Fox has given early series orders to the comicbook drama “Human Target” and the family laffer “Sons of Tucson.”
Net has also given a second-season greenlight to the drama “Lie to Me,” ordering an additional 13 episodes of the series and tapping “The Shield’s” Shawn Ryan to take over as its new showrunner.
Also on Tuesday, the outlook on a surprise (or not-so-surprise, at this point) ninth season of “Scrubs” was continuing to improve: According to insiders, offers had been sent out to the show’s cast, with a good number expected to return — including star Zach Braff — for at least some of the episodes.
Over at Fox, the network wouldn’t officially confirm the pickups, as execs want to hold off until Monday’s upfront before making any series announcements. But insiders confirmed the orders Tuesday afternoon of “Human Target” and “Sons of Tucson.”
The shows join animated “Family Guy” spinoff “Cleveland” and music-themed drama “Glee” — which gets an early premiere on the net this month — as Fox’s new fall shows picked up so far.
“Human Target,” from Warner Bros. TV, Wonderland and DC Comics, revolves around a man who assumes the identity of people in danger. Jon Steinberg wrote the pilot and will exec produce with Brad Kern, Peter Johnson and McG. Mark Valley, Chi McBride and Jackie Earle Haley star.
The single-camera laffer “Sons of Tucson” centers on a hustler who’s hired by three brothers to pretend to be their father while their real dad is in jail.
Twentieth Century Fox TV is behind “Tucson,” which was written by Tommy Dewey and Greg Bratman. J2TV’s Harvey Myman, Jason Felts and Justin Berfield exec produce, along with Todd Holland, who directed the pilot. Tyler Labine (“Reaper”) and Natalie Morales star.
Other hot Fox pilots still in the mix include the Sony/Tantamount sitcom “Brothers,” starring Michael Strahan, and the reincarnation drama “Past Life,” from Warner Bros. TV.
As for “Lie to Me,” drama comes from 20th Century Fox TV and Imagine TV. Sam Baum created the show and exec produces with Steven Maeda and Imagine’s Brian Grazer and David Nevins.
Ryan’s move to 20th Century Fox TV’s “Lie to Me” seems to be a strong sign that CBS isn’t planning on bringing back “The Unit,” which Ryan also exec produces. But “The Unit” remains on the bubble and could still be back.
Tim Roth stars in “Lie to Me” as a researcher who solves mysteries using his uncanny ability to interpret body language and facial cues. After 12 episodes, the series has averaged a solid 3.8 rating/10 share among adults 18-49, as well as 11 million viewers overall.
On the “Scrubs” front, insiders say ABC and ABC Studios are kicking around several ideas with exec producer Bill Lawrence on how to bring the show back — perhaps retooling it as a multicamera comedy or moving it to a new location, such as medical school.
ABC has made it clear it’s looking for multicam laffers to supplement its single-cam half-hours (including the new “Modern Family”), which is why the Ricky Blitt comedy “Romantically Challenged,” starring Alyssa Milano, is still in the mix, among others.