The networks are tapping the weak economy to conjure their own ratings stimulus.

Several of next season’s series hopefuls revolve around characters who have been hit by the recession — while several more take on the nation’s widening gap between haves and have nots.

That’s just one of several trends emerging from this year’s surprisingly hefty crop of pilot orders.

Read more about how the economic crisis is affecting trends this pilot season

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Drama

TITLE

STUDIO

EXEC PRODUCERS      

DIRECTOR

LOGLINE

CAST

The Beautiful Life

PICKED UP

CBS Paramount
Mike Kelley, Carol Barbee, Ashton Kutcher, Karey Burke
Christian Duguay
Ensemble following a group of models who live together in NYC

Sara Paxton, Benjamin Hollingsworth, Mischa Barton, Dusan Dukic, Elle Macpherson, Ashley Madekwe, Jordan Woolley, Corbin Bleu, Nico Tortorella

The Body Politic

NOT PICKED UP

CBS Paramount
Jason Rothenberg, Bill Robinson, Peter Horton
Scott Winant

Presentation about a young woman who takes a job in D.C.

n/a

Untitled Gossip Girl Spinoff

NOT PICKED UP

Warner Bros.
Stephanie Savage, Josh Schwartz, Bob Levy, Leslie Morgenstein
Mark Piznarski
1980s-set "Gossip Girl" spinoff centering on a young Lily van der Woodsen

n/a

Parental Discretion Advised

PICKED UP

CBS TV Studios/Warner Bros. TV
Liz Tigelaar, Gary Fleder
Gary Fleder

A 15-year-old girl raised in foster care tracks down her aging frat-boy father

Britt Robertson, Kristoffer Polaha, Shiri Appleby, Kerr Smith

Melrose Place

PICKED UP

CBS Paramount
Todd Slavkin, Darren Swimmer
Davis Guggenheim
The 1990s sudser gets a 21st century update

Shaun Sipos, Thomas Calabro, Katie Cassidy, Colin Egglesfield, Stephanie Jacobsen, Michael Rady, Jessica Lucas, Ashlee Simpson-Wentz

Vampire Diaries

PICKED UP

Warner Bros.
Kevin Williamson, Julie Plec, Bob Levy, Leslie Morgenstein
Marcos Siega

Teenage girl becomes fascinated by a mysterious new student who is a centuries-old vampire

Elena Gilbert, Steven R. McQueen, Paul Wesley, Ian Somerhalder

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