Shows In the Works: Comedies by Ellen, Portia and Conan, 'Sex and the City' and 'Hannibal' Prequels
Shows In the Works: Comedies by Ellen, Portia and Conan, 'Sex and the City' and 'Hannibal' Prequels
Meghan Carlson
Meghan Carlson
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
If none of the new fall shows are tickling your fancy (though I'd suggest watching an episode or two before damning most of them to your "skip" button), here's a comforting thought: The TV industry is a never-ceasing machine that will churn out new shows until the world ends or their ad revenue dries up, whichever comes first. (It will be the first one.)

Oops -- did I say "comforting"? That sounded a little apocalyptic. But the bright side of the story is that today, in the heat of pitch season, four new and very different show concepts have been announced for development in the near or not-so-distant future, and at least three of them have exciting names attached. Let's take a break from looking at the fall schedule and take a look at them, along with a few other projects also in the works, shall we?

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Unnamed Ellen Degeneres and Portia de Rossi comedy pilot, NBC: The peacock network has committed to a pilot for this multi-camera comedy to be written by Samantha Who? scribe Don Todd, Deadline reports. The show is reportedly about "dueling sisters," with Arrested Development and Better Off Ted alum de Rossi to play one of the sisters. No, her wife Ellen won't be the other one. That would be too weird. With the way NBC has been churning out hit comedies (Outsourced notwithstanding) this could be a promising addition to their increasingly solid laugh-lineup.

Unnamed Conan O'Brien family man comedy, TBS:
His talk show ratings aren't exactly stellar, but TBS knows an asset when they've got one, and they've got one in Conan, who has reportedly hooked his network on for a new half-hour comedy pilot from his production company, Conanco. The show will reportedly be about a "family man" who quits his job and moves back home with his family, where he reunites with his childhood best friend. Not exactly a revolutionary sitcom concept, but with Conan behind the project, along with writing by Still Standing's Ben Wexler, here's hoping the pilot lives up to TBS's standard of "very funny."

Hannibal, a one-hour drama series from Bryan Fuller (no network yet): The man who brought us whimsical classics Dead Like Me, Wonder Falls and Pushing Daisies is going in a darker direction for Gaumont International Television, an independent studio in Los Angeles, Deadline reports. The one-hour drama will take its cues from Thomas Harris' original novels, exploring the early relationship between psychiatrist Dr. Hannibal Lector "and his patient, a young FBI criminal profiler named Will Graham, who is haunted by his ability to empathize with serial killers. Fuller is executive producing with Martha De Laurentiis who has produced three Hannibal Lector features: Hannibal, Red Dragon and Hannibal Rising." Who knew a crazy, cannibalistic doctor would end up being such a goldmine?

The Carrie Diaries, a Sex and the City prequel series, CW: Speaking of surprising franchises, though this one is slightly less surprising, given how much us gals love sex and shoes... the CW has confirmed recent rumors and is officially developing a Sex and the City prequel series that will follow Carrie Bradshaw around in her high school years, before New York City and all her twisted sexual misadventures there. If it sounds like Gossip Girl, that's because it will be like Gossip Girl -- especially with producers Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage attached. So expect impossibly witty banter and 30-year-old hunks playing 16-year-old shy guys.

More As The Story Develops (working title), a cable news drama from Aaron Sorkin, HBO: Last but certainly not least, at least according to his Oscar, last week we learned that Aaron Sorkin is heading back to the small screen after his Social Network success to work on another TV show about making a TV show. (His last being Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.) EW reports that this new HBO drama, which already has a series order, "centers on a cable news anchor (Jeff Daniels), his new executive producer (Emily Mortimer), his newsroom staff (Alison Pill, John Gallagher, Jr., Olivia Munn, Dev Patel, Thomas Sadoski) and their boss (Sam Waterston)" as they try to cover the news amid problems and pressures both personal and professional. That's all we know yet -- more as the story develops. (If the name doesn't change, you should probably expect that at the end of every article about this show.)

MORE (OF THE SAME): Putting more stock in this season's fairy tale fad, ABC is looking into a Beauty and the Beast remake from Jericho writer Jonathan Steinberg, while NBC is putting preliminary stock in THREE remake series: a modern day Frankenstein from the makers of House, a "weekly jungle missions" spin on Romancing the Stone and a Munsters project (also a Bryan Fuller joint). Oh, and then there's that Bewitched remake at CBS. Lastly, not even non-classic shows are safe, as Reba McEntire may essentially brush off her old sitcom (Reba), throw a fresh coat of Malibu-colored paint on it, and throw the result onto ABC.



(Image courtesy of WENN)

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