Fall TV pilots: what to expect


By Verne Gay

Long Island Newsday

The networks have ordered their fall 2011 pilots and, as always, there are big trends, big stars and big projects. Here’s what to expect:

BIG TRENDS

Sitcoms about men under fire, at home and in the workplace; multigenenerational/dysfunctional families; supernatural and magic; and 1960s dramas.

BIG STARS

Tim Allen, in a to-be-named show for ABC, about a guy “fighting for his manhood” in a house full of women.

Don Johnson as a hairdresser in NBC’s “A. Mann’s World.”

Sarah Michelle Gellar is back in a CBS pilot, “Ringer,” about a woman with a twin sister, both trying to escape the Mob.

Debra Messing/Angelica Huston, in NBC’s “Smash,” about a Broadway musical.

Eric Roberts/Debbie Allen in ABC’s “Grace,” about a pair of dancers with three daughters.

Ethan Hawke/Lily Rabe in Fox’s “Exit Strategy,” about a CIA team to the rescue when something goes awry.

BIG PROJECTS

“Terra Nova”: Fox’s much-delayed Steven Spielberg dino series, pushed from a May preview to fall.

“Wonder Woman”: NBC’s remake of the 1974 Lynda Carter series, with Adrianne Palicki (“Friday Night Lights”) in the title role.

“Charlie’s Angels”: ABC’s remake stars Rachael Taylor (“Grey’s Anatomy”), Annie Ilonzeh (“General Hospital”) and Minka Kelly (“Friday Night Lights”). Robert Wagner may be the voice of Charlie.

“Good Christian B”: ABC soap from Darren Star, with Kristin Chenoweth, Annie Potts and Leslie Bibb about the “ultimate mean girl in high school” who returns to Dallas after a failed marriage.

“Poe”: ABC reimagines Edgar Allan Poe as a crime fighter in 1840s Boston, with Christopher Egan (“Kings”) in the title role.

“Alcatraz”: From J.J. Abrams (“Lost”), a Fox drama about ’60s-era hoods in the Big House who are magically and mysteriously transported to present time.

“Grimm”: NBC cop show filled with characters from the classic fables.

“Pan Am”: ABC come-fly-with-me drama that goes back to the ’60s, looking for some “Mad Men” mojo.

“Prime Suspect”: NBC adaptation of the Helen Mirren classic.

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