Fox gives series order to four pilots

Insiders believe bubble show 'Lie' set to return

Fox has started making calls to producers, giving series orders to four of its most-buzzed about pilots: Dramas “Ridealong” and “Lone Star”

(formerly known as “Midland”), as well as laffers “Keep Hope Alive” and “Traffic Light.”

Insiders at the studio also believe that bubble drama “Lie to Me” will be back next season, having been given at least a 13-episode renewal. Ditto “Human Target,” another bubble skein that appears to have been given a reprieve.

Also, insiders confirm that Fox has already put together a preliminary schedule — but there’s still the possibility of shifts up until Sunday night, when things are locked for the network’s Monday upfront presentation.

All four new series picked up so far come from 20th Century Fox TV, although more series orders are expected as Fox execs make calls to producers throughout the day. 20th is also behind “Lie to Me,” while Warner Bros. TV produces “Target.”

“Someone just saved Bill Prady a lot of money,” “Ridealong” exec producer Shawn Ryan wrote in a cryptic Tweet.Ryan’s message was a reference to yesterday’s Tweet by “The Big Bang Theory” showrunner Prady, who prematurely offered his congratulations to Ryan on the “Ridealong” pickup.

An embarrassed Prady later gagged that “I am officially making the commitment that if I screwed things up for (Shawn Ryan), I will personally pick up ‘Ridealong.'”

Turns out he didn’t need to. The Chicago-set cop drama “Ridealong” comes from Ryan and fellow EP Marney Hochman Nash; Charles McDougall directed the pilot. Jennifer Beals, Hason Clark, Matt Lauria and Delroy Lindo are among the stars.

As for “Lone Star,” sudsy drama centers on a family in the oil business. Kyle Killen wrote the pilot and EPs with Chris Keyser and Amy Lippman (who serve as showrunners), Kerry Kohansky, Chris Weitz and Paul Weitz. Marc Webb directed the pilot.”Lone Star” cast includes Mark Deklin, Jon Voight, David Keith and Adrianne Palicki.

On the comedy side, Greg Garcia is behind “Keep Hope Alive,” about a guy who has a one-night stand with a woman who ends up on death row — but gives birth to his child. Michael Fresco directed the pilot and EPs with Garcia. Stars include Martha Plimpton.And “Traffic Light” is based on the Israeli series about three friends and their relationships. Bob Fisher wrote the pilot and EPs with Dave Hemingson, Adir Miller, Avi Nir, Ran Telem and Elad Koperman. Chris Koch directed the pilot.

As for “Lie to Me,” Fox was considering waiting until summer to see how the show’s remaining episodes fared — particularly now that Shawn Ryan will no longer serve as showrunner. For now, it appears that other producers already on the show will pick up the slack and take over showrunner duties.

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