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ABC Somewhat Confident in "Help," "Nine," and "Trees" While Cutting Trip Short for "Traveler"

Several series got some spirit-lifting today as NBC and ABC made some announcements regarding script orders, while one midseason entry has been dramatically cut back.

ABC ordered additional four scripts of Ted Danson therapy comedy Help Me Help You, Anne Heche-led romantic drama Men in Trees, and struggling bank hostage drama The Nine. While it has not committed to ordering any more additional episodes, it at least means that the network is curious enough to see where the storylines are going before investing more money into producing fresh installments.

It's a positive sign for the three series but I'd be curious to see how Help Me would do without Dancing with the Stars as a lead-in. As for the The Nine, with its dwindling retention out of Lost (and Lost disappearing off the schedule in less than two weeks now), I don't see how ABC will commit to ordering a full season of the drama, unless Lost's temporary replacement, Day Break, becomes a sleeper hit. That series was capped at 13 episodes in order to, according to the network, ensure that its first season story arc would be resolved, in case the serialized drama didn't return next season. (The same can't be said for fellow serials Kidnapped and Vanished, which had to dramatically restructure their seasons after learning that their respective networks would not be ordering additional episodes.)

Not such good news for midseason drama Traveler, which ABC has cut back to only eight episodes (13 installments were originally ordered), due to a lack of scheduling space for an entire 13-episode run. Due to that serialized factor (once a buzz word, now seemingly a flaw in Hollywood), producers will have an advance opportunity to tie up any loose ends, just in case Traveler doesn't make it through its planned run.

Over at NBC, Aaron Sorkin's beleaguered Studio 60 got a brief of a reprieve, despite comments from Kevin Reilly yesterday that he would be taking a long, hard look at the series. NBC has ordered three additional scripts before it will make a decision about the behind-the-scenes drama's ultimate fate.

And stalwart ER, which was originally also supposed to take a hiatus like Lost to make room for Paul Haggis' midseason drama The Black Donnellys, has actually increased its episode count for this season as NBC has bumped it up to 25 installments.


I saw the "Men in Trees" pilot and it was painful. I'm surprised they haven't yet yanked it from the air.
Anonymous said…
Is NBC still planning on airing The Black Donnellys? I really enjoyed the second half of that pilot, and was interested to see where it was headed.

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