Last year, Fox Television fired well-respected president Kevin Reilly after he suggested that pilot season is antiquated and that networks should revamp their entire series development process from the ground up. Reilly’s proposal seems reasonable to anyone sitting on their couch wondering why their favorite network already replaced the cop/doctor/lawyer show that debuted last week with reruns of Gordon Ramsey waving knives at toddlers. But networks don’t enjoy those truth bombs. It’s much easier to blame the messenger and assume the problems aren’t systemic. What worked before will work again.
Unless it doesn’t. Today, Fox announced their second round of pilot orders for 2015, a stable that already includes a Minority Report series and the Ryan Murphy drama Scream Queens. Reading through the show summaries, it’s clear Fox didn’t heed Reilly’s advice. It’s almost impossible to determine if these pilot loglines are legitimate studio-supplied summaries or ClickHole content. So we’ll let readers decide. Read the synopsis below and see if you can determine which is real, and which is fabricated:
A: Rosewood is a close-ended, investigative series that centers on the brilliant Dr. Beaumont Rosewood Jr., the top private pathologist in all of Miami. As owner of one of the most sophisticated, state-of-the-art independent labs in the country, he finds the secrets in bodies that others usually miss. Despite being constantly surrounded by death, Rosewood is obsessed with life and savors every moment. His eternal optimism will frustrate the cynical female detective he often works with, but she can’t argue with the results that his unique perspective provides.
B: Rosewood is a miniseries event about Samantha Rose (Nasim Pedrad) and Lorenzo Wood (Kevin Hart), two rival dog catchers forced to partner up when a mysterious disease turns Chicago’s canines into ruthless, hyper-intelligent assassins hell-bent on toppling the city’s corrupt political apparatus. Both characters live in $800,000 apartments despite earning slightly more than minimum wage, and are ridiculously attractive yet complain constantly about finding a decent romantic interest in a major American city.*
*Pilot offer contingent on finding dogs trained in martial arts.
A: Does a disability define you? That’s the question posed by Fox’s Luther, which follows ace detective Adolphus “Luther” Robicheaux (Lou Holtz) and his struggle to overcome a lifelong speech impediment. As a rookie cop, Robicheaux ignominiously earned the nickname Luther when he tried to call a perp a “loser” in front of his entire squad. Now a grizzled but still-mocked veteran, Robicheaux must overcome his stigma if he wants bring down the city’s gravest threat — notorious drug kingpin Sammy Sassafras, Sr.
B: Luther focuses on John Luther, a brilliant detective with occasionally questionable ethics and an unrelenting passion for justice.
A: Frankenstein centers on Ray Pritchard, a morally corrupt retired cop who is given a second chance at life when he is brought back from the dead. Now younger and stronger, Pritchard will have to choose between his old temptations and his new sense of purpose.
B: Frankenstein is a cutting-edge meta experiment that explores what happens when a lazy showrunner creates a network series using nothing but parts from other cliché-filled shows. Lieutenant Monica Benes (Kerry Washington) is a beautiful but troubled US Special Forces psychologist who moonlights as barista at an underground club catering exclusively to zombies. When handsome, tough-as-nails vampire lawyer Walter Draper (Kellan Lutz) approaches Benes with information about a global conspiracy involving her long-dead father, the duo travels back through time to a mysterious island that may hold the key to unraveling the decades-long plot.
The one potential bright spot is this probable Superfund site is 48 Hours ‘Til Monday from The Mindy Project executive producer Charlie Grandy. This single-camera comedy chronicles a husband’s attempt to prevent every single weekend from descending into a morass of home improvement projects, soccer games, and play dates. As a new father who already wakes up on Saturday mornings wondering if there’s any work I can get done at the office, this show will either embolden or terrify me beyond belief.