/// These TV Pilots Look Like Sure Bets for Fall

May 6, 2013  |  Media Week

For all the talk about binge viewing, the most crucial period of TV time suckage doesn’t involve Johnny Lunchbox sawing through three seasons of Breaking Bad on Netflix. As part of the annual ritual that determines the fall broadcast lineup, network poobahs last week began hunkering down in front of their 60-inch flat screens, poring over dozens of pilots in the mix for the 2013-14 season. While only network personnel and a few hundred lucky (?) civilians will ever watch the bulk of these pilots (of 104 scripted efforts ordered by the five English-language nets, perhaps a third will ever see the light of day), the executive suites and conference rooms of Los Angeles cannot contain the early buzz. We won’t know for certain which shows will light up our living rooms until the week of May 13 when the nets unveil their schedules, but insiders say the following programs have the best shot at breaking into the lineup. NBC NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke last week told investors that while the Peacock showed some progress with The Voice, a single hit won’t right the listing ship. “We really need to get one or two more good shows,” Burke said. “We are putting a tremendous amount of focus and concentration on…developing shows.” Having renewed just two of its freshmen series, NBC has plenty of room on the fall roster. Of the 30 pilots it ordered, the untitled Michael J. Fox sitcom seems a sure thing, having been cleared for a prime-time berth. Insiders are also raving about the single-camera comedy Mr. Robinson , starring The Office alum Craig Robinson, as well as Mulaney, a late entry created and written by and starring the hilarious stand-up comic and SNL scribe John Mulaney.

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These TV Pilots Look Like Sure Bets for Fall

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