by fellow students at Georgetown. The CW has not yet announced this pilot’s fate.
This much-hyped sequel to the 1987-91 ABC drama had Odette Annable, Patrick Fugit, and Chris Wood playing the adult children of the original thirtysomething cast (pictured here), almost all of whom would have reprised their parts. ABC passed on the project at the end of June.
Untitled Goonies Re-Enactment Series (Fox)
A substitute teacher with a big secret finds salvation after moving to her run-down hometown and helping a trio of students film a shot-for-shot remake of the 1985 adventure film The Goonies in what Fox describes as a “love letter to the power of cinema, storytelling, and dreams.” The network extended the cast options this month.
Ways and Means (CBS)
Patrick Dempsey and Troian Bellisario headline this drama pilot about a jaded congressional leader who finds an unlikely ally in an idealistic young congressperson from across the aisle. CBS has not yet announced this pilot’s fate.
Based on the Emily Bleeker novel of the same name, this pilot centers on two plane crash survivors who eke by as castaways on a South Pacific island for four years—and then lie about their survival story after their dramatic rescue. The pilot still seems to be in contention at ABC, though no casting has been announced.