TV Pilots 2021: All of the New Network Shows in the Works
The 2020-2021 season has been challenging for networks, thanks to pandemic-related delays in production schedules, but they still need to plan for the future. Welcome to pilot season.
The ones below may not all make it to series, while some that aren’t on this list — those still being shopped around — may end up part of the primetime lineup. Amid the comedies and dramas that could be coming to ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, and The CW are some fan-favorite stars and updated takes on some classic shows.
Here, a breakdown of all the pilots in the works for the 2021-2022 season. Be sure to keep checking back for updates. (W=writer, EP=executive producer, D=director)
Acts of Crime (Drama)
Cast: Candace Grace, Josiah Cross, Peter Mark Kendall, Molly Price
W: Sam Esmail
EP: Sam Esmail, Chad Hamilton
D: Sam Esmail
Synopsis: A unique spin on the crime procedural.
W/EP: Shawn Vance, Daril Fannin, Jimmy Kimmel
Synopsis: When a Green Beret returns home to Texas from military service, he and his family struggle with the challenges of adopting his new brother, a 12-year-old Russian boy. Inspired by a true story.
W: Emily Wilson
EP: Emily Wilson, Sara Gilbert, Tom Werner, Marc Provissiero, Mandy Summers
Synopsis: After being dumped by her boyfriend and kicked out of her apartment on the eve of a big promotion, Amy finds refuge at her mom’s house in the blue-collar neighborhood where she grew up. Amy reconnects with her teenage niece, living there due to Amy’s sister’s latest rehab stint, and resolves to stay when she realizes that her mom and niece aren’t quite equipped to go it alone.
W: Brigitte Hales
EP: Brigitte Hales, Adam Horowitz, Edward Kitsis
Synopsis: A romantic anthology that reinvents fairy tales for a new audience.
W: Maggie Mull, Justin Adler
EP: Maggie Mull, Justin Adler, Evan Hayes
Synopsis: Based on Tim Curcio’s short film of the same name, the comedy revolves around a young woman who tries to cope with life while coming to terms with her abilities as a psychic. She can see everyone’s future, but her present is a mess.
National Parks (Drama)
Cast: Billy Campbell, Angel Parker, Gerardo Celasco, Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut, Blu Hunt, Guillermo Diaz
W: Kevin Costner, Aaron Helbing, Jon Baird
EP: Kevin Costner, Aaron Helbing, Jon Baird, Barry Jossen, Tana Jamieson, Rod Lake, Ivan Cohen, Ken Halsband, Anthony Hemingway
D: Anthony Hemingway
Synopsis: A small group of elite NPS agents solve crimes while protecting the national parks.
Promised Land (Drama)
W: Matt Lopez
EP: Matt Lopez, Adam Kolbrenner
Synopsis: An epic, generation-spanning drama about two Latinx families vying for wealth and power in California’s Sonoma Valley.
Cast: Eve, Naturi Naughton
W: Zahir McGhee
EP: Zahir McGhee, Sabrina Wind
Synopsis: Estranged and out-of-touch, four women in their 40s reunite for a chance to recapture their fame and regain the swagger they had as the Nasty Bitches — their 1990s group that made them legends in the hip-hop world.
Cast: Michael Ealy, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Vondie Curtis-Hall, Gabriel Sloyer, Parisa Fitz-Henley, Andrew Richardson, Bex Taylor-Klaus, Kathleen Robertson
W: David Cornue
EP: David Cornue, Erica Messer, Jon M. Chu, Steven Marrs, Courtney Hazlett, Caitlin Foito
D: Jon M. Chu
Synopsis: A character-driven medical drama that follows a pioneering surgeon, Finley Briar, over three distinct decades at the same hospital. With the evolution of medicine as the backdrop, the show explores the interconnected careers, friendships, and romances of Finley and her colleagues, and their tenuous relationship with time.
The Wonder Years (Comedy)
W: Saladin Patterson
EP: Saladin Patterson, Lee Daniels, Marc Velez, Fred Savage, Neal Marlens
Synopsis: A reboot of the series with the same name, it focuses on a Black middle-class family in Montgomery, Alabama, in the turbulent late ’60s who made sure it was “the wonder years” for them, too.
Untitled Alec Baldwin-Kelsey Grammer Comedy (Comedy) *Straight-to-Series Order*
Cast: Alec Baldwin, Kelsey Grammer, Alec Mapa
W: Chris Lloyd, Vali Chandrasekaran
EP: Chris Lloyd, Vali Chandrasekaran
Synopsis: Three guys who were roommates in their 20s until their warring egos drove them apart reunite decades later for one more run at the lives they’ve always wanted.
Untitled Regina Hicks (Comedy)
W: Regina Hicks
EP: Regina Hicks, Viola Davis, Julius Tennon, Larry Wilmore
Synopsis: Three former sorority sisters who lost touch after college reunite during a pivotal point in their lives. They realize sometimes it’s OK to crack and when you do, no one will be there for you like your friends.
Cast: Rose McIver, Brandon Scott Jones, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Richie Moriarty, Danielle Pinnock, Asher Grodman, Sheila Carrasco, Roman Zaragoza, Rebecca Wisocky
W: Joe Port, Joe Wiseman
EP: Joe Port, Joe Wiseman, Mathew Baynton, Jim Howick, Simon Farnaby, Laurence Rickard, Ben Willbond, Martha Howe-Douglas, Alison Carpenter, Debra Hayward, Alison Owen, Angie Stephenson
Synopsis: A struggling young couple’s dreams come true when they inherit a beautiful country house, only to find it’s both falling apart and inhabited by many of the deceased previous residents. Based on the British comedy series of the same name.
Good Sam (Drama)
Cast: Sophia Bush, Jason Isaacs, Skye P. Marshall, Edwin Hodge
W: Katie Wech
EP: Katie Wech, Jennie Snyder Urman, Joanna Klein, Tamra Davis
D: Tamra Davis
Synopsis: A talented yet stifled surgeon embraces her leadership role after her renowned and pompous boss falls into a coma. When he awakens and wants to resume surgery, however, it falls to her to supervise this overbearing blowhard who never acknowledged her talents — and also happens to be her father.
The Three of Us (Comedy)
Cast: Oliver Hudson, Malin Akerman, Brent Morin, Vanessa Lachey
W: Frank Pines
EP: Frank Pines, Ben Winston, Jeff Grosvenor, James Corden
Synopsis: Adult siblings who are children of divorce must circle the wagons when their sister’s husband unexpectedly announces he wants to call it quits on their marriage.
True Lies (Drama)
W: Matt Nix
EP: Matt Nix, James Cameron, Mary Viola, Rae Sanchini, McG
Synopsis: Shocked to discover that her bland and unremarkable computer consultant husband is a skilled international spy, an unfulfilled suburban housewife is propelled into a life of danger and adventure when she’s recruited to work alongside him to save the world as they try to revitalize their passionless marriage. Based on the 1994 James Cameron movie.
Untitled Sarah Cooper/Cindy Chupak Project (Comedy)
W: Sarah Cooper, Cindy Chupack
EP: Sarah Cooper, Cindy Chupack, Nina Tassler, Denise Di Novi, Joan Boorstein
Synopsis: Inspired by Sarah Cooper’s How to Be Successful Without Hurting Men’s Feelings book, the comedy revolves around three women at different stages in their careers at a male-dominated company who help each other navigate modern gender politics in their professional and personal lives.
Untitled Tom Smallwood Project (Comedy)
W: Mark Gross
EP: Mark Gross, David Hollander, Brian D’Arcy James
Synopsis: Based on the life of pro bowler Tom Smallwood, the comedy revolves around a seemingly ordinary man, who, after being laid off from the assembly line at the GM factory, decides to provide for his family by following his dream of becoming a pro bowler.
Ways and Means (Drama)
Cast: Patrick Dempsey, Amanda Warren, Troian Bellisario, Damian Young, Arliss Howard, Meta Golding
W: Mike Murphy, Ed Redlich
EP: Mike Murphy, Ed Redlich, Nina Tassler, Denise Di Novi, Tom Lassally, Patrick Dempsey, Phil Abraham
Co-EP: Joannie Burstein
D: Phil Abraham
Synopsis: A powerful congressional leader who has lost faith in politics finds himself working secretly with an idealistic young congresswoman from the opposing party to subvert the hopelessly gridlocked system he helped create. Together, they’ll attempt to save American politics … if they don’t get caught.
Welcome to Georgia (Comedy)
Cast: Hannah Simone, Elizabeth Hurley
W: Corinne Kingsbury, John Francis Daley, Jonathan Goldstein
EP: Corinne Kingsbury, John Francis Daley, Jonathan Goldstein, Aaron Kaplan, Dana Honor, Wendi Trilling, Pamela Fryman
D: Pamela Fryman
Synopsis: When Penelope’s career takes off at exactly the same time as her husband’s, they call on Penelope’s young single mom, Georgia, to help raise their son, but what they find is Georgia needs more raising than their kid.
Wilde Things (Comedy)
Cast: Julie Bowen, Ken Marino, Milan Carter, Jeremy D. Howard, Stephanie Koenig
W: Max Mutchnick, David Kohan
EP: Max Mutchnick, David Kohan
Synopsis: A successful and fiercely independent crisis manager’s world is turned upside down when she decides to let someone into her life for the first time — an 11-year-old girl who she adopts and raises with the occasional help of her fragile, nervous wreck of a sister.
The Big Leap (Drama)
Cast: Scott Foley, Teri Polo, Ser’Darius Blain, Ray Cham, Jon Rudnitsky, Simone Recasner, Piper Perabo, Malory Jansen, Kevin Daniels
W: Liz Heldens
EP: Liz Heldens, Jason Winer, Sue Naegle
D: Jason Winer
Synopsis: Inspired by a U.K. format, it centers on a group of diverse underdogs from all different walks of life who compete to be part of a competition reality series that is putting on a modern, hip remake of Swan Lake. What they lack in the traditional dancer body type, they make up for with their edge, wit and desire to reimagine an iconic story to fit their own mold.
Blood Relative (Drama)
Cast: Melissa Leo, Tate Donovan, Tyrone Marshall Brown, Dascha Polanco, Dawnn Lewis, Jude Mayer
W: Chris Levinson, James Renner
EP: Chris Levinson, James Renner, Philip Noyce, Liza Chasin
D: Philip Noyce
Synopsis: Genetic genealogy is the best new tool in crime-scene forensics, and nobody knows it like Louise Kelly. Too bad she’s impossible to deal with. Based on a 2018 Cleveland Scene article by journalist and author James Renner.
The Cleaning Lady (Drama)
Cast: Elodie Yung, Adan Canto, Vincent Piazza, Ginger Gonzaga
W: Miranda Kwok
EP: Miranda Kwok, Shay Mitchell, Melissa Carter, Michael Offer
D: Michael Offer
Synopsis: Based on the Argentine series La Chica que Limpia, the darkly aspirational character drama follows a whip-smart doctor who comes to the U.S. for a medical treatment to save her ailing son. But when the system fails and pushes her into hiding, she refuses to be beaten down and marginalized. Instead, she becomes a cleaning lady for the mob and starts playing the game by her own rules.
Cast: Eliza Coupe, Ginnifer Goodwin, Maggie Q, Tommy Dewey, JT Neal
W: Liz Astrof
EP: Liz Astrof, Aaron Kaplan, Dana Honor, Tristram Shapeero
D: Tristram Shapeero
Synopsis: After the death of their childhood best friend, three women are faced with the reality that life is short. In desperate attempts to find happiness, they make a series of impulsive, ill-advised and self-indulgent decisions, strengthening their bond and proving it’s never too late to screw up your life.
Untitled Goonies Re-enactment Project (Drama)
W: Sarah Watson
EP: Sarah Watson, Gail Berman, Lauren Shuler Donner, Richard Donner, Justin Falvey, Darryl Frank, Greg Mottola
D: Greg Mottola
Synopsis: After failing to make it in New York and carrying a heavy secret with her, Stella Cooper returns to her distressed automotive hometown to substitute teach. She finds inspiration, hope, and ultimately salvation when she agrees to help three students who are pursuing their filmmaking dreams by putting on an impossibly ambitious shot-for-shot remake of one of the student’s favorite movies, The Goonies. Over the course of the season, their passion will inspire a town in desperate need of hope in this love letter to the power of cinema, storytelling and dreams.
At That Age (Drama)
Cast: Adrian Holmes, Emayatzy Corinealdi, Nicole Ari Parker, Brad James
W: Carla Banks-Waddles
EP: Carla Banks-Waddles, Malcolm D. Lee, Debra Martin Chase
Synopsis: An exploration of an African-American family’s legacy. After the Cooper family’s golden child suffers a catastrophic event, seven family members face a foundational shift, make life-altering decisions and deal with deep secrets coming to light.
Crazy for You (Comedy)
W: Rachele Lynn
EP: Lorne Michaels, Seth Meyers, Mike Shoemaker, Andrew Singer, Hilary Marx, Jason Carden
Co-EP: Rachele Lynn
Synopsis: With her life stalling, Daisy re-enters the dating scene only to discover that while she was out of the game, the game sort of, totally, completely changed. Realizing she is a bit rusty at being “normal” and “appealing” on first dates, she’ll need the support of her friends as she strives to succeed while being her true self in today’s quick-to-dismiss dating culture.
W: JJ Bailey
EP: JJ Bailey, John Davis, John Fox
Synopsis: A high-concept, genre procedural revolving around a team of investigators who solve the highest-profile crimes by sending our heroes into the past… in the body of the victim. Assuming the victim’s identity, they must race against time to prevent the crime before it happens.
Cast: Jim Jefferies
W: Jim Jefferies, Suzanne Martin
EP: Jim Jefferies, Suzanne Martin, Sean Hayes, Todd Milliner, Tim Sarkes, Alex Murray
Synopsis: Jim Jefferies plays a fictionalized version of himself — a comedian with a unique and often controversial take on modern life, relationships and co-parenting with his best friend.
Cast: Ashley Zukerman, Valorie Curry, Eddie Izzard, Sumalee Montano, Rick Gonzalez, Beau Knapp
W: Dan Dworkin, Jay Beattie
EP: Dan Dworkin, Jay Beattie, Dan Brown, Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, Anna Culp, Samie Falvey
Synopsis: Based on Dan Brown’s international best-selling thriller The Lost Symbol, the drama follows the early adventures of famed Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon, who must solve a series of deadly puzzles to save his kidnapped mentor and thwart a chilling global conspiracy.
Ordinary Joe (Drama)
Cast: James Wolk, Natalie Martinez, Charlie Barnett, Elizabeth Lail
W: Russel Friend, Garrett Lerner
EP: Russel Friend, Garrett Lerner, Adam Davidson, Matt Reeves, Adam Kassan, Rafi Crohn, Howard Klein
D: Adam Davidson
Synopsis: Explores the three parallel lives of the show’s main character after he makes a pivotal choice at a crossroads in his life. The series asks the question of how different life might look if you made your decision based on love, loyalty or passion.
Someone Out There (Comedy)
W: Matt Hubbard, Josh Siegal, Dylan Morgan
EP: Matt Hubbard, Josh Siegal, Dylan Morgan, Emiliano Calemzuk, Gonzalo Sagardia, Javier Veiga
Synopsis: Based on the Spanish series Pequeñas Coincidencias, two set-in-their-ways adults are challenged by very unexpected strangers to become the best versions of themselves in order to find love and possibly each other.
The 4400 (Drama) *Straight-to-Series Order*
W: Ariana Jackson
EP: Ariana Jackson, Anna Fricke, Laura Terry
Synopsis: 4400 overlooked, undervalued, or otherwise marginalized people who vanished without a trace over the last hundred years are all returned in an instant, having not aged a day and with no memory of what happened to them. As the government races to analyze the potential threat and contain the story, the 4400 themselves must grapple with the fact that they’ve been returned with a few…upgrades, and the increasing likelihood that they were all brought back now for a specific reason. Based on the original TV series.
W: Ava DuVernay, Jill Blankenship
EP: Ava DuVernay, Jill Blankenship, Sarah Bremner, Paul Garnes
Synopsis: It follows a teen girl’s journey from her small northwestern town to the heights of the multiverse. When a supernatural event shakes her hometown to the core, Naomi sets out to uncover its origins, and what she discovers will challenge everything we believe about our heroes. Based on the characters from DC.
The Powerpuff Girls (Drama)
W: Heather Regnier, Diablo Cody
EP: Heather Regnier, Diablo Cody, Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter, David Madden
P: Erika Kennair
Synopsis: The Powerpuff Girls used to be America’s pint-sized superheroes, now they’re disillusioned twentysomethings who resent having lost their childhood to crime fighting. Will they agree to reunite now that the world needs them more than ever? Based on the original Cartoon Network animated series and characters created by Craig McCracken.
Untitled Urman/Rothrock/Weir Project (Dramedy)
W: Claire Rothrock, Ryann Weir
EP: Claire Rothrock, Ryann Weir, Jennie Snyder Urman, Joanna Klein
Synopsis: A dramedy about two millennial nuns – a devout true believer, and a new arrival who has yet to take her final vows – who start as strangers and become sisters on a funny, spiritual journey to understand their own faith and place in the Catholic church.