Friday, January 20, 2006

A Fox May Look at a Skein

Pilot season is in full swing. You'll find new productions and hope everywhere.

It's always fun betting which of these pilots are going to be picked up as series and which projects will be rejected. It's a fool's game. I'm a fool. So let's play.

Which shows will networks air in Fall 2006? Here's one of my front runners — ''Welcome to Paradise.''

Fox ordered a script for this '80s childhood sitcom in November 2005. It was mentioned in People Magazine in December 2005 and in TV Guide in January 2006. The skein is based on the childhood of Michael Rosenbaum (Lex Luthor of "Smallville"), who will write the pilot. As far as I know nothing has been filmed.

It's a nice story, but nothing really jumps out, does it? Why do I consider it an early front-runner?

There's one thing I haven't told you yet — Warner Bros. filed for trademark protection for "Welcome to Paradise" on January 5, 2006. That's typically an excellent indicator that a series will be picked up, regardless of which network will air the skein.

Plus, there's excellent timing. Fox needs shows like "Welcome to Paradise" to replace the just-cancelled sitcoms, "Malcolm in the Middle" and "That '70s Show," and the soon-to-be-cancelled sitcoms, "Arrested Development" and "Bernie Mac." It just seems natural that Fox would exchange "Malcolm in the Middle" or "Bernie Mac" with "Welcome to Paradise" on their schedule.

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