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Pilot Limbo: "The Thick of It" and "Them" Live On

It's always interesting, post-Upfronts, when pilots thought to be dead actually do get a shot at life. After all, CW did recently order 13 episodes of comedy Eight Days a Week, starring Christina Milian, Mario Lopez, and Anna Chlumsky (yes, of My Girl, and Liz Lemler/30 Rock fame) for midseason, despite garnering nary a mention at its upfront presentation.

So what happens to those pilots that didn't quite get a shot at network glory (or swift cancellation)? Sometimes these things just die away, to be reviewed later by television junkies with far too many pilot screeners on their hands. And sometimes they live on to see another day.

The Hollywood Reporter has filed a report stating that two such high-profile pilot projects continue exist in a state of limbo. The US adaptation of BBC series The Thick of It, re-envisioned by Arrested Development's Mitch Hurwitz was swiftly killed by ABC, which passed on putting the comedy on its fall schedule.

However, the network vultures have been circling the corpse of The Thick of It, with several network and cable candidates in the running to possibly pick up the series, including Showtime, HBO, and NBC.

Showtime's interest is, well, interesting as the pay cabler and Hurwitz had last year discussed the possibility of shifting Arrested Development from FOX to Showtime during some much-publicized talks. (In the end, it was all for naught as it was Hurwitz who decided against the deal and euthanized the series.)

Meanwhile, new NBC Entertainment co-chairman Ben Silverman (when did you think you'd EVER read that?) is also said to be interested, especially given his striking penchant for remaking foreign television series into US hits, such as The Office and Ugly Betty. Stay tuned.

Over at FOX, quirky alien drama Them, from David Eick (Battlestar Galactica) and John McNamara (Profit, Fastlane), is still said to be in contention, possibly for a midseason berth. According to THR, Eick told reporters during a conference call for Sci Fi's BSG that Them was not dead:

"It's not dead. They are talking to us about perhaps spending money on it and trying things and getting it into play I guess for midseason. All we know is it's still in play and something the network is very actively talking about. We'll know more in the next weeks and months."

FOX has since confirmed that the series has been placed back into development. To me, Them is a more suitable Sundays at 9 pm series, poised to take over the old timeslot vacated by the departure of The X-Files, than The Sarah Connor Chronicles. But that's just me.


Anonymous said…
Hmm...I'm very torn about the American adaptation of "The Thick of It." I love the Brit version and I love Mitch Hurwitz but, somehow, the US pilot script just didn't sit right with me. And I can't imagine the series having longevity. Of course, I thought that about "The Office" too and now I'm a huge fan of the American Office (although the Brit version is still my favorite)!

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