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TV Feature: Must Watch Pilots of 2014/2015



It's hard to keep track of what is picked up, cancelled and shifted about during pilot season in the USA. Amidst this network chaos, however, there are a number of extremely promising tasters of the televisual treats that await us this year. We have searched through the announcements to bring you the must watch pilots of 2014.

The Royals

Network
: E!
Cast: Elizabeth Hurley, William Mosely and Vincent Reagan.
Synopsis: Drama about a fictional British Royal family set in modern day London, who inhabit a world of opulence and regal tradition that caters to any and every desire, but one that also comes with a price tag of duty, destiny and intense public scrutiny.

Why we are excited: Liz Hurley as a sassy British monarch? There is no need to say anything else.



The Whispers

Network: ABC
Cast: Lily Rabe, Barry Sloane & Milo Ventimiglia
Synopsis: A race against time to defeat an unseen alien enemy out to destroy the world using the Earth’s most precious resource, children.

Why we are excited: Whilst horror continues to bloom on the small screen, the science fiction genre has struggled (see the recently cancelled The Tomorrow People). We are hopeful for The Whispers which features genre favourites Rabe, Sloane and Ventimiglia. Plus, we all know from E.T. that the combination of kiddies and aliens equals success.



Secrets and Lies

Network: ABC
Cast: Ryan Phillippe and Juliette Lewis
Synopsis: A family man finds the body of a young boy while jogging and becomes the prime suspect. He has no choice but to try to find the real killer as his marriage, his kids, his reputation, and his sanity are all at stake.

Why we are excited: Phillippe and Lewis are two real pros on screen and the premise of Secrets and Lies already has us hooked. Is this family man being framed or did he commit murder?



Agent Carter

Network: ABC
Cast: Hayley Atwell
Synopsis: It's 1946, and peace has dealt Peggy Carter a serious blow as she finds herself marginalized when the men return home from fighting abroad. Working for the covert SSR (Strategic Scientific Reserve), Peggy must balance doing administrative work and going on secret missions for Howard Stark all while trying to navigate life as a single woman in America, in the wake of losing the love of her life- Steve Rogers.

Why we are excited: It's about time that we had another female-lead action series and we think that Hayley Atwell is the perfect star to take centre stage. Peggy Carter and the period setting were the strongest things about Captain America: The First Avenger, so the thought of us seeing a full series devoted to the two is exciting.



Reckless

Network: CBS
Cast: Cam Gigandet, Adam Rodríguez, Anna Wood, and Georgina Haig.
SynopsisIn sultry Charleston, where summer is long and secrets simmer behind every door, sex and crime walk hand in hand as two adversaries, a gorgeous Yankee litigator and a southern City Attorney, struggle to hide their intense attraction while clashing over a police sex scandal that threatens to implode the city.

Why we are excited: With a pilot directed by Catherine Hardwicke this raunchy legal drama looks like a original and high-octane addition to the genre. It's also nice to see Gigandet escape the world of B-Movies and make the move the small screen.



Stalker

Network: CBS
Cast: Dylan McDermott and Maggie Q
Synopsis: A pair of detectives investigate stalkers in Los Angeles.

Why we are excited? From the mind of premier horror screenwriter Kevin Williamson, Stalker looks set to be a truly unnerving watch - we defy anyone not to be chilled by the opening thirty seconds of the trailer below (and the last thirty seconds!).



Battle Creek

Network: CBS
Cast: Josh Duhamel and Dean Winters
SynopsisTwo detectives with different views on the world team up and using cynicism, guile and deception, they clean up the streets of Battle Creek.

Why we are excited? Battle Creek is the latest show from Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan, so let's hope that it can capture a slice of Bad's magic. Plus, this also marks Josh Duhamel's first small-screen comeback since his star-making turn in Las Vegas.



Extant

Network: CBS
Cast: Halle Berry and Goran Visnjic
SynopsisAn astronaut (Berry) returns home from a year long solo mission in space. She tries to reconnect with her husband and son in their everyday life. Her experiences in space and home lead to events that ultimately will change the course of human history.

Why we are excited? Hopefully Halle Berry's star-power will be enough to prevent Extant from facing a similar fate to other recent science fiction series. Whilst the plot seems rather vague just now, we think that this might be one to keep an eye on.




Empire

Network: FOX
Cast: Terrence Howard, Gabourey Sidibe and Taraji P. Henson.
Synopsis: A unique family drama set in the world of a hip hop empire.
Why we are excited? We make no secret of our love for magnificent filmmaker Lee Daniels - so the news that he is creating his own TV series has filled us with delight. Teased as Nashville with hip-hop and as a black Dynasty - Empire sounds like a must-see.



Gotham

Network: FOX
Cast: Ben McKenzie and Jada Pinkett Smith
SynopsisThe origin story behind Commissioner James Gordon's rise to prominence in Gotham City in the years before Batman's arrival.

Why we are excited? Of all these pilots none face as high expectations as Gotham. It's difficult to judge how this will turn out as after all, this serves as the first live-action take on the Batman world since Christopher Nolan's much-loved flicks. However, the Batman brand is likely to be a huge draw to audiences all around the world and we are excited to see this fresh take on the rich comic world.


Difficult People

Network: USA
Cast: Billy Eichner and Julie Klausner
SynopsisThe show follows the duo who play New York comedians who hate everyone but each other.

Why we are excited? Billy Eichner arrived on Parks and Recreation as a fireball of popular culture obsessed aggression - and stole many a scene through this. It makes sense that he would once again team-up with Amy Poehler (this time Amy serves as producer) for a ballsy comedy.


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