First Signs of Spring Pilots

Spotter’s Guide: The rare and beautiful Haddad’s truck is a sign of spring pilot season in New York City
People who go out walking in springtime are likely to spot the first flowers coming into bloom, birds busy feathering their nests, woodland creatures showing their faces after a long winter. In New York City at this time of year, you’ll see all of those things: flowers, birds, and creatures (possibly not woodland creatures, but still…). Plus, you might catch a glimpse of a Haddad’s truck, known locally as a harbinger of TV pilot filming season.

Last week  I was lucky enough to spot two separate clutches of Haddad’s vehicles (they almost never travel alone), both marking film locations for TV shows in gestation.

First is Murder in Manhattan, now shooting an hour-long pilot for ABC starring Annie Potts and Bridget Regan as Blythe and Lex Sutton, Park Avenue-type mother-daughter amateur sleuths. Brendan Hines (from Lie to Me and Scandal) plays Annie Potts’s son, an assistant district attorney. Enver Gjokaj plays an NYPD officer who’s Lex’s friend/potential romantic interest. The writer is Maria Maggenti, who’s also written for Without a Trace. Ryan Reynolds is an executive producer. Read more at

Second is Ironside, an NBC recasting of the classic Raymond Burr series from the 1960s and ’70s, about a canny detective who’s been left wheelchair-bound after a shooting. This time it will be Blair Underwood taking the role of Robert T. Ironside, who is described in the show’s prospectus as “tough, sexy, and acerbic.” (So, not a precise recreation of the Raymond Burr show then…) Kenneth Choi will play his supervisor. The cast includes Spencer Grammer (daughter of Kelsey), Pablo Schreiber from Weeds, and Brent Sexton from The Killing and Justified. Michael Caleo, who worked on The Sopranos, is the show’s creator. Read more at

Whether either of these shows will sprout wings and fly into a full season of crime drama is anyone’s guess, but it could be interesting to watch them as they grow.

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