Blind Item

Blind Item: Which New Drama Series Is So Bad Its Network Tried to Dump It?

That foul odor assaulting executives at an unnamed broadcast or cable network is the stank emanating from an upcoming drama series that is allegedly so bad it’s actually unwatchable.

How pungent are we talking? Well, according to sources, the network behind the ambitious project tried mightily to pawn off the entire first season on one of the big streamers at a steep discount (we’re talking pennies). But the influential Powers That Be behind the series put a kibosh on the fire sale. So now the net in question is forced to sit back and watch the stink bomb smell up its airwaves (beginning at some point in the next seven months).

Making matters worse, this small-screen Ishtar was, by all accounts, a costly disaster, with most episodes coming in way, way, way, way, way over budget.

I’ve said too much, so I’ll stop now and hand this case over to you to solve: What once-buzzy series is destined to make Viva Laughlin look like Mad Men? Speculate away.

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. JJ says:

    This better not be Twin Peaks.

    • MissEllys says:

      It says “ambitious” so it sounds like an original show not a revival/reboot.

    • CurlyGurly says:

      But isn’t Twin Peaks going to be on Showtime? I don’t think that’s considered a “broadcast or cable network” as stated above.

      • Mike H says:

        Showtime is a cable network it’s just a premium cable network. It definitely looks like Twin Peaks is the winner at this point.

    • kat0711 says:

      And I think the Twin Peaks reboot is a continuation. Otherwise I thought so too because it’s the only buzz I’ve been hearing about and remakes are always awful.

    • JJ says:

      Thankfully I just realized that the blind item says ‘first season’ and this is a limited one-off series. Also the distinction of premium vs. cable is a fair point. I’m glad it’s not TP. I’m looking forward to it immensely.

    • TV Gord says:

      I’m afraid it’s Twin Peaks, too. We all know Lynch can be awful as much as he can be brilliant, so I’m concerned.

      Also, there’s nothing about the word “ambitious” that suggests either a new or returning show. Any upcoming show can be considered ambitious.

      And Showtime is a a cable channel, so it’s qualifies.

    • Casey says:

      Just the idea that it could be Twin Peaks hurts me lol. But I don’t think Showtime would ever telegraph their dislike of a flagship series they’ve been talking up for years. They’d put on a poker face for everyone and just try to focus on the people who did like the revival.

    • Marie58 says:

      Why would it be Twin Peaks? First, Showtime liked it so much they increased the show order. Second, David Lynch rocks. It’s gonna be great!

    • Belle says:

      It’s gotta be Still Star-Crossed…Shonda’s latest eh show.

  2. MissEllys says:

    OMG! My first thought was Still Star Crossed

  3. Keden says:

    My guess would be either Inhumans or the unititled X-Men show. Both of them would have “Powers” that Be behind them who would have some influence over where the show ends up.

    • Eric says:

      Aw man, I didn’t even think of this but it could totally be Inhumans. That would really suck.

    • Katie T says:

      I don’t think it can be either of those because of the fact it mentions they’ve filmed a number of episodes. It’s got to be something that’s already finished or near finished filming rather than something that’s been aimed at next season from the start. Think an above guess of Still Star Crossed could be a good one purely because it’s been on that shelf for ages and has got shoved into Summer

      • MissEllys says:

        SSC is completed, while Orville just began filming this spring so I think it is SSC

        • S says:

          I really really hope it’s not Orville. If they’re not gonna give Seth MacFarlane Star Trek (and he’s a massive fan who’d absolutely get things back on track), this is the closest we’ll get. I need Orville to work and I need another season of Cosmos asap. I could see the show going overbudget because it’s sci-fi and that’s not cheap, but the thing is, I think with his past record on this stuff, it’ll be good.

    • Matt says:

      Neither. X-men is only at pilot stage and all they’d have to do is not pick it up to series.
      Inhumans has only filmed it’s theatrical pilot. This blind item states that many eps have been way over budget. Neither of these shows have filmed beyond the pilots.

    • wakey says:

      Powers that be isn’t a clue. It’s a term that’s used all the time in these blinds all the way back to when Ausiello worked at TVGuide (While its a general term I would guess its a reference to Angel)

      • Dennis says:

        Yup. Power that Be is from Ask Ausiello back from his TVguide days and ANGEL on The WB.

      • maggie says:

        “Powers that be” is an old phrase that dates back to the 1500’s. It means the people in charge, the people with authority over something.

        Ausiello is using it to mean the people who own and/or made this show, as in the production company or executive producer.

  4. Jager says:

    SSC, gotta be.

  5. Is this the new Star Trek?

    • Mark says:

      That was my first thought, but the article says “airwaves,” and Star Trek won’t be on the air, it will be streaming.

      • Katie T says:

        And it’s not filming yet. They mention a number of episodes coming in way over budget and they wouldn’t know that unless they’d already filmed them

        • Quinton O'Connor says:

          It’s actually currently in the process of filming. We know that a few episodes in the planned 13-episode first season have completed initial shoots at this point.

          That said, I don’t think it fits the bill here anyway, despite some of the rather dreadful rumors circulating the production. And I selfishly hope it isn’t what Ausiello means, regardless, because I’m a big Trek mark and I want that show to succeed despite all that’s stacked against it, heh.

          • Theo Bear says:

            After the full trailer which was released last night, I can well believe the blind’s about Star Trek Discovery. It looks pretty terrible. Worst acting and dialogue I’ve seen in a long time.

          • TV Gord says:

            Star Trek is an online show, and this story clearly says it’s either a broadcast of cable show.

          • Jennifer says:

            If the Blind Item was about Star Trek discovery – regardless of it being on streaming or network – CBS would not have ordered additional episodes. Which, according to the article on TVLine, they did. So, not ST. I’m going with Marvel’s Inhumans at this point. It’s either that or Still Star-Crossed. And I’ve seen commercials for Still Star-Crossed. Haven’t seen ANYTHING for Inhumans.

      • Michael Summerset says:

        The first episode will be on TV. And it’s unclear what the article means by “airwaves” since technically cable shows aren’t broadcast over the airwaves (by antenna). Star Trek was heavily talked about but was suppose to air back in the fall of 2016. It’s been getting delayed and delayed again. It now sounds like it’s going to be a disaster, especially since the ST fan shows have set the standard for a ST web series.

    • Justin Wykes says:

      While the first episode is airing on CBS, the rest is on their streaming service. I don’t think that would really count here.

    • ChicagoDan says:

      Not a chance CBS would ever pawn off a Star Trek property. Any problems will be dealt with yet another delay. It’s far too valuable to give up. Plus it’s headed to CAA streaming in hopes of getting more subscribers.

      • I hope you’re right dude

        • Mike H says:

          From the reviews it is Twin Peaks

          • Jennifer says:

            Nope … Per this week’s “Ask Ausiello,” it is DEFINITELY not. It’s question #1. :

            Question: Inquiring minds are desperate to know: Was Showtime’s Twin Peaks revival the subject of your recent blind item?! —Carol
            Ausiello: Sure as hell wasn’t.

            At this point, that leaves either Inhumans or Still Star Crossed. I’ve seen trailers for SSC, NOTHING for Inhumans. Since Inhumans was filmed in IMAX, that’s my bet at this time. Although Shondaland would have the pull to keep something on the air / keep from being sold off.

  6. J says:

    Can you tell us if the premiere date isn’t already set?

  7. stephon js says:

    I think it might be Midnight, texas

    • Steven says:

      Could be. I saw the first episode at New York Comic Con back in October and it was awful.

    • ahcupcake says:

      That’s what I was thinking.

    • Gilded Lady says:

      I like Still Star Crossed better because it more fits “ambitious” and Rhimes (until now) had a strong enough track record where they’d be willing to put out extra $$, but I’d take this as my second guess.

    • jericho says:

      They’ve actually done a decent amount of promotion for this show. So I highly doubt it is the series in question. While SSC has received absolutely no promo since it was announced. The “powers” behind that show are large enough that demanding it get a network airing is a valid idea considering the scope of their series on ABC as it is.

    • Casey says:

      You can kind of tell that the network doesn’t have much faith in the show by their slotting it for the summer.

      • n8frogg78 says:

        Not anymore. Summer is now just like any other tv season. Plus the ratings don t need to be what they are in the fall.

        • Gospino says:

          Summer is more important than it used to be, but for broadcast at least, it definitely is not just like all the other seasons. The amount of original scripted programming is WAY lower. Even you admit that ratings don’t need to be as high in summer, which in itself indicates that summer is not “just like” the other seasons.

          • Casey says:

            Right, a network would not usually choose to air a show during the summer if they thought it would do well in the “regular” season. In other words – if a show could pull in good ratings during the normal season, it would air then, unless every other series is going to do even better. Fall premiere vs. mid-season doesn’t necessarily mean anything, but opting to air over the summer does. The threshold for being considered a success is lower in the summer. It’s not a great analogy, but it’s kind of like Monday – Thursday vs. Friday. Networks will not generally air a show that could do well during the heavier viewing periods at a time that inherently gets less viewership.

    • Debbie says:

      That would be my guess too.

    • Troy says:

      That’s what I was thinking too. Looks like an expensive show with the special effects.

  8. James Rust says:

    I’m going to guess the new Star Trek series

    • Shoe says:

      Star Trek was already streaming only. I would say “Inhumans” because the showrunner is the same guy who did “Iron Fist” but it only started filming last month. NBC did a big promotional push for Midnight at Wondercon. So that leaves me with “Still Star Crossed.”

  9. Dizzle says:

    This has got to be Orville, the Seth McFarlane sci-fi on fox… they ordered it straight to series over the spring/summer last year but no mention of it on their schedules at all… And I would imagine McFarlane would be a powerful enough producer to be able to stop the sale…

    • MissEllys says:

      I think you are right. Orville was a hot spec. It was ordered a year ago but no promo or trailer or picture or poster has been released. And none of the cast are talking about it. The SSC cast have shared BTS photos.

      • S says:

        The cast are talking about Orville plenty on Twitter, but they’re in the middle of shooting. I don’t know that they’ve gotten enough episodes done to warrant a ‘most are X’ evaluation. I only just heard about the composer he picked and he’s shown an ability to both get sci-fi/Trek themes and execute it visually with the right people doing a great job (see: Cosmos). People usually get a sense when it’s as bad as TVLine’s saying. For some reason, SCC is catching on.

    • TJ says:

      I think this is the right answer.

      It’s not Twink Peaks (says Season 1)
      It’s not Midnight, TX (those producers aren’t influential)
      I don’t think it’s Star-Crossed (they would’ve buried it in the late Summer)

      It was also probably something straight-to-series, since if a pilot was that bad, they would’ve cut and run early.

      Other possibility:

      The Mist (Spike, The Weinsteins are behind it, ambitious to adapt Stephen King)

    • Gina says:

      They just finished the pilot, if my memory serves. I don’t think it’s Orville.

    • Tvfangirl says:

      It’s not Orville–they ordered it straight to series for fall 2017. It’s shooting now and they just finished episode 4 of 13. They didn’t start shooting until the spring.

  10. A says:

    I wonder if its Still Star Crossed?

  11. trooperwife says:

    STAR TREK:DISCOVERY, that’s why is been delayed so so so many times

  12. MissEllys says:

    Powers That Be definitely makes me think Shonda Rhimes

  13. aria808 says:

    ABC & Shondaland’s “Still Star-Crossed.”

  14. Mel says:

    That new Shonda show: Still Star-Crossed (or some similar title) that Romeo & Juliet thing.

  15. jml says:

    Marvel’s Inhumans? Maybe ABC tried to dump it off on Netflix with the Defenders shows.

    • Ray says:

      No. Read the description. Multiple episodes had already been shot and viewed by the network execs. That rules out series like Inhumans.

      • El24 says:

        don’t see why it couldn’t be inhumans – they’ve been filming for nearly 2 months now. enough time to figure out if it’s a dud.

      • Craig Riley says:

        Inhumans started filming on March 3rd, so it could very much be this … especially considering that it’s yet another Scott Buck ‘masterpiece’.

  16. Sylwester says:

    I think it’s Still Star-Crossed. Wasn’t anyone else surprised that the new Shonda Rhimes’ show will air in summer?

    • MissEllys says:

      Only 8 episodes….definitely sounds like they had to trim it

      • Becca says:

        Not really. The majority of Shonda’s shows begin with the first season having less than 10 episodes. Scandal’s first season had 7 episodes. Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice both had a 9-episode first season. The Catch’s first season had 10 episodes. Off the Map had 13. How to Get Away with Murder had 15.

      • Becca says:

        Also, they were all either mid-season replacements or summer series.

  17. Maddy says:

    The Deuce

    • Maddy says:

      (or maybe I’m just the only one that reads repeated references to something smelling terrible and immediately thinks of someone dropping a deuce)

      • kort says:

        hbo is not broadcast or cable. and they’ve got their own streaming service.

      • Tony Lang says:

        That’s a nice guess. Didn’t think of that one. It’s been in the works since 2015, so it’d make sense HBO was trying to “dump” for some time it and ended up having to “flush” it themselves.

        • Maddy says:

          Yeah and David Simon is a pretty big heavyweight creator at HBO. I’m also thinking that a show about the porn industry would need to get dumped on a streaming service, because very few networks are likely to let that kind of content fly.

  18. kort says:

    There’s not too much new dramas with premiere dates on broadcast or cable, and costly, so…

    Salvation? Will? Midnight Texas? Maybe Somewhere Between? The Terror?

    There are other new dramas like The Sinner or Claws, but those are in safe zone. The Alienist is still shooting. The Mist…, no.

  19. benseb790 says:

    It can’t be Star Trek:Discovery. CBS owns both the show and the network it’s going to be on…which is a streaming service. I agree…it’s the Seth McFarland show. I’m a big fan of Family Guy…but his stuff is so hit or miss.

  20. Jennifer says:

    Please let it not be Star Trek …

  21. Dawn Player says:

    I’m guessing Twin Peaks.

  22. Steveo says:

    It’s absolutely either INHUMANS or STILL STAR-CROSSED.

  23. Steve F. says:

    Star Trek: Discovery?

  24. MissEllys says:

    Star Trek Discovery is more likely to be available in 2018, putting it outside the 7 months in this article

  25. Brian says:

    I immediately thought of the Shonda Rhimes show Still Star Crossed. The fact that it’s now airing in the summer told us that it must suck.

  26. Chuck Gamble says:

    Just a guess, but I’m going with The Terror.

  27. chrispatt86 says:

    It’s gotta be Orville.

  28. Must be something starring Katherine Heigl.

    • MissEllys says:


    • Haz says:

      LOL! I don’t think she has anything in the works but I still can’t believe CBS dropped Kadee Strickland from Doubt and replaced her with Heigl. Heigl is a good actress but I don’t think it was wise having her lead a series is the best direction for her.

  29. Percys Owner says:

    I don’t think Star Trek is that ambitious, it’s CBS going back to the same well, and there is no way CBS would try to ship it to another platform. Although it sounds like it’s going to be a disaster I don’t think it’s the subject of this article.

    I’m guessing it’s either Still Star Crossed, because it has a not usual premise, or Midnight Texas, because they are holding that until like July, which doesn’t scream confidence.

  30. kat0711 says:

    I don’t get it, I thought Ishtar was hilarious!

  31. DJ says:

    If shotime isn’t a cable network what is it

  32. Tomm Huntre says:

    If it’s already been aired, my guess is EMERALD CITY

  33. Goldenvibefan says:

    I hope it’s not searchers, or the x-men pilot..

  34. cuius says:

    “… It has all of the great hallmarks of a Shondaland project, but it also is very epic in terns of its scope and scale, and we did not want to rush it into a place where we felt like it wasn’t ready.”

  35. Sammi says:

    If it’s for network TV, it’s obviously Still Star-Crossed. If it’s for cable TV, then I’m going with the wild guess of The Bold Type on Freeform.

  36. Liz says:

    The new Star Trek. Already gone thru recasting and new directors

    • JenJ says:

      I totally agree with you, Liz. That show has been delayed on and off for awhile. And, the network was hanging it’s hat on it launching their new streaming service, but instead had to start without it. A lot of problems with the series.

  37. Shea says:

    My guess is the Romeo and Juliet show on ABC.

  38. Dee says:

    I believe it could be the upcoming Stephen King series ‘The Mist’ airing this June 2017 on Spike TV which will become The Paramount Network in early 2018!

  39. Dee says:

    The other show I can think of is Syfy’s ‘Krypton’ which is suppose to be near a series order

  40. Boop says:

    I don’t think it’s Still Star Crossed.
    A few months ago, when asked where the series was on their mid season schedule, Channing Dungey said they were working on something possibly for summer or fall.
    And they wouldn’t give it a post Bachelorette slot if they had zero faith in it.

  41. Kelli Bamforth says:

    Still Star-Crossed

  42. cmontana.92 says:

    dirty dancing??

    • CarrieO. says:

      It is a three-hour filmed musical, so there aren’t multiple episodes. I can see why you would say this, though — I don’t think anything can compare to the original.

  43. John036 says:

    This has to be Still Star-Crossed. Shonda Rhimes is one of the biggest producers out there and definitely has the influence of blocking a sale. Although it could be Orville, I do not think Seth McFarlane has anywhere near the power that Shonda has.

  44. Selena says:

    Guys, its not Orville. It will end shooting in August.

    This screams Still Star Crossed, Shonda likely blocked the sale lol

  45. tracy st julien says:

    I hope it’s not Shonda’s new series based on Romeo and Juliet.

  46. Lilangel says:

    American crime story: Katrina?

  47. tallsy says:

    Probably Still Star Crossed but other possibilities just to throw out there. Will was filming for a looong time. Blood Drive has been in the can for a while.

  48. arnaud says:

    Could it be the new Stana Katic series:Absentia?

    • c-mo says:

      You’re brave to put that out there. The problem with your theory is that there is currently no US network set to air it.

  49. laura carr says:

    i have now idea what it could be. but if i hazard to guess i’d say it’s twin peaks too.