As the television industry continues to evolve and as pilot season morphs into a year-round development slate at the broadcast networks, we’re already hearing about some TV projects vying for a slate on next season’s schedule.
Granted, we haven’t seen the full round-up of 2022 pilots. TV journalists haven’t gotten the scoop on the next batch of CBS comedies or NBC dramas or any of the forthcoming CW shows, as The Hollywood Reporter notes. Of the pilots that have been announced, however, here are the ones we’re eagerly anticipating.
L.A. Law (ABC)
Thirty years ago, the legal drama L.A. Law had just capped off a three-year winning streak for Outstanding Drama Series at the Emmys. Now, a sequel series—written by Arrowverse veterans Marc Guggenheim and Ubah Mohamed—would see Blair Underwood’s Jonathan Rollins veer more conservative as he “clashes with millennial JJ Freeman to decide the best path forward for the firm to effect political and legal change,” per the logline.
Also returning is Corbin Bernsen in his original role of Arnold Becker, who “hasn’t changed since the 1980s” and now “struggles with a rapidly shifting sexual and political landscape.”
The Last Police (NBC)
Despite societal misgivings about law enforcement, you can be sure that The Last Police won’t be the last police show. But at least this pilot isn’t your typical cop drama.
Based on the “existential detective novel” The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters, this pilot “follows a small-town police detective [played by New Mutants’ Blu Hunt], who, as an asteroid races toward an apocalyptic collision with Earth, believes she’s been chosen to save humanity, while her cynical partner [played by Good Girls’ Reno Wilson] can’t decide what he’ll enjoy more: her delusional failure, or the end of the world itself.”
Lopez vs. Lopez (NBC)
The logline for this multicamera sitcom doesn’t inspire much confidence: It’s a “working-class family comedy about dysfunction, reconnection, and all the pain and joy in between.” (Please, be less specific.)
But what excites us about this project is that it stars George Lopez and his daughter, Mayan Lopez, both of whom are also producers. Their collaborators on the producing team include The Conners’ Debby Wolfe, who directed the pilot, and Bruce Helford, with whom the elder Lopez cocreated the long-running comedy George Lopez nearly 20 years ago.
The Never Game (CBS)
Perhaps hearing fans’ pleas to keep Justin Hartley on television after This Is Us ends, CBS gave the green light to this pilot. Hartley is both executive producer and star, playing Colter Shaw, a survivalist and “reward seeker” who “[uses] his expert tracking skills to help private citizens and law enforcement to solve all manner of mysteries while contending with his own fractured family.”
The pilot, written by Michael Cooney, is based on a book by the same name by Jefferey Deaver. “When I read the book, I was immediately drawn to the character and the story; developing this project with [This Is Us exec producer] Ken [Olin] has been a true labor of love,” Hartley said in a statement. “Colter is going to kick some serious ass, and I can’t wait for audiences to meet him.”
True Lies (CBS)
The 1994 big-screen action-comedy gets a small-screen reboot, with Shameless’ Steve Howey and Kidding’s Ginger Gonzaga subbing in for Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis. “Shocked to discover that her bland and unremarkable computer consultant husband is a skilled international spy, an unfulfilled suburban housewife is propelled into a life of danger and adventure when she’s recruited to work alongside him to save the world as they try to revitalize their passionless marriage,” the logline teases.
James Cameron, who wrote and directed the film, is an executive producer of the pilot; Burn Notice creator Matt Nix penned the script; and Charlie’s Angels filmmaker McG is in the director’s chair.
Untitled Hilary Swank drama (ABC)
In perhaps the Swankiest television pilot ever, two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank is playing a “star journalist who moves to Alaska for a fresh start after a career-killing misstep, and finds redemption personally and professionally joining a daily metro newspaper in Anchorage.”
Better yet, Scandal veteran Jeff Perry is on board as a hardworking editor who enlists Swank’s character as part of his succession plan. And even better, the pilot’s writer and director is Tom McCarthy, who also crafted a story about a journalistic dream team in the Oscar-winning film Spotlight.