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NBC picks up Constantine, attempts the difficult “reverse Dharma & Greg

Constantine: A very important show about people who tragically can't close their mouths. (NBC)

NBC has picked up three more new shows, but it continues to toy with your emotions when it comes to Community and Hannibal (and, okay, maybe Parenthood), as it seems done for the day and has yet to pick up any of those three. (When it comes to Hannibal, you might be waiting until well into the summer, because Bob Greenblatt is the Dr. Claw to your Inspector Gadget. Also: Bryan Fuller should do a whimsically gritty reboot of Inspector Gadget.)

Of the three new shows, the one you probably most care about is Constantine, based on the DC/Vertigo Comics character John Constantine. You might remember his work from such comics as Swamp Thing and Hellblazer. The pickup of his series also gives Alan Moore, one of his co-creators, yet another thing to grow increasingly embittered about, as he mutters to himself and offers vague pronouncements of doom. (Suffice to say, he will probably be right, as we will be very surprised if NBC can come up with anything even a quarter as interesting as anything Moore did with the character.) The series stars Matt Ryan (not the Atlanta Falcons quarterback, which is too bad), Lucy Griffiths, Harold Perrineau, and Charles Halford, and it hails from Daniel Cerone and David S. Goyer. (With that last name, perhaps your hopes have plummeted into the dirt. Ours sure have!) As Deadline notes, the pickup for Constantine means that DC Comics has managed to get all four of its TV projects in development this season—this, Fox’s Gotham, and The CW’s The Flash and iZombie—picked up to series. With the success of Arrow, DC seems to be proving as competent at television as it is woefully out of its depth in film.


NBC’s other drama pickup, The Mysteries Of Laura, uses scare quotes around the phrase “working mom,” as Vulture notes, so let’s make fun of it. (And, no, we didn’t use scare quotes just then. That is how you actually use quotation marks, NBC publicity department.) The Mysteries Of Laura is written by Greg Rake from a Spanish series, because NBC only knows how to adapt other things to TV this season, apparently, and it counts among its producers McG and Greg Berlanti. It stars Debra Messing as a police detective who can handle any criminal—but not her twin sons. Aw, you guys. Parenthood is hard. Who can’t relate to that?

Finally, NBC’s sole comedy pickup of the day attempts the ultra-difficult “reverse Dharma & Greg,” a move other networks have tried to work up the nerve to hilariously botch but have found themselves backing away from slowly. Not NBC, though! NBC plunges forward because its “reverse Dharma & Greg” show, A To Z, has a cast featuring Mad Men’s Ben Feldman and How I Met Your Mother’s Cristin Milioti, and one of its producers is Rashida Jones. The pilot’s writer is Ben Queen, and we’d totally be into a romantic comedy centered on those two, but good God: She’s an uptight lawyer. He’s a free spirit. Its a reverse Dharma & Greg. Everybody abandon ship.

All three of these orders come from the monumentally successful Warner Brothers Television, but as Deadline notes, the pickup of two dramas from the studio does not bode well for the on-the-bubble Revolution. Deadline also mentions that a few of the network’s comedy pilots—including Krysten Ritter-starring Mission Control—are still in contention, but most of them seem to be either dead or cooling substantially. That includes the Mary-Louise Parker vehicle Feed Me, which was, sadly, not a Little Shop Of Horrors reboot.

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