It’s pilot season, which means the broadcast networks are in an order frenzy for episodes of potential new shows for the fall season. While the more covered likes of Shawn Ryan’s “Beverly Hills Cop” and Joss Whedon’s “S.H.I.E.L.D.” are out there in the mix, here’s a look at five of the most intriguing projects we hadn’t heard of to have gotten orders to far, based on descriptions, what they’re being adapted from and who’s involved. Some of these will be heading to a TV near you someday — and some will be lost in limbo forever.
The Returned (ABC)
Based on a novel by Jason Mott that’s due out in September, “The Returned” is a drama being written by Aaron Zelman (“The Killing,” “Damages”) and produced by Plan B, Brillstein Entertainment and ABC Studios. “The Returned” focuses on residents of a small town as their deceased loved ones come back into their lives, as if no time had passed since they were buried and mourned. Mott is a Pushcart Prize-winning poet and fiction writer who cites comic books and sci-fi as influences, though his book seems to skew more literary, making for interesting-sounding source material.
The Sixth Gun (NBC)
A fantastical Western about six legendary guns that different possess supernatural powers, this drama’s based on a graphic novel series created by Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt and published by Oni Press, one that’s been nominated for two Eisner Awards. Also a good sign — “Lost” producer Carlton Cuse (who has “Psycho” prequel “Bates Motel” starting on A&E on March 18) is attached as an executive producer, alongside Eric Gitter (producer of “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”) and Andy Bourne. Newcomer Ryan Condal wrote the pilot.
Untitled Rand Ravich Drama (NBC)
Despite a bland-sounding logline describing “an idealistic Secret Service agent who finds himself at the epicenter of an international crisis on his first day on the job,” one who “will need to cross moral and legal lines as he navigates the highest levels of power and corruption on his search for the truth,” this project’s worth keeping an eye on because it finds Rand Ravich back working with the network that aired his underappreciated 2007 series “Life.” “Life,” which starred Damian Lewis as a detective released from prison after serving 12 years for a crime he didn’t commit, was a strange, tender, extremely likable procedural that also sounded blah on the surface. Ravich is executive producing this drama with his producing partner Far Shariat (“Confessions of a Dangerous Mind”).
Girlfriend in a Coma (NBC)
This single-camera comedy is actually based on a 1998 novel by Douglas Coupland about a 34-year-old woman who awakens from a coma to discover she has a teenager daughter from a sexual encounter than happened hours before she lost consciousness, and the friends who’ve struggling with their own lives without her. The book made use of Smiths lyrics and had apocalyptic themes, but the show is being executive produced by “Law & Order” creator Dick Wolf (alongside Peter Jankowski and Danielle Gelber of “Chicago Fire”), so here’s guessing it won’t be so weird. “Nurse Jackie” co-creator and former showrunner Liz Brixius will produce and write the project.
I Suck at Girls (Fox)
This single-camera comedy is based on the book of the same name by Justin Halpern, whose great Twitter feed Shit My Dad Says was turned into a not so great CBS sitcom starring William Shatner. That’s probably not all Halpern’s fault (the feed, at least, was funny) — the writer will write the pilot with Patrick Schumacker, while the excellent Bill Lawrence (“Cougar Town”) is serving as executive producer on what’s described as the tale of “a boy becoming a man and a man becoming a father, in a time before ‘coming of age’ was something you could Google.”