The Runway – Your 2017 Pilot Survival Guide: CW Dramas

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dynasty

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Dynasty

Logline: A modernized reboot of the 1980s primetime soap that follows two of America’s wealthiest families, the Carringtons and the Colbys, as they feud for control over their fortune and their children. The series will be told primarily through the perspectives of two women at odds: Fallon Carrington, daughter of billionaire Blake Carrington, and her soon-to-be stepmother, Cristal, a Hispanic woman marrying into this WASP family and America’s most powerful class. Features the 1% in all its glitz and gloss, while exposing the dark underbelly: a corrupt world built on backroom deals.
Cast: Nathalie Kelley, Elizabeth Gillies, Sam Adegoke, Robert Christopher Riley, Grant Show, Alan Dale, Rafael de la Fuente
Creators: Josh Schwartz (W / EP), Stephanie Savage (W / EP), Sallie Patrick (W / WP), Esther Shapiro (EP), Richard Shapiro (EP), Brad Silberling (D)
Studios: CBS Studios, Fake Empire

Anytime Josh Schwartz & Stephanie Savage pitch a show to the CW, you know a pilot order is likely. Here we have an appropriated title from a show that aired before most CW viewers were even born. But we also have a tale as old as time — young outsider step-mother vs. entrenched money. Let the backstabbing begin!

From page one of DYNASTY, you know the tone is going to be fun and a little campy (ie we meet two random d-bags named Eric and Don Jr). The setting is Atlanta, and we’re intro’d early to brassy, intelligent Fallon Carrington and her father, Blake. She has a brother, Steven, and an invite to return home which she thinks means she’s getting a . What she gets is an eyeful of Blake en flagrante with his new fiancee, Cristal. Cue the title card.

The rest of the pilot mainly shows off character dynamics, that Blake (and by default, his daughter) has a local uber-rich rival, that Fallon isn’t getting the she expected, a wedding is canceled then put back on again, oh and a freaking turbine explodes! And there are secrets, so many secrets. So yeah, I get why they decided to recycle the pre-branded name Dynasty.

This is a hard pilot to judge: the dialogue is really fun, the characters arch, and the setting (Atlanta, Charleston, private jets) specific. But what holds me back from an unequivocal thumbs up is this feels a little off for CW (it’s aged up to more of a Fox show) and it feels a tad familiar (beyond just the title). There’s enough track laying for this to go a season or five, and the characters are fun, so we’ll have to see what the CW brass thinks of execution.

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