FOX Set To Film 6 Pilots This Year Inc. US Remake Of ‘This Country’ & ‘The Goonies’ Reenactment Dramedy!
US network FOX has announced it will film all six of the pilots it had on its slate it has been announced. Unlike the other US network, who have bumped some of their potential new shows to the next development cycle, FOX has decided all of them will be filmed this year. These would be in addition to ‘Call Me Kat‘ – a US remake of ‘Miranda’ starring Mayim Bialik; and animated comedy ‘Housebroken‘ – which explores human dysfunction and neurosis through a group of neighbourhood animals who live in the suburbs – which both were given straight-to-series orders. Here is a breakdown of FOX’s pilots.
The Cleaning Lady – Drama (FOX)
Based upon an Argentine series, the pilot stars Élodie Yung (‘Daredevil’s Elektra) as Reyna, a whip-smart Cambodian doctor who was working in a top medical centre in Manila, Philippines, where she met her Filipino husband Marco Salonga. After their son was diagnosed with a rare, life-threatening immunodeficiency disorder, Reyna comes to the U.S. for medical treatment to save their ailing son. But when the system fails and pushes her into hiding, Reyna refuses to be beaten down and marginalized. Instead, she becomes an on-call cleaning lady for the mob, while keeping secrets from her undocumented Filipina sister-in-law Fiona Salonga (Ginger Gonzaga – ‘Space Force’, ‘Kidding’, ‘I’m Dying Up Here‘) and dodging the FBI. Willing to do anything to save her son, Reyna walks the tightrope of morality, breaking the law for all the right reasons — and eventually forges her own path in the criminal underworld as she starts playing the game by her own rules.
The pilot is written by Miranda Kwok (‘The 100’, ‘Spartacus’) and to be directed by Michael Offer (‘Homeland’, ‘The Punisher’, ‘Longmire’). The series also stars Adan Canto (‘Designated Survivor’, ‘Second Chance’) and Vincent Piazza (‘The Passage’, ‘Boardwalk Empire’).
The Big Leap – Drama (FOX)
Inspired by the UK reality series ‘Big Ballet‘, this dramedy pilot is described as a “funny and contemporary tale about second chances, chasing your dreams and taking back what’s yours.” The show revolves around a group of diverse underdogs from all different walks of life who compete to be part of a competition reality series that is putting on a modern, hip remake of Swan Lake. What they lack in the traditional dancer body type, they make up for with their edge, wit and desire to reimagine an iconic story to fit their own mould.
The pilot is written/created by Liz Heldens (‘The Passage’, ‘Deception’) and directed by (‘Modern Family’, ‘Life in Pieces’). Teri Polo (‘Good Trouble’, ‘Meet The Parents’), Scott Foley (‘Whiskey Cavalier’, ‘Scandal’), Ser’Darius Blain (‘Charmed’, ‘Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle’), Ray Cham (‘Sneaky Pete’, ‘Five Points’), Jon Rudnitsky (‘Catch-22’), Simone Recasner (‘Sink Sank Sunk’) and Matt Lucas (‘Little Britain’, ‘Doctor Who’) are set to star.
Blood Relative – Drama (FOX)
This pilot explores the use of genealogy to push the boundaries of forensic science, to help identify unknown bodies and track down serial killers. Based on James Renner’s 2018 article “Beyond the Jungle of Bad: The True Story of Two Women from California Who Are Solving All the Mysteries,” the series star Melissa Leo (‘I’m Dying Up Here’, ‘The Fighter’) as Lou Kelly who is… not easy to work with… With an IQ in the 190s, she wrote the book on genetic genealogy and can trace anyone if she has a viable tissue sample to play with, from John and Jane Does, to errant husbands, long-lost children, murderers in hiding, or anyone with a secret life… But Lou has a habit of burning bridges as she goes. Sarcastic, sardonic, irritable and confrontational, she’s the smartest person in the room with no time to explain her methods to average folks… Except for her little brother, John…
Everyone loves Detective John Kelly (Tate Donovan – ‘MacGyver’, ‘Argo’). What’s not to like? He’s done everything right. Married his high school sweetheart and had two kids. Followed in his father’s footsteps, as expected, and is now a detective on the force where his old man was lieutenant. When he’s compelled to work on a case with his genius sister Lou, little does he know that their unlikely working partnership will bring to the surface demons from long ago. As John performs a deep dive into their shared past, asking questions about their childhood and their father which he won’t be able to un-ask, the idyllic life John has built for himself threatens to crumble around him.
The pilot is written/created by Chris Levinson (‘Legends’, ‘Tyrant’) & James Renner (‘Catching Salinger’, ‘The Secret of Byron Preiss’), with Phillip Noyce (‘Revenge’, ‘The Resident’, ‘What/If’) set to direct. Tyrone Marshall Brown (‘Power’, ‘Love Is_’) and Dascha Polanco (‘Orange Is the New Black’) also star.
Untitled ‘The Goonies’ Re-Enactment Project – Drama (FOX)
Before all you ‘Goonies’ fans flip out over this being a remake, it isn’t… It’s something much odder! After failing to make it in New York and carrying a heavy secret with her, Stella Cooper returns to her distressed automotive hometown to substitute teach. She finds inspiration, hope and ultimately salvation when she agrees to help three students who are pursuing their filmmaking dreams by putting on an impossibly ambitious shot-for-shot remake of one of the students’ favourite movies… ‘The Goonies’. Over the course of the season, their passion will inspire a town in desperate need of hope in this love letter to the power of cinema, storytelling and dreams.
The pilot comes from Sarah Watson, creator of ‘The Bold Type’ & ‘Pure Genius’, with Greg Mottola (‘The Newsroom’, ‘Arrested Development’, ‘Dave’) set to direct. The only casting at the moment is Ramon Rodriguez (‘The Affair’, ‘Iron Fist’) who plays Jax, the local hardware owner, who helps out the kids who frequent his store to support their filmmaking.
This Country – Comedy (FOX)
Based on the BBC series of the same name, the comedy follows a documentary crew who go to a small town to study young adults and their current concerns. Their focus is the daily lives of cousins Kelly (Chelsea Holmes) and Shrub (Sam Straley – ‘The Kids Are Alright’) Mallet and their idiosyncratic surroundings. We follow the cousins as they pursue their dreams, confront challenges, and fight each other for frozen pizza. These two don’t have much, but they do have each other.
The pilot is created and written by Jenny Bicks (‘The Greatest Showman’, ‘Men in Trees’, ‘Sex and the City’), with Paul Feig (‘Freaks and Geeks’, ‘Bridesmaids’) set to direct. The cast also includes Seann William Scott (‘Lethal Weapon’, ‘American Pie’) as Father Joe, community leader and father figure to Shrub and Kelly; Taylor Ortega (‘Kim Possible’, ‘Succession’) who plays Nadine, Shrub and Kelly’s old high school classmate who is beautiful, successful and married to Kelly’s old crush, Dylan; And Krystal Smith, who stars as Big Mandy, a menacing town presence who loves tattoos and her two dogs.
Pivoting – Comedy (FOX)
The pilot follows Jodie (‘Once Upon A Time’s Ginnifer Goodwin), Amy (Eliza Coupe – ‘Future Man’, ‘Quantico’) and Sarah (to be cast), three women smacked in the face by reality after the death of their childhood best friend, Coleen. Realising that life is short, and in a desperate attempt to find happiness, they make a series of impulsive, ill-advised and self-indulgent decisions, strengthening their bond and proving it’s never too late to screw up your life.
Raised by an overprotective mother, Jodie is herself a parent of three, married to a suffocating husband who gives her no room to breathe and be herself. She finds the excitement, attention and affection she craves in the form of an affair with her gym trainer. Meanwhile, her best friend Amy is the funny, offbeat producer of a local cooking show who resolves to spend more time with her children following the death of Coleen… even though she knows next to nothing about parenting and finds thirty minutes with her kids, frankly exhausting. Tommy Dewey (‘Casual’, ‘Code Black’, ‘The Mindy Project’) plays Amy’s husband Henry.
The pilot comes from writer/producer Liz Astrof (‘The King Of Queens’, ‘2 Broke Girls’, ‘The Conners’), with Tristram Shapeero (‘Superstore’, ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’, ‘Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist’) set to direct.
As these dramas and comedies are all just pilots at the moment, they may or may not make it to full series. We’ll let you know when we hear more.
Dave has over 20 years experience in the digital industry, and is founder and editor of Geektown. Obviously a huge geek himself, he can often be found in front of the latest tv show or movie, on various video games, or with his head in a comic book.