Fall TV Preview
Pitch Pilot Preview Fox

Fall TV First Impression: Fox's Pitch

The broadcast networks have nearly 20 shows debuting this fall, including new sitcoms from Kevin James and Matt LeBlanc, Kiefer Sutherland as POTUS and Michael Weatherly’s NCIS follow-up. To help you prep for it all, TVLine is offering First Impressions of the not-for-review pilots.

Next up on our list….

THE SHOW | Fox’s Pitch (Thursdays at 9/8c, premiering Sept. 22)

THE COMPETITION | CBS’ Thursday Night Football (then starting Oct. 20, Mom/Life in Pieces), NBC’s Chicago Med, ABC’s Notorious (new) and The CW’s Supernatural

THE CAST | Kylie Bunbury (Twisted), Mark-Paul Gosselaar (Franklin & Bash), Ali Larter (Heroes), Mark Consuelos (All My Children), Michael Beach (Third Watch), Mo McRae (Sons of Anarchy) and Dan Lauria (The Wonder Years)

THE SET-UP | Bunbury stars as Ginny Baker, who after five-plus years in the San Diego Padres’ farm system gets called up to The Show for a spot start. Cheers — and jeers — ensue as MLB history is made.

RELATED Fall TV Schedule 2016: What’s on When? And Versus What?

THE FIRST IMPRESSION | Dan Fogelman (Crazy, Stupid, Love, TV’s Galavant) is on a crusade this fall to make you feel, shepherding this roller coaster of emotions as well as NBC’s This Is Us (previewed here). Ginny’s journey is a complicated one — this isn’t the stadium lights-shattering, goosebump-raising finale of The Natural by any means — and the pilot makes a point to loll in the lows as much as cut to the hurrahs of idolizing little girls in the stands.

Bunbury gets a lot of notes to play, whether arriving at Petco Park with the focus of a laser, putting the butt-slapping team captain in his place (and then fielding the brunt of his valid retort) or working through a breakdown. Larter and Consuelos hint at an amusing rapport, as Ginny’s stone-cold publicist and the Padres’ wannabe-charming GM, while Beach brings a lot of heart to the story as Ginny’s father, a onetime ballplayer pitch-pilot-previewwho in unexpected ways pushes her to greatness. Gosselaar, though…. As I tweeted, he dares you to recognize him through a brunette neck beard, a wad of perpetually chewed gum and an engaging mix of swagger and seen-it-all weariness.

On the technical side, the ballpark scenes are spectacular — thanks to a landmark partnership with the MLB, and viewed through the “lens” of (overt) Fox Sports coverage) — but the editing of Ginny’s pitching is cheat-y, often cutting from windup to the “thump!” in the catcher’s mitt. Moving forward, I’ll need more of the continuous, center-field camera POV.

THE TVLINE BOTTOM LINE | Will sports fans be occupied by Thursday football (or actual MLB games)? Is this the sort of family friendly fare that puts a surprising amount of fannies in the seats? Pitch could go so many ways. This much is certain: As one of four (4) dramas in the time slot, and with a soft lead-in that previously benefited from the Empire halo effect, it will need every syllable of its sure-to-be-glowing word of mouth to not get knocked out of the game early.

MORE FIRST IMPRESSIONS CBS’ Pure Genius, Fox’s Lethal Weapon, NBC’s This Is Us, ABC’s Designated Survivor, NBC’s Timeless, CBS’ Bull and ABC’s Notorious

Watch the trailer for Fox’s Pitch and then vote in our poll.

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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44 Comments
  1. jtrattray says:

    Does fannies have a different meaning in the US? Because in the UK it’s the plural of fanny which means vagina. I’m assuming that’s not what the writer meant.

  2. Kevin K says:

    SKIP IT. Have a feeling it’s three strikes and the series is out as in Pitch won’t last that long. For Mark-Paul Gosselaar (in facial hair), it’s going to be another failed series for him after his last show Truth Be Told (NBC) got cancelled.

  3. Rob says:

    I saw the trailer for this and I searched for women in MLB and what I learned is that the fastest pitch thrown by a woman was 69mph for a baseball (not softball). 69mph is not fast enough to be even considered for a position as a pitcher in the MLB. This show seems like of a lesson in political correctness showing that women can do anything that men can, even pitch in the major leagues. Maybe someday after some genetic manipulation of a women’s DNA they will be able to pitch as fast as men do. (I can only imagine the.responses to this comment)

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      The pilot establishes that Ginny tops out in the high 80s.

      • Shaun says:

        so they like making things up XD

        • c-mo says:

          I bet you even think reality TV is unscripted

        • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

          Fictional TV programs do that on occasion, yes.

          • John NYC says:

            The lack of a blue unitard isn’t the only thing stopping me from flying? #HeartbrokenInNYC

        • Disappointed_In_Shameless_EP says:

          It’s a shame when people don’t understand baseball
          Go look up wakefield, tim, understand the concept of the knuckleball and the screwball
          and she’s only a reliever

          Just cause Matt often writes without knowledge of what he’s talking about doesn’t mean you should

      • Rob says:

        Okay, but this is TV and TV isn’t known for accuracy. TV is known for its use of historical manipulation to move the story ahead. Many period dramas make use of modern devices for their story telling. I’m all for women breaking down barriers but there are some that are harder than others due to the physical needs of the job. On the Sports Illustrated website there was an article about this same subject. In the article a quote from one of the people says; “If you look at some of the biomechanical differences between men and women, throwing is one in which men have particularly large advantages”
        Then the article goes to say perhaps within 50 years we might see a woman in MLB, so who knows?

    • Scramo says:

      She has a special “screw ball” which no one can beat.

    • c-mo says:

      Guess you don’t watch any of the superhero movies/TV shows…

    • Ann says:

      Not so. Many knuckleball pitchers pitch in the mid to low 70s. I always thought that if a female did make it to the majors, she’d be a knuckleball pitcher. With maybe a good (slow-ish) fastball, much like how R.A. DIckey pitches. I think it’s quite possible. The problem is, most girls switch to softball as they get older.

      • That is even worse if you understood the game of baseball. Major league hitters feast on any pitcher who throws pretty much the same pitch at the same speed all the time. The movement is important, but just as important is the change in speed. If your fastball is at 80 and your off speed pitches are around the same, you are not fooling anyone unless you have an anti-gravity device that makes the ball move in ways like a UFO. If your fastball is coming in at 95 plus and then throw a breaking ball at 80, there is a 15 MPH difference which will mess up the batters timing just as much as the movement.

        Knuckleball pitchers are rare, especially out of the bullpen. You also need to have the hands the size of a large mans to throw a great knuckle or screwball. Plus, knuckleball pitchers could be hit or miss. Have one great year (R.A .Dickey) and then turn to crap

    • lrdslvrhnd says:

      Clearly you’ve never seen a knuckleballer pitch if you think “69 mph isn’t fast enough to be considered for a pitcher.”
      .
      She doesn’t get ’em with her speed, she gets ’em with her weird pitch.

    • TinLV says:

      She doesn’t have a fastball, she throws a screwball. they come in slow with a lot of movement that fools the batter and there is no reason a woman wouldn’t be capable of using that to strike out major league hitters. No dna manipulation needed.

    • HHaspel says:

      Monè Davis throw at 70 mph in little league (!) when she was 13 years old. Get your facts straight you misogynistic idiot!

    • You are correct. The premise of this show is a joke.

      Yes, its fictional, but there is an agenda behind it. You can’t will yourself to jump to the moon if you try hard enough. Not everything is possible and to teach kids that is damaging and wrong.

  4. Scramo says:

    This is a show you will either love or hate. There is really no middle ground.

  5. star says:

    This is one show I’m excited for, I’ve loved Kylie since the twisted days, loved her in under the dome. And she’s incredibly beautiful.
    At what point will avan jogia be cast in it? Because both of them have great chemistry together.

  6. kmw says:

    Sounds interesting but that lead in is not going to do Pitch any favors( Rosewood).Just because it goes along with the baseball season doesn’t mean it will succeed. I just am very surprised that FOX put it on this particular night given the good buzz that came from it. However it could hang in there but it wont be another Empire. Despite my misgivings I do hope it succeeds because FOX needs lots of help

  7. c-mo says:

    As a female baseball fan I am definitely intrigued and will absolutely check it out as long as it doesn’t mean missing my team live…thank you God, for the person who invented the DVR!!!

  8. DavidSask says:

    Its between this and other newcomer Notorious for me, Regardless if both good that is what DVR for!

  9. st joseph earthquakes says:

    i really hate the idea

    its like one from a disney channel movie or like mike

  10. Normandy says:

    If this show sucks and gets canceled, will there be people pouting about sexism?

    I’ve also noticed people on this site seem to cry foul over everything Fox cancels (pun intended), even if it’s absolute garbage like Minority Report.

  11. Ronnie says:

    The network is only ordering 10 episodes to start, but I believe it won’t premiere until after the World Series so the network can promote it heavily. It will be need a really good second episode to grab viewers attention, but that is the case with every new show.

  12. Boiler says:

    I guess if people overlook the impossible it could be good. Pitcher probably the one position a female currently couldn’t cut it. Unfortunately with all the nitpicking that goes on toward any shows these days may not make it

    • Anna says:

      Half of the TV shows on right now are impossible, but that doesn’t stop millions from watching. I wonder if anyone ever said that about Game of Thrones…

  13. Chaya says:

    The Padres need as much pitching help as they can get. Hope the show will be more successful than the team has been this year!

  14. Alex Agostini says:

    Like the trailer. I’ll watch at least 2 episodes before I decide to continue watching. But have to keep in mind it’s on Fox, and they have been canceling new shows I like every year.

  15. Max says:

    I’ll DVR the first couple episodes, but I’ll be watching Chicago Med.

  16. michael says:

    First and foremost Pike is going to ruin another series. Secondly you need to convince me that this a good idea for a tv show.

  17. Pete Townshend says:

    I’m sick of all the politically correctness we’ve had with Obamas term as President.

    Men and women are equally different. Woman will never play MLB. Just don’t have the physical strength to do it- period.

  18. Saunders says:

    I’m definitely looking forward to watching this show, I love science fiction.

  19. Kim says:

    Give credit where credit is due!! Chelsea Baker…

  20. Frank says:

    Pitch is More politically correct crap on tv!
    No thanks!

    I’m so sick of these networks with diversity agendas.
    This will be cancelled after 2 episodes. You’ll see.

  21. Jay says:

    I just watched the summer Olympics and this actress does not look like she has the body shape and size to compete against other women little alone men. At least cast a woman with an athlete body

  22. Cyndy Parsons says:

    I love Pitch please give it a chance