The Runway – Your 2017 Pilot Survival Guide: CW Dramas



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Logline: A group of unlikely heroes finds themselves on the journey of a lifetime. Ten years after the death of their parents, a pragmatic brother and free-spirited sister are forced to team up when they learn that their mother’s terrifying and bizarre stories might be a road map to discovering the great legends, myths and unexplainable mysteries of the world.
Cast: Zane Holtz, William Miller, Jeanine Mason, Alex McGregor, Josh Kidd, Marc Blucas
Creators: Jason Rothenberg (W / EP), Greg Berlanti (EP), Sarah Schechter (EP), Dean White (D / EP)
Studios: Warner Bros , Berlanti Productions

Fun fact: every other CW pilot except SEARCHERS in 2017 will be filmed in Atlanta. Here we have an action-adventure, brother-sister, globe-trotting logline. This is the type of National Treasure-style show that would normally be on TNT. CW is definitely casting a wide net with its pilots this year.

Searchers opens with a mom, Eden, telling an adventure bedtime story to her 8-year-old daughter, aptly/cringeworthily named Fable, and 14 year old son, Cooper, while their dad, Malcolm, records nearby. As the logline promises, she’s lost at sea in a vicious storm. Fast forward ten years and Cooper is a brilliant computer scientist who has written a search algorithm the government will give him a lot of money for. He turns them down. Fable is about to turn 18 and will be coming into a lot of money.

Fable, it turns out, has become a bit of a wild child, not thinking twice about drinking beer or dropping acid, but all in kind of an earthy, intelligent way. She’s precocious, rebellious, and doesn’t mince words — basically the lead from Tomorrowland. We get to the end of Act One learning their parents disappeared in the… wait for it… wait for it… wait for it… Bermuda Triangle.

The rest of the pilot is pure adventure. We have Fable reuniting with her juvenile hall cellmate, pursuing leads on treasures inspired by her mom’s bedtime tales, potentially chased by reptilian-like creatures. I say potentially because the pilot leans hard into the “Is Fable crazy or not?” plot device. By the end, brother and sister have narrowly avoided death, brother knows sister is sane, and future adventures await our duo.

This is a tough one to evaluate. It is kind of a fun little story to read. It might have paired up nicely with Grimm or Sleepy Hollow. But on its own, it feels a bit like an anomaly. Is this what CW’s core audience of younger females want? And unlike the aforementioned Fox shows, we have no existing IP to work off of. Coupled with the obvious expense of the show, and it will take a big swing to get this on the air. Stranger things have happened though… Cough, cough Work It making it on air cough, cough…

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