Kyle's Career Filmstrip: TV Series and Movies

Jan 29, 2014

Can Bill Cosby, Sharon Stone, and Kyle Chandler Give Networks a Boost in Pilot Season?

It's pilot season (for everybody but Fox) and that means get ready for an onslaught of big-name stars signing on for new small-screen projects. While landing a big name doesn't guarantee a series pickup, it certainly helps and gives fans and critics a renewed sense of hope that the next great TV series could be just around the corner. Over the last week, three "A-list" names signed on the dotted line -- two of those cases were able to bypass the pilot process altogether. Regardless, each could bring a big boost to their newfound networks (and their company stock prices).

Kyle Chandler, Netflix

Coach Taylor is set for a return to TV... again. After Showtime decided to pass on his The Vatican pilot, Netflix has scooped up Kyle Chandler for a new series. The untitled drama revolves around a group of adult siblings whose lives are upended with the return of their black sheep brother (played by Ben Mendelsohn from The Dark Knight Rises). From the producers of Damages, the series has a 13-episode order and could air as early as late 2014.

Impact on network
Not to sound to cliché, but with this casting, Netflix really did score a touchdown. The Emmy-winning Friday Night Lights star was one of the most in-demand actors out there for the past few pilot seasons and when his Showtime pilot The Vatican was excommunicated from the network the other week, it had to have ignited a feeding frenzy for the affable actor.

The untitled series will only strengthen Netflix's roster of original programs headlined by House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black, but the difference is this one has more of a shelf life. Cards will eventually collapse without lead Kevin Spacey (who will more than likely look to return to the stage or big screen sooner than later) and realistically Orange is set during a finite period of time.
In addition, should Spacey exit the fold (and I think I speak for most fans when I say I hope he doesn't), the network will need a marquee name and Orange lead Taylor Schilling hasn't fully crossed over yet to the mainstream pop culture world (but she's close). Chandler's name will help add new viewers and continue to make Netflix a huge presence in the original television medium.

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