Pilot Season '15: Scoop on This Fall's (Possible) New Shows, Who's In Them

TV Pilots 2014 2015Pilot season is upon us, meaning the broadcast networks are taking stock of their needs for 2015-16 and getting the ball rolling toward filling any gaps. With things about to get really interesting — meaning it’s time to start booking actors for these wannabe hits! — TVLine presents  its annual round-up of who’s planning what, and well as our guide to the lingo that gets tossed around.

For easy access: Review the list of pilots for ABC, CBS, The CW, Fox and NBC, and we urge you to bookmark this constantly-updated page for the latest intel.

PILOT | You really want to get basic, eh? When a network orders (or “picks up”) a pilot, they’re asking its writers/producers/studio to cast and produce a close facsimile of what a series’ first episode will look like. Each pilot is reviewed by network brass, then typically put into testing before its fate is decided.

PLANTED SPIN-OFF | Also called a “backdoor” pilot, this is an episode of an existing series that sets up a prospective offshoot. For example, Arrow once aired a pair of episodes focused on this lad named Barry Allen, and that was a planted pilot for The Flash. Free History Lesson: That Brady Bunch episode with new neighbor Ken Berry adopting three orphans? That was a(n ill-fated) planted pilot, for a spin-off to be called Kelly’s Kids.

DRAMA/COMEDY PRESENTATION | Occasionally, due to time or budget restraints, a network won’t order a full pilot but a “presentation” of a not-quite-complete drama or a taste of what a sitcom would look like.

CAST-CONTINGENT | Sometimes a network will order a pilot with the caveat that production can’t start until a suitable (read: “name”) actor has been cast in a starring role. (One translation: “The premise is iffy, but a big star could really sell us.”) So you’ll sometimes hear that with the casting of so-and-so, “the cast contingency has been lifted” on a pilot. (The sorta flip-side is an “if-come deal,” meaning the major players are pre-signed and rarin’ to go the instant the network picks up the pilot.)

SECOND POSITION | These are the two words that makes fans of “bubble” shows most nervous each spring, as stars from low-rated series start booking pilots (provided they get the OK from their current bosses). The term literally means that the pilot role is in second position (or priority) should their show wind up renewed. An actor booking a second position gig doesn’t always mean his/her current show is doomed… though it often tends to. Variation: A “safe second” means the pilot’s bosses have been discreetly all-but-assured that the actor will be available.

UPFRONTS | The week in mid-May when the networks take turns unveiling their schedules for next season — including the pilots that have been ordered to series. With rare exception, if your show doesn’t make the cut here, it’s officially a goner.

And now, our running update of pilots ordered for the 2015-16 TV season, going network by network….


Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Shar says:

    I think we might need a break from stand up comedians and a series about their life.

  2. “a resourceful young shepherd on a collision course with destiny.” HmMMm. That peaks my interest.

  3. Frank says:

    Linda Gray needs to be in a new series!

    • Stormy says:

      I’m sure someone somewhere is planning a reboot of Golden Girls. Choose from Linda Gray, Stefanie Powers, Goldie Hawn, Diane Keaton, Bette Midler, Brenda Vaccaro etc., and with Betty White as Sophia this time around.

  4. Et al says:

    I can’t get through the CBS page without dozing off.

  5. Frankenstein’s the name of the doctor, not the creature, so what’s the connection there?

  6. The problem with the Minority Report series is that the movie made it clear that the female PreCog was the strongest, and therefore, more accurate precognitive of the three subjects. If the PreCog on this show is one of the men, that puts everything he sees taking place in the future in doubt.

    • nerdrage says:

      Nobody’s gonna remember that much about a movie that was several years ago. Instead, you should worry the damn thing will get 3M viewers (and 15M watching on devices the stupid broadcast networks can’t figure out how to measure + piracy), and get cancelled three episodes in.

      • Somewhere, right now, on many of the multiple channels in existence, Minority Report is on. So it doesn’t matter how long ago it was in the theater, what matters is when it was on TV last. And with the news of a TV show being made, you can be sure many people will want to rewatch the movie again on demand or DVD/BR.

        And yeah, that will happen with the ratings, lol.

    • Isobel says:

      He’s also an identical twin called either Arthur or Dashiell

      • Indeed. I would hope the show focuses on Agatha rather than the two male PreCogs. Conceptually, it makes the most sense. The movie was as much her story as it was Cruise’s character’s.

    • Smh says:

      I think his predictions not being entirely accurate would be part of the draw. The cop won’t be arresting people for crimes never actually committed. The show would be prevention or crime solving. The lack in the pre cog allows for good tv police work.

  7. TVNerd says:

    Fox Fall 2015:

    Mon: 8 pm: Gotham, 9 pm: Frankenstein or Minority Report
    Tues: 8 pm: Scream Queens, 9 pm: New Girl/Mindy Project or Loners
    Wed: 8 pm: New Show or X-Factor returns or Minority Report, 9 pm: Empire
    Thurs: 8 pm: Bones, 9 pm: Rosewood
    Fri: 8 pm: Masterchef Junior, 9 pm: Sleepy Hollow??
    Sun: Bob’s Burgers/Simpsons/Brooklyn 9-9/Family Guy/Last Man on Earth

  8. TVNerd says:

    Here is my prediction of ABC 2015-16:

    Monday: 8 pm: DWTS /The Bachelor/DWTS
    10 pm: Runner or Of Kings & Prophets or LA Crime

    Tues: 8 pm: Agents of Shield
    9 pm: Quantico
    10 pm: Castle

    Wed: 8 pm: The Goldbergs
    8:30 pm: Fresh of the Boat or Blackish
    9 pm: Modern Family
    9:30 pm: Chev & Bev
    10 pm: Broad Squad or Mix

    Thurs: 8 pm: Greys (Flesh and Blood during Midseason Break)
    9 pm: Scandal (Flesh and Blood during Midseason Break)
    10 pm: How to get Away with Murder 16 eps/The Catch in Spring

    Fri: 8 pm: Last Man Standing (Possible Final Season) Replaced with Beyond the Tank
    8: 30 pm: The Middle (Possible Final season)
    9 pm: Shark Tank
    10 pm: 20/20

    Sun: 8 pm: Once upon a Time
    9 pm: Nashville (May be Final Season and Midseason New Show)
    10 pm: Revenge (Final Season 13 eps) Replaced with Secrets & Lies Midseason

  9. Dean says:

    Really hope the Criminal Minds spin off works out. Big fan of Gary Sinise since Forest Gump and CSI NY. Supergirl seem interesting even though I don’t agree with the casting but its made by the guys who made Flash and Arrow so its on my to watch list . NBC comedies most if not all will end badly given NBC’s bad luck.

  10. Christina says:

    What happened to the grimm spinoff show with Trubel?

  11. TVNerd says:

    Here is my prediction of CBS 2015-16:

    Monday: 8 pm: 2 Broke Girls/Mike & Molly, 9 pm: Scorpion, 10 pm: Limitless

    Tues: 8 pm: NCIS, 9 pm: NCIS NO, 10 pm: Code Black

    Wed: 8 pm: Survivor 30 9 pm: Criminal Minds 10 pm: Criminal Minds Spinoff

    Thurs: 8 pm: Big Bang Theory/Odd Couple/Mom/New Comedy 10 pm: Rush Hour

    Fri: 8 pm: Undercover Boss/Amazing Race 9 pm: CSI Cyber 10 pm: Blue Bloods (Final Season)

    Sun: 7 pm: 60 Minutes 8 pm: Madame Secretary 9 pm: Good Wife (Final Season)
    10 pm: Super Girl

  12. aurat22 says:

    When do cable networks generally announce what shows will go from in development to pilot to pick up?

  13. mika02 says:

    The only shows I would watch.:

    The Broad squad (hate the term broad though), The Catch, Flesh & Blood, Mix (depending on cast)

    CM spinoff, Rush Hour (depending on cast), Super Clyde (only with Rupert Grint)

    John Stamos, Luther


  14. Riana says:

    Click for CW pilots-> No pilots

  15. M says:

    NBC has a lot… wonder how much they will cancel

  16. Joey says:

    It’s really sad that The CW list is the only one that has anything that sounds interesting.

  17. Jane says:

    Wow, there were almost none of those that I would care if they got made. From the descriptions I guess I better hope that the shows I like now stay on or I’m in trouble. Hope the CW and cable have some better offerings.

    • johnhelvete says:

      Based on the loglines for the pilots, there are very few that sound interesting. From my experience though that can change based on casting, further details about the show being released (these loglines sometimes dont give a true picture of what the show actually is) and the promos for the pilots that become series.

  18. D. says:

    CBS-limitless, Rush hour (maybe)
    FOX- Luther (depends on cast), Minority Report,
    NBC- Blindspot, WARRIOR

  19. And the funny thing is that ‘Quantico’ was the working name for Criminal Minds before they decided on that title. Just a fun little tidbit.

    But I guess not too ironic since Mark Gordon Company is proposing that pilot, and the company was (is?) behind Criminal Minds.

  20. Dan the critic says:

    The best pilots look like Endgame, Blindspot, Scream Queens, and maybe Supergirl. I also heard of one not mentioned here called Apocalypse.

  21. Tran says:

    If Endgame gets pickup as a series for NBC, it should put in the 10 p.m. Monday night time slot after The Voice.

  22. Cobra says:

    Quantico looks really good.

  23. Gaara says:

    Woah, they all sounds atrocious. Once again, thank god for cable.

  24. Anthony says:

    What’s going on with the Lauren Graham pilot? Why isn’t it on the list for NBC?

  25. Candice says:

    The Mistake sounds like my cousin. Her kids were in and out of college when she had her last child.

  26. Clara says:

    Whatever happened to the Lauren Graham project? It sounded like a great idea, better than most generic same old same old comedies on the list.

  27. CBS and NBC have the best pilots. This is gonna be good!!!

  28. Lore says:

    Im really want a medical show like ER, Grey isnt the same anymore, i need something new and fresh, maybe ill be watching Chicago Med or whatever is called

  29. Didn’t ABC closed a deal for Men in shorts inspired by Robbie Rogers life ?

  30. Drew says:

    Frankenstein sounds kinda like Now and Again.

  31. Olivia says:

    Just like every year, it sounds like there’s nothing fresh and original. Reboots/adaptation from other countrie, stuff based on movies, stuff based on the life of some comedian, stuff based on the life of some historical people, some copy/paste shows (generally medical/police/family life related)… and the obligatory superhero franchise.

    I’d like some creativity. But even if there was something different I’d probably become super interested in it then it would be cancelled in no time anyway (hello Firefly, Dollhouse, FlashForward). I may be interested in some from these lists, but for now none seems to have that “fresh blood” factor.

    The only projects that I keep in mind are Quantico, Minority Report (although I agree with what Michael Sacal said), Blindspot and Warrior.

    Scream Queens sounds interesting but I don’t know if I’m willing to subject myself to another Ryan Murphy show, especially cause I’m not thrilled by the cast to begin with… we’ll see.

  32. Jooshua says:

    ABC: The Catch, Flesh and Blood, L.A. Crime, Quantico, Runner, Dan Savage Project
    CBS: Limitless, Rush Hour, Supergirl
    FOX: Luther, Minority Report, Scream Queens, Studio City
    NBC: Blindspot, Endgame, Strange Calls, Warrior

    Wow, ABC has some great stuff.

  33. Vanessa says:

    Wasn´t there a pilot (can´t remember the network) about The Archie Comics?

  34. Apothecary says:

    Chev and Bev? Maybe if they were the Griswolds but I can’t see me watching it otherwise.

  35. Alana says:

    praying that still to be announced is a decent family drama to fill the hole in my heart left by parenthood </3

    …but seriously, though. I'd love to see just a drama about a family. not a family with a weird twist or extraordinary circumstances. a normal family. something in the vein of parenthood/Gilmore girls/life unexpected (although the latter two did have slightly abnormal circumstances. but they faded to the background after establishing the show so do they really count? not in my book.)

  36. Jen says:

    Out of ALL the pilots on all networks, I might watch like 3 of them. I agree about stand up comedians and we don’t need ANYMORE Modern Family/The Middle/Last man standing Type “family comed he’s” how boring! my God guys, hire some writers with some imagination!!

  37. Penandra says:

    i guess the good news is that I didn’t see a synopsis of one show I would want to watch!

  38. kirads09 says:

    The ONLY (NEW) show coming up even getting my attention AT ALL is the Criminal Minds spinoff. Cuz Sinise.
    My hope is that somehow they eventually do a crossover with Crossing Lines (S2 on Netflix, still being done in overseas markets is my understanding but NBC not showing.) To see Gary S and William F together would be EPIC in the true sense of the word.

  39. Ally Oop says:

    ABC has the best development slate of any of the networks. Out of following 12 shows that interest me thus far, ABC has the top 5:
    #1 Boom (ABC)
    #2 Kingmakers (ABC)
    #3 Broad Squad (ABC)
    #4 Runner (ABC)
    #5 Quantico (ABC)
    #6 Cordon (CW)
    #7 Studio City (FOX)
    #8 Blindspot (NBC)
    #7 Chev & Bev (ABC)
    #8 Curse of the Fuentes Women (NBC)
    #9 Mix (ABC)
    #10 Telenova (NBC)
    #11 Supergirl (CBS)
    #12 Code Black (CBS)

  40. Therea says:

    Hoping the Lucifer pilot for FOX gets added to the list soon. Really wondering who they are going to cast. (Fingers crossed for James Marsters.)

  41. Zathe says:

    Angel from hell (cbs)
    Unveiled (NBC)
    Strange calls (NBC)

  42. Calliope says:

    Whatever became of the Archie Comics series Berlanti was developing for FOX?

  43. Lana says:

    I didn’t see Jennifer Lopez’s new show “Shades of Blue” listed. I thought that NBC gave the go ahead for 13 episodes for the 2015-2016 season.

  44. Musicfan5 says:

    Cheerleader Death Squad wins the award for best title of a pilot!

  45. Stacie says:

    Game Of Silence sounds really good, excited to have David Lyons back on my TV!

  46. mewp12 says:

    3 of them looked interesting. the others not so much. and TV producers need to learn why the shows from last year failed/

  47. mewp12 says:

    Maybe 2 of them. the rest are just the same ol’ same ol’,

  48. mewp12 says:

    these don’t look too bad.

  49. Flesh & blood, Mix and Boom only.
    Flesh and blood (which apparently has a new title) sounds a bit like Rectify on Sundance.
    I’m so happy there’s a family dramedy pilot for this season, I really hope it gets picked up. hopefully Mix will fill the hole Parenthood left in my heart.
    Will probably check out Boom because I was a fan of Dallas on TNT.
    Needless to say, ABC has some good stuff. disappointed in other networks. They same old cop/syfy/detective/superhero/medical/supernatural crap.

  50. FHL says:

    You have UNTITLED PHELAN & RATER (Drama), with the same description as Doubt (both on CBS)