[08/01/03 - 12:00 AM]
Trio Slates Failed Pilots for September
By Brian Ford Sullivan (TFC)

CHICAGO (thefutoncritic.com) -- Trio will celebrate failure in September as the network plans to dust off a handful of pilots that never made the cut as part of its new "Brilliant But Cancelled" ongoing series. The ten rare pilots include some of the early TV work of George Clooney, Edie Falco, Kiefer Sutherland, James Spader and Steven Spielberg. Also as part of the launch, Trio will debut a new documentary entitled "Brilliant But Canceled: Pilot Season" narrated by Paul Rudd ("Friends").

Here's a breakdown of everything you can expect from Trio beginning in September (taken from the network's press release):

LOOKWELL! (Monday, September 1 at 8:00/7:00c): This camp classic, written by Conan O'Brien and Robert Smigel, stars Adam West as a washed up former TV detective who decides to use his fake crime fighting skills to solve real crimes. (NBC, 1993)

BEAT COPS (Monday, September 1 at 8:30/7:30c): Filmed in a cinema-v�rit� style and without a laugh track, this low-budget half-hour comedy stars Sam Seder and Jon Benjamin as two NYPD desk cops sent out on the holiday beat. The two clueless policemen are oblivious to the city and the volatile citizens around them. Seder co-wrote the pilot with Charles Fisher. (FOX, 2002)

BRILLIANT BUT CANCELLED: PILOT SEASON (Monday, September 1 at 9:00/8:00c): Co-produced with World of Wonder, examines the pitch process - from idea to show order � and programs that should have, could have and would have, but never did, make it to air. The documentary showcases previously un-aired clips from pilots that have never seen the light of day. The full story behind these landmark pilots comes from producers, writers and stars caught up in the trenches of pilot season including Adam West (star, "Lookwell"); Conan O'Brien (creator, "Lookwell"), Warren Littlefield (former NBC Entertainment President); Darren Star (creator, "Sex and the City"); Marshall Herskovitz (creator, "thirtysomething"), Tom Fontana (creator, "Oz") and Bernie Brillstein (producer, "Just Shoot Me").

L.A. CONFIDENTIAL (Monday, September 1 at 10:00/9:00c): Starring Kiefer Sutherland as embattled police detective Jack Vincennes, this dramatic pilot is based on the critically acclaimed film of the same name and follows the glamour and seediness of 1950's Los Angeles. Eric Roberts is also featured. (FOX, 2000)

FARGO (Tuesday, September 2 at 9:00/8:00c): Based on the 1996 Academy Award winning film by Joel and Ethan Coen and starring pre-"Sopranos" Edie Falco, this pilot brings the very pregnant chief of police, Marge Gunderson, to the small screen. Developed by Bruce Paltrow and Robert Palm, and directed by Kathy Bates, the series features the quirky characters of a small Midwestern town and the investigative prowess of Chief Gunderson. (CBS, 1997)

DEAR DIARY (Tuesday, September 2 at 10:00/9:00c): A sort of love letter to New York City, the pilot chronicles a day in the life of a married New Yorker, played by Bebe Neuwirth. A reworked version of the show won the Oscar for best short film. (ABC, 1996)

SICK IN THE HEAD (Tuesday, September 2 at 10:30/9:30c): In this screwball comedy, a newbie shrink gets a suicide case as one of his first patients. Starring Kevin Corrigan, Andrea Martin, David Krumholtz as a new psychiatrist and Amy Poehler as hispatient. (FOX, 1999)

REWRITE FOR MURDER (Wednesday, September 3 at 10:00/9:00c): Pam Dawber stars as a prim female mystery writer who clashes with ex-con George Clooney both on and off screen when they are forced together to help revitalize her television show. (CBS, 1991)

SAVAGE (Thursday, September 4 at 9:00/8:00c): Steven Spielberg directs this pilot about a television news magazine show. Starring Martin Landau and Barbara Bain (real-life husband and wife) as an investigative journalist and a television producer for the politically charged television show. The pilot also guest stars Dabney Coleman and Will Geer. (NBC, 1973)

DINER (Friday, September 5 at 9:00/8:00c): Based on Barry Levinson's 1982 hit movie set in 1960 Baltimore, the pilot focuses on 5 men who are making an awkward transition into adulthood and who gather nightly at the local diner to hash out problems and grapple with responsibilities. Starring James Spader, Michael Madsen, Paul Reiser, and Michael Binder. (CBS, 1983)

BLACK BART (Friday, September 5 at 9:30/8:30c): Based on Mel Brooks' Blazing Saddles, Louis Gossett, Jr. and Steve Landesberg star in this pilot that chronicles the adventures of a black sheriff and his quick-draw deputy working in a small, bigoted Arizona town in the Old West. (1975)

Each of the pilots will be repeated at various times during the week.

Then beginning Monday, September 8, "Brilliant But Cancelled" will being its regular run of weeknights at 8:00/7:00c. The one-hour block will feature one drama or two comedies from the network's current stable of programs such as "The Ernie Kovacs Show," "East Side/West Side," "The PJs," "God, The Devil and Bob" and "Gun," all of which have previously been showcased on the channel. The network has also acquired one "new" brilliant but cancelled series for its repeat stable:

BAKERSFIELD P.D. (1993): When successful D.C. detective Paul Gigante moves to the small town of Bakersfield, he joins the madcap adventures of the quirky police squad. From a Captain that can't make any decisions to a partner that is a little too obsessed with TV cop shows, this squad of misfits and imbeciles provides plenty of sitcom fodder. Ron Eldard, Giancarlo Esposito, Chris Mulkey and Brian Doyle Murray star. The series makes its cable premiere on Monday, September 8, with a new episode airing each night during the week at 8:00 p.m., ET/PT.

For complete showtimes of all its series, check the network's official web site for more information.

  [august 2003]  

· OZ (HBO)

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