NBC, Fox load up on pilot orders

Peacock orders 2, renews 'SVU'; Fox nabs 3 comedies, 2 dramas

Seven new series were added to the 2012-13 primetime sked Wednesday between Fox and NBC, which also renewed “Law & Order: SVU.”

In addition to giving Dick Wolf a 14th season of his durable franchise, the uber-producer got an order for a new drama, “Chicago Fire.” The Peacock also added a comedy pickup, “Guys With Kids,” to the four laffers already ordered earlier in the week.

Fox gave greenlights to three comedies and two dramas including the Mindy Kaling starrer “It’s Messy” from Universal Television, which is seen as a companion piece for “New Girl.” Also ordered were 20th Century Fox TV half-hours “Ben & Kate,” starring Nat Faxon and Dakota Johnson, and “The Goodwin Games.”

Dramas “The Mob Doctor,” toplined by Jordana Spiro, and Kevin Bacon starrer “The Following” are from Sony Pictures TV and Warner Bros. TV, respectively. Frosh dramas “The Finder” and “Alcatraz,” are being cleared out to make room for the new additions. Even though 20th TV has yet to get a new drama order from Fox, the studio got some good news by way of a second season for Kiefer Sutherland starrer “Touch.”

NBC and Fox are scheduled to showcase their lineups at upfront presentations in New York on Monday. CBS, ABC and the CW have yet to pluck from their own development slates, but could make their first choices before the week is over.

Though “SVU” is the sole remaining series in a franchise that had as many as three different versions on the air at one time on NBC, it’s prospects for another year were never in doubt. It’s the network’s highest rated drama among viewers 18-49, averaging a 2.2 rating season to date, in a genre that gave the Peacock plenty of disappointments this season.

From Universal Television, “Fire” is an action series exploring the complex and heroic men and women of the Chicago Fire Department. Wolf is executive producing with Peter Jankowski, Danielle Gelber and writers Derek Haas and Michael Brandt.

This is the second drama series pickup NBC has made from its development slate, the first coming earlier this week from Warner Bros. Television, “Revolution,” from J.J. Abrams. Peacock had already made a straight-to-series order on another hour, “Hannibal.”

Another Universal hour expected to get a pick-up is Jason Katims’ “County,” in addition to a likely renewal for his current NBC series, “Parenthood.”

“Kids” is from Universal TV and Jimmy Fallon shingle Holiday Road. Fallon is executive producer with Amy Ozols and Charlie Grandy, who wrote the pilot. Cast includes Anthony Anderson, Tempestt Bledsoe and Jesse Bradford.

Series centers on a group of dads in their 30s who don’t feel mature enough to be parents, despite having kids.

“Kids” is a multi-camera comedy, in contrast to the four single-camera half-hours the Peacock ordered Monday, including Justin Kirk starrer “Animal Practice,” the White House-set “1600 Penn,” gay domestic comedy “The New Normal” from Ryan Murphy, and “Save Me,” a laffer starring Anne Heche as a housewife who comes to believe she’s a prophet. Last month, NBC also ordered the Matthew Perry comedy “Go On.”

Another multi-camera half-hour still said to be under consideration at NBC is 20th TV’s “Daddy’s Girls,” though its chances are likely dependent on the fate of “Whitney” or “Up All Night” renewals.

With NBC believed to be ordering abbreviated seasons of returning comedies including “30 Rock,” the wealth of new laffers is only fueling speculating the Peacock is going to make big changes to its Thursday lineup, and maybe have another go at building a block on Wednesday.

At Fox, “Doctor” stars Spiro as a young female surgeon who juggles her career and her lifelong debt to the mob. Josh Berman and Robert Wright exec produce and wrote the pilot. “Following” features Bacon as a retired FBI agent trying to recapture a serial killer who escapes from prison. Kevin Williamson is executive producer.

It’s not clear whether Fox is done ordering hours, though there was chatter that the network might still be considering 20th TV’s untitled Karyn Usher spy drama project, particularly after axing 20th’s “Finger.”

All three of Fox’s comedy pickups are single-camera including “Ben,” from 20th TV and Chernin Entertainment, which centers on a free-spirited young guy moving in with his sister, who is a single mom, and in the process helps her re-enter the world. Formerly known as “Ben Fox Is My Manny,” the pilot was written by Dana Fox, who is executive producing with Peter Chernin and Katherine Pope.

From the creators of “How I Met Your Mother,” “Goodwin” is about three estranged siblings who reunite after the death of their father when they return to their hometown to claim their inheritance. Cast includes Scott Foley, Jake Lacy and Becki Newton. Executive producers are Carter Bays, Craig Thomas and Chris Harris, who wrote the pilot, and helmer Peyton Reed.

Originally developed for NBC by its sister studio, “Messy” follows a single female ob-gyn and her efforts to juggle her complicated personal and professional lives. Kaling, who wrote the pilot and stars in the series, will executive produce with Howard Klein and Charles D. McDougall, who directed the pilot.

Passed over were some other 20th TV projects that had their share of buzz during development season including Steve Levitan’s “Rebounding” and Mike Royce’s “My Little Brother.” While “Messy” is certain to be paired with “New Girl,” it remains to be seen whether Fox chief Kevin Reilly will make good on his intent to turn Tuesday into a four-comedy block or keep “Glee” in its place. He could very well go both ways, platooning new comedies and “Glee” at 8 p.m. at different points in the season.