2013-2014 ABC Comedy Pilots in Contention

by Shilo Adams 619 views0


abcNext week, the broadcast networks will begin revealing their schedules for the 2013-2014 television season. While a lot of attention has been put on what bubble shows will eek out another season, the focus will soon shift to the latest offerings that will try to find a foothold in an increasingly crowded television landscape. Over the rest of the week, we’ll be providing you with a list of pilots in contention from each of the networks, posted in the order in which they’ll be announcing their schedules. Included will be titles, cast lists, and a brief, officially released summation of the show’s content.

ABC will be the third network to unveil its schedule, as their upfronts are to take place Tuesday, May 14th. Being that they’re the only network that provided lengthy descriptions for nearly every pilot, they have two posts to every other network’s one. ABC has yet to order any comedy pilots for next season, but a couple has already been eliminated from contention and thus, won’t be featured in this post.

Which pilots do you think sound the best? What type of shows should ABC pick up? How will their fall schedule look this year?

Previous features: NBCFOX, ABC (drama)

EDIT: The network has picked up Back in the Game, Super Fun Night, Trophy Wife, The Goldbergs, and Mixology, while officially passing on Pulling, King John, Divorce: A Love Story, and Middle Age Rage. Bad Management remains in contention.

Back in the Game
Who’s in it: James Caan, Lenora Crichlow, Maggie Lawson, Ben Koldyke, and Griffin Gluck
What’s it about: Baseball might be America’s favorite pastime, but for the Gannon family it’s also in their blood. Terry Gannon Jr. (Maggie Lawson) was an All Star Softball player until life threw her a couple curve balls: a baby, a lost college scholarship and a loser for a husband. After striking out on her own, Terry heads home with her son Danny (Griffin Gluck) in tow and moves in with her estranged father, Terry Sr. aka The Cannon (James Caan). The Cannon is an opinionated, beer-guzzling, ex-athlete who never quite made the cut as a single father or professional baseball player. Terry is determined to make her temporary stay back home as brief as possible and immediately sets out to find a job and keep Danny as far away from the Cannon’s bad influences as possible. As hard as Terry tries to keep Danny away from the sports-driven lifestyle of her youth, Tommy has shown an interest in playing Little League for the first time in his life. Terry soon discovers that his new interest in baseball is not because of the Canon’s influence, but rather to impress a girl at his new school. Always the supportive mom, Terry reluctantly agrees to let him try-out for the team, but unfortunately the Gannon legacy of stellar athletic ability appears to have skipped 3rd generation Danny. His stunning lack of baseball skills (he doesn’t even know which hand the mitt goes on) makes him the laughing stock of the baseball field. . .and his grandfather’s living room. When Danny and a group of other athletically-challenged hopefuls fail to make the team, Danny’s disappointment forces Terry to face her past. Even though she vowed never to let baseball dominate her life again, she wants her son to be happy. So when a wealthy neighbor volunteers to finance a separate team for the rejected kids, Terry reluctantly steps up to the plate and offers to coach the team of misfits.

Bad Management
Who’s in it: David Spade, Rob Huebel, Sharon Horgan, Alan Thicke, and Rachael Harris
What’s it about: Welcome to the glamorous world of Eastmore’s department store – second only to Bergdorf Goodman and third only to Neiman Marcus in quality and style. This is a place where you can get everything from Tom Ford Cologne, to a Gucci iPad cover, to diamante studded Christening spoons – served by staff who are there for the glamour, for the job security, but mostly for the employee discount. Tobias Eastmore Sr. may run an upscale store, but his employees are definitely rough around the edges. At the helm of the luxury goods department is the fiercely ambitious but equally lazy Eve (Sharon Horgan), who believes that getting ahead is 10% perspiration and 90% making sure her boss sees the 10% perspiration. Eve heads a team that includes her best friend Linda (Rachael Harris), a spray-tan addicted, divorced mother of three; Ramon, gay and vain, who’s only creative outlet is adding flair to his promotional displays, and Mrs. Paulin, a slightly obsessive store detective. Eve’s easy life as head of luxury goods (promoted at the tender age of 38!) is suddenly threatened when the boss’s son, Tobias Eastmore, Jr. (David Spade), is brought in to head up electronics. The overly confident Tobias, (with an impressive resume of failed dot-com businesses behind him) wants to revamp Eastmore’s image by bringing “sexy back” and his first order of business is hiring a super-smart, but mostly super-hot clerk, Melanie, who has an eye for Eve’s job. Now, Eve – in order to stay on top – will have to summon up all of her human resources to step up her game (and her life) to make her department of misfits worthy of the luxury goods name.

The Goldbergs
Who’s in it: George Segal, Jeff Garlin, Hayley Orrantia, Wendi McLendon-Covey, and Troy Gentile
What’s it about: Before there were parenting blogs, trophies for showing up, or peanut allergies, there was a simpler, awesome time called the ’80s. For geeky 11-year old Adam (Darien Provost) these were his wonder years and he faced them armed with a video camera to capture all the crazy. The Goldbergs are a loving family like any other, just with a lot more yelling. Mom Beverly (Wendi McClendon-Covey) is a classic “smother”; an overbearing, overprotective matriarch who rules this brood with 100% authority and zero sense of boundaries. Dad Murray (Jeff Garlin) is a gruff, hot-tempered father who is learning how to parent without screaming after a recent health scare… and having little luck. Sister Erica (Hayley Orrantia) is 17, hot, terrifying and not one to mess with. Barry (Troy Gentile) is 16, a grade A spaz with a classic middle child syndrome. Adam is the youngest, a camera-wielding future director who’s crushing on an older woman, 15 year-old Zoe. Rounding out the family is beloved grandfather Al “Pops” Solomon (George Segal), the wild man of the clan, a shameless Don Juan who’s schooling Adam in the ways of love. When Pops buys a new sports car and offers his Caddy to middle child Barry, it’s enough to drive this already high-strung family to the brink of chaos.

Middle Age Rage
Who’s in it: Annie Mumolo, Will Sasso, Kellee Stewart, Melanie Leishman, and Wyatt Oleff
What’s it about: Meet Carol Bobeck, an Oprah-loving suburban housewife who is overworked, unseen, and unheard. She has spent her life accommodating everything and everyone. Then, one day, at her beloved sanctuary – her Oprah Book Club – she has the gall to wonder out loud if the woman who wrote “Eat Pray Love” might be a little selfish for dumping her husband and eating and sleeping her way through Europe. This blasphemy gets her promptly booted from the sacred book club. This humiliating rejection, along with the constant stream of slights and chronic invisibility, causes Carol to completely lose it in the glitter glue aisle at the local crafts store. Now, after three weeks in the Psych ward, Carol is returning home. Her kids, Cass, 19 – an ambitious, pre-law, hipster, barista, Hunt, 15 – the world’s most annoying existentialist, and Oliver, 10 – the only emotionally connected person in the family, are anxious about the fragile state their mom will be in when she gets back. What returns is a woman who refuses to silent or invisible. She’s definitely not gonna take it anymore…from anyone-not her kids, school bullies, nor anyone else who takes her for granted. She finds herself speaking up about all the petty indignities that all the invisible nobodies experience every day. Her husband, Leonard isn’t sure what to make of the new, kick-ass, amazing, emotionally available, Carol. He does know one thing: If this is what “crazy” looks like, Leonard is in.

Who’s in it: Sarah Bolger, Adam Campbell, Alexis Carra, Katie Simses, and Blake Lee
What’s it about: One bar. One night. Ten single people. Welcome to Mix, a high-end bar in Manhattan’s trendy meat-packing district and the backdrop for a sexy new highconcept comedy from the writers of THE HANGOVER. Recently dumped by his fiancé, Tom (Blake Lee) hasn’t been out on the town in a decade. His best friends, handsome and confident Cal (Craig Frank) and fasttalking Bruce (Andrew Santino), are throwing Tom back into the dating pool whether he likes it or not. Tom’s first encounter is with Maya (Mercedes Masohn), an attorney who’s as beautiful as she is brutal. Before long, Tom is in tears. After that, it only gets worse. Rounding out Mix’s chic crowd is Maya’s engaged-for-now friend Liv (Kate Simses); aggressive single mom Jessica; her younger, naive sister Janey; bubbly cocktail waitress Kacey (Vanessa Lengies); dark, mysterious bartender Dominic; and failed internet entrepreneur Ron (Adam Campbell), who’s drunk and having the worst night of his life. Each episode will highlight two characters meeting for the first time. The pilot focuses on Tom meeting Maya, but across the course of this one night – and the entire season – each of our five guys will meet each of our five girls. Will they find love? Will they find a warm bed for the night? Will they find a cold drink in their face? All questions will be answered by the season finale of this highly intoxicating new comedy.

Who’s in it: Jenny Slate, June Diane Raphael, Kristen Schaal, and Matt Oberg
What’s it about: There’s a difference between what society says you need to be happy and actually being happy. Securing a job, finding a husband and having a baby-these are the “boxes” women feel pressured to check off in order to feel like they matter. Abby (June Raphael) has a job. Check. She’s this close to getting married to a good-on-paper guy. Check. And yet, something’s not quiet right. Her job at a publishing company isn’t fulfilling and her completely unspontaneous fiancé Scott is solid and dependable but he’s not exactly blowing her skirt up. Abby is not alone in her search for love and fulfillment: her pals Paige (Kristin Schaal) and Rebecca are also trying to find their way. Naíve Paige is desperate for a man to complete her and goes to hilarious extremes to land one. Rebecca, an up-for-anything-party-girl, has been playing the field too but it becomes more like a minefield with her uncanny talent for saying the wrong things to the wrong people. Before any more time is wasted, Abby’s going to start unchecking some boxes: quit the job and quit the man. However, getting out of these two situations is going to be more complicated than she imagined. Now she’s turning to the only thing in her life that she’s truly positive about: her friendship with her two besties. These three charming and dysfunctional women might not yet have what they want but together they’ll learn about life and love in the most hilarious ways.

Super Fun Night
Who’s in it: Rebel Wilson, Liza Lapira, Kelen Coleman, Kevin Bishop, and Lauren Ash
What’s it about: All work and no play makes Kimmie a dull girl. No chance of this young junior attorney being called that. Kimmie Boubier (Rebel Wilson) and her two best friends Helen-Alice (Lauren Ash) and Marika (Liza Lapira) have a standing date every Friday night for the last 13 years. They even have a motto for what they call Friday Night Fun Night: “Always together! Always Inside!” Kimmie’s sister Jazmine (Ashley Tisdale) thinks having a real life is within Kimmie’s grasp, if only she’d ditch her awkward high school friends. But Kimmie is forever loyal to her pals. However, Kimmie’s recent promotion throws a monkey wrench into their Friday Night Fun Night (#723 to be exact), an epic cat-sitting extravaganza. Not only is she now working with her idol, “Lady Lawyer of the Year” Felicity Vanderstone (Kelen Coleman), but she even meets a dashingly handsome British attorney named Richard Lovell (Kevin Bishop) who invites her to his party at a trendy New York club. Determined to spend quality time with Richard and heed Felicity’s advice about the importance of networking, Kimmie sets out to convince her friends to take Super Fun Night on the road…and so a new tradition is born: Friday Night Super Fun Night. New York City may never be the same. Executive Produced by Conan O’Brien, David Kissinger, and John Riggi, comedian Rebel Wilson writes and stars in this outrageous comedy that chronicles three lifelong friends figuring out how to fit in outside of their comfort zone for, Super Fun Night.

Trophy Wife
Who’s in it: Bradley Whitford, Malin Akerman, Marcia Gay Harden, Michaela Watkins, and Natalie Morales
What’s it about: They say the third time’s the charm and reformed party girl Kate (Malin Akerman) is hoping that’s true when she becomes the third wife of a slightly older man, Pete (Bradley Whitford). They fell into each others’ arms (literally) at a karaoke bar and flash forward a year later, Kate finds herself with an instafamily complete with three stepchildren and two ex-wives. But Kate is determined to make this work and become a part of the family no matter what. Diane (Marcia Gay Harden) is ex-wife number one, an intense and overachieving former Olympic athlete and the mother of twin teenagers Hillary and Warren. Diane is quick to convey her withering disapproval of Kate’s barely tapped maternal instincts. Daughter Hillary is not a fan of her new step-mom either despite Kate’s attempts to win her trust. And son Warren may have an erotic fixation on his dad’s beautiful, young spouse. Ex-wife number two, Jackie, is mother to adopted son, Bert, and can pull Pete’s strings with her special blend of neurotic, new-ageyness. Juggling all this baggage is uncharted territory for Kate who finds support in the most unusual place-with her best friend Meg (Natalie Morales) a party-hearty singleton and the only woman Kate knows who has less experience with kids than she has.

Divorce: A Love Story
Who’s in it: Adam Goldberg, Andrea Anders, Jason Jones, and Regina King
What’s it about: Kenny and Robin were terrible as a married couple, but as exes, they’re extraordinary. If only they’d skipped the marriage completely and gone straight to the divorce. Their friends Ike and Cassandra enjoy a happily dysfunctional marriage while Kenny’s long-wedded parents, Harold and Irma, enjoy a level of intimacy that involves a daily discussion of their fiber intake. For newly-divorced Kenny and Robin, everything was rosy: they were finally getting along and had clear boundaries. Robin was living with their infant daughter Maya and Kenny was back in his parents’ home on the other side of town. Things were going so well, in fact, they decided to celebrate their 1- month divorce anniversary….by sleeping together. Twice. Now they’re in serious danger of screwing up the best thing that ever happened to them. Kenny’s convinced that the problem with their marriage was the marriage and now that that’s out of the way, he sees no reason why they can’t be together. So he moves from his overbearing parents’ home into a brand new apartment, right across the hall from Robin. Robin thinks the secret to their successful divorce is boundaries, and with Kenny now right across the hall, their unwedded bliss could be in jeopardy.

King John
Who’s in it: John Leguizamo, Andrea Savage, Troy Garity, Luke Ganalon, and Elizabeth Pena
What’s it about: Every man wants to be the king of his castle and John (John Leguizamo) is no different. He dreams about coming home to a wife and children who’ve been longing for his return after being gone on the road for weeks, but his reality is a blunt wake-up call. Constantly touring as a standup comedian and maintaining order and leadership in your home are two very tricky worlds to balance, and John is struggling to do just that. He and his wife, Juicy, want nothing more than for their two children to have a better upbringing than either of them had. They realize this is tricky to do while still acknowledging the importance of where they came from. Juicy comes from a privileged Jewish background and John often feels that because of this she is too soft on the kids. John on the other hand was raised by single working mom, Olga, and believes kids need to be pushed to be better. Their daughter, Sophie, who is entering high school is struggling to find who she is and what she wants her identity to be. While at the same time their son, Toby, may be considered a loner by some, including John, but he’s comfortable in his uniqueness. Grandmother Olga now works as the family accountant which means she often butts heads with Juicy. All of these personalities combined with friends from John’s past makes life in their very narrow five story walk up brownstone in New York truly unique.