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UPDATED: ABC Orders "Castle," "Cupid," and "The Unusuals" to Series, Plus Two Comedies

In a flurry of ordering activity, ABC has granted series orders to no less than five projects today.

The Alphabet handed out series orders to procedural mystery series Castle, Rob Thomas' update of romantic dramedy Cupid, and cop drama The Unusuals.

Castle, which stars Nathan Fillion (Firefly), is about a womanizing horror novelist who assists the New York Police Department with crime-solving. Project, from ABC Studios, was written by Andrew Marlowe and is executive produced by Marlowe, Laurie Zaks, and Armyan Bernstein. Pilot was directed by Rob S. Bowman (The X-Files) and also stars Stana Katic (24), Monet Mazur (The House Bunny), Molly Quinn (Walk Hard), Ruben Santiago-Hudson (Law & Order), and Susan Sullivan (The Nine).

(Yes, it is Captain Tightpants himself. I wasn't crazy about the pilot script but think that Fillion will bring a certain je ne sais quoi to the role. And rest assured, I am trying to get my hands on the completed pilot.)

Rob Thomas' update of his own shortlived CBS dramedy Cupid, has also been ordered to series. It stars Bobby Cannavale (The Station Agent) as Trevor Hale, a man who is either mentally insane or the actual living Eros himself; Sarah Paulson (Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip) plays Dr. Claire Allen, a psychologist assigned to monitor Trevor as he is released from psychiatric care... who happens to be writing a book that could use Hale as a case study. Cupid also stars Camille Guaty (Prison Break) and Rick Gomez (What About Brian). The pilot was directed by Bharat Nalluri (Life on Mars).

Also on deck: Sony's The Unusuals, which is a cop drama (with some comedic elements) that uses the listings of yesterday's crimes (in police parlance, "the unusuals") as a procedural entry to the story. Project stars Amber Tamblyn (Joan of Arcadia), Harold Perrineau (Lost), Joshua Close (The Pacific), Adam Goldberg (Entourage), Terry Kinney (Canterbury's Law), Monique Gabriela Curnen (The Dark Knight), Kai Lennox (40 Days and 40 Nights), and Jeremy Renner (The Oaks). Project was written by Noah Hawley and executive produced by Peter Tolan (Rescue Me); pilot episode was directed by Stephen Hopkins (Californication).

UPDATE: ABC has now also given series stripes to two half-hour comedies, Single With Parents and Better Off Ted.

Single With Parents (formerly known colloquially as the untitled Kristin Newman comedy), from ABC Studios and Dreamworks, is a single-camera comedy about a woman forced to deal with her dysfunctional family, friends, and boss. It stars Alyssa Milano (My Name is Earl), Beau Bridges (My Name is Earl), Amanda Detmer (What About Brian), Meagen Fay (How I Met Your Mother), Annie Potts (Men in Trees), and Eric Winter (Viva Laughlin).

The Alphabet has also granted a series order for single-camera workplace comedy Better Off Ted, from 20th Century Fox Television, about the employees of a corporation that manufactures everything from, say, light bulbs to weapons. From writer/executive producer Victor Fresco (Andy Richter Controls the Universe), it stars Jay Harrington (Desperate Housewives), Andrea Anders (The Class), Portia de Rossi (Arrested Development), Malcolm Barrett (Side Order of Life), and Jonathan Slavin (Andy Richter Controls the Universe).

Stay tuned.


Shawn said…
Is it official? Only these 3 shows? ...and where are the comedies?
Jace Lacob said…
It's not in the trades yet but, yes, it's official.
Anonymous said…
Comedies are there now. I think Castle could be fun but The Unusuals sounds like every other cop show out there right now. Feh.
karigee said…
Ugh. I so wanted good news on "Good Behavior." What a disappointment.
Jace Lacob said…
You and me both, Kari. Sigh. Here's to hoping I'll get my hands on "Good Behavior" over the next few weeks anyway. I thought it was far superior to "Cupid."
Anonymous said…
I am interested to see Cupid, though, since so many people love the original. And I am curious about Better Off Ted (even with that horrible title). At least the idea sounds somewhat original.
karigee said…
Well then, perhaps I will live vicariously through your review.

Oh, ABC, it's like you don't want me to remember what channel you're on!
Anonymous said…
Sigh. So no hope for Good Behavior huh? Too bad. But even that can't dull my delight about Castle. I haven't heard anything about it before now, but I would watch Nathan Fillion reading the phone book.
par3182 said…
hee, that line break after discussing captain tightpants made me think "i am trying to get my hands on..." was going to end quite differently
Jace Lacob said…
From Variety, now that they've run the story:

"Among projects that weren't yet screened, because of a late shooting schedule: the fantasy-driven "Captain Cook's Extraordinary Atlas" and the Detroit-set "Prince of Motor City."

Net has said that other pilots that weren't ordered to series on Monday, such as the Damon Wayans comedy "Never Better," the legal drama from David Hemingson and the dramedy "Good Behavior," could still be picked up at a later date."

So there's still hope...
Anonymous said…
Better off Ted does sound promising, especially given the Fresco of it all. And it's a strong cast.

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