Fall 2012's new TV series offerings proved to be underwhelming at best. But with every winter there comes a new TV pilot season, and with it a new crop of contenders to become our next must-see series.
This year, call us naive, but the pilots the networks have greenlit so far sound promising, by and large, and feature the return of several stars we would be happy to welcome back to our TVs every week.
A pilot order, of course, doesn't mean the show is guaranteed to become a series, but here are the most interesting pilots the networks have ordered so far. Which ones get your vote for most likely to live on to a series order?
"Beverly Hills Cop": Eddie Murphy will co-produce and make a cameo appearance; "The Shield" creator Shawn Ryan will produce; and "Tropic Thunder" star Brandon T. Jackson will star as the son of Axel Foley, Murphy's iconic movie character.
"Bad Teacher": "Community" and "My Name Is Earl" writer Hilary Winston will write and executive produce this adaptation of the Cameron Diaz comedy film, about a newly divorced woman who takes a job as a teacher in hopes of meeting a replacement husband.
"Mom": Anna Faris will star as a newly sober mom in this comedy, the latest from "The Big Bang Theory" and "Two and a Half Men" creator Chuck Lorre.
"Hostages": Emmy-winning "United States of Tara" star Toni Collette stars in this high-stakes drama about a surgeon whose family is taken hostage when she's given the task of operating on the president of the United States.
Untitled Michael J. Fox comedy: The network has already ordered 22 episodes of this comeback series, in which Fox will play a TV newsman who retires when his Parkinson's disease begins to affect his work, but then he returns to the workplace when medication brings his symptoms under control. "Breaking Bad" star Betsy Brandt will play Fox's wife in the semi-autobiographical series, while "The Wire" and "Treme" alum Wendell Pierce will play his boss.
See Michael J. Fox on "The Good Wife":
Untitled Craig Robinson/Greg Daniels comedy: "The Office" star will play a musician who becomes a music teacher and has to deal with the kiddies, parental interference, and office politics (after dealing with Michael Scott, how can Robinson not nail that last one?). In addition to "Office" executive producer Daniels, the comedy will also include "Office" producer/writer Owen Ellickson and Robinson himself as producers.
Untitled Sean Hayes comedy: The "Will & Grace" Emmy winner, who's been largely behind the scenes recently as the producer of shows like "Hot in Cleveland" and "Grimm," will star as the single father of a teenage daughter. Victor Fresco, creator of "Better Off Ted" and writer for "Mad About You," is penning the pilot.
Untitled Jessica Simpson comedy: The network has ordered a presentation, not yet a full pilot, on a comedy that would revolve around Simpson playing a version of herself, à la Matt LeBlanc's "Episodes."
"S.H.I.E.L.D.": Joss Whedon co-wrote and is directing this pilot, based on the Marvel comics peacekeeping organization that was featured in Whedon's "Avengers" movie. Filming on the pilot has already begun, with stars Clark Gregg as Agent Coulson, Ming-Na as Agent Melinda May, Elizabeth Henstridge as Agent Gemma Simmons, Brett Dalton as Agent Grant Ward, Iain De Caestecker as Agent Leo Fitz, and Chloe Bennet as Skye.
"Super Fun Night": "Bridesmaids" and "Pitch Perfect" breakout Rebel Wilson stars in this comedy, about a trio of nerdy friends who make it their big mission in life to have a great time every Friday night. Conan O'Brien is an executive producer on the series, which CBS originally passed on before it got a second chance at ABC.
Rebel Wilson on Leno:
"The Returned": Brad Pitt's Plan B is producing the drama, written by "Damages" and "The Killing" producer Aaron Zelman, about people whose dead loved ones show up on their doorsteps as if they never died and no time has passed.
Untitled John Wells drama: The "ER" and "Shameless" producer's new series will revolve around a family business in which the family that slays together stays together. The family business has them working as assassins for the government.
"Sleepy Hollow": On the heels of CBS's success with the Sherlock Holmes drama "Elementary," "Star Trek" movie writers Alex Kurtzman and Robert Orci are behind this series, featuring Ichabod Crane solving crimes. "Underworld" and "Live Free or Die Hard" director Len Wiseman will helm the pilot.
"Rake": Oscar nominee and recent Emmy-nominated "Modern Family" guest star Greg Kinnear looks to return to the tube in this dramedy (an adaptation of an Australian series of the same name) about a loose-cannon criminal defense lawyer whose clients are charged with crimes like cannibalism and bestiality. (And, yes, we have noted the coincidence that the former "Talk Soup" host would be playing a smart-mouthed attorney, just like current "The Soup" host Joel McHale plays on "Community").
Untitled Andy Samberg comedy: The "Saturday Night Live" alum will star in this comedy about a group of detectives at a New York City police precinct. "Everybody Hates Chris" dad Terry Crews will play the sergeant, and the show is being created by "Parks and Recreation" producers Mike Schur and Dan Goor, who obviously know a thing or two about workplace comedy.
"Delirium": Based on author Lauren Oliver's book series, the drama revolves around a futuristic society where love has been deemed a disease, and the government offers citizens a surgical cure for it on their 18th birthday. But 17-year-old Lena, whose love-stomping procedure is imminent, begins to question the government-sanctioned surgery, and all H-E-double hockey sticks (as well as two sequels in the book series) breaks loose. The third "Delirium" series book, "Requiem," will be released on March 5.
"Dads": "Family Guy" creator and upcoming Oscars host Seth MacFarlane has already helped this comedy -- about two successful 30-somethings whose fathers become their roommates -- get a six-episode order from the network
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