'Anatomy' spin-off made official
Bold, gutsy women (they solve murders! They balance their lives and loves in Manhattan! They leave the safety of a hit Thursday night show to go solo in Santa Monica!) and mysterious men (they resurrect dead people! They think they’re prophets!) topline ABC’s seven drama pickups, while the net has also given the series go-ahead to three new laffers.
In the no-brainer of the year, Alphabet made it official: The “Grey’s Anatomy” spinoff — still tentatively titled “Private Practice” (apologies to fans still rooting for the title “Montgomery’s Ward”) — is a go. “Private Practice” appeared to be a sure thing after last week’s “Grey’s” episode, a back-door pilot for the new series, passed its initial Nielsen check-up with flying colors.
“Private Practice,” starring Kate Walsh, comes from ABC Studios and exec producers Shonda Rhimes, Marti Noxon, Betsy Beers and Mark Gordon.
Also, it was a great Friday for Greg Berlanti — already riding high thanks to the strength of returning drama “Brothers & Sisters,” which he’s credited with helping breathe new life into earlier this season. ABC Studios’ pact with Berlanti has paid off, with two more series from the producer hitting the Alphabet airwaves next season.
The pair of dramas include “Dirty Sexy Money,” a legal sudser starring Peter Krause as an attorney who takes over the family business when his father suddenly dies. ABC Studio produces; Berlanti, Bryan Singer, Melissa Berman, Matt Gross and Craig Wright are exec producers.
Berlanti’s other project, “Eli Stone,” is a spiritual drama about a man (Jonny Lee Miller) who believes he may be a prophet. Loretta Devine, Natasha Henstridge and Victor Garber also star. Berlanti EPs with Marc Guggenheim.
Among the other pickups, the fantasy crime drama “Pushing Daisies” revolves around a man who discovers he can resurrect dead people with the touch of his hand — but that if he touches them again, they once again leave this mortal coil. Warner Bros. TV is the studio; Bryan Fuller, Dan Jinks, Bruce Cohen and Barry Sonnenfeld exec produce. Cast includes Chi McBride, Kristin Chenoweth, Swoosie Kurtz and Lee Pace.
“Big Shots,” from Warner Bros. TV, follows a group of male execs supporting each other through life. Stars include Dylan McDermott, Michael Vartan, Christopher Titus and Joshua Molina; Jon Feldman exec produces.
“Cashmere Mafia” focuses on a group of thirtysomething women (including Lucy Liu, Bonnie Somerville and Frances O’Connor) as they navigate life in New York — consider it the flip side of “Big Shots.” Sony Pictures TV is behind the show, as are producers Darren Star and Gail Katz. Kevin Wade exec produces with Star and Katz.
Then there’s “Women’s Murder Club,” based on the James Patterson novels about four women who chase serial killers in San Francisco. Twentieth Century Fox TV is the studio; Shawn Ryan, Scott Winant, Brett Ratner, Joe Simpson, Sarah Fain and Elizabeth Craft exec produce, as does Patterson.
As for the comedies:
Based on the infamous Geico commercials, “Cavemen” centers on early homosapiens living and working in Atlanta — and experiencing prejudice along the way. ABC Studios is behind the show; exec producers include Mike Schiff, Bill Martin, Guymon Casady, Daniel Rappaport, Josh Gordon and Will Speck.
“Sam I Am,” from ABC Studios and Brillstein-Grey, stars Christina Applegate as a woman who contracts amnesia — and realizes she wasn’t well-liked in her old life. ABC Studios is the studio; Donald Todd is exec producer, with Brillstein-Grey’s Peter Traugott.
“Carpoolers” follows the exploits around a group of men who share the ride to work. ABC Studios is behind the show; Bruce McCulloch exec produces with DreamWorks’ Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank and 3 Arts’ David Miner.