With The CW expanding to six nights of original programming in the fall — the first time in nearly a decade the network will air shows on Sundays — it's sifting through more pilots than usual this development season. In addition to the backdoor pilot for Wayward Sisters, the female-centered potential spin-off of the long-running Supernatural, the network has eight pilots in the works. (A potential Originals spin-off following Hope Mikaelson is also in development but likely won't film a pilot.) With so many potential series in the running for a limited number of slots, we thought we'd take a look at each pilot's logline and help The CW decide which insane idea we'd like to see the network order to series. Is there another Jane the Virgin in the new crop? Will we find the next coming of The 100?
Now, because the network has yet to announced renewals for any of its current series for next season, we don't actually know how many spots there will be to fill next season. So, we're just going to go with our gut and not limit ourselves to practical constraints.
Logline: This fierce, funny, feminist reboot of the original series centers on three sisters in a college town who discover they are witches.
Argument: Does the world need a Charmed reboot? The answer is unequivocally no. In fact, it can be argued the world doesn't need any reboots. Also working against this pilot is the fact one of the stars of the original series, Holly Marie Combs, is vehemently opposed to its very existence. As she notes, the potential new series, from Jane the Virgin creator Jennie Snyder Urman, appears to be capitalizing on the Charmed name and the hard work the women at the center of the series did over its eight seasons on The WB rather than tell a unique story of its own.
Verdict: No thanks!
Logline: After surviving an explosion that killed her hotshot detective big brother, an underachieving beat cop starts seeing his ghost, flipping their sibling dynamic on its head and allowing her to truly live her life for the first time. They work together to help crime victims both living and dead and figure out the unfinished business keeping his spirit on Earth.
Argument: This feels like The CW hacked up two of its recent failures — a remake of the film Frequency and the hourlong comedy No Tomorrow — and combined them into one (but without the romantic comedy angle of the latter). It should be noted neither series received an order for additional episodes. But "hot ghost detective" (this is The CW, obviously the ghost is going to look like a model) seems like it could be fun if the show embraces how ridiculous its premise is à la the enjoyable first season of Sleepy Hollow. Still, this might be too much of a basic procedural to actually succeed on a network like The CW.
The End of the World as We Know It
Logline: When a prison spaceship carrying the universe's most deadly aliens crashes in Southern California, two young women with bigger dreams than working at a kids pizza place in the Valley are recruited by a space cop to hunt down the escaped criminals, who have camouflaged themselves as eccentric Angelenos.
Argument: Stop, you had us at "space cop." This logline calls to mind Dude, Where's My Car, which could be a great thing or a terrible thing, depending on how you feel about classic stoner movies from the early aughts. But this pilot is just weird enough and has a premise that could sustain itself for a few seasons, so we're intrigued. If the network wants another "cop procedural" like iZombie, and it seems like it does, this is the one we want to see.
In the Dark
Logline: A flawed and irreverent blind woman is the only "witness" to the murder of her drug-dealing friend. After the police dismiss her story, she sets out with her dog, Pretzel, to find the killer while also managing her colorful dating life and the job she hates at Breaking Blind, the guide dog school owned by her overprotective parents.
Argument: Much like Space Cop, we've been on board In the Dark since reading its logline. The potential series counts Michael Showalter and Ben Stiller as executive producers, which means the ridiculous humor promised from a blind woman searching for a killer with a sidekick dog named Pretzel could very well deliver the laughs. It could also be a hot mess. But any time you mention a dog in a logline, we're sold. More dogs with active roles on TV, please!
Logline: A dysfunctional family dramedy about a mortician and his son whose lives are turned upside down when the woman who abandoned them 15 years ago returns and asks them to fake her death.
Argument: Is The CW trying to capitalize on our nostalgia for HBO's Six Feet Under? Is it supposed to be a delightfully dark comedy with fun thoughts on death? Who knows? What we do know is this: it's from Rina Mimoun, who's worked on shows we love like Everwood and the canceled-before-its-time Privileged. But is that enough to make us want to sign on?
Logline: After her husband tries to kill her on what she thought was a romantic cruise to celebrate their second wedding anniversary, a woman teams with a jaded ex-cop to exact her own twisted brand of revenge on her cheating spouse and winds up uncovering a wider conspiracy in the process.
Argument: Man, The CW is really trying to make law enforcement happen this year, huh? Between the ex-cops, ghost cops, and space cops, the network definitely has a type this development season. Unfortunately for Skinny Dip, this means the cop shows are mostly just competing with one another, and this one doesn't have the hook necessary to grab viewers.
Verdict: Sorry not sorry
Logline: When a rising high school football player from South Central L.A. is recruited to play for Beverly Hills High, the wins, losses and struggles of two families from vastly different worlds — Compton and Beverly Hills — begin to collide.
Argument: Oh boy, this Friday Night Lights wannabe one sounds like it could be a Serious Drama. However, if it's not handled properly, it could also be cringeworthy in its attempt to tackle issues of socioeconomics through the lens of football. We hope it's the former. The potential series is produced by Greg Berlanti, like every other show on television, but unless Berlanti suddenly takes a more active role in producing the series — he isn't as hands-on as he used to be now that he's running Hollywood — this has the potential to flop.
Verdict: Sure, why not?
Logline: After reluctantly returning to her tourist-trap hometown of Roswell, New Mexico, the daughter of undocumented immigrants discovers a shocking truth about her teenage crush who is now a police officer: he's an alien who has kept his unearthly abilities hidden his entire life. She protects his secret as the two reconnect and begin to investigate his origins, but when a violent attack and long-standing government cover-up point to a greater alien presence on Earth, the politics of fear and hatred threaten to expose him and destroy their deepening romance.
Argument: Remember what we said about the Charmed reboot and how reboots aren't necessary? That sentiment still stands here. However, Roswell was a series of books before Jason Katims developed the first series for The WB in the late '90s, which makes this situation slightly different. Roswell's underlying themes also translate well to 2018, when the U.S. is at a crossroads in history, but at this point, we'd like to see something original rather than another reboot or reimagining.
Verdict: Thanks, but no thanks
Logline: The Supernatural spin-off focuses on a sisterhood of girls in a foster family, as a group of troubled young women — all orphaned by supernatural tragedy — emerge as a formidable force against the supernatural, under Sheriff Jody Mills' (Kim Rhodes) training and protection.
Argument: We've already seen the backdoor pilot, and although it didn't blow us away with its overarching narrative, it's the network's best — and likely last — chance to launch a franchise that will carry on the Supernatural name. The series has a cast of largely familiar characters, all of them women, which automatically endears it to fans who've longed to see more of the show's female characters in the spotlight.
Verdict: Honestly, this one is like a done deal already and we're interested to see if a pilot without a single woman on the producing team behind the scenes can deliver the series Supernatural's female fans are hoping this becomes.
What this means for the network: The CW may be considering more pilots than usual, and it has a few potentially strong contenders in the mix, but the network is lacking an obvious prestige series that could follow in the footsteps of Golden Globe winners Jane the Virgin and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. This is important because although neither series has been renewed for 2018-2019 yet, if it happens, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend would be heading into its final season — its creators have a four-season plan — and Jane the Virgin could be heading into its own farewell season, if star Gina Rodriguez's recent comments are to be believed. The network should be looking for shows of similar quality that can carry on after these shows are gone; this current crop just doesn't have one. One thing is certain though: The CW seems to be heading into a time of transition and it'll be interesting to see what happens next.