Thursday was a pretty quiet day in terms of upfront news as it is fast approaching. That statement worked until tonight when the craziness started!
It all started with the report by Deadline.com that the staple Law & Order was cancelled by NBC because of a dispute with creator Dick Wolf. That was quickly called out too soon as reports of troubles are true, but negotiations are still ongoing but unlikely to change by Monday. NBC reversely picked up the David E. Kelly/Kathy Bates starring vehicle Kindreds for midseason and according to THR, the intelligent Garza legal pilot which is a chance for Jimmy Smits to shine. But the best news from NBC, CHUCK IS RENEWED. Enough said. (The other bubble show Heroes, may get a limited pickup to finish the series.)
ABC took to the waves by announcing six new pickups of series following the announcement of the first drama No Ordinary Family.
First up the new comedies, the fantastically written by star Matthew Perry and pals pilot Mr. Sunshine and starring Allison Janney was one of the three laffers. Mr. Sunshine focuses on a sports center manager (Perry) and his friends, think of it as the male-led Cougar Town). Second is Happy Endings, starring Elisha Cuthbert and Eliza Coupe, and centers around an almost married couple and their eclectic friends. I have read the script by David Caspe flows nicely and is a good adult sitcom. The last official pickup is the only multi-cam by the network, Better Together, which features Joanna Garcia and Jennifer Finnigan as sisters who are both in a relationship as well as their parents. Debra Messing’s ABC pilot Wright vs. Wrong is very close to a pickup as well.
The new dramas on ABC (more pickups to come tomorrow) include the Michael Imperioli fronted cop drama, Detroit 1-8-7, which had a solid script and a very nice cast including the underrated Aisha Hinds, and The Whole Truth which brings back Joely Richardson to the Jerry Bruckheimer drama, that focus on both sides of the law, with the other side shown by Rob Marrow. Joely is one of my favorite actresses and the script was a refreshing legal concept. The third drama pickup is My Generation (also called Generation Y), written tremendously by Noah Hawley (The Unusuals), focuses on a class of kids that were in a documentary in high school, and now are being looked at once again 10 years later. The class includes actors such as Mechad Brooks, Jamie King, and Kelli Garner.
In terms of current shows at ABC, a personal favorite V has been renewed for a second season, and now multiple sources including EW, are reporting that Better off Ted, Romantically Challenged, Scrubs, and FlashForward, are all cancelled.
CBS picked up their first freshman entry today, Mike and Molly. The pilot about a couple that meets at a meeting for “larger” people is from their favorite creator Chuck Lorre (The Big Bang Theory) and stars the wonderful women Melissa McCarthy and Swoosie Kurtz.
Lastly on the cable side, partner networks TBS and TNT, who are both doing presentations next week, picked up new series. TBS greenlit Glory Daze, which stars a crew of unknowns that play 80’s college students in Wisconsin. Finally in a pilot started at TBS, Franklin and Bash moved to TNT and Lynette Rice at EW is reporting has been okay-ed for series. The pilot about street smart lawyers stars Breckin Meyer and Mark-Paul Gosselaar.
Stay tuned throughout the night, tomorrow, and the weekend for the latest in advance of the Upfronts next week.