High Definition: Fall 2010 TV Pilots That Might Not Suck

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High Definition: Fall 2010 TV Pilots That Might Not Suck

Keeping an eye on the TV pilots in development for the major broadcast networks is a little like the baseball draft. You can get excited about that lanky lefthander with the 96-mile-an-hour fastball, but there’s no guarantee that he’s ever going to even play for your major league team. Still, there’s no real harm in getting a little excited about the possibilities of TV shows which sound more original than they probably are—even though they’ll probably get beat out by a remake of Hawaii Five-O, another procedural spin-off (this time, from Criminal Minds) and the third Christian Slater vehicle in three years.

Here are a few of the more interesting pilots hoping to make it to the bigs:

Freshmen (ABC)
Arianna Huffington is the executive producer of this multi-camera comedy about a trio of freshmen legislators on Capitol Hill. Of course, a snarky political blog called “Fools on the Hill” plays a prominent role. Starring: Sarah Chalke, Tommy Dewey, Taran Killam, Suzy Nakamura, Ben Lawson, Taran Killam

Funny in Farsi (ABC)
This single-camera comedy dares to interpret the American dream from the point of view of an Iranian family in the ‘70s. Extra points for breaking beyond the typical sit-com racial stereotypes and here’s hoping it doesn’t simply introduce new ones. Starring: Maz Jobrani, Hrach Titizian, Marjan Neshat, Kendra Jain, David Gore, Sarah Shahi (note: FOX also has Nevermind Nirvana about an Indian family and NBC has Outsourced about a Midwestern manager who travels to India to train his replacement. This could be a multi-cultural TV season).

No Ordinary Family (ABC)
The Shield’s Michael Chiklis may be back if this live-action take on The Incredibles gets picked up. A family emerges from a wreck in the Amazon with super-powers, but they’ve got to navigate ordinary family problems as well as fight crime. Starring: Michael Chiklis, Julie Benz, Autumn Reeser, Romany Malco, Jimmy Bennett, Kay Panabaker, Christina Chang

Off the Map (ABC)
Sure, this medical series might follow the same romantic twists as Grey’s Anatomy, but it does so in a small village in South America that could use the help—even if it comes with plenty of drama. Starring: Martin Henderson, Enrique Murciano, Caroline Dhavernas, Jason George, Valerie Cruz, Mamie Gummer

Shit My Dad Says (CBS)
We’ve been longtime fans of Justin Halpern’s Twitter feed and are looking forward to seeing if William Shatner can the personality justice. We can only imagine what the final title will actually be. Starring: William Shatner, Ryan Devlin, Nicole Sullivan

Bob’s Burger (FOX)
Fox’s latest attempt at animation domination includes Eugene Mirman and Kirsten Schaal as voice talent. That’s all we need to know. Starring: H. Jon Benjamin, John Roberts, Kristen Schaal, Dan Mintz, Eugene Mirman

The Station (FOX)
We’ve been hearing about this sit-com from Ben Stiller and David Wain for a while. It’s a workplace comedy—set in a CIA office in South America. Starring: John Goodman, Justin Bartha, Rob Huebel, Carla Gallo, Jordan Peele, Jose Zuniga

Our Show (NBC)
Created by Larry Charles (Mad About You, Seinfeld), Our Show is about sci-fi fans who continue to create episodes of their favorite sci-fi show after its cancelled. Sounds awesome. Starring: Jonathan Sadowski, Dan Bakkedahl, P.J. Byrne

Undercovers (NBC)
J.J. Abrams’ latest drama features a married team of CIA agents coming out of retirement. It had me at J.J. Abrams and then started to lose me when I remembered it was called Undercovers. Starring: Boris Kodjoe, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Carter MacIntyre, Gerald McRaney, Jessica Parker Kennedy, Ben Schwartz