Kevin Hart Comedy, Shonda Rhimes/Viola Davis Drama Are Reportedly At Top Of List Of Likely New Series Pickups
Photo Credit: S & A

Kevin Hart Comedy, Shonda Rhimes/Viola Davis Drama Are Reportedly At Top Of List Of Likely New Series Pickups


Upfronts are coming! What are the “Upfronts”? That’s when you will find out if your favorite show is returning—or not. Some shows, like the Michael Ealy drama Almost Human have already been cancelled, but some shows are still “on the bubble”.

Online media savvy readers, like the readers of Shadow & Act, will probably know before it’s announced, but the Upfronts are where the upcoming shows become official. They usually show clips from the shows and if they are supremely confident in the show they will show the entire pilot. That’s what ABC did with Modern Family in 2011.

Over the weekend, The Hollywood Reporter published a list of 10 TV Pilots Likely to Score Series Pickups based on *insider* info, and the first three titles named feature people of color, all of which we’ve been following here on Shadow & Act.

They include the following:

1. Keep It Together (aka the untitled Kevin Hart comedy) (ABC).

Here’s what THR had to say about its pickup potential:

The multicamera comedy based on Hart’s life and stand-up act starring Romany Malco skyrocketed to the top of ABC’s pilots following a screening with executives and has the edge over the network’s Anthony Anderson entry about a middle-class black man struggling to raise his children that’s based on the life of showrunner Kenya Barris (The Game) as the network looks to schedule an African-American-leading comedy following the breakout success of Kerry Washington drama Scandal. The network will hope Hart, one of the most bankable stars around, will translate to TV and bring his more than 10 million-plus Twitter followers along for the ride.

2. How to Get Away With Murder (ABC)

THR calls it…:

… among the buzziest dramas this season. A series pickup for Murder would give the Grey’s Anatomy producer three shows on the air for the second time, following the end of Private Practice. Rhimes has tremendous clout at the network — she rarely, if ever, receives notes on Scandal — and is incredibly valuable to ABC.

3. Their third pick was the Batman prequel Gotham (at Fox). It tells the origin story of Commissioner James Gordon (played by Southland’s Ben McKenzie). Jada Pinkett will co-star as a character named Fish Mooney, the series’ key villain, who is described a sadistic gangster boss and nightclub owner, with street smarts and almost extra-sensory abilities to read people like an open book. Further, she’s said to be imposing and hotheaded, and not one to be crossed!

ain’t gonna lie, the addition of Jada Pinkett Smith AS A GANGSTER definitely increased my interest in the show. Those types of roles are usually NEVER given to black actresses, and I think Jada will do a great job!

There’s also American Crime from John Ridley (Academy Award winning screenwriter of 12 Years a Slave). According to THR, that pilot is also “tracking well,” and is one of three drama pilots at ABC expected to get a series pickup.

All four of these concepts sound intriguing, especially the Shonda Rhimes/Viola Davis series, and John Ridley’s American Crime.


Courtesy of SpoilerTV all 2014 Upfronts will be announced in New York. Below are the dates of each:

Monday, May 12, 2014 NBC (Morning)

Monday, May 12, 2014 FOX (Afternoon)

Tuesday, May 13, 2014 Univision (Morning)

Tuesday, May 13, 2014 ABC (Afternoon)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014 CBS (Afternoon)

Thursday, May 15, 2014 The CW (Morning)

[NBC normally releases their schedule a day before, i.e. 11th May]

Shadow and Act is a website dedicated to cinema, television and web content of Africa and its global Diaspora. With daily news, interviews, in-depth investigations into the audiovisual industry, and more, Shadow and Act promotes content created by and about people of African descent throughout the world.

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