Broadcast TV Pilots 2023: The Complete Guide

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Pilot Season is any indicator, the Peak TV numbers are in for a rude awakening.

A decade ago, ABC, CBS, The CW, Fox and NBC collectively ordered an eye-popping 98 comedies and dramas during Pilot Season 2013. That figure, the most since THR began tracking overall volume in 2012, is now considered a relic of the past.

With the COVID-19 pandemic effectively wiping out Pilot Season 2020, the networks were forced to lean into the year-round programming strategy many had discussed but hadn’t really executed. Now, the shift is in full swing as the overall volume of pilots ordered across the five networks is likely to hit another low after they collectively picked up 35 comedies and dramas last season.

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What’s more, the economic downturn has also prompted broadcasters to be more selective in how many scripts they buy and which among those will actually get made. Network executives — including new presidents at CBS, The CW and Fox — are also taking more time to get development right. The Night Court reboot is a prime example of that strategy as NBC picked up the pilot during the 2021-22 season before ordering it to series in September 2021. The comedy starring and exec produced by Melissa Rauch earned a speedy renewal after debuting last month following reshoots and some recastings after the pilot was filmed. The strategy is one CBS is turning to with Justin Hartley drama The Never Game and that NBC is mirroring with both Found and The Irrational (all earmarked for next season but developed in 2022).

Speaking of new executive regimes, The CW’s near total shift away from U.S. scripted originals will also have an impact on overall Pilot Season volume as the network, now majority controlled by station group Nexstar, previously averaged around six orders per season. Fox, meanwhile, has added a steady flow of original animated series to its pipeline as the broadcast network — now overseen by its former head of unscripted — takes a more refined (read: cost-friendly) approach to scripted. Over at CBS, the network’s former head of current programming is charged with filling what few holes exist in one of broadcast’s most stable schedules.

With all the above in mind, here’s a look at the pilots in contention for the 2023-24 broadcast television season as ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and (perhaps) The CW sift through of scripts and march forward in a bid to find the next breakout hits.

Bookmark, as well as this page, as The Hollywood Reporter will update this guide throughout the season with the latest pilot orders, castings and eventual series pickups. For the latest broadcast renewals, cancellation and new series pickups, check out our complete scorecard here.


Public Defenders
Logline: Up to their earholes in student loan debt, four inexperienced public defenders work tirelessly to keep their clients out of jail. Along the way, they have to rely on each other to navigate their first defendants, the absurd court system, and the copy machine that always jams.
Team: W/EP Eddie Quintana; EP McG, Mary Viola, Corey Marsh
Studio: 20th Television, Wonderland Sound and Vision
Format: Single-camera


The Good Lawyer (The Good Doctor spinoff)
Logline: Airing March 6 as a planted episode of The Good Doctor, Dr. Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore) seeks legal representation to help him win a case and puts his faith in a promising, young lawyer who has obsessive compulsive disorder.
Cast: Kennedy McMann (Nancy Drew), Felicity Huffman, Bethlehem Million
Team: W/EP David Shore, Liz Friedman; EP/D Ruben Fleischer

The Hurt Unit
Logline: A cutting-edge medical drama about a highly skilled team of trauma surgeons and nurses who race into the field to treat the patients who won’t make it to the hospital in time. When the sick and the injured can’t get to the ER, the Hurt Unit (Hospital Urgent Response Team) brings the ER to them.
Team: W/EP Matt Lopez, John Glenn; EP/D Marc Webb
Studio: ABC Signature

Logline: A high-stakes legal soap that redefines the genre by playing out over two timelines. Fifteen years from now, a woman being vetted for a Supreme Court seat recounts her experience at a prominent D.C. law firm in 2023, where the only thing more controversial than the cases was her messy love life, caught between two feuding brothers. Now, with a Supreme Court seat on the line, all of her darkest secrets are at risk of coming out, threatening her nomination, her reputation and her marriage.
Team: W/EP Joey Falco; EP Melvin Mar, Jake Kasdan, Jordan Cerf
Studio: 20th TV

Untitled Drew Goddard
Logline: Based on the French series Haut Potentiel Intellectuel, the drama revolves around a single mom with three kids and an exceptional mind who helps solve an unsolvable crime when she rearranges some evidence during her shift as a cleaner for the police department. When they discover she has a knack for putting things in order because of her high intellectual potential, she is brought on as a consultant to work with a by-the-book seasoned detective, and together they form an unusual and unstoppable team
Team: W/EP Drew Goddard, Sarah Esberg, Pierre Laugier, Anthony Lancret, Jean Nainchrik
Studio: 20th TV


No orders yet.


Logline: After her successful career in Chicago, Elsbeth Tascioni (Carrie Preston), an astute but unconventional attorney, utilizes her singular point of view to make unique observations and corner brilliant criminals alongside the NYPD. Based on the character featured in The Good Wife and The Good Fight.
Cast: Carrie Preston
Team: W/EP Robert King, Michelle King; EP Liz Glotzer; D Robert King
Studio: CBS Studios

Logline: After achieving success in her younger years, the brilliant septuagenarian Madeline Matlock (Kathy Bates) rejoins the work force at a prestigious law firm where she uses her unassuming demeanor and wily tactics to win cases and expose corruption from within. Based on the classic television series of the same name.
Cast: Kathy Bates
Team: W/EP Jennie Snyder Urman (Jane the Virgin); EP Joanna Klein, Eric Christian Olsen, Kathy Bates
Studio: CBS Studios


No orders yet.


No orders yet.


No orders yet.


No orders yet.


Murder by the Book
Logline: A big city Instafamous book reviewer takes a page from the murder mystery books she reviews and becomes an unlikely detective to uncover the shocking truths about an eccentric seaside town.
Cast: Retta
Team: W/EP Jenna Bans (Good Girls); EP Bill Krebs, Casey Kyber, Retta
Studio: Universal TV, Minnesota Logging Co.

Logline: Inspired by Oliver Sacks’ extraordinary life and work, the drama follows a revolutionary, larger-than-life neurologist and his team of interns as they explore the last great frontier, the human mind, while also grappling with their own relationships and mental health.
Team: W/EP Michael Grassi (Riverdale); EP/D Lee Toland Krieger; EP Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter, Leigh London Redman, Henrik Bastin, Melissa Aouate, Jonathan Cavendish, Andy Serkis, Will Tennant
Studio: Warner Bros. TV, Berlanti Productions, Fabel Entertainment, The Imaginarium

Broadcast TV Pilots 2023: The Complete Guide

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