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CBS Orders Pilots for Diverse Nancy Drew Series, Family Comedy Based on Australian Format

CBS has officially jumped into pilot season with the network ordering its first two new projects in contention for the 2016-17 season.

The modernized Nancy Drew drama has been picked up to pilot, in addition to an untitled comedy, based on the Australian series “Upper Middle Bogan,” Variety has learned.

Titled “Drew,” the Nancy Drew pilot hails from CBS Television Studios and writers Joan Rater and Tony Phelan (“Grey’s Anatomy”) who will exec produce with Dan Jinks. Described as a contemporary take on the character from the iconic Nancy Drew book series, the CBS project will center around a diverse, 30-something title character. A more mature version than the classic story, Nancy is now detective for the NYPD where she investigates and solves crimes using her uncanny observational skills, all while navigating the complexities of life in a modern world.

This past week at the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, Calif., new CBS president Glenn Geller said that the new Nancy Drew is written as a diverse character. He did not specify whether she’d be African-American, Latino, Asian or another ethnicity, but he did confirm she will not be Caucasian.

On the comedy side, Dan O’Shannon, Robyn Butler and Wayne Hope are adapting Australia’s “Upper Middle Bogan,” which is untitled in the pilot phase at CBS. The trio will serve as co-writers and exec producers, along with EP Todd Holland. The “extended family show” is about a wife and mother who learns she was adopted and that her birth parents are a flamboyant, but loving, family of drag-racers. CBS TV Studios and ABC Studios will co-produce the hybrid laffer with Dark Toy Entertainment also attached.

The two pilots join legal drama “Doubt,” the only other project on CBS’s slate thus far. Starring Katherine Heigl and Steven Pasquale, “Doubt” was rolled over from last season, as it was retooled for 2016-17 consideration. It also hails from Rater and Phelan, who along with “Drew,” now make up two-thirds of the network’s pilot slate at this point.

For detailed information on all of this year’s pilots, see Variety’s Pilot Scorecard.

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