Now is that time of year in TV when news of what could be happening next year starts leaking out. It's pilot season, a free-for-all of brilliant concepts and derivative sure-things battling it out for precious few primetime spots.
My picks for the possible best of 2011's fall season?
In the top spot, obviously, it's Aaron Sorkin's return to TV. The cable news-set drama is sure to be a winner and (as much as it pains this network-devotee to say it) the fact that it was HBO that picked up the pilot not NBC or ABC gives me hope that Sorkin will get to do it his way. That means he'll most likely play up the idealism, play down the romance and spend a lot of time on a soapbox- sounds perfect. The Oscar he's about to win (or absolutely should be winning) will undoubtedly help push the show to quick success. Call Tommy Schlamme and Josh Molina- there's work to be done.
The other pilot that looks particularly promising based purely on concept and writing pedigree is a new NBC pickup called Grimm. It's a cop drama (a very hit or miss category) but lives in a world where the tales of The Brothers Grimm can come true. It's an intriguingly high concept, perhaps a bit too high for the desperate network, but it sounds pretty cool. The fact that it comes from Jim Kouf and David Greenwalt gives me hope too. The former Whedon scribes know their clever fantasy writing and know how to make a high concept show work on network- if anyone can do it, it'll be them.