Midseason series ordered; UPN picks up 'News

CBS is opting for “The Simple Life,” a Columbia TriStar TV comedy starring Judith Light, as a midseason entry.

UPN, meanwhile, has given a full season pickup to its freshman comedy “Good News,” ordering another nine episodes of the gospel-tinged show from MTM Enterprises.

Col TriStar’s “Simple Life” revolves around a Martha Stewart-type character who relocates her business empire to a country manor that doubles as the set for her “Good Living” TV show (Daily Variety, April 28).

The show is executive produced by Robert Sternin, Prudence Fraser, Pam Norris and Bill Bell Jr., with Herb Hamsher also on board as a producer. Sternin and Fraser are the team behind the Col TriStar/CBS sitcom “The Nanny.”

“Simple Life” has been retooled as a family-oriented comedy since it was first developed for Light, known for her stints on “Who’s the Boss” and “One Life to Live.” CBS has another sitcom about a Martha Stewart-type character on deck for midseason: “Style & Substance” from Walt Disney TV.

Supporting cast on “Simple Life” includes Florence Stanley as Light’s mother, Ashlee Levitch as Light’s daughter and Brett Cullen as the farm foreman and single dad who’s rearing his two young kids on the estate.

For UPN, the good news for “Good News” marks the netlet’s first full-season pickup of any of its new shows. The show follows the adventures of a young pastor who’s determined to win over his wary congregation.

With the sale of MTM’s parent company, Intl. Family Entertainment, to News Corp. and Saban Entertainment this year, “Good News” and other MTM productions are now handled by 20th Century Fox TV.

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