Scripts and pitches picked up in the fall are ramping production on the actual pilots, with casting and producers hiring on. There’s no guarantee that these projects will go to series, or if they do, when they’ll premiere, or if they premiere, if they’ll last more than a couple of episodes (looking at you, “Doubt”).
Tucked into the pilot list are a few that might bear watching for the faith-based audience, either for their content or for the folks cast in them. Here’s a look:
“What About Barb?”: Leah Remini, who left Scientology to return to the Catholicism of her baptism, has got a hit on A&E with her docuseries, “Scientology and the Aftermath,” in which she seeks out the stories of those who, like her, left L. Ron Hubbard’s creation. It just earned a second season, coming this summer. But Remini is also an actress, and she just got cast in this comedy for NBC (even though it’s from ABC Studios), based on the 1991 movie, “What About Bob?”
Remini takes over the Richard Dreyfuss role in the movie, playing a psychotherapist whose overbearing patent (Jessica Gunning) essentially becomes part of the family.
“Untitled Navy SEALs”: “The Passion of the Christ” star Jim Caviezel, who just came off a good run on CBS’ “Person of Interest,” goes back to work for the same network in this show about the training and missions of elite Navy SEALs. Also starring are Jessica Pare, Neil Brown Jr. and Max Thieriot.
UPDATE 3/22/2017: Caviezel is out because of “creative differences,” “Bones” star David Boreanaz is in. More here.“The Gospel of Kevin”: Jason Ritter stars in what’s described as a “light” drama for ABC, as, according to the Hollywood Reporter, a “down-on-his-luck man who’s tasked by God with mission to save the world.” Also starring are Cristela Alonzo, JoAnna Garcia Swisher and J. August Richards.
“Living Biblically”: This CBS comedy stars Ian Gomez as a modern man who decides to deal with a confusing point in his life by living according to the Bible. It’s based on the bestselling book, “The Year of Living Biblically: One Man’s Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible,” by A.J. Jacobs. The producer is Johnny Galecki from CBS’ “Big Bang Theory.”
It’s hard to say what this would be, but the book — whose author described himself as an “agnostic Jew” to Christianity Today — got some positive reaction from the Christian press.
“For God and Country”: Christian actor Mike Vogel — star of the current film “The Case for Christ” — is the lead in this action drama about military heroes risking life and limb to go behind enemy lines. Anne Heche also stars in Morocco-based production.
Click here for the Hollywood Reporter’s constantly updated pilot rundown.
Image: Courtesy A&E