Pilot Pirate: “Good Christian Bitches” and the untitled Kari Lizer pilot

Welcome back to the Pilot Pirate, where we preview the latest scripts looking for a home on the 2011-12 primetime TV schedule. Each week, we read and preview some of the projects interest to the AfterEllen.com community, breaking down scripts to help you, the optimistic TV fan anxiously awaiting the next Modern Family or Glee, keep up with the onslaught of pilots in contention.

A reminder: These are early stage scripts that are likely to be revised and, in some cases, drastically change before filming, and only some of which will make it to the airwaves.

Pilot: Good Christian Bitches (drama)

Writer: Robert Harling (Steel Magnolias); based on the book by Kim Gatlin

Director: Alan Poul

Network: ABC

Logline: A former high school mean girl moves home to Dallas — and her former classmates — after her marriage ends in scandal.

Cast: Leslie Bibb, Kristin Chenoweth, Jennifer Aspen, Miriam Shor, Marisol Nichols, David James Elliott and Annie Potts.

Executive producers: Harling, Darren Star (Sex and the City), Aaron Kaplan (Made of Honor)

The characters:
Amanda Vaughn (Leslie Bibb, Confessions of a Shopaholic), the wife of Bill, a mover and shaker who ran a ponzi scheme; former Queen Bitch in high school.

Darlene Cockburn (Kristin Chenoweth, Glee, Pushing Daisies), the new ringleader of the GCBs.

Gigi (Annie Potts, Pretty in Pink), Amanda’s fiftysomething mother who still acts like a twentysomething.

Heather Sappington (Marisol Nichols, 24, The Gates), queen of the gossip who’s still loyal to Amanda.

Ripp Cockburn (David James Elliott, JAG), Darlene’s husband.

Sharon Pevy (Jennifer Aspen, Glee), beautiful in high school and now full-figured and insecure; she does the bulk of Darlene’s bidding.

Cricket Caruth (Miriam Shor, Damages, Swingtown), a hot powerful real estate agent in Dallas whose husband is very meterosexual (if you know what I mean).

Tom Harrington (uncast), the resident billionaire and newly single bachelor everyone in town wants to date — except Amanda, on whom he has a crush.

Like the two types of women that comprise this hourlong soap, there will be two groups of people who watch Good Christian Bitches: fans of soapy awesomeness starring Kristin Chenoweth and, well, those who need a good poke in the eye. If you’re a Desperate Housewives fan, you’ll appreciate Good Christian Bitches; if you love everything about Mean Girls, you’ll adore it.

The plot here revolves around a group of former high school friends in Dallas, most of whom were tortured by Amanda (Bibb). There were two types of girls at Hillside High School: the Foxes and the Javelinas (a wild hog), and Amanda was the one who decided which girl was associated with which type. For this, her former high school classmates are less than enthused when Amanda returns home to Dallas after the Feds seize her home when her husband dies in a fiery car crash and the truth is revealed that he ran a ponzi scheme.

If the laundry list of characters seems off-putting, don’t fret. Things happen almost as fast as the gossip flies in Dallas once Amanda comes back to town. While Chenoweth’s Darlene is a good Christian on the surface, she finds every way in the book around following God’s orders when it comes to keeping tabs on Amanda (hence the “bitch” part). The fellow GCBs all have varying degrees of disdain for Amanda based on just how much she tortured them in high school. Some, like Cricket, are unrelenting and will stop at nothing in their quest to ensure Amanda’s charmed life is miserable. Others, like Heather and Cricket’s husband Blake — Amanda’s first crush — still have fond memories and remain loyal to her.

Among the interesting subplots is the marriage of Blake and Cricket. On one hand, Cricket owns half of Dallas and has the ability to get Amanda fired with a single phone call. On the other hand, her husband Blake will make up for his wife’s misdeeds and hire her on at his company and trusts her with the knowledge that he’s gay — and has a boyfriend.

Overall, GCB is promising. The characters are entertaining — especially Darlene, who within the first few pages of the script goes to the spa and comes home with private parts vajazzled into the shape of a cross. Add in the potential for high school flashbacks and maybe some early photos of Chenoweth, and GCB is made of win.

Pilot Pirate outlook: Kristin Chenoweth could be on your TV. Every week. Do you need another reason?

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