Primetime Pilot Panic: ABC & CBS Updates

Nellie Andreeva

With Fox done with its series orders and NBC pretty much done too, attention is focusing on ABC and CBS. ABC is expected to make its series pickups tomorrow. Here is the latest buzz on the two networks:

ABC

Assured … Read More »

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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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Primetime Pilot Panic: Screenings Updates

Nellie Andreeva

The marathon pilot screenings at the broadcast networks are in full force. While they are rarely the deciding factor in the networks’ final series pickup decisions, they help solidify early standouts’ frontrunner positions and sometimes breathe life into pilots that might have been written off too soon. Here are some … Read More »

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Several More Actors Join Broadcast Pilots

By | Thursday March 24, 2011 @ 5:53pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Former Knight Rider star Justin Bruening has joined another reboot for NBC, the network’s pilot Wonder Woman. The David E. Kelley-penned project stars Adrienne Palicki as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince, a successful corporate executive working to balance the elements of her complicated life. Innovative-repped Bruening will play Steve Trevor, a leading man Diana can’t look past, an army vet who now works in the Justice department.

Desperate Housewives alum Mark Deklin has been added to ABC’s dramedy pilot Good Christian Bitches. It stars Leslie Bibb as Amanda, a mother of two and onetime “mean girl” in high school who returns home to Dallas humbled following a scandalous divorce, hoping to get a second chance at winning over her old classmates. Deklin will play a rugged, metrosexual cowboy married to one of the classmates, Cricket (Miriam Shor). Deklin, repped by APA and MBM, recently co-starred on Lone Star and is recurring on Hawaii Five-0 and Hot in Cleveland.

Dexter alum David Ramsey has been cast in the CW pilot Cooper & Stone, about Jenna Cooper (Alex Breckenridge) and Stone (Vanessa Ferlito), two smart female detectives on Chicago’s North Side who are best friends, equally adept at discussing fashion, music and pop culture as they are at solving homicides. Ramsey, repped by APA and Principato-Young, will play Mazzara, a veteran cop who has no patience for rookies but is tight with Stone. He most recently co-starred on NBC’s Outlaw. Read More »

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Madeleine Stowe Among Latest Pilot Castings

Nellie Andreeva

Madeleine Stowe and Henry Czerny are set to co-star in ABC’s drama pilot Revenge centers on Emily Thorn/Amanda Clarke (Emily VanCamp), a mysterious woman who comes to the Hamptons to … Read More »

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Kristin Chenoweth To Co-Star In ABC’s ‘Good Christian Bitches’

By | Monday March 14, 2011 @ 8:01pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Oklahoma-born Kristin Chenoweth has Southern belle written all over her. Now the Broadway star will be able to show off her heritage with a co-starring role in ABC’s dramedy pilot temporarily titled Good Christian Bitches. After lengthy on-again, off-again negotiations, … Read More »

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Thomas Dekker To Star In ‘Secret Circle,’ Marisol Nichols Joins ‘Christian Bitches’

By | Thursday March 10, 2011 @ 3:15pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

Former Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles star Thomas Dekker has been cast as the male lead in Kevin Williamson’s drama pilot for the CW The Secret Circle. Written by Andrew Miller and Williamson and based on the book series from … Read More »

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PTC Attacks ‘Good Christian Bitches’ Pilot

By | Wednesday March 9, 2011 @ 2:54pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

The Parents Television Council now is starting to criticize TV projects even before they have gotten on the air. The TV watch group, which recently waged a campaign against MTV’s racy new series Skins, today issued a blistering statement against … Read More »

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PILOT SEASON: Source Material – Books & Public Domain Properties Are In, Twitter Out

Nellie Andreeva

Part of a series that takes an analytical look at the current broadcast pilot season and some of its trends and heroes.

Once upon a time, there was a pilot season ruled by classic fairy tales and characters, real-life stories and books, with a dash of iconic brands and foreign … Read More »

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Bruce Greenwood Among Latest ABC Pilot Castings

By | Friday March 4, 2011 @ 9:00pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

After fielding multiple pilot offers, Bruce Greenwood has signed on to co-star in the ABC drama pilot The River directed by Jaume Collet-Serra. The horror thriller, from DreamWorks TV, ABC Studios and Paranormal Activity mastermind Oren Peli, centers on Lincoln … Read More »

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Leslie Bibb Set As The Lead In ABC’s ‘Bitches’, Jennifer Ehle To Star In CBS Pilot

Nellie Andreeva

Leslie Bibb has been tapped for the lead in ABC’s dramedy pilot Good Christian Bitches, from ABC Studios, Kapital Entertainment, writer-exec producer Robert Harling and exec producer Darren Star. Based on Kim Gatlin’s book, it centers on Amanda … Read More »

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Christina Ricci, Jaime King And Annie Potts Get Pilot Starring Roles

Nellie Andreeva

In her first major TV gig, Christina Ricci has closed a deal to star in ABC’s drama pilot Pan Am. The project, from Sony Pictures TV, writer Jack Orman and director Thomas Schlamme, is a sexy soap set against the … Read More »

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PILOTS: Frances Fisher Joins ‘Partners,’ Jennifer Aspen Cast In ‘Bitches’

Nellie Andreeva

Frances Fisher has joined ABC drama pilot Partners. The project, from Ed Bernero,  is a cop drama centered on two female police detectives, Mattie (Scottie Thompson) and Jess (Annie Wersching), who are fiercely loyal to … Read More »

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Craig Zisk, Alan Poul Set To Direct Pilots

Nellie Andreeva

Craig Zisk has served as director-executive producer on two female-centered comedy series, Showtime’s United States of Tara and Weeds. Now he is set to direct 2 comedy pilots, NBC’s Bent and the untitled Kari Lizer project, both of which are built around a central female character. Additionally, former Six Feet Read More »

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ABC Lands Darren Star Dramedy In One Of Paul Lee’s First Major Development Moves

Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: After a bidding war, ABC has nabbed the Darren Star-produced dramedy based on Kim Gatlin’s book Good Christian Bitches. The untitled project, which will be written by Steel Magnolias and The First Wives Club scribe Robert Harling, has received a rich put pilot commitment by ABC after the network and CBS went down to the wire in their pursuit of the dramedy. I hear ABC’s new chief Paul Lee spearheaded the network’s efforts to land the project, which he considers a great fit for the ABC brand. While ABC, NBC and CBS all went after the dramedy when it hit the market at the end of last month, ABC, home to light female-centered fare like Desperate Housewives, was the obvious destination for the project, often described as “Desperate Housewives in Dallas.” It centers on Amanda Vaughn, a recently divorced mother of two who, to get a fresh start, moves back to the affluent Dallas neighborhood where she grew to find herself in the whirling midst of salacious gossip, Botox, and fraud. Harling, Star and Aaron Kaplan of Kapital Entertainment are executive producing the project, which, with ABC on board, is being laid off at ABC Studios. The project reunites Star with ABC where he most recently executive produced the 2008 dramedy series Cashmere Mafia. Read More »

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