[05/13/05 - 12:00 AM]
Previewing ABC's 2005-06 Season Pilots
By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)

LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- ABC has released official descriptions of its 14 comedy and 10 drama pilots under consideration for the 2005-06 season. Said descriptions include some casting details previously not released by the network.

Here's the breakdown of each:


ADOPTED - Every kid thinks about it and some dream it's really true, but no one expects to wake up one day and find out they're actually adopted - especially when they're 30. Well that's what Lloyd Leaf learned this morning... from a card attached to roses his birth mother sent. Created by improv actors Jim Rash (RENO 911!) and Nat Faxon (The Groundlings), this wacky collection of neuroses adds up to a comedy that puts the "me" in family. CAST: KEVIN WHEATLEY, BERNADETTE PETERS, ANDREW WALKER, CHRISTINE BARANSKI, JODI LYN O'KEEFE

BOBBY CANNON - The people of Chicago aren't just sports fans, they're fanatics. Enter the shrine to da Bears, Quarterback Bobby Cannon's Sports Bar & Grill. Parked on Chicago landmark Navy Pier, this bar is the fans' home away from home. It's the only chance for them to rub shoulders with the great man himself. Kevin Sorbo (Hercules: The Legendary Journeys) tackles a memorable new character in the tradition of Sam Malone. Grab a brewski and kick off the season with the next great sports comedy from the producer of the hit series Coach. CAST: ROCKY CARROLL, KATE WALSH, THAD LUCKINBILL, KEVIN SORBO, KEVIN MICHAEL RICHARDSON, JOANNA CANTON

CRUMBS - Family is enough to drive anyone a little crazy. Children keep secrets from their parents so they won't upset them, dads leave for other women and moms try to run over dads with the car. Actually, that was the point when the Crumb family knew Mom was crazy. The creator of Caroline in the City mines his own WASP family for comic gold that's smart, funny and surprising. Starring Fred Savage (The Wonder Years) and Jane Curtin (two-time Emmy Award winner for Kate & Allie, SNL, 3rd Rock from the Sun) and from the producers of Smallville and One Tree Hill comes an offbeat comedy everyone can relate to. CAST: MAGGIE LAWSON, FRED SAVAGE, EDDIE MCCLINTOCK, JANE CURTIN, WILLIAM DEVANE

EMILY'S REASONS WHY NOT - Emily Sanders has many things going for her. She's young, single, has terrific friends and a great job in publishing. In fact, she's got the hottest selling book in town. Unfortunately, she's just closed the chapter on her relationship with the roguishly handsome, two-timing author. Based on the bestselling novel of one successful single woman's search for love, this smart and stylish comedy explores life, love and sex in the city from an independent woman's point of view. CAST: NADIA DAJANI, SMITH CHO, HEATHER GRAHAM, KHARY PEYTON

ENOUGH ABOUT ME - Saturday Night Live alum Chris Kattan brings his high-energy humor to primetime comedy as unpredictable, egocentric consumer watchdog Chris King. Former SNL Writer Michael McCullers (Austin Powers 2 and 3) and writers from Just Shoot Me create a manic take on local TV news. The next hurricane to hit Florida is named Chris King. CAST: JAMES PATRICK STUART, KATE HODGE, TINSLEY GRIMES, CHRIS WILLIAMS, LEIGH-ALLYN BAKER, CHRIS KATTAN

FREDDIE - Four women to every man are great odds when you're a single guy out on the town, but not ideal when it comes to your living situation. Freddie is a young, successful chef with his own restaurant and a stylish bachelor pad. The world should be his oyster at this stage in life, but bachelorhood isn't working out exactly as he envisioned. The creative force behind The Drew Carey Show and George Lopez serve up a comedic dish based on the raucous femme-filled real life of star Freddie Prinze, Jr. (She's All That, Scooby Doo). CAST: MEGYN PRICE, BRIAN AUSTIN GREEN, FREDDIE PRINZE, JR., CHLOE SUAZO, JACQUELINE OBRADORS, JENNY GAGO

HOT PROPERTIES - Manhattan real estate is a realtor's market. No one ever gets what they want so they're always looking for something better, a concept that applies equally well to relationships. In the tradition of Designing Women, Golden Girls and Sex & The City comes an uninhibited comedy with real career women trying to have real relationships. One of the Emmy award-winning producers of the mega-hit Frasier reveals just how exciting the world of New York real estate can be. CAST: STEPHEN DUNHAM, SOFIA VERGARA, NICOLE SULLIVAN, GAIL O'GRADY, EVAN HANDLER, AUDRA BLASER

JOINT CUSTODY - Divorce is always hardest on the kids because after a difficult marriage, anything will be easier for the parents. However, the hardest divorce to swallow is when the child has no clue his parents are even having problems. The youngest columnist at TIME Magazine, humorist Joel Stein takes a page from his own life to create a comedy of our time. It's a wacky world where college degrees don't deliver and the concept of family is changed forever. It's called the real world. CAST: WHITNEY SLOAN, KURT FULLER, NICK D'AGOSTO, BRET LOEHR, MARILU HENNER, WILL MCCORMACK

love life - For singles in their thirties, dating becomes more focused on finding the right one rather than enjoying the right now. One quick way to sort out rejects is to expose them to your close friends. They give instantaneous feedback... often brutal. Ed's Julie Bowen and the writing and directing team behind Can't Hardly Wait take you on a tour of modern relationships set in today's world where couples are forming later in life with a lot of instant pressure to move forward and get committed. CAST: ALAN TUDYK, SOPHINA BROWN, JULIE BOWEN, TOM EVERETT SCOTT, LUCY DAVIS, MICHAEL LANDES

MARSHA POTTER GETS A LIFE - In America, we rank motherhood as holy as baseball and apple pie, but in reality, the only people who understand how tough a job it is are mothers. Caregiver, chauffeur, cook, tutor, therapist, cheerleader... it's a one-woman service industry that consumes a whole life. A writer from The Drew Carey Show creates a woman with incredible nerve in a comedy of second chances. 50 really is the new 30 because there's still a lot of living left to do. CAST: KEVIN DUNN, ERIN HERSHEY PRESLEY, EUGENE BYRD, BRENDA BLETHYN, MICHAEL McMILLIAN, JENNA VON OY, DERK CHEETWOOD

NEIGHBORS - Suburbia is crammed with disparate folks parked side-by-side in little boxes with a ribbon of grass. Noise, light, upkeep, parking, cooking odors can all become petty annoyances at best, grist for a feud at worst. If good fences make good neighbors, then these two men need a continental divide to keep the peace. From a writer on The Sopranos and Rescue Me comes a tale of suburban warfare that explodes with hilarity. CAST: KENNETH SCHMIDT, SARAH STEELE, ANN CUSACK, LENNY CLARKE, BRIAN BENBEN, MELINDA MCGRAW, JORDAN MASTERSON, ASHLEY BENSON

PLAY DATES - There's no denying that babies change lives, but what doesn't change is the parents' love for their pre-baby lives. Is it possible for urban professionals to transition from friends, to friends with kids, while still having fun? Their close-knit relationship allows them to ask questions and favors of each other without too much ridicule. Of course the help and advice they get is not always what they need. Fortunately, these days there's always the internet as a last resource. Two writers from Spin City and George Lopez tell tales from the parent hood. Who says the party has to end just because the group got bigger? CAST: DAVID ALAN BASCHE, ERINN CARTER HAYES, SUSAN WARD, MICHAEL BOATMAN, REBECCA MCFARLAND, DAVID DELUISE

SONS & DAUGHTERS - Family is always unpredictable, so why write a family comedy when you can live dangerously and improvise instead? Like real families, you never know what will happen when you give characters total freedom. Leading this three-ring family circus is Executive Producer Lorne Michaels, the comedy veteran behind the long-running Saturday Night Live. CAST: JERRY LAMBERT, GILLIAN VIGMAN, FRED GOSS, ALISON QUINN, DESMOND HARRINGTON, CARRIE ENGLISH

TESTING BOB - Some people believe that children are the future and that no child should be left behind. But when the principal of Francis Drake High School hires his smart-aleck slacker friend to take over the gifted and accelerated class, some of the other teachers are worried that the future of these kids does not look very bright at all. Appearances are not everything in this comedy where one teacher's somewhat selfish passion for life makes an amazing impact on a group of students that goes well beyond anyone's expectations. Acclaimed actor Peter Dinklage (The Station Agent) creates a lovable curmudgeon in the tradition of Archie Bunker. It's a rich offbeat comedy that proves inspiration can come from the most unlikely sources, like teenagers. CAST: DANA DAVIS, JAKE WEARY, DAVE FOLEY, PETER DINKLAGE, BUSY PHILLIPS, STEVEN PARKER, TINA MAJORINO


THE CATCH - Part detective, bounty hunter, bodyguard, and net-head, private investigators must be a one-stop shop for clients whose cases have slipped through law enforcement's cracks. And they do it all without back-up or free donuts. Greg Grunberg (Alias, Felicity) and Kym Whitley (Along Came Polly, Deliver Us from Eva) form an impossible partnership that's 'Ricky and Lucy' meets The Rockford Files. With comedy legend Don Rickles, the team behind Lost and Alias creates a seriously funny detective series. CAST: JOANNE KELLY, DAYLIA SKY WALLACE, KYM WHITLEY, GREG GRUNBERG, DON RICKLES, MICHELLE ARTHUR

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF - Mackenzie Allen has a lot on her plate... She has twin teenagers and a six-year-old at home, an ambitious husband at the office, and she is about to become the first female President of the United States. From Rod Lurie, acclaimed Writer/Director of the Oscar-nominated film The Contender and creator of the critically acclaimed ABC series Line of Fire, comes a political dramedy centering around the first female president, played by Academy Award(r)-winner Geena Davis. CAST: ANTHONY AZIZI, KYLE SECOR, GEENA DAVIS, DONNALD SUTHERLAND, HARRY LENNIX, EVER CARRADINE

THE EVIDENCE - People lie. The evidence doesn't. It's the foundation of every conviction - with evidence, justice is possible; without evidence, guilty men walk free. No one knows the importance of evidence more than Inspector Sean Cole. After he lost his wife in a brutal murder, the only evidence the cops had was accidentally destroyed, and it ruined his faith in the system. Fortunately his partner and best friend, Bishop, is there for him, pulling him back to work, pushing him forward, as they both try solve these complex cases set against the beautiful streets of San Francisco. CAST: ORLANDO JONES, MARTIN LANDAU, MICHELLE HICKS, NICKY KATT

IN JUSTICE - There are a lot of procedurals on the air that focus on putting people in jail. This is a show about getting them out. Using real life stories as inspiration, the producers of the critically acclaimed life as we know it have created an intriguing legal drama reminiscent of Reversal of Fortune in which clients who are presumed guilty must ultimately be proven innocent. CAST: DANIEL COSGROVE, JASON O'MARA, LARISSA GOMES, KYLE MACLACHLAN, CONSTANCE ZIMMER

INVASION - For centuries man has searched the skies for signs of intelligent life... but to no avail. What if the explanation lay in the fact that aliens were already here... already among us? And what if all of the natural disasters we have been experiencing of late were smokescreens designed to mask something far more ominous? Veteran Writer/Producer Shaun Cassidy, and celebrated Director Thomas Schlamme (The West Wing) bring you the suspenseful tale of a blended family that finds itself at the center of a conspiracy designed to mask an alien takeover that is happening one neighbor at a time. CAST: ALEXIS DZIENA, KARI MATCHETT, WILLIAM FICHTNER, ARIEL GADE, EDDIE CIBRIAN, LISA SHERIDAN, AISHA HINDS, TYLER LABINE, EVAN PETERS

LAWS OF CHANCE - Life is different in Texas: bigger, bolder and certainly more colorful. The talk is different, the walk is different...even the crimes committed there seem more vivid, creating the need for a feisty female ADA like Chance Morgan. In an age in which everyone has become accustomed to spectacle, this Houston hothead and her crazy courtroom theatrics never disappoint. Writer Gary Glasberg (Crossing Jordan), and producer Gina Matthews (What Women Want and 13 Going On 30) have created a refreshing new take on a legal show centering around a smart, sassy character based on real life Houston DA, Kelly Siegler. CAST: MICHAEL O'NEILL, FRAQNCES FISHER, KADEE STRICKLAND, VIOLA DAVIS, BRUCE MCGILL, FRAN KRANZ

THE NIGHT STALKER - There are things in the dark, things adults deny but children are right to fear...Kolchak's determination to find out the truth behind his wife's mysterious murder has led him to investigate other crimes that seem to have some kind of supernatural component. But he's trying to piece together a puzzle that keeps changing its shape. Who or what is committing these crimes? How are they all related? And why do some victims end up with a strange red mark on their hands in the shape of a snake? With sidekick Perri Reed, a sexy if skeptical fellow reporter in tow, Kolchak will go to any lengths to answer these questions. But when he does discover the truth - will anyone believe him? CAST: COTTER SMITH, STUART TOWNSEND, GABRIELLE UNION, ERIC JUNGMANN

PROS AND CONS - They say there's a sucker born every minute ...At 36, charming Jack Fallon is the best in the game. He sees the angles between the angles, spins a story better than anyone, and there isn't a trick in the book that he hasn't played and gotten away with. That is, until six months ago...when someone finally dropped the dime on him and he landed in the pen. Now he's back on the streets, assembling another team of expert scam-artists, including an all-too-eager nephew and a feisty ex-girlfriend who longs to go straight. The major difference between six months ago and today? This go-around Jack and his team are working with the FBI to expose fraud from the inside out. And they've got a babysitter in the form of federal agent Chris Van Horn, who refuses to believe that Jack has actually seen the light and is now on the up and up. From the creator of Lost and Alias comes a fun, fast-paced Ocean's Eleven-like romp through the colorful world of the big con. CAST: BILLY BALDWIN, MAGGIE SIFF, ERIC BOGOSIAN, PAUL BLACKTHORNE, NATASHA HENSTRIDGE, DORIAN MISSICK, RYAN DONOWHO

SOCCER MOMS - Not all housewives are desperate. DeAnne Brooks takes immense pleasure in her perfect home, beautiful family and well-ordered life. Her one guilty pleasure is keeping tabs on her neighbors...but she's not spying, she's being vigilant. At the other end of the neighborhood is DeAnne's polar opposite, Jamie Cane. Jamie's a harried, somewhat cynical single mom trying to make a living as a PI, so housework is simply not a priority. But when DeAnne meets Jamie, they quickly realize that their opposing strengths make them an excellent team. While Jamie is an ex-cop, DeAnne has learned all she knows about private investigation by watching detective shows and movies. Together they discover what the women of Wisteria Lane already know: there are a lot of secrets in the suburbs. CAST: KRISTIN DAVIS, GINA TORRES, ROB ESTES

WHAT ABOUT BRIAN - Brian is the guy everyone wants as a best friend. At 34, Brian is the last single guy in his group of friends: his best friend Adam was going to break up with picture-perfect Marjorie but proposed instead. Brian's sister, Nic, and her boy-toy husband, Angelo, are trying hard to have kids. The bohemian Dave and Deena have three little girls and no sex life. And, like all married people, they can't wait for Brian to join their "club," though they're not exactly sure why. As for Brian, well, he's a serial monogamist but still holds out hope that one day he'll open the door and be blinded by love. From the producers of Lost and Alias and the screenwriter of City of Angels and For Love of the Game comes a fresh, fun perspective on friendship and love in L.A. CAST: POLLY SHANNON, MATTHEW DAVIS, RICK GOMEZ, AMANDA DETMER, BARRY WATSON, RAOUL BOVA, ROSANNA ARQUETTE

The Alphabet is scheduled to formally announce its 2005-06 season pickups on Tuesday, May 17.

Note: Full descriptions were not given or available for "1/4life," "Introducing Lennie Rose" and "Sold!"

  [may 2005]  


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