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TV PILOTS: The CW’s LEGENDS OF TOMORROW, NBC’s HEARTBREAKER, ABC’s THE FAMILY & 6 Other Pilots Vie For Network Slots at NYC Upfronts in May

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The frantic but fun American TV pilot season in metro Vancouver is over for another year and now we wait until May for the networks to unveil their 2015-16 primetime schedules to advertisers and the media at the New York Upfronts. How many of the new pilots we saw filming will make it to series? ABC mystery The Family (formerly Original Sin) starring Joan Allen has strong buzz but only  the Flarrow (The Flash and Arrow) spinoff with Brandon Routh, Wentworth Miller, Caity Lotz and Victor Garber seems a sure bet for next season. Caveat: even if Vancouver-shot pilots are picked up there is no guarantee that the series will film here.

Update: From Deadline. ABC officially orders The Family (formerly Original Sin) with Joan Allen to series.

Update: From Deadline, The CW officially orders Flarrow spinoff DC’s Legends of Tomorrow to series.

Update: From Deadline, NBC officially orders medical drama Heartbreaker (formerly Heart Matters) with Melissa George to series. 



May 11th – NBC.   Three pilots – Strange Calls, Heartbreaker (formerly Heart Matters) and Unveiled – filmed in Vancouver.

Strange Calls – Horror comedy pilot Strange Calls is about young cop Toby (Danny Pudi/Community) who’s transferred to the remote town of Coolum where nobody goes out after dark because of town’s bizarre supernatural goings-on. He is helped by Gregor (Daniel Stern), a peculiar, elderly night watchman. Cast: Danny Pudi, Daniel Stern, Allison Miller, Aliyah Royale. Horseshoe Bay and Fort Langley played Coolum, among other locations. MAY BE REDEVELOPED.

Heartbreaker – From CBS star Amy Brenneman, medical soap Heartbreaker (formerly Heart Matters) is inspired by Dr. Kathy Magliato’s life and book, following female heart-transplant surgeon Alex (Melissa George/Grey’s Anatomy) from week to week as she balances her professional and romantic life.  Cast: Melissa George, Jamie Kennedy, Dave Annable, Shelley Conn, Maya Erskine, Joshua Leonard, D.L. Hughley, J Louis Mills. Heartbreaker filmed in Coquitlam’s Riverview Hospital, among other locations, with Amy Brenneman on set. ORDERED TO SERIES.

NBC image.

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Unveiled – From Mark Burnett and Rona Downey, drama Unveiled is about a group of flawed guardian angels who intervene in the lives of those who’ve lost their faith, similar to Rona Downey’s star-making show Touched By An Angel. Cast: Liam McIntyre, Stephen James, Dana Davis, Will Kemp Mousam Makkar, Dana Davis and Connie Nielsen. 


May 12th – ABC.   Three pilots – The Advocate, Mix and The Family (formerly Original Sin) – filmed in Vancouver.

The Advocate – From Sheldon Klein, medical drama The Advocate is inspired by the real-life story of CAA agent Byrdie Lifson-Pompan, about a powerful woman (Kim Raver/24) who is medically misdiagnosed and suffers for it. She then decides to leave her big career behind to advocate for those caught in “chaotic and ever-changing maze” of the health care system. Cast: Kim Raver, Elliot Knight, Joy Bryant, Coby Bell, Freddie Thorpe. The Advocate filmed in Yaletown, at the Vancouver Aquatic Centre, Vancouver Community College and False Creek Medical Centre, among other locations. PASSED.

Kim Raver in character on her cell phone talking to “Julia”.



Mix – Multi-cultural, multi-generational drama set in a family restaurant with divorces, affairs, adoptions and all the other things that make up a modern family. Cast: Camille Guaty, Myles Caldwell, Walter Perez, Blake Lee, Yobdee, Joaquim de Almeida, Sharon Lawrence, Sam Page, Britne Oldford. Mix filmed in several restaurants around Vancouver including Tacofina. PASSED.

The Family – From Jenna Bans, The Family (formerly Original Sin) is about Maine politician Claire Warren (Joan Allen) whose son Adam resurfaces after being presumed murdered for over a decade. Is it really him? Cast: Joan Allen, Rupert Graves, Zach Gilford, Liam James, Alison Pill, Andrew McCarthy, Floriana Lima, Rarmian Newton and Madeleine Arthur. The Family filmed downtown in Hornby Plaza and on the Vancouver Art Gallery steps, in New Westminster’s Queen’s Park and at a Victorian house in Strathcona. ORDERED TO SERIES.

ABC image.

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Claire Warren (Joan Allen)

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May 14th – The CW.  One spinoff and two pilots –DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Dead People and Tales from the Darkside – filmed in Vancouver.

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. From the Arrow/The Flash team, the spinoff is a superhero teamup show featuring Arrow‘s Ray Palmer/The Atom (Brandon Routh), The Flash villains Leonard Snart/Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller) and Mick Rory/Heatwave (Dominic Purcell), Arrow’s now-dead Sara Lance/Black Canary (Caity Lotz) as a new character,  The Flash‘s Dr. Martin Stein (Victor Garber) and new additions Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill), Hawkgirl (Ciara  Renée) and Jay Jackson (Franz Drameh). Most of the spinoff cast flew into Vancouver earlier this month to film atop the Simon Fraser University Business School downtown for what  [could be  an embedded Flash episode and the three-minute presentation at the Upfront]. ORDERED TO SERIES.

the flash wm

Dead People – From Californication creator Tom Kapinos and JJ Abrams, Dead People is about a charming rogue of a cabbie (Andrew J. West/The Walking Dead) who is able to communicate with ghosts after a near-death experience including the woman who got away — his dead ex-wife (Alexandra Chando). Cast: Andrew J. West, Alexandra Chando, Jaime Lee Kirchner, Echo Kellum. DeadPeople filmed with its signature yellow cab in English Bay, Gastown and on the 1000 block of West Hastings. PASSED.

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Tales from the Darkside – Reboot of the 1980s anthology series with Kris Lemeche as the guide to those who come across to our world from The Darkside. He knows what causing the Darkside events but not how to stop them. PASSED.

Postcript: TNT has already passed on pilot Breed with Justin Chatwin. 


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