Tuesday, May 12, 2015


The second definition of "red light" from Google:

"A refusal, or an order to stop an action."

There's a reason I don't write more about news items for TV shows that have been optioned or  are being developed.  At any moment after I publish, some new network suit could come along and put the kibosh on the project.  All that effort wasted......

When I first came up with the idea of a shared universe for most television shows, I decided one of the main rules had to be that to qualify, a show had to be broadcast.  (Quaint term that, now that almost everything is sent out digitally and through cable rather than over the public airwaves.) I've since expanded that tenet to include produced pilots.  They might never be seen by the general public (and the networks don't tend to burn them off anymore, sadly, in one-off specials), but you know they exist and who knows?  Eventually they might find their way onto YouTube.

My blogmate Rob Buckley, upon whom I depend to do the heavy lifting in finding the good news stories (as seen in his blog "The Medium Is Not Enough" - check out the bloglist to the left), has been keeping track of all the shows that have been "green lighted" for production and those that have been "red lighted".  I'm sure there are some in the green-lit list that might yet never see the light of day and so never become part of Toobworld.  But I just wanted to share those which will now never be included in the Toobworld Dynamic, no matter which dimension might have been best for them.

All of the descriptions come courtesy of Deadline.....

ABC red lights: 

'Chev & Bev'
Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo as baby boomers who are fun, relevant and living a selfish retirement when their world is turned upside down and they suddenly are left to raise their grandchildren.

'The Kingmakers'
'Kingmakers, from ABC Studios, centers on Eli, a young man whose sister Julia is found dead during her freshman year at an elite Ivy League university. He adopts a new identity to infiltrate the school and its century-old secret society – consisting of privileged students, ambitious faculty and high-profile alums – in order to investigate her death.

'The Advocate' 
'The Advocate' was inspired by the real story of former talent agent Byrdie Lifson-Pompan, who teamed with Valerie Ulene, a medical doctor and a health education specialist, to launch a healthcare consulting company. It centers on Francis “Frankie” Reese, a tough, resourceful, type-A businesswoman at the top of her game who has a medical scare and experiences first-hand the hazards of our healthcare system.  Shocking her friends and family, she leaves her career behind, becoming instead a brilliant and relentless advocate for anyone caught in the chaotic and ever-changing maze that is modern medicine. Dr. Ryan Clarke, a brilliant doctor who meets Frankie by chance, helps her out of a tight spot and subsequently opens a patient advocacy firm with her hard-driving new friend. 

'Broad Squad'
A fictionalized account of the graduating class of Boston’s first female patrol officers in 1978, the project centers on four newly minted cops - Eileen, Molly, Lisa and Joanne - who arrived at a tumultuous time in the city’s history.

It centers on Lauren Marks, a wife and mother who had believed her husband had died in a plane crash, only to discover him alive, well and traveling with a mysterious woman who uses Lauren’s stolen identity. Thrown into a world of secrets and crime, Lauren finds herself running into Mexican cartels and people from her past she had hoped to forget.

The dramedy explores the realities of modern-day families - multi-cultural, multi-generational, built through divorces, affairs and adoptions - set against the backdrop of a revered family restaurant at a crossroads. 

'The 46 Percenters'
It’s described as an unromantic romantic comedy about the 46 percent of the population who have not gotten a divorce and choose to stay married.

'The King of 7B'
In this ensemble comedy, an agoraphobic recluse ventures outside for the first time in 20 years when he spies what could be his soul mate moving into the building across the street.

'Judah Miller'
The single-camera project centers on a Tony Award-winning mother and a risk-averse, cerebral father who are blessed with a son who is a natural-born competitive athlete. They are forced outside their parental comfort zones and into the high-octane world of youth sports. 

'Agents of SHIELD' spin-off
The project was supposed to be set up by events from this season of S.H.I.E.L.D. and toplined by Season 2 cast additions Adrianne Palicki and Nick Blood, revolving around their respective characters Lance Hunter and Barbara “Bobbi” Morse, aka Mockingbird.

'Delores & Jermaine'
Written by comedian Jermaine Fowler based on his life, it stars Fowler as a millennial with big ideas, but very little drive, who moves in with his estranged grandmother, a strict, football-loving, former D.C. cop who needs his youthful enthusiasm in her life as much as he needs her old-school parenting. 
CBS red lights: 

'Sneaky Pete'
It centers on Pete/Marius, a thirtysomething con man who, upon leaving prison, takes cover from his past by assuming the identity of a cellmate. “Sneaky Pete” then hides out from his debtors while working for his new “family’s” bail bond business. 

The CW red lights: 

'Tales From The Darkside'
Remake of the 1980s horror/fantasy/thriller anthology series, 'Tales From The Darkside', was considered a risky proposition because of its anthology format.

HBO red lights: 

'Mamma Dallas'
The half-hour project follows a conservative family in Texas who unwittingly hire a hard-living drag queen, Liberty, as their live-in nanny. Liberty appears to be an attractive woman with a flirty side — but she’s really a drag queen with an upbeat personality. On a path that leads to jail or prostitution or both, Liberty (also known as Albert) sees a future that will destroy his basically optimistic spirit and re-invents himself to get a job as a nanny to three children of a conservative, Texan family.

You may have noticed that NBC and FOX are not represented on this list.  As for NBC, I'm not sure if that means I didn't find any reference to their red-lit projects or that the Peacock Throne was so desperate for product that they accepted every pitch that was made to them.  And FOX?  Meh.  I only watched three of this series anyway.  And they cancelled the only one I was enjoying.  (The other two had become a chore, but I wanted to see their seasons out.....)

As far as I can tell, only two of these disqualified contenders could not have had a home in the main Tooobword.  Since 'Agents Of SHIELD' takes place in Comic Book Toobworld, then its spinoff would have to be there as well.  As for 'Tales From The Darkside', since it would have been an anthology series, some of the episodes could take place in the main Toobworld while others would probably have to be shuttle elsewhere.  The same situation existed for 'The Outer Limits', 'Tales From The Crypt', and of course 'The Twilight Zone'.

As I started putting this list together, it occurred to me that some of them did make it past the pilot stage before getting the red light.  (There's an IMDb page for 'Delores And Jermaine, but as with FOX News, that site is not always reliable.)  If their pilots do exist, then maybe they're gonna make it in Toobworld after all.  Just because the Trueniverse audience can't see them, that doesn't mean their lives don't continue.....


My thanks again to Rob Buckley!

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