Katie Couric, ‘Charlie’s Angels’ Director McG Attached To Pilots

By February 7, 2017

It’s pilot season, where networks have picked the scripts they like the best – or feels fits into the kind of season they want to deliver this fall – and ask producers and writers to make it something they can watch.

GeekNation’s continuing look at the pilots in this round include movie remakes, television remakes, and even something for CBS from one of its former evening news anchors.

What will make it to series? We’ll find out this spring.

Behind Enemy Lines (Fox)
It’s good to know that some production companies aren’t afraid to give their pilot chances a boost by attaching a big-name director.

And that’s exactly what Behind Enemy Lines did in hiring McG of 2000’s Charlie’s Angels and 2009’s Terminator: Salvation to helm the pilot.

And it’s not the first time McG has done this. He also led the pilot for NBC’s hit series Chuck, setting the pace and tone that would help make that show a success.

The pilot, which will get a rewrite from Revenge‘s Nikki Toscano, is loosely based on the 2001 film that starred Gene Hackman and Owen Wilson, and which grossed $58.9 million at the box office.

Dynasty (The CW)
It was one of the ultimate prime-time soap operas of the 1980s, and The CW wants to bring it back.

The network has ordered a pilot for Dynasty from Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, best known for their work on shows like Gossip GirlChuck and The O.C.

The Rolls Royce of all prime-time soaps returns in a modernized reboot that follows two of America’s wealthiest families, the Carringtons and the Colbys, as they feud for control over their fortune and their children.

In an age where dynasties appear everywhere – from reality television to the polling booths – this epic drama features the one percent in all its glitz and gloss, while exposing the dark underbelly: a corrupt world built on backroom deals, betrayal and, in some cases, murder.

The original Dynasty aired on ABC between 1981 and 1989. It was created by Esther Shapiro and Richard Alan Shapiro, who were never really ever able to match their previous success. The two have returned to this pilot as producers that will feature two women at odds: Fallon Carrington, the daughter of billionaire Blake Carrington, and her soon-to-be stepmother Cristal.

Ghosted (Fox)
Not only could a pickup for Ghosted bring two faces from popular comedies together, it also would bring Adam Scott from Parks and Recreation and Craig Robinson from The Office back to television.

Ghosted is described as a comedic take on The X-Files and centers on a cynical skeptic, played by Robinson, and a genius ‘true believer’ in the paranormal, played by Scott, who are recruited by The Bureau Underground to look into the rampant unexplained activity in Los Angeles – all while uncovering a larger mystery that could threaten the existence of the human race.

Fox first expressed interest in the project in August, and earned a script from Tom Gormican, who wrote and directed the 2014 comedy That Awkward Moment starring Zac Efron and Michael B. Jordan, which earned $53.1 million globally.

Good Girls (NBC)
While some pilots are just starting to earn orders from networks, others like NBC’s proposed Good Girls already is casting.

Kathleen Rose Perkins is set to star in the drama that “explores what happens when three ‘good girl’ suburban wives and mothers suddenly find themselves in desperate circumstances.”

Perkins, best known for recurring roles in shows like NCIS: Los Angeles and as one of the stars of Showtime’s Episodeswill play Beth, a “meek and frazzled mother of four” who starts to realize she “got the short end of the stick.”

She quickly discovers that her husband, Dean, has been unfaithful and, fed up with her life, decides that it’s time to stop playing it safe. She then robs a supermarket with her best friend Ruby, and her younger sister Annie. 

Jenna Bans – a story editor for Desperate Housewives who also has penned a few episodes of Scandal – wrote the pilot script.

Gospel of Kevin (ABC)
ABC could be back in business with the two writers who worked hard to bring Marvel’s Agent Carter to the network a few years ago.

Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters have earned a pilot pickup for Gospel of Kevin, who will center around a man (named Kevin, believe it or not), who is “tasked by God with a mission to save the world.”

The duo created Reaper for The CW back in the day, and later worked on shows like DollhouseNCIS: Los Angeles and Hawaii Five-0 before landing at Agent Carter, which ran from 2015 to 2016.

The Passage (Fox)
Just when you thought vampires were on their way out, Fox says, “nuh-uh!”

The network, as expected, has picked up a pilot based on Justin Cronin’s vampire novel The Passage, with Elizabeth Heldens from Friday Night Lights and Matt Reeves from Felicity attached.

The Passage begins as a character-driven government conspiracy thriller and morphs into a post-apocalyptic saga with vampires. The potential series spans over a century and focuses on a young girl name Amy, who must save the human race.

This actually isn’t new news, as Fox made a pilot commitment back in November. And it shouldn’t be confused with an upcoming Web series based on Fear the Walking Dead called Passage.

Searchers (The CW)
This pilot could bring together two people who have really helped reshape The CW in recent years: The 100‘s Jason Rothenberg and Greg Berlanti, who virtually runs half the network’s programming with its DC Comics universe series.

The pilot is called Searchers, and it follows a group of unlikely heroes a decade after the death of their parents.

A pragmatic brother and free-spirited sister are forced to team when they learn that their mother’s terrifying and bizarre stories may be a road map to discovering the legends, myths and unexplained mysteries of the world.

While Berlanti seems busier than ever with a number of television shows in production (and in the pilot stage), Rothenberg’s The 100 just returned for its fourth season on Feb. 1, with hopes that The CW will want to pick up more of the post-apocalyptic series.

Untitled Benjamin Cavell Project (CBS)
CBS is reuniting two producers from the hit FX series Justified in a new military drama that would focus on the U.S. Navy SEALs.

The project is a brainchild of Benjamin Cavell – who earned an Emmy nomination last year for Showtime’s Homeland – and Sarah Timberman, a producer who most recently worked on Elementary and The Odd Couple.

The idea is to follow SEALs – the elite military group known for taking on high-stakes and dangerous missions – as they set out on those missions.

Untitled Katie Couric Project (CBS)
Yes, Katie Couric is a news anchor who once worked for CBS, but not anymore. Unless the network picks up a pilot she’s developing with writer and actress Jenny Lumet and Star Trek: Discovery‘s Alex Kurtzman.

The untitled project follows an elite team of investigators for the Northeast Regional U.S. Hate Crimes Unit, who solve a myriad of crimes against humanity as they confront their own biases.

Couric, who currently serves as the global anchor for Yahoo News, will be an executive producer on the show along with Code Black‘s David Marshall Grant, and Kurtzman’s producing partner Heather Kadin.

Untitled Paul Attanasio Project (CBS)
CBS is fine enough with its new series Bull that it’s seeking to expand the reach of its co-creator Paul Attanasio at the network. And it might be a bit political.

The untitled pilot centers around multi-generational members of a Mexican-American family with deep roots in San Diego who intertwine personally and professionally, due to their powerful careers in law enforcement.

The pickup, according to Variety, came just days after President Donald Trump issued a short-lived ban against immigrants hailing from specific Muslim-majority countries, as well as Trump’s push to build a wall on the American-Mexican border.

Rodrigo Garcia will direct the pilot, best known for his work Big Love, which earned him an Emmy nomination in 2006 for the HBO series.

Untitled Warren Leight Project (formerly Salvation) (NBC)
It’s not clear exactly how this show will carry past the pilot stage (but then again, people thought the same about The Good Wife) in what The Hollywood Reporter calls a “real-time extreme event medical series” that seems to borrow a bit from the CBS series Code Black.

The pilot focuses on an “understaffed Brooklyn hospital that becomes the borough’s last viable trauma center after a catastrophic hurricane wreaks havoc on the city.” While the pilot seems to focus on that event, hurricanes generally don’t last entire seasons of television shows, so what comes next likely will decide the fate of this show.

It’s from former Law & Order: Special Victims Unit showrunner Warren Leight, and Oscar-winning writer Paul Haggis, who earned his two trophies for Crash in 2006.

Valor (The CW)
Apparently it’s enough of the superheroes and vampires for The CW as it considers maybe going a little more military – following a trend set by other networks, some say in response to the recent presidential election.

The network has ordered a pilot for Valor, written by Kyle Jarrow, probably best known for his quirky 2010 indie comedy Armless about a man who has a secret desire to cut off his own arms. He’s joined on the project by Bill Haber, best known for producing shows like Rizzoli & Isles as well as The CW’s Beauty and the Beast.

In Valor, the boundaries between military discipline and human desire are tested on a U.S. Army base that houses an elite unit of helicopter pilots trained to perform clandestine international and domestic missions. 

The drama unfolds in the preset as well as in flashbacks to a failed mission involving one of the first female pilots in the unit, ultimately uncovering layers of personal and government/military secrets, and leading to a season-long plan to rescue a group of missing-in-action soldiers.

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Michael Hinman

Michael Hinman

Managing Editor at GeekNation
Michael began what has become nearly 19 years of entertainment reporting as the founder of SyFy Portal, which would become Airlock Alpha after he sold the SyFy brand to NBC Universal. He's based out of New York City where he is the editor of a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper in the Bronx.