May 13, 2014

Tradecraft: CBS and CW Pass on Spy Pilots

While ABC greenlit Agent Carter and NBC picked up two new spy pilots, CBS and its sibling network the CW both passed on their spy pilots. (I don't believe Fox had any in contention.) Deadline reports that CBS passed on Nikki Toscano's Red Zone (although drama Scorpion sounds like it might possibly have some espionage overtones), and the CW passed on the Kurtzman/Orci spy show Identity. Identity sounded very similar to Allegiance, which was picked up at NBC. Identity followed a young woman who reconnected with long-lost family members when she needed an organ transplant, only to be recruited by the CIA to be their eyes and ears inside the family, who they suspected of ties to terrorism. Allegiance is about a young man working for the CIA whose family is revealed to be Russian sleeper spies. I was particularly looking forward to Red Zone because of its stellar cast, which included Anthony Lapaglia, Kim Dickens and Aimee Garcia. Lapaglia played a former CIA operative now working as a high school football coach pulled back into action after a deadly terrorist attack in Washington D.C. According to the network's synopsis, he was "forced to investigate closer to home," which makes Red Zone sound a bit similar to Identity and Allegiance as well.

Both networks also lost existing spy series. Nikita ended its run on the CW this season, while CBS cancelled freshman drama Intelligence.

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