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Dancing with the Upfronts: Thursday's Pilot Round-up

You can almost smell the excitement here in Hollywood as the as the network upfronts rapidly approach. In an unusually exciting development season, some networks have announced pre-upfront series orders while others (ahem, CW) are keeping their cards closer to their vests.

Courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter and Variety, below are the current batch of rumors on renewals, cancellations, and orders before the networks' fall schedules are made official next week. Remember, most of the below has yet to be confirmed by the networks, so all info is subject to change.

ABC

ABC has picked up dramas The Nine, Six Degrees (from J.J. Abrams), and Day Break, along with comedies In Case of Emergency, Help Me Help You, and Notes from the Underbelly.

The following dramas will duke it out for a place among the remaining slots: Traveler, Secrets of a Small Town, Ugly Betty, Drift, Men in Trees, and Brothers & Sisters. If Grey's Anatomy does make the move to Mondays at 9 pm, as many insiders are hinting, then ABC may use Six Degrees or Secrets of a Small Town as a companion to the medical series. On the comedy front, the only contenders are the Untitled Burnett/Beckerman and Untitled Hunt/Lake sitcoms. Him and Us, a single-camera sitcom starring Anthony Stewart Heard (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and Kim Cattrall (Sex and the City), will not be ordered by ABC and will instead be shopped around to other outlets.

According to Jim and George Lopez seem like locks to return next season and Freddie is also a possible return as well. Less likely renewals are freshman dramas What About Brian and Invasion. If Invasion is not renewed, it might be shopped to the CW.

Variety has indicated that ABC may schedule Lost for a November return date rather than at the start of the fall season. Reality series The Bachelor is also expected to return for a mid-season slot.

NBC

NBC has cancelled the dismally-received sitcom Teachers. The network is expected to pick up Raines and the Untitled Tina Fey project. Comedies 20 Good Years, Community Service, and The Singles Table are still in contention for the few remaining slots, but NBC is passing on the Andy Richter-led comedy Andy Barker, P.I., which will be shopped to FOX.

Unlike yesterday's rumor, ER now seems to be staying put in its timeslot, rather than relocating to another night. Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip might form the basis of a Monday night lineup, paired with The Black Donnellys, as Medium levitates over to Friday nights.

Variety indicates that a fake NBC fall schedule that has made the rounds around town--and which shows Untitled Tina Fey airing Thursdays at 9:30, after a relocated 9:00 The Office--makes a hell of a lot of sense.

UPDATE: According to a report on The Futon Critic, sources close to the productions have confirmed that NBC has given series orders to Raines and The Singles Table.

CBS

CBS is expected to renew freshman crime drama Close to Home. Meanwhile, the network is expected to pick up at least four to five new drama pilots, with as many as three airing this fall. Sharks is said to be a particularly strong contender, along with fellow drama Smith.

Other possible pickups might include Untitled Carol Mendelsohn, Jericho, Untitled Peter Ocko, and Company Town. On the comedy side, CBS is said to be leaning towards The Class, with Inseparable, Untitled Tom Hertz, and The Big Bang Theory right behind it.

FOX

FOX is said to be close to following up its series orders for Primary, Vanished, and American Crime with another order. The Hollywood Reporter pegs Southern Comfort as the front-runner, while Variety picks either Damages or Beyond. And comedy pilot The Winner might join 'Til Death on FOX's fall schedule as well.

CW

The fledgling netlet is said to be "not very pleased" with its drama pilot crop, which includes the Darren Star-created Runaway, Kevin Williamson's Palm Springs, and Aquaman. Given that, the chances are now extremely high for Veronica Mars (wahoo!), One Tree Hill, and Everwood to graduate to the CW. CBS pilot Ultra is now said to be in the running for a fall slot on the net, possibly along with ABC's Invasion. On the comedy side, Wayne Brady's pilot Flirt is most likely to get a series order.

* * *
Next week, the networks will unveil their fall schedules before advertisers at the annual upfront presentations. NBC is up first on Monday (May 15th), ABC and MyNetwork follow on Tuesday (May 16th), CBS on Wednesday (May 17th), with FOX and the CW on Thursday (May 18th).

(N.B.: UPDATED UPFRONT INFO FOR FRIDAY CAN BE FOUND HERE.)

Comments

Todd said…
I thought Him and Us was already in development for ABC?
Jace Lacob said…
Oops, my bad. You're right. It's now being dropped by ABC and is being shopped elsewhere. I've corrected and thanks for the catch!
Bridget Sacks said…
Better chances for Veronica Mars? I like it.

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