My two favourite pilots of the fall 2012 TV season finally find the runway on Wednesday.
The shows could not be more different. And on a personal level, neither really falls into the category of "my kind of show."
But when the flood of new shows arrived, the two pilots that floated for me were Arrow and Nashville.
Arrow, starring Canadian Stephen Amell, debuts on CW and CTV Two. Nashville, starring Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere, debuts on ABC and CTV Two.
Combine them and you have a superhero who sings country music. No one wants that. But separately, both shows look quite promising.
Because there's so much volume in the TV-reviewing business, I'm wary of the temptation to mistake "different" for "good." And it's true, both Arrow and Nashville are different enough in their own ways to stand apart from the pack.
It's also true that a good pilot is no guarantee of a good series. Sometimes all the best ideas and most of the money are lavished on a pilot, only to leave the cupboard bare.
But with Arrow and Nashville, at this point at least, all we know is what we know. I can say confidently that, in my humble opinion, both pilots were excellent. It might be a different story a month from now, but currently, it's good news on both fronts.
Arrow is based on a comic-book character, which usually has me bellowing, "Cheque, please." Nonetheless, there's something about the tone of the Arrow pilot that kept me at the table.
"I understand they (comic-book obsessives) are going to be critical," Amell said. "But they're critical because they want to see something done well.
"I'm all for winning them over. I'd rather win them over than have people blindly support me."
Nashville is a window into the current state of the music business, with established stars such as Britton's character wondering how the likes of Panettiere's character are dominating the charts.
"The comment we get all the time is, well, what if you don't like country music?" Panettiere said. "But one thing we've all learned is, especially being down in Nashville and working with such talented singers and songwriters, you realize how broad the term country music is.
"There's soul and there's blues and there's bluegrass. It really is a wide variety. You don't have to be a fan of country music."
So you don't have to be a fan of country music to enjoy Nashville. And you don't have to be a fan of comic books to enjoy Arrow.
Here's hoping that Arrow and Nashville continue to hit the targets and the high notes.
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