UPDATE 9 PM: A Locke & Key limited series/miniseries was a stretch, and it seems that it is not happening. The show is now heading to the death pile. And yes, comedy Outnumbered is dead too. Surprisingly, multi-family comedy Little In Common starring Rob Corddry and Kevin Hart, which had stayed largely under the radar, is still very much in the mix.
UPDATE 8 PM: With two high-profile drama pilots, the Ethan Hawke starrer Exit Strategy and Locke & Key, conspicuously missing from the list of series pickups or rejects, speculation started swirling as to their fate. I hear both are still in play. Word is Exit Strategy may be held for retooling. I hear Fox brass felt the pilot had a lot of action and not too much character in it, so they had been looking to shift the focus on the show. As for Locke & Key, there is a rumor that Fox wants to make it into a big-event limited series/miniseries, but it is unclear if that would be financially feasible. Comedy Family Album is still TBD but is not getting an order at this time and may get pushed.
UPDATE 7:30 PM: Fox has picked up a second new comedy series, I Hate My Teenage Daughter, on the same night its star, Jaime Pressly, appears on Fox’s Raising Hope. Meanwhile, three other pilots, medical drama Weekends at Bellevue and comedies Council of Dads and Iceland, are dead.
UPDATE 6:55 PM: Fox just made its first drama series orders, picking up Bones spinoff Finder and time travel-flavored Alcatraz. The pickup of Alcatraz came after a very good meeting between the pilot’s producers and Fox yesterday. Finder, a planted Bones spinoff based on the The Locator books series from Richard Greener, stars Geoff Stults as a military-trained “finder,” a former military policeman who specializes in finding people and things that no one else can. Michael Clarke Duncan co-stars in the project, from Bones creator Hart Hanson and 20th TV. Alcatraz, from Warner Bros and Bad Robot, is a crime drama set at the country’s most infamous prison on Alcatraz Island and involves a team investigating the mysterious disappearance of its 1960s inhabitants in the present. Sarah Jones, Jorge Garcia, Jonny Coyne, Jason Butler, Sam Neill, Parminder Nagra, Santiago Cabrera and Robert Forster co-starred in the pilot, written by Liz Sarnoff, Steven Lilien and Bryan Wynbrandt and directed by Danny Cannon.
PREVIOUS 6 PM: Fox just opened this year’s series-order season with a pickup of early frontrunner The New Girl starring Zooey Deschanel, who will join her sister, Bones star Emily Deschanel, on the Fox schedule. Word is that there may be more Fox pickups coming tonight. There had been speculation that the network may order its strongest comedy pilots, New Girl and possibly Family Album and/or I Hate My Teenage Daughter, early this week. Picking the shoo-in pilots to series early allows their producers to get the best available writers. Created by Liz Meriwether, The New Girl stars Zooey Deschanel as an unlucky-in-love elementary school teacher who moves away from her former boyfriend and in with three unruly guys. Jake Kasdan directed the single-camera pilot for 20th Century Fox TV and Chernin Entertainment. Meriwether, Peter Chernin, Katherine Pope, David Finkel and Brett Baer are executive producing. Jake M. Johnson, Max Greenfield, Hannah Simone and Damon Wayans Jr. co-star. Wayans is in second position to ABC’s Happy Endings, which will make for a down-to-the-wire intrigue as the midseason ABC comedy is in contention for renewal. One thing is certain: Damon Wayans’ son will have a series on the air next season, something that cannot be said (yet) for his dad, whose pilot at CBS has been getting so-so buzz.
TV Editor Nellie Andreeva - tip her here.