Showtime shot down four pilots this month. That's a bit surprising considering some of the names included. I imagine things can get a bit awkward when you turn down a new show by the creator of one of your most popular shows that's still on the air, such as Weed's creator Jenji Kohan, who's comedy Ronna and Beverly was passed on (though if the name is any indication...). The meeting at which they turned down a spin off of The L Word, featuring Leisha Haley, was probably a little uncomfortable, too.
Showtime has never (to my knowledge) worked on an original series with Tim Robins or Matthew Perry, but they were both turned away, too. Robbins' show, Possible Side Effects, had Josh Lucas starring and Perry was producing and starring in The End of Steve. All four shows featured big names on both sides of camera, which is what's so surprising.
I'm hoping one or two of these pop up on other networks. Pilots being resurrected elsewhere is not outside the realm of reality. Fox famously passed on The Sopranos only to have it picked up by HBO. We all now realize The Sopranos would not have been half as great had it been on a broadcast network, so sometimes the original network may not be the right one.
It also makes me wonder just what will they be airing? If a network isn't picking anything they're bound to run out of original programming sooner or later. I don't know about anyone else, but I only subscribe to Showtime for the original series. With the news last week that The Tudors has just been renewed for a fourth and final season, The L Word having just concluded it's run, ITV has yet to announce a third season of Secret Diary of A Call Girl and there's also been no word of a fourth season of This American Life, I'm a little worried about that.
Check them out at iTunes: The L Word, Weeds, This American Life, The Sopranos, The Tudors.