Shari and I are currently working on our Primetime Fall Preview Edition, and are watching all the new series pilots. While our friends and family always think it's cool that we get all the pilots sent to us by the networks, it's not as fun as it seems to have to watch 25 new shows in a two or three day period. For every one that makes us sit up and take notice, there are three or four that make us itch (or is it twitch?).
I've now seen all the comedy pilots, and am starting to watch the dramas. Here's my initial take on the comedies.
In my opinion, the best new comedy pilot is Last Man Standing. It was funny and it should hold up from week to week. Tim Allen hasn't lost a beat since he succeeded in the same Tuesday 8pm time slot with Home Improvement.
Other new comedy pilots that were funny and have potential as series are ABC's Suburgatory (Wednesday 8:30), CBS's 2 Broke Girls (Monday 8:30) and How to be a Gentleman (Thursday 8:30), NBC's Up All Night (with Christina Applegate, Will Arnett and Maya Rudolph - Wednesday 8pm), and FOX's New Girl (with Zoey Deschanel - Tuesday 9pm). Of these, New Girls and Up All Night were the standouts.
The worst comedy pilots were NBC's Free Agents (which may be the worst comedy pilot I've ever seen) and Whitney (Whitney Cummings is appealing, but the writing was horrible). That Free Agents was even placed on the schedule makes us wonder about NBC's overall comedy development. It's offensive, the writing was bad, there was nothing but sexual innuendo and crude jokes (in an 8:30pm show!), and the stars have no chemistry. I was embarrassed to watch it with my 12-year-old son in the room.