''Crime and Punishment,'' ''The Class of '61,'' and ''NYPD Blue'' are some pilots that were DOA this season

With the news that a record 36 new series have crowded onto the networks’ fall schedules, the second-guessing begins: What about the shows that didn’t make it? As it turns out, pilots by some of TV’s biggest names ran out of fuel before they could land in the fall lineup. Among the most prominent:

Crime and Punishemnt
Producer Dick Wolf’s proposal for a Law & Order spin-off that would trace a crime through its planning, execution, and consequences was once considered a sure bet for NBC’s fall schedule; Wolf signed Jon Tenney (Equal Justice) and Elizabeth Peña (Shannon’s Deal) to star, and the network leaked plans to give the show an early launch right after the Summer Olympics. Now viewers may never see it. According to an NBC spokeswoman, the network and Wolf are ”in discussion, trying to see if they can make it work.” No reason given for the attack of cold feet.

The Class of ’61
ABC’s planned drama about a West Point class on the eve of the Civil War has can’t-miss credits: It’s produced by Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment, and Civil Warriors Ken Burns and Shelby Foote are on hand to lend historical verisimilitude. But Class isn’t listed among ABC’s fall shows or its mid-season replacements. The network says the two-hour pilot will air next season; after that, who knows?

Producer Steven Bochco’s script for a cop drama with R-rated language and nudity didn’t sit well with ABC, which asked him to repaint NYPD a lighter shade of blue. Did Bochco, who has a 10-series deal with ABC, then lose interest? His spokesman says the series will ”definitely” happen — but not until fall 1993 at the earliest.

  • TV Show