GOTHAM: The origin stories of Commissioner James Gordon, a detective with the Gotham City Police Department, and his battle with the villains who made Gotham City famous. Cast: Ben McKenzie (Det. James Gordon); Donal Logue (Harvey Bullock); Jada Pinkett Smith (Fish Mooney).Blame it on SHIELD, Arrow and Once Upon a Time, but there are quite a few superhero and fairytale pilots this year (this one, ABC's Galavant, NBC's Constantine). I would write this one off, but the trailer was released recently and actually looks decent. My only concern is keeping it from becoming too CW-y.
BACKSTROM: Based on renowned Swedish criminologist and novelist Leif G.W. Persson’s hit series of books of the same name, the series centers on Det. Everett Backstrom, an offensive, irascible detective as he tries and fails to change his self-destructive behavior. Cast: Rainn Wilson (Backstrom); Dennis Haysbert (John Almond).Uh, Rainn Wilson in a drama? After watching the trailer, it is basically just Rake but a detective instead of a lawyer.
EMPIRE: A family drama set in the world of a hip-hop empire featuring original and current music. Cast: Terrence Howard (Lucious Lyon); Taraji P. Henson (Cookie Lyon); Jussie Smollet (Jamal Lyon).Nashville didn't have enough rapping in it. Really disappointed that there wasn't a bit of music/singing/rapping/audible piano playing featured in the trailer....
HIEROGLYPH: Set in ancient Egypt, where fantasy and reality intertwine, Hieroglyph follows a notorious thief who is plucked from prison to serve the Pharoah, navigating palace intrigue, seductive concubines, criminal underbellies and even a few divine sorcerers. Cast: Max Brown; John Rhys-Davies (Vocifer); Reece Ritchie (Shai).This one surprised me. As a huge (HUGE!) Ten Commandments fan, I love all things Egypt. And I've got to admit – that time period hasn't been done before on TV, that I can recall at least. But still. Seems weird, no? CANCELLED.
RED BAND SOCIETY: A group of teenagers meet as patients in the children’s wing of a hospital and become unlikely allies and friends in this comedic young soap. Cast: Octavia Spencer (Nurse Jackson); Dave Annable (Dr. Jack McAndrew).A comedic young soap starring Spencer (44) and Annable (35). Hmm.
THE MIDDLE MAN: Set in ’60s Boston, the story follows Rudy MacAteer, an FBI agent charged with taking down the Italian mafia, and his confidential informant, Irish gangster Mickey Flood. As Rudy finds himself forced to bend the laws he pledged to enforce, the duo’s actions inadvertantly give rise to the Irish mob.Though this one is not in contention for the fall (could be coming in the winter or spring season), they've got to be concerned that it is too much like failed series Vegas, Pan Am and Playboy Club, no? I know we all want the next Mad Men or Boardwalk Empire, but I'm really loosing faith that that will come on network TV.
See more at http://insidetv.ew.com/2014/04/21/complete-fall-2014-pilot-list/4/
Also excited to check out Gracepoint, and binge watch the series it is based on, Broadchurch.