One of the perks of working in the entertainment business and having friends who work in the entertainment business is that you end up seeing a number of pilots well in advance of their airdate. The reactions often range from "I can't wait to see this series!" to "They picked up this crap and passed on the awesome pilot my roommate was a writer's assistant on?!"
If you're lucky, you see some of these pilot soon after the Spring upfronts, well before the hype and the commercials start. This way, you can go into the show fresh and unbiased. I've not seen every new show from this season. I will say that NBC is holding back two of its most interesting and original shows until midseason. Smash, which deals with the staging of a Broadway musical about Marilyn Monroe, is nothing short of fantastic. Awake, which is a complicated procedural about a man who finds himself shifting realities after a car accident. In one version, his son is dead and in the other, his wife was killed in the crash. I worry that the pacing is a bit too deliberate and that audiences might struggle with the complex premise, but it's one of the more original shows I've seen.
As far as the fall shows, ABC's Revenge looks to be a lot of fun, featuring Everwood's Emily VanCamp as a young woman returning to the Hamptons to take out the elite who framed her father 15 years ago for a terrorist crime he didn't commit. VanCamp was one of the best things about Everwood and often was the only reason I tuned in to Brothers & Sisters, so I'm excited to see her carrying a show.
If you're a fan of Vampire Diaries, Secret Circle might be right up your alley. This series about a young girl who discovers she's the last member of a coven of witches is from the Vampire Diaries producers, which gives me hope that even though the pilot is heavy on mythology and has to lay a LOT of pipe, it'll soon find a balance. Even Vampire Diaries took about a third of a season to find itself, and with Life Unexpected's Britt Robertson heading up a strong cast, I'm confident it'll earn its spot on my DVR.
And if sitcoms are more your speed, check out NBC's Free Agents and Up All Night. But enough about what I think, what shows are you excited to see?