CBS schedule puts inhouse in order

Slate balances comedies, drama

NEW YORK — In what may be a first for network TV, CBS partially owns and is co-producing all six of the new series it has ordered for its fall schedule.

The Eye web Monday picked up three new comedies and three new dramas for its fall lineup.

The new comedies on CBS are “Work With Me,” a co-production with Universal starring Nancy Travis; “Ladies’ Man,” a co-production with Columbia TriStar TV from Chris Thompson and starring Alfred Molina; and “Love or Money” from Dan Staley and Rob Long.

The new dramas are “Now and Again,” a co-production with Par from Glenn Gordon Caron; “Judging Amy,” a co-production with 20th Century Fox starring Amy Brenneman, and “Family Law,” a co-production with Columbia TriStar TV from Paul Haggis.

‘Money’ changes hands

Five of the six projects were originally developed with CBS Prods., while Paramount Network TV gave up an ownership stake in the comedy “Love or Money” over the weekend.

Last fall, CBS owned a piece of six out of seven of its frosh series.

CBS TV CEO Leslie Moonves has been on a mission to turn CBS Prods. into a viable primetime supplier, and the network will pick up more inhouse shows than even those webs that are partnered with major studios.

Networks were restricted from owning more than a small portion of their primetime shows until earlier this decade, when federal rules were lifted.

While ABC has been flexing its muscles to extract backend profit participation in shows, angering top suppliers, CBS is actually sharing the risks by paying some of the deficits on the shows it’s co-producing.

In fact, CBS lost money last year on four of the six shows it co-produced for fall. Only two of the six, “Martial Law” and “King of Queens,” are expected to return.

While CBS informed producers of its pickups Monday night, the Eye web won’t announce the order of its shows until it unveils its fall schedule Wednesday.

CBS six-pack

Here’s a description of the new shows:

  • “Ladies’ Man” is a comedy about the lone guy in a house full of women;

  • “Love or Money” is an “Upstairs, Downstairs”-type comedy about a building super having an affair with the daughter of a wealthy family living in his building;

  • “Work With Me” is a comedy starring Travis and Kevin Pollack as married lawyers working together;

  • “Now and Again” is a drama about a man killed in an accident who is given a new, younger body by the government;

  • “Judging Amy” is about a single mother and judge who moves back into her mother’s house with her own daughter;

  • “Family Law” is about a lawyer who rebuilds her law firm when her husband leaves with all their clients.

Separately, UPN, which unveils its sked Thursday, was mulling a plan to air a two-hour wrestling block on Thursday nights. And comedies “Mo’Nique” and “The Grown Ups” are strong contenders for the netlet’s lineup.

Fox also was still tinkering with its lineup, but the strongest fall candidates are “Get Real,” “Manchester Prep,” “Time of Your Life,” “Harsh Realm,” “Ryan Caulfield” and “Action.”