This list will be frequently updated as more pilots are announced and cast.
Pilot season is upon us, meaning the broadcast networks are taking stock of their needs for the 2023-24 TV season and getting the ball rolling toward filling any gaps. With things about to get really interesting — it’s time to start casting stars in 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 very latest intel.
PILOT | When a network orders a pilot, they’re asking its writers/producers/studio to cast and produce a very close facsimile of a series’ first episode. Each pilot is reviewed by network brass, then typically put into testing before its fate is decided. (A “put pilot” has a greater likelihood of “going to series,” as there is a significant financial penalty if it does not.)
PLANTED SPIN-OFF | Also called a “backdoor” pilot, this is an episode of an existing series that sets up a prospective offshoot. (See: Arrow‘s “Green Arrow and the Canaries” episode.) Retro History Lesson: That Brady Bunch episode with neighbor Ken Berry adopting three diverse boys? That was an ill-fated planted pilot, for a spin-off that was to be called Kelly’s Kids.)
DRAMA/COMEDY PRESENTATION | Due to time or budget restraints, a network sometimes won’t order a full pilot but a shorter “presentation” that gives a sense of what a drama or sitcom would look like.
CAST-CONTINGENT | Sometimes a network will order a pilot with the caveat that filming can’t start until a suitable (read: “name”) actor has been cast in a lead role. (Translation: “The premise is iffy, but a star could sell us.”) So you’ll sometimes hear that with the casting of so-and-so, “the cast contingency has been lifted” on a pilot.
SECOND POSITION | AKA the two words that make fans of “bubble” shows extremely anxious 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 a pilot role is in second position/priority if their show gets renewed. The fact that an actor booked a “second position” gig doesn’t always mean his/her current show is doomed… but it usually does. Variation: A “safe second” means the pilot’s bosses have been discreetly 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 a goner.
And now, our running update of pilots ordered for the 2023-24 TV season, going network by network, as well as series orders that were rolled over from past pilot seasons…
Our running update of pilots ordered for the 2023-24 TV season, going network by network; EPs = executive producers. (Jump to CBS, The CW, Fox or NBC.)
WRITER: Julieanne Smolinski
OTHER EPs: Ellie Kemper, director Michael Showalter, Sharon Horgan, Clelia Mountford, Stacy Greenberg, Kira Carstensen, Paul Feig, Dan Magnante, Holly Walsh, Helen Serafinowicz
CAST: Ellie Kemper (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Judy Greer (Reboot)
Julia (Kemper) is a working mom for whom nothing is working so she goes looking for her village. With the help of new friends Calvin and Liz, Julia discovers she just might succeed at balancing work and parenting from time to time. This is a comedy for anybody who’s dropped their kids at school, breathed a sigh of relief…then realized it’s Sunday. Based on Sharon Horgan’s British comedy Motherland.
THE GOOD LAWYER (Drama)
WRITERS: David Shore, Liz Friedman
OTHER EPs: Director Ruben Fleischer
CAST: Kennedy McMann (Nancy Drew), Felicity Huffman (Desperate Housewives), Bethlehem Million (Flatbush Misdemeanors)
A legal spinoff of The Good Doctor, the backdoor pilot (airing March 13) centers on Joni DeGroot (McMann), a promising young lawyer who is brilliant, funny and self-aware but has obsessive compulsive disorder. While her symptoms take a toll on her personal and professional life, her attention to detail allows her to see cases through a different lens.
THE HURT UNIT (Drama)
WRITERS: Matt Lopez, John Glenn
OTHER EPs: Director Marc Webb
CAST: Ben McKenzie (Gotham), Melissa George (The Mosquito Coast), Michelle Ortiz (This Fool), Jaime Lee Kirchner (Bull)
A highly skilled team of trauma surgeons and nurses race into the field to treat the patients who won’t make it to the hospital in time. When the sick and the injured can’t get to the ER, the HURT Unit, or Hospital Urgent Response Team, brings the ER to them.
WRITER: Joey Falco
OTHER EPs: Melvin Mar, Jake Kasdan, Jordan Cerf
CAST: Sarah Shahi (Sex/Life)
The project plays out over two timelines. Fifteen years from now, a woman (Shahi) being vetted for a Supreme Court seat recounts her experience at a prominent D.C. law firm in 2023, where the only thing more controversial than the cases was her messy love life, caught between two feuding brothers. Now, with a Supreme Court seat on the line, all of her darkest secrets are at risk of coming out, threatening her nomination, her reputation, and her marriage.
PUBLIC DEFENDERS (Comedy)
WRITER: Eddie Quintana
OTHER EPs: McG, Mary Viola, Corey Marsh
CAST: Anthony Anderson (black-ish)
In the single-cam comedy, up to their earholes in student loan debt, four inexperienced public defenders work tirelessly to keep their clients out of jail. Along the way, they have to rely on each other to navigate their first defendants, the absurd court system, and the copy machine that always jams.
UNTITLED DREW GODDARD PROJECT (Drama)
WRITER: Drew Goddard
OTHER EPs: Showrunner Rob Thomas, director Alethea Jones, Sarah Esberg, Pierre Laugier, Anthony Lancret, Jean Nainchrik
CAST: Kaitlin Olson (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia), Daniel Sunjata (Graceland), Javicia Leslie (Batwoman), Deniz Akdeniz (The Flight Attendant)
A single mom (Olson) with three kids and an exceptional mind helps solve an unsolvable crime when she rearranges some evidence during her shift as a cleaner for the police department. When they discover she has a knack for putting things in order because of her high intellectual potential she is brought on as a consultant to work with a by-the-book seasoned detective (Sunjata), and together they form an unusual and unstoppable team. Based on the popular French series Haut Potentiel Intellectuel (HPI).
Our running update of pilots ordered for the 2023-24 TV season, going network by network; EPs = executive producers. (Jump to ABC, The CW, Fox or NBC.)
WRITERS: Robert King, Michelle King
OTHER EPs: Liz Glotzer
CAST: Carrie Preston (The Good Wife, The Good Fight), Wendell Pierce (Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan), Carra Patterson (Turner & Hooch)
In the Good Wife spinoff, after her successful career in Chicago, Elsbeth Tascioni (Preston), an astute but unconventional attorney, utilizes her singular point of view to make unique observations and corner brilliant criminals alongside the NYPD.
WRITER: Wayne Conley
OTHER EPs: Aaron Kaplan, Melanie Frankel, Bridget McMeel, Wendi Trilling, co-EP Robb Armstrong
CAST: Terry Crews (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)
Based on the popular comic strip that debuted in 1989, set in Philadelphia, the multi-cam comedy follows Joe, a cop, his wife Marcy, a nurse, and Joe’s partner Crunchy. Joe and Marcy are young, hip, urban parents with old school values who are willing to sacrifice for their kids and have some laughs while doing it.
WRITER: Jennie Snyder Urman
OTHER EPs: Kathy Bates, Joanna Klein, Eric Christian Olsen, John Will
CAST: Kathy Bates (American Horror Story), Jason Ritter (Parenthood), Skye P. Marshall (Good Sam), David Del Rio (Maggie), Leah Lewis (Nancy Drew)
After achieving success in her younger years, the brilliant septuagenarian Madeline Matlock (Bates) rejoins the work force at a prestigious law firm where she uses her unassuming demeanor and wily tactics to win cases and expose corruption from within. Inspired by the classic television series of the same name.
TRACKER (fka THE NEVER GAME) (Drama) — ORDERED TO SERIES
WRITER: Ben H. Winters
OTHER EPs: Justin Hartley, director Ken Olin
CAST: Justin Hartley (This Is Us), Mary McDonnell (Major Crimes), Robin Weigert (Deadwood), Abby McEnany (Work In Progress), Eric Graise (Locke & Key, Step Up: High Water), Fiona Rene (Fire Country, Stumptown)
Revolves around survivalist Colter Shaw (Hartley), who roams the country as a “reward seeker” and uses his tracking skills to solve mysteries as he contends with his own fractured family.
UNTITLED WAYANS FATHER/SON PROJECT(Comedy)
WRITERS: Kevin Hench, Damon Wayans
OTHER EPs: Damon Wayans Jr.
CAST: Damon Wayans (My Wife and Kids), Damon Wayans Jr. (Happy Endings), Essence Atkins (Marlon), Tetona Jackson (Home Economics)
A multi-cam comedy in which legendary talk radio host and happily divorced “Poppa” (Damon Wayans) has his point of view challenged at work when a new female co-host is hired, and at home where he finds himself still parenting his adult son (Damon Wayans Jr.), a brilliant dreamer who is trying to pursue his passion while being a responsible father and husband.
THE CW PILOTS
Our running update of pilots ordered for the 2023-24 TV season, going network by network; EPs = executive producers. (Jump to ABC, CBS, Fox or NBC.)
To Be Announced?
Our running update of pilots ordered for the 2023-24 TV season, going network by network; EPs = executive producers. (Jump to ABC, CBS, The CW or NBC.)
UNIVERSAL BASIC GUYS/THE HOAGIE BROS. (Animated Comedy) — ORDERED STRAIGHT TO SERIES FOR 2024
WRITERS: Adam Malamut, Craig Malamut
A show about men trying to find purpose in a world where they’re no longer needed, it follows brothers Mark and Hank Hoagies suddenly find themselves with no jobs when the Glantontown Hot Dog factory switches over to automation. Lucky for them, the town started a radical Universal Basic Income pilot program, giving all residents of Glantontown $3,000 per month with no strings attached. Now, Mark, Hank and the rest of their local buddies are once again kids in the summertime, overflowing with the perilous combo of free time and stupid ideas.
Our running update of pilots ordered for the 2023-24 TV season, going network by network; EPs = executive producers. (Jump to ABC, CBS, The CW or Fox.)
FOUND (Drama) — ORDERED TO SERIES
WRITER: Nkechi Okoro Carroll
OTHER EPs: Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter, David Madden, Lindsay Dunn
CAST: Shanola Hampton (Shameless), Mark-Paul Gosselaar (mixed-ish, Pitch), Brett Dalton (Chicago Fire, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Gabrielle Walsh, Arlen Escarpeta, Karan Oberoi, Kelli Williams
In any given year, more than 600,000 people are reported missing in the U.S. More than half that number are people of color that the country seems to forget about. A public relations specialist — who was once herself one of those forgotten ones — and her crisis management team now make sure there is always someone looking out for the forgotten missing people. But unbeknownst to anyone, this everyday hero is hiding a chilling secret of her own.
THE IRRATIONAL (Drama) — ORDERED TO SERIES
WRITER: Arika Lisanne Mittman
OTHER EPs: Mark Goffman, Samuel Baum, director David Frankel, plus producer Jesse L. Martin and consultant Dan Ariely
CAST: Jesse L. Martin (The Flash), Maahra Hill (Delilah), Travina Springer (Ms. Marvel), Molly Kunz (Finding Carter), Arash DeMaxi (Partner Track)
A world-renowned professor of behavioral science lends his expertise to an array of high-stakes cases involving governments, law enforcement, and corporations with his unique and unexpected approach to understanding human behavior. Based on Dan Ariely’s book Predictably Irrational.
MURDER BY THE BOOK (Drama)
WRITERS: Jenna Bans, Bill Krebs
OTHER EPs: Retta, Casey Kyber
CAST: Retta (Good Girls), Tituss Burgess (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Tommy Dewey (Casual), Siobhan Williams (UnREAL)
A big city Instafamous book reviewer takes a page from the murder mystery books she reviews and becomes an unlikely detective to uncover the shocking truths about an eccentric seaside town.
NON-EVIL TWIN (Comedy)
WRITERS: Amber Ruffin, Kenny Smith
OTHER EPs: Jenny Hagel, co-EP Olivia Morris
CAST: Amber Ruffin (The Amber Ruffin Show)
In the multi-cam comedy, a woman is forced to step in to her sister’s role as the leader of a Fortune 500 company despite knowing little about business and even less about the way her sister has been running the corporation.
ST. DENIS MEDICAL (Comedy)
WRITERS: Justin Spitzer, Eric Ledgin
OTHER EPs: Simon Heuer
CAST: Wendi McLendon-Covey (The Goldbergs), Allison Tolman (Why Women Kill, Fargo)
A mockumentary about an underfunded, understaffed Oregon hospital where the dedicated doctors and nurses try their best to treat patients while maintaining their own sanity.
UNTITLED MIKE O’MALLEY PROJECT (Comedy) — ORDERED TO SERIES
WRITER: Mike O’Malley
OTHER EPs: Jon Cryer
CAST: Jon Cryer (Two and a Half Men), Abigail Spencer (Timeless), Donald Faison (Scrubs), Finn Sweeney (Impeachment: American Crime Story) and newcomer Sofia Capanna
Centers on former marrieds Jim (Cryer) and Julia (Spencer). After an amicable divorce, the exes “decide to continue to raise their kids at the family home while taking turns on who gets to stay with them. Navigating the waters of divorce and child-sharing gets more complicated for Jim when the owner of his favorite sports team (Faison) enters the picture and wins Julia’s heart.”
WRITER: Michael Grassi
OTHER EPs: Director Lee Toland Krieger, Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter, Leigh London Redman, Henrik Bastin, Melissa Aouate, Jonathan Cavendish, Andy Serkis, Will Tennant
CAST: Zachary Quinto (American Horror Story)
Inspired by Oliver Sacks’ extraordinary life and work, the drama follows a revolutionary, larger-than-life neurologist and his team of interns as they explore the last great frontier, the human mind, while also grappling with their own relationships and mental health.