Fall television sneak peak | EW.com


Fall television sneak peak

Fall television sneak peak--A look at some crazy ideas the networks are cooking up, like ''Homewood P.I.'' and ''Dog Years''

Jonesing for some cool new shows next fall? Sorry, but Fox has passed on Shaft on Ice, an Austin Powers-ish sitcom about a cryogenically-preserved-then-defrosted 1970s superfly detective. And sadly, UPN said no to Gorilla World, a gripping drama about young lawyers who — oh, who are we kidding, it’s about a planet full of gorillas. But there are plenty of zany ideas still floating around (the nets announce their 2000-01 slates in May). Among the 100-plus pilots now shooting, we highlight these strange-but-true trends:

If you know the name of the sitcom you’d like to watch, press 1.
There are nearly a half-dozen pilots based on feature films, including Fox’s L.A. Confidential, CBS’ The Fugitive, ABC’s Parenthood (which failed as a TV show in 1990), and Fox’s National Lampoon’s Family Adventure. Sure, CBS’ gay-guy-rooms-with-straight-man premise á la Kiss Me, Guido sounds enticing, but c’mon, where’s Deuce Bigalow: The Series?

Murder, she rewrote
Jessica Fletcher…trendsetter? Gaggles of off-beat meddlers are taking a bite out of crime: a criminology prof and his Realtor wife (CBS’ Mysteries of 71st Street), a cynical journalist (NBC’s Deadline), and a present-day Sherlock Holmes with Dr. Watson (ABC’s Elementary). Even Tony Danza snoops around in CBS’ Homewood P.I. Suggested case: What ever happened to Who’s the Boss? brat Danny Pintauro?

But does it roll off the tongue, like ‘Homeboys in Outer Space’?
The suits at UPN — you know, the ones who brought you The Secret Diary of Desmond Pfeiffer and Shasta McNasty — are at it again. Though they nixed the self-explanatory Hip-Hop Bounty Hunters (why, God, why?), they’re hot for a pilot about three FBI babes posing as beach volleyball players, titled…I Spike.

Loser has to air on UPN
Fox is developing a series titled Battle of the Sitcoms. The premise: Two mini-comedies are screened for a studio audience, who then decide which of the two is funny enough to return the following week to take on a new competitor. If only we could use this system to get rid of Two Guys and a Girl.

This is your development brain. This is your development brain on drugs.
Before coming to their senses, Fox execs were considering Eternally Andy, an epic comedy about a nightclub owner who’s 3,000 years old. (Stop! You’re killing us!) The WB, however, is proceeding with Dead Last, a drama about struggling musicians who acquire the power to see the deceased. But NBC may outkook all with Dog Years, a live-action sitcom featuring a talking pooch. ”This is what happens when one dog falls in love with his owner,” states the log line, ”and breaks the code of silence to tell her.” A canine code of silence? Back up that Emmy truck!