Our ongoing look back at sci fi / fantasy TV shows that were cancelled way too soon or pilots that never made it to series.
The 2016 Pilot Season has come and gone, leaving several promising shows behind in its wake which I go into in more detail at this link. Here is a look at some more failed sci fi / fantasy pilots of interest from the 2013 to 2015 Pilot Seasons. The descriptions for each of these below come from The Hollywood Reporter. You can see THR‘s full rundown of the broadcast network pilots from the prior three years at these links: 2013, 2014, 2015
Tales from the Darkside (CW 2015): Reinvention of the horror/fantasy/thriller anthology series based on the 1980s series. Each episode will feature at least one story with a completely different cast.
Johnny Jay Says: This is one that I was really hoping would go to series, because we need a good genre anthology back on television. Apparently The CW did not feel strong enough about it, but there were talks that it could still happen on another network or one of the streaming services. There has been no substantial news of late on this one, though.
Warrior (CW 2015): In a grounded, contemporary multicultural and sometimes magical milieu, a damaged heroine (Under the Dome‘s Natalie Martinez) works undercover with physical and spiritual guidance from a mysterious martial arts master (Lights Out‘s Holt McCallany) to bring down an international crime lord.
Johnny Jay Says: It sounds like this one had genre elements and it could have turned into something interesting if it chose to avoid the cop-show-with-a-twist route. I haven’t heard of any attempts to shop it around, though, so we will likely never know.
Tin Man (NBC, 2014): A psychological crime thriller that focuses on a fugitive robot (Gossip Girl‘s Patrick Heusinger) accused of first-degree murder who may hold the key to the future of human evolution and the young female public defender forced to fight his case.
Johnny Jay Says: Sounds like a pretty interesting premise, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the failure of FOX’s Almost Human in the 2013-14 season swayed the NBC execs away from another android-centric series. This probably would not have received the treatment it deserved on one of the broadcast networks anyway.
The Selection (CW, 2013): Set 300 years in the future, the drama is an epic romance centering on a working-class young woman chosen by lottery to participate in a competition with 25 other women for the Royal Prince’s hand to become the nation’s next queen. Balancing her loyalty to family, true love and the kingdom, she must attempt to remain true to herself as she navigates the cutthroat competition and palace intrigue, all while a budding rebellion threatens to topple the crown. Based on the book by Kiera Cass.
Johnny Jay Says: Looks like this one could have had an epic scoped to it, but also likely plenty of CW-style melodrama and angst as well. The network probably decided this one shared too many elements with Reign and The 100 and decided to pass on it.
Johnny Jay Says: It would be great to get a good western back on television and one with genre elements would be even better (we miss you Brisco Country Jr.). I’ve never read the comics that this was based on, but sounds like an interesting story. I’ll have to search them out since this won’t make it to the small screen.
Supernatural: Bloodlines (CW, 2014): Explores the clashing hunter and monster cultures of Chicago.
Johnny Jay Says: This aired as a backdoor-pilot during Supernatural‘s ninth season (episode #20, appropriately titled “Bloodlines”). and for some reason got ripped to shreds by the fans. I rather liked it and thought it would make a decent spin-off to the long-running series, though its power struggle themes may have crossed into the same territory that The Originals has covered (quite well, I might add). Instead of the spin-off route, the original series is heading into its twelfth season and doesn’t look like it will stop anytime soon.