CBS taking ‘Chances’ for late fall

CBS has ordered a new primetime serial from “Homefront” and “Knots Landing” writer-producer team Lynn Marie Latham and Bernard Lechowick under the working title “Second Chances.”

The producers confirmed a seven-hour order on the series, including a two-hour premiere that could air this fall.

Production will begin in September.

The show, currently being cast, is set in a fictitious California city and involves an ex-con who returns to his hometown, his former girlfriend and a murder that leaves virtually everyone in town suspect.

Latham and Lechowick have yet to find a distributor for the project, which they will produce independently under their Latham/Lechowick Prods. banner. “This will be an adventure,” Latham said of the financing.

The husband-wife team worked on “Homefront” (which they created and exec produced along with David Jacobs) and spent several years writing and producing for “Knots” under show deals with Lorimar TV.

With “Knots” concluding its 14-year run in May, CBS and NBC have both taken steps to establish new primetime serial franchises — the Peacock Web with its “Great Escapes” package and CBS via “Angel Falls,” an independently produced hour from the Konigsberg/Sanitsky Co. that will air in the “Knots” slot.

The new show could replace “Falls” or be used elsewhere on the schedule. The project went to CBS after the spring development process, and a deal was cemented last week.

Lechowick noted that serials (or as they’re called in Latin America, telenovelas) are the most popular international program form and sell extremely well overseas — including “Homefront,” an Emmy nominee as outstanding drama series that’s been canceled by ABC.

In addition to “Knots” and “Homefront,” Latham and Lechowick’s credits include “Berenger’s,” a short-lived 1985 primetime soap for NBC.

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