week, THUD took a look at some of the new pilots currently filming in hopes of being picked up for the fall season. Since then, a number of other exciting ones – including the Peter Krause vehicle Dirty Sexy Money, about ethically flexible rich people – were announced or added to their cast. Others – like the Kelsey Grammer/Patricia Heaton comedy Action News – received a series greenlight.

But who wants to talk about rich folks when you can push your luck by making fun of LL Cool J? On to the final ten!

(And remember, none of these are guaranteed a series pick-up.)

K-Ville (FOX)

There were a number of scripts in development this season revolving around a post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans, including ones from directors Spike Lee and Gary Fleder. K-Ville was the only one to make it to a pilot. Jonathan Lisco, who previously worked on the Craig T. Nelson vehicle The District, wrote and created the series, which focuses on the cops that chose to stay behind in New Orleans after the hurricane’s still-unfathomable devastation.

I’m a little skeptical about this one, as I would be with any Katrina series. I don’t want to be the guy saying “too soon,” and I think Lisco’s got his heart in the right place. He’s said that he wants to focus on redemptive stories against the bleakness of what happened in New Orleans. I hope that he lives up to that – we need reminders that much of New Orleans is still in ruins – and I hope that NBC does the smart thing and shoots both the pilot and series entirely in Louisiana. But something about this one just doesn’t feel quite right.

Lipshitz Saves The World (NBC)

The potentially good: This show, about a teenage social outcast who learns he might be “the one” (I have no clue whether that means Jesus, Neo, or both) to save the world, is a single camera comedy whose very concept is endearing.

The bad: It’s got Leslie Nielsen costarring in it and I can already see the never-ending stream of “Lipshitz” puns.

The Man (CBS)

The cinematic and music icon known as Ladies Love Cool James faced much in his 20-plus year career. Military toys. Intelligent sharks. Michael Myers. Val Kilmer. Queen Latifah. Now, the man who still won’t let us call it a comeback faces his biggest challenge yet: Fatherhood.

This is – no horseshit, Jack – the premise of The Man, created by CSI mastermind (some say devil) Anthony Zucker: By night, LL Cool J’s an undercover cop prowling the streets of L.A. to take down some of those drug kingpins he got to know so well in S.W.A.T. But by day, he’s just an average joe trying to raise his three adopted children – an abused boy with anger issues, a former prostitute now in community college, and a skateboarder/recovering drug addict.

And they say we’re living in a golden age of television. I just thought you should know.

Manchild (SHOWTIME)

Like Football Wives and Viva Laughlin!, this is another adaptation of a British television series. But where Football has Gabrielle Union and Laughlin has Hugh Jackman, Manchild stars…Kevin Smith? That’s right, Jersey Girl fans, the director is playing one of four male characters in the middle of their mid-life crises alongside James Purefoy, John Corbett, and Paul Hipp. I’ve always been of the opinion that Smith has the potential to be a better actor than he is a director – he’s quite charismatic and often funny. I think the first Evening with Kevin Smith DVD’s funnier than some of his later movies. With the trend of men refusing to grow up a popular one in comedy today (see: 40-Year-Old Virgin and pretty much everything Vince Vaughn’s ever done), Manchild has a lot of potential — although the involvement of Darren “Sex and the City” Star scares the shit out of me. (And I’m not just saying that because Kevin Smith reads everything written about him, ever. What up, Kev?)

Mr. and Mrs. Smith (ABC)

THUD’s been covering this one, based on the hit film about husband-and-wife assassins, pretty heavily. I don’t get the hype and I didn’t see the Brad Pitt/Angelina Jolie vehicle it’s based on. I like Jordana Brewster, though, and I’m glad that the film’s director, Doug Liman, is returning for the pilot.

However, ABC’s recent track record when it comes to romantic action shows…not great. Yeah, there was Alias, but does anyone remember Thieves (yet another John Stamos comeback vehicle)? What about Spy Game (with Mallory O’Brien!)? And dare I say it…Snoops?

We’ll see.

M.O.N.Y. (NBC)

I’ve raved about the potential for this one at least a couple of times already, but for those of you just tuning in, let’s review:

The premise – Ordinary guy becomes Mayor of New York. The creative team – Barry Levinson and Tom Fontana, the television geniuses who brought us Homicide: Life on the Street, one of the greatest shows of all time. The pilot director – Spike Lee, who knows how to mix political issues with intelligent, gripping entertainment.

Am I hyping myself up too much for this one? Maybe. I was pumped for Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip for months on end – and we all know how that one turned out. Still, in every crop of new pilots, there’s at least one that I want to see today. This season, M.O.N.Y. is it.

The Sarah Connor Chronicles (FOX)

Like Mr. and Mrs. Smith, this is a pilot we’ve been covering heavily in the past few months but one I have yet to get excited about. The behind-the-scenes pedigree of this Terminator mid-quel (taking place between Terminator 2 and T3: The Rise of the Machines) makes me think it’ll turn out well, though. Director David Nutter’s been behind the camera on many great genre shows, from The X-Files to Supernatural – and his involvement pretty much guarantees we’ll be seeing Chronicles as a series. Series creator and friend of Josh Friedman knows he’s going to be an easy target with this show, too – but his comments to this site and others make me think he’s got his head in the right place. As for the cast, I remember thinking Lena Headley (Sarah) was hot back in her Jungle Book days and I didn’t watch enough Heroes to tell you if Thomas Dekker (John Connor) was any good as Zach on that show. So while I never was a big Terminator fan, I’m a little skeptical, but optimistic. (And despite there being no fate but what we make, we already know how this one ends.)

True Blood (HBO)

Hey, does everyone remember when American Beauty came out and it was heralded as this amazing and funny and dark and amazing film with a phenomenal script, but then we all listened to the DVD commentary and heard Sam Mendes talk about how Alan Ball’s script wasn’t that great and most of Mendes’ job as a director was to cover that fact up? I do, and that very reason was why I resisted watching Ball’s last show for HBO – Six Feet Under – for so long. But it turns out Six Feet Under was amazing after all, which is why I was looking forward to True Blood – until I read some of the novels this “Southern vampire” pilot is based on. (Word of advice: Don’t.) And even then, I was optimistic. I can see why this project appeals to Ball – it’s basically using vampirism as one giant metaphor for homosexuality, and there’s a lot of sex, gay and straight. Violence, too, but of the “he didn’t mean it! He’s a good vampire!” kind.

I figured Ball could work with that — until the pilot script landed in my inbox last week. It’s bad, folks. It’s as bad as the books. I guess with some creative casting and a neat visual style, Ball could pull a rabbit out of his hat, Bullwinkle-style, but this one definitely falls into the Oh, Grow Up category of Ball’s career. Sorry if you were excited.

Twilight (CBS)

Speaking of vampires, show of hands: How many people saw Angel? How many readers remember Forever Knight? Yeah, it’s like that, except produced by Joel Silver. Vampire, detective, loves a mortal, adversaries in the vampire world, blah, blah, blah. You know the drill.

Unless there’s a creator behind the scenes working their ass off to make sure this isn’t anymore like those two shows than it already is, this show is going to be one giant exercise in derivative television. Which, as we know, is always funny.

Viva Laughlin! (CBS)

In case you haven’t noticed from my never-ending string of esoteric and obnoxious references over the past couple of weeks, I’m a fan of musicals. As I’ve mentioned before, when Hugh ‘Wolverine’ Jackman does musicals, it’s a thing of beauty. Which brings us to the last adaptation of a British series in this round-up, the Jackman-produced Viva Laughlin!, based on the series Blackpool.

Blackpool got mixed reviews when it first aired on British television, and it’s one of those series that you need a region-free DVD player to watch here in the states. But since initially reporting on Laughlin – about a murder mystery at a low-rent casino in the third-most visited casino town in Nevada – I’ve been able to track down some of the clips from Blackpool on YouTube, and I was pretty impressed. Blackpool is of the Dennis Potter school of musicals, where the songs are pre-existing pop and rock tunes rather than original material. What I thought was awesome about Blackpool is how it took Potter’s concept to the next level – instead of merely lip-synching to the songs, the actors sing over them, so you get a strange, cool blend of the actors’ voices and the original tracks.

Obviously, it remains to be seen how much of an adaptation Laughlin turns out to be, and I’m still gung-ho on getting a copy of Blackpool to compare. And I can already tell – Jackman’s involvement (he’ll play a recurring role, too) aside, CBS’s clout or no – this is going to be a hard sell to viewers.

But, really, they had me at “weekly musical television series.” Cop Rock this ain’t.

With that, we end. Over the next weeks and months, THUD will report on these pilots and more. We’ll let you know which ones get picked up, and which ones are doomed to go back into the vault until some intrepid internet pirate posts them online. You’ll get to see if I’m proved right or if I’m forced to eat my television set.

But man, do I ever hope that M.O.N.Y. isn’t the next Studio 60.