UPDATE: I hear among the pilots remaining in serious contention are dramas Backstrom and Beverly Hills Cop and comedy Friends With Better Lives. I also gear that the serialized Hostages, which had been rumored for a midseason run, has received a 15-episode order and may air as a limited run.
PREVIOUS, 2:30 PM: CBS is going for star power — both in front and behind the camera — with its series pickups. The network has ordered projects starring Robin Williams, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Anna Faris, Allison Janney, Will Arnett, Kal Penn, Tony Shalhoub, Jerry O’Connell, Toni Collette, Dylan McDermott, Josh Holloway, and Marg Helgenberger from writers/producers Chuck Lorre, Greg Garcia, David E. Kelley and Jerry Bruckheimer.
Living up to the buzz that CBS has been higher on its comedy pilots than dramas this season, the network has picked up four new comedy series vs. two dramas. The comedies are two multi-camera — Lorre’s Mom and Garcia’s multi-camera project, now titled The Millers – and two single-camera — Kelley’s Crazy Ones starring Robin Williams and We Are Men (formerly untitled Rob Greenberg). This marks the first time in five years that CBS will have a single-camera on the air, since Worst Week in 2008. On the drama side, getting the nod are the Bruckheimer-produced conspiracy thriller Hostages and crime procedural Intelligence, which stars Holloway and Helgenberger. The big question is: where is Beverly Hills Cop? Word is CBS is not completely done yet, with 1-2 more pickups likely. For now, I’ve only heard that the Tad Quill project and Rottenberg/Zuritsky are not going forward; I’ll update with info on others.
Related: Chuck Lorre’s ‘Mom’ To Get Series Order
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Buffy The Vampire Slayer alumna Sarah Michelle Gellar has been tapped as the female lead opposite Robin Williams in David E. Kelley’s CBS comedy pilot Crazy Ones. Written/exec produced by Kelley and directed/exec produced by Jason Winer, Crazy Ones is set in the world of advertising and stars Williams as Simon (Williams), the brilliant head of an ad agency working alongside his daughter Sydney (Gellar), the agency’s creative director. 20th Century TV is producing.
Gellar was recently attached to a 20th TV comedy spec, and I hear that the studio wanted to stay in business with her after that spec didn’t go. This marks the first live-action comedy series gig for Gellar, who starred in the CW drama Ringer last season. She is repped by ICM Partners and Brillstein Entertainment.
James Wolk is set to co-star opposite Robin Williams in Crazy Ones, CBS‘ single-camera workplace comedy pilot written by David E. Kelley and directed by Jason Winer. The project, from 20th Century Fox TV, is set at the Lewis, Roberts & Roberts Ad Agency and stars Williams as Simon Roberts, the brilliant head of the agency who is working alongside his daughter. Wolk will play Zach Cropper, a confident and charming copywriter at the ad agency. Per the role breakdown: “he is George Clooney — cool, only better looking.” Kelley and Winer executive produce the pilot with Bill D’Elia, Winer, Dean Lorey, John Montgomery and Mark Teitelbaum. This marks Wolk’s return to 20th TV where he played the lead in the studio’s Fox drama series Lone Star. Wolk, repped by WME, Greenlight Management and attorney Amy Nickin, recently co-starred in USA Network’s limited drama series Political Animals.