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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 updates I heard today. (If some pilots, like ALCATRAZ and POE, are not mentioned in this update, they are in the one from yesterday, so check out that one too.)

The only element of uncertainly about GOOD CHRISTIAN BITCHES‘ future as a new ABC series next season seems to be what it will be called as it will definitely won’t be GCB. After a great screening today, the dramedy executive produced by Darren Star appears a sure thing, possibly as a companion to Desperate Housewives given that it’s been referred to as “Desperate Housewives in Dallas.” Probably the biggest surprise today was the mixed reaction to Shonda Rhimes’ drama SCANDAL, once considered a lock. But with Rhimes behind it, the project is still in the running. Also mixed was the reaction to family/dance drama GRACE, which once again got praise for its elaborate dance sequences and not so much for the narrative. Still a possibility to run behind Dancing With the Stars. Early comedy favorites, SUBURGATORY and SMOTHERED, continue to fly high after good screenings today and yesterday, respectively. Reaction to the Jenna Elfman-starring comedy BAD MOM was more mixed. … Read More »

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Cybill Shepherd To Star In ABC Comedy Pilot ‘My Freakin’ Family’

By | Monday March 14, 2011 @ 7:38pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Cybill Shepherd has been tapped for a lead role in ABC’s comedy pilot My Freakin’ Family. The project, penned by Erica Rivinoja, centers on young parents Anna (Ellen Woglom) and Raj (Ravi Patel), whose lives change after they have a baby boy and the four grandparents with very different cultural backgrounds descend upon their lives. Shepherd will play Raj’s uptight and sophisticated mom, Nell. She dresses in the traditional Indian garb and wants to be involved in baby Clark’s life so he doesn’t turn out “white” like her son did, and she is prepared to go to war with Anna’s mom Maureen (Mo Gaffney) over Clark’s mixed cultural heritage. Shepherd, repped by Fortitude and Hofflund, had her first big success on ABC with Moonlighting. She recently did an arc on USA’s Psych.

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Several Actors Board Broadcast Pilots

Nellie Andreeva

ABC’s comedy comedy pilot has found the leads for its comedy pilot My Freakin’ Family: Ellen Woglom and Ravi Patel. Christopher Rich also has been cast in the project, which centers on two young parents, Anna (Woglom) and Raj (Patel), whose lives change after they have a baby and the four grandparents with very different cultural backgrounds descend upon their lives to fight for the soul of their grandchild. Rich will play Anna’s dad, an affable suburban cowboy. Harish Patel was previously cast as Raj’s dad. Ravi Patel, repped by TalentWorks and Seven Summits, played the lead in Fox’s comedy pilot Nevermind Nirvana last year.

Janet McTeer is set to co-star in the Fox drama pilot Weekends at Bellevue. Based on Dr. Julie Holland’s memoir, Bellevue centers on a psychiatrist in charge of the weekend shift of Bellevue Hospital psychiatric unit. McTeer, nominated for an Oscar in 2000 for Tumbleweeds,  will play Diane, the head of psychiatry at Bellevue.

Zoe Lister-Jones has been cast in NBC’s untitled Whitney Cummings comedy pilot. The project, written by Cummings, centers on young couple Whitney (Cummings) and Alex (Chris D’Elia) who tackle the ups and downs of a committed relationship  torn between their friends Lily (Lister-Jones) and Neal who think … Read More »

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