Pilot Intel: CBS eyes 11 new dramas, 9 new comedies

CBS may have created two of the most popular new series this season – NCIS: LA and The Good Wife – but the network still has some bare spots to contend with (we hardly knew ye, Three Rivers!) Not one to stray from its bread and butter shows, the network’s got a Criminal Minds spinoff in the works plus a new project from CSI honcho Carol Mendelsohn, but all eyes are on its redux of Hawaii Five-O starring Lost’s Daniel Dae Kim. And don’t think CBS is resting on its laurels with the (unfathomable) success of Gary, Unmarried and Rules of Engagement:  it has lots more multi-camera sitcoms in the works, including a promising new show about overeaters from Father Comedy, aka Chuck Lorre (Two and A Half Men, Big Bang Theory). Here are the network’s fall pilot orders, many of which are still being cast (decisions on which projects are ordered to series are typically made in the weeks leading up to CBS’s presentation to advertisers, which occurs this May in New York. And nope – it’s not likely every project will get a pickup. Not even you, Criminal Minds spinoff. OK, maybe you):


Untitled Michael Dinner Project. An ATF agent hunts juggles home life while trying to capture dangerous criminals.

Chaos (Tom Spezialy, Brett Ratner). Ragtag group of CIA operatives ensnared by backstabbing and beaucratic snafus. Stars Freddy Rodriguez (Grindhouse).

Criminal Minds spinoff (Chris Mundy). New iteration of CBS’ successful crime show. Stars Forest Whitaker (The Shield).  

Defenders (Carol Mendelsohn, Niels Mueller, Kevin Kennedy). Drama about two hard-charging Sin City attorneys.

Hawaii Five-O (Peter Lenkov, Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman). An update of the popular ’60s drama about Hawaii State Police that stars Daniel Dae Kim (Lost), Alex O’Loughlin (Moonlight), and Taryn Manning (Sons of Anarchy).

I Witness (Trey Calloway, Pam Veasey). A rollover from 2009, this drama pilot focuses on a detective-cum-professor who uses special mind skills to solve crimes.

Untitled Burgess & Green project (Mitchell Burgess, Robin Green). A family of cops in New York.

The Quinn-Tuplets (Mike Kelley). A drama chronicling the lives of five adult quintuplets. Stars Sam Witwer (Smallville).

The Odds (Jeff Wadlow, Joel Silver) A buddy cop show set in Las Vegas.

Untitled Medical Project (Hannah Shakespeare, John Wells). A drama about a mobile medical team that stars Amy Smart (Crank).

Untitled Redlich/Bellucci Project (Ed Redlich, John Belluci). About a female NYPD detective with a razor-sharp memory.


Untitled Ant Hines Project. British deadbeat dad moves to L.A. to reunite with his teenage daughter.

Hitched (Josh Schwartz, Matt Miller). A multi-camera comedy about a newlywed couple and their friends, family. Stars Eugene Levy (Best in Show) and Kristin Kreuk (Smallville) 

Livin’ On a Prayer (Carter Bays, Craig Thomas, Kourtney Kang, Joe Kelly). A multi-camera comedy about an unmarried couple in Pittsburgh and their friends. Stars Joe Manganiello (True Blood).

Mike and Molly (Mark Roberts, Chuck Lorre). A multi-camera comedy about a couple that overeats.

Open Books (Gail Lerner). Centers around a female book editor; stars Laura Benanti (Eli Stone).

Team Spitz (Bill Martin, Mike Schiff). A multi-camera comedy about a high school football coach that stars Rob Riggle (Gary Unmarried).

True Love (Matt Tarses). A multi-camera comedy about four New York friends that stars Minka Kelly (Friday Night Lights) and Ashley Austin Morris (The Electric Company).

Untitled Tad Quill. A multi-camera comedy about a widowed father who’s attempting to get back on the (dating) horse.

Sh** My Dad Says (Justin Halpern, Patrick Schumacker). A multi-camera comedy based on Halpern’s Twitter account that stars William Shatner (Boston Legal).


More: Lynette Rice’s full coverage of TV pilot season

Comments (42 total) Add your comment
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  • Nick B

    Will CBS ever have a comedy that isn’t a multi-camera series with a laugh track? It’s not that I have anything against it. Seinfeld is one of my favorite sitcoms. But can’t CBS try anything new? And almost all the dramas are procedurals. I guess I shouldn’t have expected anything more from we-are-so-darn-unoriginal CBS. Well, it is the most watched network, so I guess it’s working for them, thanks to the crappy tastes of most people in this country.
    And can Chuck Lorre just stop already? His shows are awful.

    • Shannon

      Very true, and the other thing I don’t understand is why the execs have the let’s throw 10 new shows out there and see what sticks. How about they focus on just a few new shows and make them really good. I do not like watching new shows because they are so quick to cancel them.

  • Allen T.

    It really bugs me when people take shots at shows like “Gary UnMarried”. Everyone seems to want to watch this phase of shows that are not funny but painfully awkward, such as “Parks and Rec” and the biggest offender, “The Office”. Awkward does not equal funny, it’s just awkward. I can’t wrap my mind around it, i’ve attempted to watch these shows and i can’t even crack a smile. But shows like “Gary” or “Cougar Town” and “Accidentally on Purpose” provide good situational comedy, not awkward people in faux documentary situations, staring at the camera and saying unfunny things. Even at it’s best with “Modern Family”, i can only take the occasional episode. As long as i’m around there be plenty of room for good old school sitcoms. Maybe at 29, these new awkward shows are just beyond my comprehension, i didn’t like “Napolean Dynamite” or “Borat” either, same garbage as the aforementioned shows.

    • anna

      You’re 29?? This post makes you sound at least 69 years old.

      • maiv

        haha true

      • AcaseofGeo

        anna ur so wrong. wanting quality in shows is NOT the same as being an old geezer. I also like to laugh or even crack a smile when watching comedies and most of CBS’s comedies do that. I just can’t tolerate those pretentious unfunny and yes, AWKWARD NBC craps.

      • RK

        Well, CBS is the place for old people.

    • RJ

      People take shots at Gary Unmarried because it’s just not funny. However, I agree with you on the faux documentary style of most shows these days. I don’t care for it either. I prefer the traditional sitcom as well it’s just…I’d prefer one that is funny.

    • Jordan Van Os

      The Office has substance – every joke from “Gary”, “Two and a Half Men”, “Accidentally on Purpose” and the rest of those comedies are predictable and could be written by anyone who has seen at least one episode of “Threes Company”. For god sakes, taking a minute to think before you laugh shouldnt be so much work.

      The Office, Community, Parks, and 30 Rock are some of the best comedies TV has ever seen

      • Luis PJ

        you mean worst…right cause i think your just fooling yourself

  • Susan

    Mike and Molly (Mark Roberts, Chuck Lorre). A multi-camera comedy about a couple that overeats.


    • BA

      I was just coming down here to write the same thing. WTH?? Yeah, THAT sounds like something I would want to watch.

  • robinepowell

    There was a show about Quituplets (I think on Fox) a few years ago and it didn’t last a full season. Now CBS is trying it with adults? Good luck. :(

    • JBD

      The show on Fox was a sitcom, not a drama. Completely different

  • Leo

    I swear to God you would think the only jobs in the world were lawyer, doctor, or cop based on the dramas they’ve selected. Same goes for ABC.

    • LadyJNewYork

      I totally agree with you…enough already of the cop shows and “law and order” shows…gheez…I too am tired of it!! Thank goodness for TCM (turner’s classic movies).

      • Luis PJ

        where TCM also shows classic cop movies…geez

    • Nix

      It’s just that cop shows, and sex-crazed doctors, are easiest to plot and re-air in the future. More complex, novel-like plotting really works best on the DVD box set — Lost, Mad Men, etc.

  • Linny

    Jesus Christ, I bet there’s a pool going around CBS to see how long Alex O’Loughlin can stick around before finally snapping at them for canceling his shows.

    And way to go CBS, you’ve managed to order pilots that already look exactly like your current line-up!

    And we only take cheap shots at CBS’ old school multi-camera sitcoms because they’re overly in abundance (along with their procedural spin-offs) and they really don’t stand the test of time or get recognized as much. Seriously, what the hell is Rules of Engagement???

    • Nix

      Alex O’Loughlin is turning into the Rena Sofer of CBS.

  • Matt

    The Fox comedy “Quintuplets” which starred Conan’s fat sidekick did last one full season

    The Quinn-Tuplets seems like Brothers and Sisters which is a good thing

    yay for Chuck Lorre’s new show!

  • Robert Medina

    will Hawaii 5-0 be filmed in Hawaii like the original if it is the people of hawaii would love it we need the spot light

  • chris

    Based on the pilots for all 3 networks filled with ADD proof cops/crime/attorney procedurals i think im going to be reading much and watching cable were they actually have shows that take a imagination.

    • Luis PJ

      imagination like HBO Canceling shows like FOX or that books contain cops/crime/attorney procedurals

  • Gloria MLBIT

    From what I understand Hawaii 5-0 will be filmed in Hawaii but even if it is not filmed there the whole time and it is eventually filmed on a sound stage it should not matter as Hawaii has so many more things to offer besides a television show plus it will replicate the actual place. I personally can not wait to see what they can do with this show. Look at who they have working it..dudes that did Star Trek and Transformed and then Show runner from CSI’s. I think if they don’t play it stupid and try to make it funny funny…it will do good….plus it has a sexy head cop…who did great on The Shield.

  • Dav

    7 Out of the 11 shows are about cops. *Yawn* Thanks for the complete lack of imagination CBS.

  • gigi

    Why is it that I only appreciate CBS comedies in syndication. (King of Queens, 2.5 Men, Still Standing). So I guess while I’m not liking Gary Unmarried, Accidently on Purpose, and (yes) Big Bang Theory now, I’m sure I will find them comedic genius on Lifetime and TBS. So I will appreciate the show about the overeating couple then too. As far as the dramas…Too many cop shows. I’ll give Hawaii 5-0 a once over, but besides that…not interested.

    • adamo

      because you’re probably a very sweet person who works hard & likes ‘comedy’ to be fed to you. You like that you kinda know what’s going to happen & it’s inoffensive & relatively simple. Of any of your above mentioned only ‘Gary’ has remotely thought provoking material but that’s the point. when you come home you don’t want provocation. I get it cos I’m the same.
      cheers to your taste. It’s what the rest of America likes too

  • Billiam

    There’s not a lot of point in judging comedies by their description (since it’s all in the execution). So while “Livin on a Prayer doesn’t sound special, it DOES bear the names of Carter & Bays, creator of HIMYM.

  • Nate

    OK. the Criminal Minds spinoff probably already has its ticket stamped, and Defenders looks good to get at least 13 episodes, but if CBS cancels Cold Case and puts Hawaii Five-O in its slot, it is going to look very silly.

    And any guess as to which “family” comedy gets the Accidentally on Purpose slot (not Mike and Molly please, but I think that it will probably be Livin’ On a Prayer or True Love)? I think it would make more sense to move The New Adventures of Old Christine back to Mondays and link Gary Unmarried with Team Spitz, but CBS has been the model of rigidity lately, so I doubt that actually happens.

  • Doc

    Seinfeld was on NBC not CBS. It matters not what the show is about, it only matters if people watch it. 20% of these pilots wont be made, half of those that remain wont make it to TV and about 90% of those that do make it wont see a second season.

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