The Runway – Your 2016 Pilot Survival Guide: FOX Comedies


adam yassir

Making History

FKA In Time

Logline: Revolves around three unlikely friends who find an even less likely way to travel through tiem, irreversibly complicating their personal lives in 2016. It centers on Dan, a nerdy computer science professor at a small college and the “failure of an accomplished family, who is unpopular with both students and colleagues on campus where his extreme intelligence comes off as odd. Dan invented time travel, hoping to get a fresh start and meet less shallow people. We see two Dans – the “nerd rage” guy having a hard time in the present, and the cooler more carefree guy in the past.
Cast: ,
Creators:  (Writer / EP), (EP), Christopher Miller (EP)
Studios: 20th Century Fox

If I could body switch with anyone in Hollywood now, it would be Lord and/or Miller. They are crushing it at the movies (21 Jump Street franchise, Lego franchise), they are crushing it on  (Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Last Man on Earth), and they are, seemingly, two of the most humble guys in the business. If you’re Fox, and you’ve given them a lucrative first look exclusive deal, it’s a no-brainer to greenlight a pilot they are attached to as producers every single year. They are Fox’s Shonda Rhimes (incidentally, they all went to the same college).

Making History starts out in 1775. Dan, clearly a guy from the present, is doing some light flirting with Deborah, a colonist. A British soldier shows up, ending their presumptive tryst. Fast-forward to today. Dan is a teacher at a college where he notices something’s off: a kid is wearing a Union Jack t-shirt and another is eating fish & chips. Dan must have changed history in 1775!

Dan grabs history teacher Chris and takes him back to his house. There he shows him something crazy — a duffel bag time machine that Dan uses every weekend (and some Tuesdays). Dan and Chris must convince Sam Adams and John Hancock to get that revolution going, otherwise soccer is going to be America’s sport of choice. But to do so, Dan will have to break up with Deborah. Decisions decisions… I won’t spoil the ending for you.

I loved this! It’s a little bit Drunk History mixed with Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. This is the type of show that would normally end up on FXX. But network needs to break out of its predictable funk. And this does that! And rather than being a premise pilot (showing how time travel was discovered), this is clearly a blueprint for how future episodes will work (Dan & company go back to past, screw something up so future’s altered, then go back to the past again). Will this gimmick get tiring after 22 episodes? Maybe, but as Last Man on Earth showed, short orders, which are hot right now, can make a show like this work. Expect a greenlight.

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