The CW's hot pilots rundown: 'Selection,' 'Beauty and the Beast,' more

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Shelter: One Tree Hill co-creator Mark Schwahn’s relationship drama produced by J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk is set at an historic New England summer resort. Sherman praised Schwahn and Abrams’ experience with character-based shows and noted that, “it’s emotional and character driven with a small weekly franchise element since it’s set at an inn, so you have weekly guest characters coming in.”

The Carrie Diaries: The Sex and the City prequel stars a young Carrie Bradshaw coming of age in the 1980s. Though some readers wondered how it would differ from executive producers Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage’s Gossip Girl, Sherman said the show will feel unique for several reasons, “The focus is so much on the Carrie Bradshaw’s character and who she was at 16, 17 years old,” he said. “We weirdly compare it to Smallville because it’s an origin story — how she started writing, how she came to love Manhattan. Basically how we frame the show is, ‘Carrie at 16 found her first love and it’s not a boy — it’s Man-hattan.’ The other unique aspect is obviously the time period.”

Asked if the show will be stocked with familiar 1980s music, Sherman noted Carrie Diaries might have current artists doing takes on ’80s hits, though that’s still being discussed. The sexuality in the show will also be different than Gossip: “It’s more of an exploration of teen sexuality in a real way. Gossip Girl was young people in an adult world; this young people living in a young world.”

Arrow
: The DC Comics adaptation starring Stephen Amell will be more “grounded” than the Smallville version. “He doesn’t have any superpowers, he’s a very grounded character like a Jason Bourne — we use the term ‘Rambo,'” Sherman said. “His skill set is that he’s an archer, but he also have physical strength and prowess. He’s clever and able to devise ways of taking down a bad guy that are unique and fun to watch. He has a very interesting backstory that will be slowly revealed in the pilot. It’s a very provocative and sophisticated edgy look. It’s not as comic book-y as Smallville or other [superhero projects] from other networks.

Cult: Sherman calls the long-gestating project “a twisted and sophisticated story” from the writer of Farscape (Rockne O’Bannon). After a rash of disappearances and a likely murder, an inquisitive, young female production assistant on a wildly popular television show called Cult joins a journalist-blogger in investigating the rabid fans of the series who might be re-creating crimes seen on the program, in real life.


First Cut: The medical drama has a shot at bringing a hospital drama to the network. It’s about a new doctor looking to leave her nerdy past behind for a fresh start in the adult professional world. “It’s got a very specific and fun point of view,” Sherman said. “You leave school and think you’re in the adult world, but you still feel like a kid walking into the school cafeteria for the first time.”

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