Ah, pilot season. That time of the year when the networks search for what they hope will be the next big thing on the small screen. SSN has combed through the offerings, and noted five trends emerging in the pilots that have been picked up by the broadcast networks ahead of the 2013-14 television season. British imports are once again attractive to networks, as are small-screen remakes (whether big-screen predecessors or earlier TV incarnations); semi-autobiographical fare; adaptations from other source material and film actors coming (or returning to) the small screen. Today, we take a look at the pilots with U.K. predecessors. Check back for our spotlight on the small-screen remakes. In subsequent days, we’ll present each of the other trends (and stay tuned for a look at cable pilots in later installments).

PROJECT BRITAIN

Adaptations from Israeli TV series have been en vogue for a few TV seasons now (HBO’s In Treatment and Showtime’s Homeland are two prime examples) and this season is no different. ABC has picked up Divorce: A Love Story, a comedy based on the Israeli format Life Isn’t Everything, while CBS has two pilots with Israeli origins: Julie Rottenberg and Elisa Zuritzsky’s untitled comedy project about a married woman who does a daily juggling act with family, life and work; and Hostages, based on an unproduced Israeli format. But this season, the pilots inspired by U.K.-based shows trump them all. While nothing new (the list of shows with British roots is long, from All in the Family, Sanford & Son and Three’s Company to more recent efforts ranging from American Idol and The Office to Dancing With the Stars and America’s Got Talent) this season there are at least seven pilots with origins across the pond.

ABC

LUCKY 7
Format:
Hour drama
Logline: When they win the lottery, the lives of seven service station employees are changed in ways they couldn’t previously imagine.
Studio: ABC Studios, Amblin TV
Executive Producers: David Zabel, Jason Richman, Darryl Frank, Justin Falvey, Steven Spielberg
Cast: Isiah Whitlock Jr.
Source:  Adapted from the British drama The Syndicate.

PULLINGPullingS1dvd_LRG
Format: Single-camera comedy
Logline: Three dysfunctional thirtysomethings live life according to their own rules.
Studio: ABC Studios, Kaplan Entertainment
Executive Producers: Lee Eisenberg, Gene Stupnitsky, Aaron Kaplan, Sharon Horgan, Dennis Kelly
Cast: Mandy Moore, June Raphael
Source:  Based on the British Television series Pulling, created by Sharon Horgan and Dennis Kelly, which premiered on BBC3 on November 23, 2006.

SPY
Format:
Single-camera comedy
Logline: In an effort to prove himself a worthy father to his genius son, a man, who is not as bright, inadvertently takes a job with the Secret Service.
Studio: ABC Studios, Hat Trick Productions
Executive Producers: Jimmy Mulville, Helen Williams, Jeff Filgo, Jackie Filgo
Cast: Rob Corddry, Mason Cook, Paget Brewster, Moshe Kasher, Ken Jeong
Source:  Based on the British series Spy, created by Simeon Goulden, which premiered on Sky 1 on October 14, 2011.

CBS

SECOND SIGHT
Format:
Hour drama
Logline: In this psychological thriller, a detective is stricken, out of the blue, with an autoimmune virus that causes hallucinations emanating from his subconscious. He soon realizes that apprehending bad guys depends as much on his newfound insights as it does on his eyesight.
Studio: CBS Television Studios
Executive Producers: Michael Cuesta, Gerald Cuesta, Carol Mendelsohn, Julie Weitz, Nick Reed, Phil Goldfine, Paula Milne
Cast: Jason Lee, Kim Dickens
Source:  Based on the British television series Second Sight, created by Paula Milne, starring Clive Owen, which aired on BBC One in 2000.

THE CW

THE TOMORROW PEOPLE
Format:
Hour drama
Logline: In this drama, there are young people from around the world who possess special telepathic and teleporting powers. They represent the next phase in human evolution and work together to defeat evil.
Studio: Warner Bros. Television, Berlanti Prods., FremantleMedia
Executive Producers: Phil Klemmer, Greg Berlanti, Julie Plec
Cast: Peyton List, Luke Mitchell, Robbie Arnell, Mark Pellegrino
Source:  Based on the British series The Tomorrow People created by Roger Price that aired on ITV from 1973-1979.

FOX

FRIENDS AND FAMILYGavin-And-Stacey-Series-2
 Format: Single camera, half-hour comedy
Logline: A disparate couple tries to make a long distance relationship work.
Studio: Sony Pictures TV, BBC Worldwide, Baby Cow Prods.
Executive Producers: David Rosen, Steve Coogan, Jane Tranter, Julie Gardner, James Corden, Ruth Jones, Henry Normal
Cast: Jason Ritter, Justin Ybarra
Source:  Based on the U.K.’s Gavin & Stacey.

NBC

THE GATES
Format:
Single-camera comedy
Logline: This comedy focuses on the often-painful social encounters parents and teachers face when dropping off and picking up the kids at an elementary school.
Studio: 20th Television, Kapital Entertainment
Executive Producers: Cathy Yuspa, Josh Goldsmith, Aaron Kaplan, Laurence Bowen, Philip Clarke
Cast: Ken Marino, Greg Germann, Diana Maria Riva, Josh Grisetti, Kathleen Rose Perkins, Christina Kirk, Kylie Rogers, Gunnar Sizemore
Source:  Based on the British comedy series The Gates, which began airing on Sky Living in August 2012.

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