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ABC, CBS series pickup buzz heats up

Bizzers await Alphabet calls; 'Baby Big Shot' rising at Eye

Pilot pickup buzz is swirling this ayem as bizzers await word of ABC’s pilot orders and chatter about CBS’ selections heats up.

At CBS, all of a sudden legal drama “Baby Big Shot” is coming on strong, thanks in part to strong testing for star Janet Montgomery, who plays a femme attorney from blue-collar roots who works in a Manhattan law firm. “Elementary” and the Ralph Lamb project remain top CBS drama contenders.

On the comedy side at the Eye, “Friend Me” has been on the rise as it’s seen as a potential “Big Bang Theory” companion. The CBS TV Studios production revolves around two guys from Indiana who move to L.A. to work for Groupon. “Partners,” the buddy comedy from Max Mutchnick and David Kohan, is still seen as a shoo-in for an order. There’s talk that CBS may only order two pilots for fall, with a midseason entry or two to come later.

At ABC, the drama conversation centers on soaps “Nashville” and “Americana” and supernatural thriller “666 Park Ave.” “Mistresses,” which already has a series order, is still seen as having a good shot at landing a regular season berth rather than summer 2013 as originally planned.

Marc Cherry’s “Devious Maids” and mob drama “Penoza” are still contenders. The Shawn Ryan actioner “Last Resort” is seen as a midseason event series candidate, though there may be some wrangling with Sony Pictures TV on the specifics of the episode order.

Comedy-wise, ABC is said to be focused on opening up a third night of laffers on Thursday or Friday. The untitled Dan Fogelman project about a family with neighbors from another planet has come on strong in the last few days, as has the untitled Mandy Moore starrer, based on the strength of her perf.

“Comeback Jack” (fka “Red Van Man”) has a lot of fans, as does Kal Penn starrer “Prairie Dogs.” Two shows that emerged early on as contenders — Reba McEntire’s “Malibu Country” and Sarah Chalke’s “How to Live with Your Parents” — remain in the mix. A wild card could be the femme exec-turned-mom laffer from scribe Kari Lizer toplined by Mary McCormack.

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