Prospective Pilots: Puppets and Booster Gold?!

NBC Universal is taking some interesting chances with upcoming pilots, according to the Hollywood Reporter. First up, for their main network, they have ordered a script for The New Nabors from Jim Henson Studios. In this sitcom, a Palm Springs family is surprised to discover that their new next-door neighbors are a gang of puppets. 30 Rock executive producer John Riggi is writing, along with John Hoffman (exactly which of the two-dozen John Hoffmans on IMDb, I’m not sure, and none of them really seem like solid sells to me.) It’s not a new Muppet Show, but it might be interesting. And at the very least, it’s something different, which NBC really needs if they want to pull themselves off the bottom of the heap.

The other interesting pilot news out of NBC Universal is that they’ve ordered a pilot for a series featuring DC Comics’ Booster Gold for Syfy.

Although far from being DC Comics’ best-known property, Booster apparently got a good reception from his 10th-season guest appearance on Smallville. Booster Gold is a former star quarterback from the future who was ousted after he took a dive for money. Washed up and working as a museum janitor, he looked at the various superhero gadgets in the museum, and the history of heroes such as Superman, Batman, and so on, and realized that with the technology at his disposal he could be a potent superhero in what, to us, would be the present day. So he stole the equipment and a time machine and set out to do just that, but even though he has a good heart and genuinely wants to help people, he’s also on the look-out for endorsement deals and publicity. The original comic series, created in the late 80s (in fact, he was the first new hero after DC Comics’ big universe-shattering event series, Crisis on Infinite Earths), was great, and so was his tenure as part of Justice League International. I haven’t read much of his less-goofy 2000s series, but what I saw was decent. But I suspect that, at least initially, this will be more in tone with the original (and is it too much to hope for that Blue Beetle will eventually be a part of the show?)

Handled well, this could be a very enjoyable TV series, and being on Syfy means it can probably get away with a more modest audience (since I doubt it’ll be bringing in blockbuster numbers.) It’s being written and produced by Andrew Kreisberg, producer on the fun Syfy adventure show Warehouse 13, and Fox’s Fringe, arguably the best science fiction program in years. Greg Berlanti (producer on Green Lantern) is on as executive producer, so it seems likely it’ll have the special effects it needs to get the job done (fortunately, Booster Gold probably doesn’t need as much in the way of effects as Green Lantern does.)

Both of these shows are interesting choices because they’re pretty far from the mainstream — granted, Syfy is and should be far from the mainstream anyway, but even within the confines of “superhero tv series”, Booster Gold is an unexpected, if welcome, selection. Here’s hoping these turn out to be good programs and do well for their networks.

About Morgan R. Lewis

Fan of movies and other media
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4 Responses to Prospective Pilots: Puppets and Booster Gold?!

  1. Nice.

    Thank you for the 411. Saw Geoff Johns tweeting about this, but never got around to looking it up.

    I remember when Gohns and Morales were on Hawkman and I realized that any comic book hero could be good if you put the right creative talent on it. I think the same applies to movies and tv. I know I’d definitely give it a chance.

    And yup, you’re right, “Fringe” rules.

    • Yeah, there are few, if any, bad character concepts in comics, at least among the big two. Any of them could be good if handled by people who know what makes them cool characters; just witness the difference between Aquaman of “Super Friends” and Aquaman of “Justice League”.

      • Cmon. Dont pick on Aquaman… LOL. That could be said for ANY Super Friends character!

        JL was bad ass.

        • Ha ha ha… I’m not picking on Aquaman so much as he’s just such a good example of it, at least in the original version of Super Friends (where, yes, most characters were pretty useless.) But it’s kind of telling that even in the last two versions of SF, The Legendary Super Powers Show and Galactic Guardians, where they finally had some decent writing (seriously, some of that stuff holds up as well as JL), he was virtually unused. It took a while to get him back to being cool again in the cartoons.

          And to throw Arthur a bone, I will say it was a matter of making him cool again. When Filmation had the Superman/Aquaman hour, the Aquaman segments were pretty decent by 1960s action cartoon standards.

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