Pickup buzz heats up as screenings begin at networks

Pilot screenings are just getting under way at the broadcast networks, but already some projects are pulling away from the pack vying for slots on the 2012-13 primetime sked.

There was lots of chatter Tuesday about comedies gaining steam.

NBC has warmly embraced Ryan Murphy’s “The New Normal,” as the show has begun making staffing offers. Anne Heche starrer “Save Me” is also rising fast, spurring speculation that the Peacock sees those shows as candidates to premiere in August following its Summer Olympics coverage along with “Go On,” the Matthew Perry comedy that was given an early pickup last month.

At CBS, “Partners,” from Max Mutchnick and David Kohan, is red-hot. “Entry Level,” from feature scribe Nick Stoller, has momentum, as does the Greg Malins-Greg Berlanti collaboration dubbed “Oh Fk, It’s You.”

At ABC, “Only Fools and Horses,” starring John Leguizamo, and Sarah Chalke starrer “How to Live with Your Parents for the Rest of Your Life” have been warmly received in screenings. Kal Penn starrer “Prairie Dogs,” Portia de Rossi’s “The Smart One” and Kyle Bornheimer’s “Red Van Man” are also in the mix. There were mixed reports about the latest reactions to early fave “American Judy,” starring Judy Greer. Reba McEntire’s “Malibu Country” is still seen as a strong contender.

Fox’s half-hour hotlist is topped by the untitled Mindy Kaling starrer and the ensembler “Rebounding.” “El Jefe,” from sitcom vets Moses Port and David Guarascio; “Little Brother,” from Mike Royce; single mom vehicle “Ned Fox Is My Manny”; and “The Goodwin Games,” from the “How I Met Your Mother” trio of Chris Harris, Carter Bays and Craig Thomas are still on the radar.

NBC’s shortlist also includes the White House-set “1600 Penn,” Greg Daniels’ “Friday Night Dinner,” Justin Kirk starrer “Animal Kingdom” and the untitled buddy vehicle produced by Jimmy Fallon.

Dramas gaining traction at ABC include Marc Cherry’s latest, “Devious Maids”; sudsers “Americana” and “Nashville”; and Shawn Ryan’s “The Last Resort.” NBC is high on hospital vehicle “County” and mystery “Midnight Sun.” At Fox, the buzz was building for the Rob Wright-Josh Berman project about a femme Mafia doctor.

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