Ensemble skeins run with the herd

'Table,' 'Case,' 'Class' boast huge casts

TV screens are going to look a bit more crowded this fall.

Buoyed by the ongoing success of ensemble skeins like “Lost” and “Grey’s Anatomy,” the nets crafted fall skeds heavy on big-cast skeins.

Laffers like NBC’s “The Singles Table,” ABC’s “In Case of Emergency” and CBS’ “The Class” boast huge casts.

And you’d be hard-pressed to find a new drama that doesn’t feature a large ensemble. NBC’s “Studio 60” and “Heroes,” ABC’s “Brothers & Sisters” and “Six Degrees,” CBS’ “Jericho” and “Smith” and Fox’s “Justice” and “Vanished” are just a start.

Given the success of “My Name Is Earl” and “The Office,” nets were also high on single-camera comedies this development season. All four of the Alphabet’s new laffers are single-cam, as are three of NBC’s four chucklers.

In drama, after years of sticking with close-ended procedural crime dramas, the pendulum has swung to serialized skeins. Even CBS — the net that most embraces procedurals — is getting into the serial game more aggressively, with “Jericho” and “Smith.”

Still, serialized shows don’t repeat well — and don’t have the long-term staying power of a “Law & Order” or “CSI.” And single-cam comedies are still a tough sell with auds.

That has some execs quietly wondering whether the nets are traveling down a dangerous ratings path.

“All I can guarantee is a lot of body bags in October,” says one net exec.

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