×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

ABC’s pilot pickup spree

Network gives nod to 5 dramas, 3 comedies

ABC execs worked late Friday putting the pieces of the net’s 2009-10 season sked together, handing out series orders to five new dramas and three comedies. Alphabet also gave renewals to frosh dramedy “Castle” and laffers “Scrubs” and “Better Off Ted.”

ABC’s latest drama greenlights are: ABC Studios’ murder mystery “Happy Town”; 20th Century Fox TV’s legal ensembler “The Deep End,” from writer Dave Hemingson, (formerly known as “Associates”); Jerry Bruckheimer-produced amateur gumshoe vehicle “The Forgotten”; movie redo “Eastwick”; and “V,” which will be presented as a limited “event” series. “Forgotten,” “Eastwick” and “V” hail from Warner Bros. TV.

Comedies getting the nod are: ABC Studios’ “Cougar Town” starring Courteney Cox; Warner Bros. TV’s Patricia Heaton starrer “The Middle,” about a Midwestern mom, and WBTV’s Kelsey Grammer starrer “Hank,” about once-highflying executive type who loses his wealth and is forced to reconnect with his family.

Friday’s slew of pickups come a week after ABC gave the early go-ahead to ABC Studios’ fantasy drama “Flash Forward” and 20th Century Fox TV comedy “Modern Family.”

Renewals of “Castle” and “Better Off Ted,” which were part of ABC’s contingent of late-midseason bows this spring, were not unexpected, though both show’s chances of seeing a sophomore season were seen as 50-50 just a few days ago. “Scrubs,” which moved to ABC this season after seven seasons on NBC, had been expected to wrap its run this spring, but renewal chatter began about two weeks ago.

The hefty load of comedy pickups suggests that ABC intends to stock its fall sked with half-hours on more than one night of the week.

Reps for the network would not comment late Friday.

More TV

  • OG Review

    Review: 'O.G.' on HBO

    Jeffrey Wright, the most compelling reason to watch HBO’s new film “O.G.,” is among television’s best actors at switching between codes or manners of being. On “Westworld,” his timeline-toggling android swaps personae so delicately that his performance gains in resonance when recalled in retrospect. (Perhaps that’s why Wright has been so oddly underrated through the [...]

  • Nahnatchka Khan Writers Room

    Nahnatchka Khan Exits 20th Century Fox TV for Overall Deal at Universal

    Nahnatchka Khan has signed a four-year overall deal at Universal Television. The deal brings an end to the decade-plus Khan and her Fierce Baby Productions banner spent at 20th Century Fox Television. The move will see Khan exit from her role as showrunner on ABC comedy “Fresh Off the Boat,” which she also created. The [...]

  • David Ajala

    'Nightflyers' Star David Ajala Joins CBS Drama Pilot 'Under the Bridge'

    David Ajala has been cast in a lead role in the CBS drama pilot “Under the Bridge,” Variety has learned. In the project, when a scandal rocks the medical practice she runs with her husband and their friends, a surgeon rises to the occasion and takes the lead in trying to mend both the practice and [...]

  • A Man Walks Into the Cnn

    CNN Puts Former Sessions Aide in Newsroom Role

    Sarah Isgur Flores, a press aide to former US Attorney General Jeff Sessions, has been hired to help coordinate political coverage for CNN, a move that generated some pushback on social media Tuesday. Politico previously reported the CNN hire. Flores in the past has criticized CNN coverage. She will be just the latest political operative [...]

  • Gerald Blum, Inspiration for 'WKRP In

    Gerald Blum, Inspiration for 'Big Guy' Carlson on 'WKRP in Cincinnati,' Dies at 86

    Gerald “Jerry” Blum, the inspiration for the character of radio station general manager Art “Big Guy” Carlson on the long-running TV sitcom “WKRP in Cincinnati,” died Saturday at 86. The Atlanta radio veteran was affectionately transformed into the fictional Carlson by veteran comic actor Gordon Jump on “WKRP,” which ran for four seasons on CBS [...]

  • Arrested Development Season 5 review

    TV News Roundup: 'Arrested Development' Sets Season 5 Return Date at Netflix

    In today’s TV news roundup, the second half of “Arrested Development” season five gets a release date and Netflix announces the voice cast for “Green Eggs and Ham.” CASTING Netflix has announced the ensemble voice cast for the upcoming “Green Eggs and Ham” series executive produced by Ellen DeGeneres and based on the Dr. Seuss book. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content