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TV’s Sexual Revolution: Female-Driven Series Dominating Early Orders

Nellie Andreeva

How many new comedy series with a female lead were picked up last May? Zero. How many have been picked up so far this season? Every single one. All four new comedy series ordered so far by Fox and NBC this season have female leads. That is how many the four broadcast networks combined have on the air this season: NBC’s 30 Rock starring Tina Fey and Parks and Recreation starring Amy Poehler, and ABC’s The Middle starring Patricia Heaton and Cougar Town starring Courteney Cox. Half of those were created by women. All four of the newly picked series come from female creators. While not at 100%, female-centered series are also dominant on the drama side. One of the two new Fox dramas, Alcatraz, has a female lead, Sarah Jones, and was co-written by a female writer, Liz Sarnoff. Of the two NBC drama pickups, one is the female-centered Prime Suspect starring Maria Bello and written by Alexandra Cunningham and the other the female-skewing Smash, which has two leads, one played by Debra Messing. And the two locks at ABC are all about ladies (though penned by male writers), Charlie’s Angels and Good Christian Bitches.

The four newly picked up half-hour series will probably be joined by 3-4 more for a complete domination of the freshman comedy class of 2011 the way ensemble relationship comedies were all the craze last year. What’s more, it looks like as many as three new comedy series are two-female lead shows. Read More »

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Lifetime’s Nancy Dubuc Greenlights 3 Pilots

Nellie Andreeva

Lifetime today picked up the first scripted pilot pickups since the regime change at the female-centered cable network. lifetime2History’s Nancy Dubuc took the reins of Lifetime as president and has been reading piles of pilot scripts with an eye at jump starting Lifetime’s scripted development by ordering at least 5 and as many as 8 pilots, mostly in the closed-ended procedural genre.

The network today greenlighted 3:

AGAINST THE WALL: written by Annie Brunner, it is a family drama set in Chicago following policewoman Abby Kowalski, who causes a rift with her three cop brothers when she decides to join the department’s Internal Affairs division.

EXIT 19, from Jeff Bell, follows single mother Gloria Shepherd as she juggles her demanding personal and professional lives raising two children while working as a New York Police Department homicide detective. The pilot is from ABC Studios and CBS TV Studios, executive producer/writer Bell and executive producers Nina Wass and Gene Stein. The project was originally developed at CBS during the 2007-2008 season when it was ordered as a pilot presentation starring Geena Davis.

– UNTITLED JOSH BERMAN PROJECT is a closed-ended drama set in San Diego, where police detective Molly Collins, married mother of two on the verge of divorce, and her partner Brooke Kross, recently engaged, investigate the city’s most high-profile crimes while navigating their divergent personal lives. Berman and Sony are already in business with Lifetime through sophomore hit Drop Dead Diva, which was created by … Read More »

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