Michael Slezak
January 09, 2006 AT 09:34 PM EST

I have to admit, sometimes I get scared reading about all the new TV pilots that are in development. I mean, I already watch so much TV that I’m on the verge of becoming a shut-in: How the heck am I supposed to make room for additional programming?

Um, hold on a sec. Maybe I ought to save this discussion for my therapist’s office. In fact, why don’t I just get on with the business of running down the shows that could be competing for your valuable DVR space in the coming months. I’ve ranked them based on my level of anticipation:

– Fox is giving the go-ahead to a new reality series from Simon Cowell (pictured) called Duets, which sounds like a cross between NBC’s short-lived Hit Me Baby One More Time and VH1’s recent train-wreck But Can They Sing. The concept will pair trained singers with celebrities who aren’t known for their vocal abilities; a panel of judges and a studio audience will then rate the duos. (Maybe Gwyneth and Chris can team up on ”Cruisin”’!) Cowell will only participate behind the scenes on this one, which is fine, given that I get just about the maximum dose of his ego on American Idol.

– The WB has found its Aquaman. Will Toale, best known for his role in Broadway’s A Streetcar Named Desire, will play Arthur Curry, dive-shop owner by day/well-hydrated crime fighter by night. This one ought to make a splash (sorry, that even made me feel a little sick), considering if comes from the folks who brought us Smallville.

– Bravo is turning its reality cameras on The Real Housewives of Orange County, which will hopefully marry the wealthy setting of Laguna Beach with characters who’ve emotionally developed past the fetus stage.

Steven Spielberg is going the sitcom route, partnering with Seinfeld scribe Carol Leifer for a Fox series about rich divorcees, and with Bernie Mac creator Larry Whitmore for an NBC show set in a pediatrician’s office. (Cue cute-kid casting calls, stat!) With that kind of talent backstage, I’ll probably tune in regardless of who gets cast. How about my new favorite human, Lisa Rinna, in the former?

– Comedy Central is delving into the world of online-only programming. (Thanks to TV Tattle for the link!)

– Since all TV shows apparently need to revolve around doctors, lawyers, or crime solvers, Fox is proceeding with the legal drama Damages.

– And lowest on my viewing totem pole, comedian Christopher Titus is developing a sitcom for Comedy Central that he describes to Variety as “The Shield with handicapped people.”

Now it’s your turn, PopWatchers. Which of the aforementioned pilots are you most likely to check out?

addCredit(“Simon Cowell:L Luis Martinez/AP”)

You May Like