CBS still in drama mode with new series picks
ABC has loaded up its slate of skeins for the 2009-10 season with high-concept dramas and comedies with high-profile stars, including Courteney Cox, Kelsey Grammer and Patricia Heaton.Meanwhile, CBS is going drama-heavy again in its new series picks. The Eye, which unveils its lineup on Wednesday, gave the OK on Saturday for staffing to begin on three hot drama prospects: Julianna Margulies starrer “The Good Wife”; “Three Rivers,” toplined by “Moonlight” alum Alex O’Loughlin; Medical drama ‘Miami Trauma'; the untitled U.S. Attorneys drama from scribe Frank Military; and the “NCIS” spinoff with LL Cool J and Chris O’Donnell. CBS’ formal pickup calls are expected to be made today. So far, the standout comedy on the Eye’s pilot slate is Jenna Elfman starrer “Accidentally on Purpose.” There’s chatter that the Eye may go light on new laffers in favor of renewing bubble sitcoms “Gary Unmarried” and “Rules of Engagement.” Eye sealed a deal late Sunday to renew drama “Cold Case” for a seventh season. The renewal chances for another returning drama that has been on the fence, “Without a Trace,” seemed to improve slightly during the weekend. And the talk of a pickup for “The Unit” heated up during the weekend but cooled off just as quickly. Also at the Eye, speculation was flowing late Sunday that the net may wind up inheriting the drama “Medium.” NBC and producer CBS TV Studios haven’t yet come to a renewal deal; as a result, it’s possible that the show could instead go to sister net CBS. Show would then likely end up on Friday night, where it’s a natural companion to “Ghost Whisperer.” Both shows, after all, deal with the undead. Alphabet brass worked late into the night Friday handing out series orders to five dramas and three comedies as they prepped for the network’s presentation on Tuesday. ABC also gave renewals to frosh dramedy “Castle” and laffers “Scrubs” and “Better Off Ted,” and it greenlit a second cycle of reality skein “True Beauty.” These are the drama pilots ABC picked up on Friday:
- ABC Studios’ “Happy Town,” a small-town murder mystery from scribes/co-showrunners Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec and Scott Rosenberg
- 20th Century Fox TV’s “The Deep End,” a legal dramedy from scribe Dave Hemingson
- Warner Bros. TV’s “The Forgotten,” a Jerry Bruckheimer TV vehicle about amateur detectives devoted to solving the murders of unidentified victims, from scribe Mark Friedman
- Warner Bros. TV’s “Eastwick,” a redo of 1987 pic “The Witches of Eastwick,” from scribe Maggie Friedman
- Warner Bros. TV’s “V,” a “reimagining” of the 1980s mini revolving around aliens infiltrating Earth, penned by Scott Peters. It’s expected to be presented as a 13-episode limited-series “event.”
- ABC Studios’ “Cougar Town,” featuring Cox as a newly single mom with a 17-year-old son, from scribe Bill Lawrence
- Warner Bros. TV’s “The Middle,” starring Heaton as a middle-class Midwestern mom, from writers DeAnn Heline and Eileen Heisler
- Warner Bros. TV’s “Hank,” starring Grammer as a once-hotshot Wall Streeter who is forced to return to his small-town home, from writer Tucker Cawley.
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