Nets in pick-up mode as dramas, laffers ordered

Belushi bests critics, orders otherwise unsurprising

The trickle of fall pickups turned into a flood Tuesday, as seven frosh skeins snagged official back-nine orders.

ABC had good news for spy drama “Alias” and family laffer “According to Jim,” while the WB gave Friday comedies “Reba,” “Maybe It’s Me” and “Raising Dad” something to sing about.

And, as expected, NBC ordered full seasons for “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” and “Crossing Jordan”

News wasn’t so good for NBC newcomer “Inside Schwartz.” The Thursday laffer has been benched for the November sweeps, and is unlikely to be given a full-season pickup.

Based on all seven shows’ early ratings, none of the pickups is particularly surprising — though pre-season prognosticators had predicted an early demise for “Jim.” Belushi starrer, however, has surprised with its solid demo performance.

Touchstone-produced “Alias,” which stars Jennifer Garner as a college student/double agent, has become the top-rated skein in its 9 p.m. Sunday timeslot.

Over at the WB, the decision to pick up all three new laffers comes after several weeks of encouraging Nielsen numbers for the frosh comedies.

Most impressive has been 20th Century Fox TV’s “Reba,” which has quickly become the Frog’s most-watched laffer with adults 18-49, and is tied with “Sabrina the Teen-Age Witch” for the same rank with adults 18-34.

Meanwhile, NBC’s official pickups for “Jordan” and “CI” mean the Peacock has ordered full seasons for three of its six new shows (“Scrubs” got a back-nine order last week.”) “UC: Undercover” is also expected to receive an order for additional segs.

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