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The Eye takes dramatic turn

'Standing,' 'Bram' sole greenlit comedies for CBS

NEW YORK — CBS will add five dramas and two comedies to its fall schedule, including high-profile hours from feature helmers Michael Mann and Jerry Bruckheimer.

Elsewhere, there was buzz Monday that Fox could move hit laffer “Malcolm in the Middle” or another laffer to 9 p.m. Sundays. Net is also high on the drama “Fast Lane” and the comedy “Oliver Beene,” while critical fave “24” now seems likely to return next fall with its current hour-at-a-time format.

Meanwhile, though the specifics of the Eye’s new sked remain a secret, net Monday gave producers of greenlit projects the good word. It wasn’t long before word had spread in both Hollywood and New York.

CBS officially reveals its 2002-03 lineup to advertisers Wednesday afternoon at Carnegie Hall.

It’s no surprise the upcoming CBS sked will be drama-heavy. Net has had a strong track record of launching hit dramas in recent seasons — think “The Guardian,” “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” “Judging Amy” and “The District.”

Eye has also had luck using feature scribes and producers, and it is once again planning to make heavy use of pic vets. Indeed, Bruckheimer will exec produce two new Eye hours: “CSI: Miami” and the missing-persons hour “Without a Trace.”

The new dramas given the go-ahead Monday include the following:

  • “Hack” (CBS Prods./Big Ticket/Pariah). Series revolves around a crime-solving taxi driver (David Morse) who used to be a cop. Andre Braugher also stars. David Koepp, Thomas Carter and Gavin Polone are exec producers.

  • “Without a Trace” (Warner Bros. TV/Bruckheimer TV/CBS Prods.). After hitting with “CSI” and “The Amazing Race,” Bruckheimer looks likely to score again with this missing-persons drama that uses “CSI”-like storytelling to show how detectives find people who go missing. Hank Steinberg is exec producer-showrunner; Jonathan Littman is also exec producer.

  • Untitled Michael Mann project (Universal TV). Mann returns to television with the unconventional cop drama set in Los Angeles and starring Tom Sizemore. Barry Schindel wrote the pilot but will not be continuing with the skein; Sandy Climan is also a producer via the Mann/Climan Forward Pass shingle.

  • “Presidio Med” (Warner Bros. TV). Femme-led hospital drama starring Dana Delany from exec producers John Wells, Lydia Woodard and Chris Chulack.

  • “CSI: Miami” (CBS Prods./Alliance Atlantis/Bruckheimer TV) The smash crime drama heads south; its pilot aired as a spinoff seg last week and scored boffo Nielsens.

CBS takes ‘Queens’

Eye has also ordered the dramedy “Queens Supreme” for midseason. The CBS Prods. hour comes from exec producers Kevin Fox, Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, Julia Roberts and Debra Schindler.

Roberts is already getting fully behind the project, making an appearance at Monday’s annual William Morris bash launching upfront season.

On the half-hour side, CBS has greenlit just two comedies: The previously announced “Still Standing” (Daily Variety, May 13) and “Bram and Alice,” from Paramount TV. Latter skein is from exec producers Christopher Lloyd and Joe Keenan; cast includes Alfred Molina and Roger Bart.

There’s talk the Jeffrey Richman-penned “Life of the Party,” starring Nathan Lane, could go midseason, though nothing’s firm.