The CW is getting in on pilot season.
After more or less running silent (except for talk of a new Arrow spin-off), the network has handed out pilot orders to Dead People, a supernatural drama from Californication creator Tom Kapinos; Tales From The Darkside, a remake of the 1980s television series; and Cordon, an adaptation of the Belgian drama from The Vampire Diaries executive producer Julie Plec.
Dead People tells the story of a down-on-his-luck, semi-alcoholic but roguishly charming cab driver who, following a near death experience, suddenly has the ability to interact with ghosts. Tom Kapinos is penning the script and will serve as executive producer on the project, which is set up at Warner Bros Television and JJ Abrams Bad Robot Productions.
Based on the 1980s series of the same name, Tales From The Darkside is described as a horror anthology series in a similar vein to The Twilight Zone. Rather than using the model of the modern anthology series in which one story spans an entire season, this will go back to the roots of the format with each episode telling a new horror story. Joe Hill is penning the script and will executive produce alongside Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Heather Kadin, Mitch Galin and Jerry Golod. CBS Television Studios is producing.
Cordon is based on the Belgian series and opens as an epidemic breaks out in Atlanta, To combat the outbreak, a large city wide quarantine is quickly enforced, leaving those stuck on the inside to fight for their lives. The project is set up at Warner Bros Television and is being penned by Julie Plec. The executive producer are Plec and David Nutter, the latter of whom is also set to direct.
With these pilot orders The CW is clearly sticking with what works for them. Since Mark Pedowitz took the reins, the network has been moving away from soapy series towards genre fare best associated with predecessor The WB. That move has been successful with The WB holdover Supernatural and comic book series Arrow and The Flash being amongst The CW’s top rated series.
Owing to the fact that they recently handed out early renewals to Arrow, The Flash, Supernatural, Jane The Virgin, The 100, The Vampire Diaries, The Originals and Reign, the network doesn’t have much room for new series and as such are not expected to pick up as many pilot as in previous years. I hear that there may be two more pilot orders in the next week – but I’d expect that to be it.