May 8, 2013



The first real crack in the wall of silence the networks have so far maintained on their Upfront announcements came from FOX, which has picked up a hefty 9 shows, 5 comedies and 4 dramas.  (We don’t yet know how many of them will be launched in the fall, let alone where they’re being scheduled.)  Here’s a quick rundown:


SURVIVING JACK:  Chris Meloni as the older half of a father-son story set in the 1990s.  Thinking of father-son comedies, this one is created by Justin Halpern and Patrick Schumacher, both of whom hail from $#*! My Dad Says, but before we panic, the better news may be that it comes from Bill Lawrence’s production company.

ENLISTED:  Brothers in the Army, starring Geoff Stults.  This one also has a Bill Lawrence connection, since it’s written by Kevin Biegel, who worked on both Cougar Town and Scrubs with Lawrence (although he’s not involved with this one).

DADS:  More, so to speak, family guys (and yes, this one is produced by Seth MacFarlane and two other writers from his shop, Alex Sulkin and Wellesley Wild), with Seth Green and Giovanni Ribisi as men whose fathers (Martin Mull and Peter Riegert) move in with them.

BROOKLYN NINE-NINE:  This is the Andy Samberg/Andre Braugher comedy written by Michael Schur and Dan Goor, both from Parks & Recreation.  It’s about cops, and it would have been a surprise if this one hadn’t gotten a pick-up.

US AND THEM:  An adaptation of the excellent British romantic-comedy Gavin & Stacey, with the appealing duo of Jason Ritter and Alexis Bledel as the leads.  The US version is written by David. J. Rosen.


RAKE:  The most touted of the FOX drama pilots, with Greg Kinnear as a self-destructive but brilliant attorney.  It’s based on an Australian hit, and the original writer Peter Duncan did the adaptation, with Peter Tolan of Rescue Me as one of the producers.

ALMOST HUMAN:  From a chunk of the Fringe team (writer J.H. Wyman and producer J.J. Abrams), what sounds like the android version of Alien Nation, with human cops partnered with robots.  Karl Urban and Michael Ealy star–it’s not clear which one is the android.

SLEEPY HOLLOW:  More Fringe writers (Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, with Philip Iscove), as Ichabod Crane is brought to the present-day to solve an apocalyptic puzzle that goes back to Revolutionary War days.  Let’s all try not to think of Zero Hour.

GANG RELATED:  The title seems to tell the tale on this one, with mismatched cops who include Terry O’Quinn and RZA.  It’s written by Chris Morgan, whose credits include Wanted and one of the Fast & The Furious movies.


About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."