What do you get when you cross Charlie Sheen, a boatload of Pilgrims, and a psychiatric ward? (Besides a pounding headache.) A wild-‘n’-wacky TV development slate! Currently, the Big Six networks are deciding which of this spring’s 120- plus pilots (including 22 crime-fighting dramas, nine animated sitcoms, and Sheen’s cop sitcom Sugar Hill) will find a spot in the 1999-2000 prime-time schedule. Herewith, a breakdown of pilot season’s strange but true offerings:
It was between this and three yodeling shows. In an effort to increase its ”street cred,” last-place UPN boasts a trio of rapper-centric pilots: Daddio, in which Coolio plays a kooky building contractor/father of three (oh, the hair jokes!); The Disciples, featuring Ice-T as head of a ninja unit; and Shasta McNasty, a sitcom about three pretty fly hip-hoppers. What’s next, Homeboys in Outer Space? Oh, wait a sec…
At least they didn’t name it Shasta McNasty… CBS has a sitcom pilot about cops called Partners. Which is amusing, since the same net is also developing a drama about cops called…Partners. Hopefully, audiences won’t confuse them with a different CBS series, about two married lawyers who become — you got it — partners. Maybe this isn’t the best time to mention that Fox tried to launch a sitcom a few years ago titled…Partners.
And in Sweeps, we can do a really hot witch-burning episode. In the tradition of The Secret Diary of Desmond Pfeiffer comes this season’s guaranteed-to-enrage-history-buffs series: Thanks, a CBS comedy about New World colonists in 1621. Hmm…a sitcom set in a time of starvation, religious intolerance, and bloody land battles? May we suggest the companion piece Hanging With Mr. Milosevic?
Their first case can be whoever came up with that pilgrim sitcom. ABC is cuckoo for Bellevue, a drama about New York City psych ward shrinks. Call us nuts, but since it comes from Peter Berg, the twisted mind behind 1998’s stag-party-gone-awry flick Very Bad Things, we just might commit.