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ABC Gives Early Renewal To Six Series

Nellie Andreeva

ABC has handed early pickups for next season to six scripted series: flagship comedy Modern Family and the other sophomore members of the network’s Wednesday comedy block, The Middle and Cougar Town, flagship drama Grey’s Anatomy, its spinoff Private Practice and crime dramedy Castle. Additionally, a deal for two more cycles of the network’s top reality series Dancing with the Stars is in the works.

Most of the early renewals are in the “no-brainer” category: Modern Family, The Middle and Castle are up in the ratings from last season by double digits. Modern Family and Grey’s Anatomy are the highest-rated comedy and drama series on TV among adults 18-49. (Dancing is holding the honor on the unscripted side.) Season-to-date, Private Practice is down 8% in the demo, but that is less than the decline of its lead-in, Grey’s (11%), and Private Practice remains the strongest, highest-rated 10 PM series on ABC. The only mild surprise on the list of early renewals was Cougar Town, which is up only 3% in the demo vs. 36% for its lead-in, Modern Family, but it seems ABC brass opted to pick up its three Wednesday comedies en block, just as the network did at the same time last year. At its TCA presentation last January, the network announced early renewals for Modern Family, The Middle and Cougar Town, which were followed by an early pickup for Castle in March. Sources stress not to read too … Read More »

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Primetime Pilot Panic: ‘Boston Legal’ OK; Kelley’s ‘Life On Mars’ Probable At ABC

By | Sunday May 11, 2008 @ 1:48pm PDT

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I hear that, after intense negotiations with David Kelley about cutting the show’s licensing fee, ABC has renewed Boston Legal for a 5th season. A source tells me: “Watch for the cast to be scaled down to Spader, Shatner, Candace, and fewer people around them.” Sources are telling me that Kelley’s other show for ABC, Life On Mars, “probably will be ordered” and is “looking like it should be officially picked up any minute.” But insiders say it will have new showrunners: October Road alum Josh Applebaum and André Nemec.

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