Weekly Wire
Weekly Alibi Pilot Error

By Devin D. O'Leary

JUNE 1, 1998: 

New Shows Around the Dial

Sweeps is over, "Seinfeld" has been put to rest and we're about to enter the summer rerun doldrums. Could life be any worse for a TV-loving couch potato? At least we can entertain ourselves with thoughts of all the new TV pilots on the horizon for fall. We've got a load of weird science fiction, a ton of animation and far more lame domestic sitcoms than I care to name. Here are some of the more "interesting" pilot ideas that the networks have announced. Don't expect many of these to last more than an episode or two.

ABC

"Black Jaq"--The legacy of Pam Grier lives on in this black female cop show.

"Fantasy Island"--Director Barry Sonnenfeld (Men In Black) revamps the old stomping grounds of Mr. Roarke.

"Johnny X"--Dustin Nguyen stars in this "kickboxing drama."

"Love, American Style"--This comedy anthology was the progenitor to "Love Boat," and now it's back (not unlike "The Love Boat").

"Mary Tyler Moore Show"--Mary and Rhoda return.

"Putting Two and Two Together"--Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen get their own show. The Apocalypse is assured.

"Strange Days"--Michael Moriarty stars as an investigator battling technology gone awry.


CBS

"Fawlty Towers"--John Laroquette takes over for John Cleese. I smell a winner.

"Skip Chasers"--The Morgan/Wong producing team from "X-Files" hooks up with Arsenio "The Kiss of Death" Hall for this bounty hunter comedy.


FOX

"Bad Cop, Bad Cop"--Jon Favreau as, well, a bad cop.

"Blade Squad"--Futuristic cops on in-line skates. No, really.

"Brimstone"--A dead cop chases down escapees from Hell.

"Daybreak"--An astronaut crash lands and his limbs are replaced with bionics. Gee, this sounds familiar.

"Futurama"--Matt Groening's animated look at life in the year 3000.

"Ghost Cop"--He's a ghost and he's a cop.

"Hollyweird"--Wes Craven (Scream) helms a bunch of twentysomethings who fight ghosts and do a TV show about 'em.

"The Invisible Man"--Kyle MacLachlan is now invisible (much like his movie career).

"Cheap Shots"--Joss Whedon ("Buffy the Vampire Slayer) does a comedy about the B-movie industry.


NBC

"Ice"--Quirky scientists in Antarctica. Think "Northern Exposure," but colder.

"Man-Made"--A female team battles technology gone awry (see also: "Strange Days").

"Odd Jobs"--Roger Avery (co-writer of Pulp Fiction) tries streetwise Mob guys.


WB

"Baby Blues"--The innocuous comic strip gets animated.

"Brothers"--An animated show about ...

"Charmed"--Three sisters learn they're witches. One is Shannen Doherty. Typecasting?

"Madness Reigns"--Tim Curry (exiled European king) + Muppets (his "strange" relatives) = one weird-ass sitcom.


UPN

"Dilbert"--Another comic strip gets animated.

"Furry Creatures"--Rude animation (aka: the "South Park" rip-off).

"Martian Law"--"Gunsmoke" in space.

"Mercy Point"--"ER" in space.

"Secret Diary of Desmond Pfeiffer"--My vote for the oddest show of the season. It's billed as a "period satire" about the cook in the Lincoln White House!


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