ABC ran the entire pilot episode for No Ordinary Family today at Comic-Con, followed by a brief Q&A session with Greg Berlanti, John Harman Felman, and stars Michael Chiklis and Julie Benz. It looks promising.
It’s a little hard to pin down, genre-wise. It’s not a super-hero show, but it has super-powers (and lots of references that comic book readers will catch). It’s not really an action show, though there is some action involved. I’d say it’s primarily a family drama with comedic and action highlights.
On one hand, there is a bit of an Incredibles vibe to it: It’s about a family with super-powers, the father is trying to reclaim his glory days by going out and secretly fighting crime, etc. But it’s different enough not to feel like a retread. For one thing, the powers are new, and it’s set (like Heroes) in a real-world setting that hasn’t seen super-powers before.
The pilot is structured as an interview with flashbacks, first with Jim Powell speaking, then with Stephanie Powell taking over, then switching back and forth. The episode shows the characters and how they relate, then shows each of them discovering their powers, then delves into how those powers affect them. Edit: You do eventually find out who they’re talking to.
Sort of like Freshmen, they all gain powers related to their self-perceived shortcomings.
Remember No Ordinary Family, the TV pilot featuring a super-powered family headed by brick Michael Chiklis and speedster Julie Benz? Deadline Hollywood reports that ABC has picked up the Greg Berlanti-produced show. Marc Guggenheim (Flash: The Fastest Man Alive – Full Throttle) executive-produced the pilot and will remain “in consulting capacity.”
So even if Heroes doesn’t come back, there will still be at least one live-action speedster on the air this fall.
Update: The Hollywood Reporter has more, including the official description of the show (via @SpeedsterSite):
The Powells are about to go from ordinary to extraordinary. After 16 years of marriage, Jim and Stephanie’s relationship lacked the spark it once had, and their family life now consists of balancing work and their two children; leaving little time for family bonding. During a family vacation set up by Jim in an attempt to reconnect, their plane crashes into the Amazon River. But this is where the fun starts for the Powells as they soon discover that something’s not quite right. Each of them now possesses unique and distinct super powers. But saving and savoring their family life will be equally important as they try to find purpose for their new power and embark on a journey to find out what defines and unifies them. The Powells are a totally relatable family that happens to be a little bit amazing.
ABC has announced casting for the Greg Berlanti television pilot, No Ordinary Family, a drama about a family with super powers. Julie Benz (Dexter, Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Angel) and Michael Chiklis (The Shield, Fantastic Four) play the lead couple. While the announcements don’t say what powers Chiklis’ police artist character has, Benz will be playing a scientist who develops super-speed.
If the name Greg Berlanti sounds familiar, IESB pegged him last week as the leading contender to direct The Flash.
Update: I missed the article when I posted this at lunch, but Rich Johnston reviewed a draft of the script last month. He described the script as “patchy,” but “a much more interesting exploration of possibilities of superfiction than The Cape. And leagues ahead of…Heroes.”