The newest thing at Eye is ‘Old’ laffer

Louis-Dreyfus lands midseason skein on CBS

CBS has given the thumbs up to Julia Louis-Dreyfus laffer “Old Christine.”

Eye greenlit 12 episodes of the Warner Bros. TV-produced skein on Wednesday, in addition to the already produced pilot. Lensing is skedded to begin in late summer for a midseason bow.

“Old Christine,” from exec producer Kari Lizer (“Will & Grace”), has Louis-Dreyfus playing a single mom and businesswoman trying to raise her son while dealing with her ex-husband’s new g.f., who also happens to be named Christine.

The former “Seinfeld” star told Daily Variety that she’s looking forward to playing a TV mom for the first time.

Before “Christine” came up, “I was trying to develop a project for me to play a mother,” she said. “I was meeting with a lot of writers to, frankly, develop this show. And then this show came my way. It was very fortunate.”

Thesp, whose kids are 12 and 7, said the role hits “close to home” since both she and her new character are moms “trying to do the right thing,” balancing work and parenthood.

“I don’t think there are a lot of mother roles that are true to life comedically,” Louis-Dreyfus said, praising scribe Lizer for an “exceptional” pilot script.

Louis-Dreyfus’ most recent TV gig has been work on several episodes of Fox’s “Arrested Development.” Before that, thesp spent two seasons starring in the NBC laffer “Watching Ellie.”

“Old Christine” is the first project to get a midseason order since the networks announced their new fall skeds last month. There had been talk that CBS and WBTV were haggling over the exact number of episodes in the order, but ultimately “Christine” snagged the same seg tally as any new show.

With “Christine” ordered to series, WBTV now has a whopping 33 skeins picked up for the 2005-06 season. Fifteen of the net’s 26 pilots have been greenlit, giving the studio a 60% pickup rate.

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