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Premature Infatuation: Hallelujah 

Here at TV Goodness, we’re looking ahead to upcoming shows and the pilots that want to be shows, and this week, we’re profiling the ones that have afflicted us with Premature Infatuation. For some, it’s the pedigree, for others, it’s the plot, and for the rest, it’s “thank GOD they gave so-and-so a(nother) series!”

Hallelujah

This is on the ABC pilot list, and at first blush, it sounds like a descendant of American Gothic, that genius 80s CBS show about a town in liege with the dark side. Hallelujah will follow the goings on in Hallelujah, Tennessee, a quaint southern town that “finds itself being torn apart by the forces of good and evil. Prospects improve, however, when a stranger moves into town, looking to bring justice, peace and a little bit of faith to its residents.” Sounds chock full of awesome to us! Add to that the fact that it was written by Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry, who is slated to also executive produce the show if it goes, and a cast list that is just ridiculously good:

 

Arielle Kebbel. Photo: Annette Brown/The CW

Arielle Kebbel—we loved and lost her as Lexie on The Vampire Diaries and she only had a small role on Life Unexpected. She’s on the list of “give her a show now!”

Brett Cullen—Houston native (yay!) and Lost alumnus, Cullen was also in The Gates last summer.

Della Reese—seriously? She’s been fairly retired from acting since Touched by An Angel ended. This has to be good if Marc Cherry got her to come play.

Donal Logue—FX biffed a second season of Terriers. Maybe cosmically this show will be a fantastic opportunity for Logue.

Jesse L. Martin

Jesse L. Martin—I’ve missed him since L&O, and since hasn’t popped up on L&O’s LA shingle, it’s great he’s back on TV again. We last saw Martin in NBC’s short-lived The Philanthropist. Here, he’s the stranger in town.

Frances O’Connor—this lovely British film staple was last on ABC in Cashmere Mafia (it lost the Sex and the City successor runoff with NBC’s Lipstick Jungle, which was cancelled the next year anyway).

Terry O’Quinn—jumpy claps! O’Quinn took a well-deserved breather after Lost ended. His participation here boosts the potential for awesome.

Jonathan Scarfe

Jonathan Scarfe—one of my absolute favorite Canadian actors, he’s in regular rotation on movies of the week that run on Lifetime and Syfy. Series-wise, he was last seen on TNT’s Raising the Bar, and he’s on this week’s Flashpoint.

Johann Urb—he was on our short list for Klaus. What else do you need to know?

In the pro column for this going to series, ABC needs a successor to Housewives (whenever it ends) and to keep Cherry happy. The downside is it’s ABC, which passed on a second season of The Gates, a thematically similar show, last fall, after its summer season didn’t pull great numbers, and Happy Town, which had the remainder of its season pushed to summer and then the Web when ABC backed off its commitment to air all 13, even when they’d sort of agreed beforehand it was a “limited run” series. If we go way back, though, ABC did get a couple of seasons out of Twin Peaks before it ran off the rails.

I’m intrigued about what Cherry can do with the material because the early days of Housewives were creepy good, and I wonder, too, if this is the show he wished Housewives could have been, tonally, before it went mainstream. The original Mary Alice, after all, was Laura Palmer herself, Sheryl Lee. If Hallelujah goes, maybe Lee could have a role in it. They shot the pilot in California. It would be a nice boon for Louisiana to get The Gates crew back together if ABC were to decide Baton Rouge is a better (cheaper) stand in for Tennessee, but with this caliber of folks, an L.A. location may be a non-negotiable requirement. We’ll find out at the Up Fronts this month, or sooner if the pilot is so amazing they greenlight it early.

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