LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- As the networks make the final touches on their 2006-07 season schedules, 10 pilots have been given the thumbs-up that they'll be making the cut.
NBC as expected has given the firm go-ahead to both "Heroes" and "Friday Night Lights" (read the story) as well as fellow newcomers "Raines" and "The Singles Table," sources close to the projects confirmed this morning.
"Singles," from 20th Century Fox Television, is a single-camera comedy about five singles who become friends after meeting at a wedding. Conor Dubin ("Close to Home"), Jarrad Paul ("Monk"), John Cho ("Kitchen Confidential"), Pascale Hutton ("Reunion") and Rhea Seehorn ("Head Cases") all star in the half-hour, which comes from creators Bill Martin and Mike Schiff. Adam Bernstein directed the pilot.
"Raines" then revolves around an eccentric but brilliant cop (Jeff Goldblum) who talks to dead victims that help him solve his cases. Dov Davidoff ("My Suicidal Sweetheart"), Linda Park ("Star Trek: Enterprise"), Luis Guzm�n ("Luis"), Matt Craven ("Assault on Precinct 13") and Nicole Sullivan ("Hot Properties") also star in the NBC Universal Television-based hour, which comes from creator Graham Yost and director Frank Darabont. Peter Noah ("The West Wing") has also come aboard as an executive producer via his new one-year overall deal with the studio. He'll serve alongside fellow executive producers Yost and Preston Fischer.
The quartet joins the previously announced pickups "The Black Donnellys," "Kidnapped" and "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip."
Over at ABC, six projects - three comedies ("Help Me Help You," "Notes from the Underbelly" and "In Case of Emergency") and three dramas ("Day Break," "The Nine" and "Six Degrees") - were given the green light yesterday.
"Help," from Regency Television, revolves around a group of crazy, self-obsessed strangers who attend the same therapy group. The ensemble cast includes Charlie Finn ("Life on a Stick"), Darlene Hunt ("One on One"), Jane Kaczmarek ("Malcolm in the Middle"), Jere Burns ("All of Us"), Jim Rash ("That '70s Show"), Kathleen Rose Perkins ("Four Kings"), Suzy Nakamura ("Half & Half") and Ted Danson ("Becker"). Alexandra Rushfield and Jennifer Konner are behind the half-hour, the pilot of which was directed by Brian Dannelly.
"Underbelly," based on Risa Green's book of the same name, is about a young couple (Peter Cambor, Jennifer Westfeldt) whose lives are changed when they find out they're going to be having a baby. Stacy Traub is behind the Warner Bros. Television-based project, which also stars Melanie Deanne Moore ("Happy Family"), Michael Weaver ("The Mullets") and Rachael Harris ("Fat Actress"). Eric Tannenbaum and Kim Tannenbaum also serve as executive producers while Barry Sonnenfeld directed the pilot.
"Emergency" then tells the story of four high school pals who are reunited after one of them goes through a crisis and realize that their lives have not gone according to plan. David Arquette ("The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3-D"), Greg Germann ("Ally McBeal"), Jonathan Silverman ("Related"), Kelly Hu ("C.S.I.: N.Y."), Lori Loughlin ("Summerland") and Nicholas Roget-King ("Yours, Mine and Ours") all star in the half-hour, which comes from Touchstone Television and executive producers Emile Levisetti, Howard J. Morris and Jon Favreau. "Emergency's" pickup comes as little surprise as the Alphabet had already given the project a blind six-episode commitment earlier this year.
As for the dramas, "Day Break" stars Taye Diggs ("Will & Grace") as cop framed for murder who keeps on reliving the same day. Adam Baldwin ("The Inside"), Meta Golding ("J.A.G."), Moon Bloodgood ("Eight Below"), Ramon Rodriguez ("Rescue Me") and Victoria Pratt ("Mutant X") also star in the Touchstone Television-based hour. Rob Bowman directed the pilot and serves as an executive producer alongside Jeffrey Bell, Matthew Gross and creator Paul Zbyszewski.
"The Nine" is an ensemble drama about nine people that endure a 52-hour hostage standoff and are forever affected and intertwined because of it. Camille Guaty ("Prison Break"), Chi McBride ("Killer Instinct"), Dana Davis ("Veronica Mars"), Jeffrey Pierce ("N.C.I.S."), Jessica Collins, John Billingsley ("Star Trek: Enterprise"), Kim Raver ("24"), Lourdes Benedicto ("24"), Owain Yeoman ("Kitchen Confidential"), Scott Wolf ("Everwood") and Timothy Daly ("Eyes") star. Hank Steinberg and K.J. Steinberg created the Warner Bros. Television-based hour while Alex Graves directed the pilot.
Finally, "Six Degrees" revolves around six strangers who are connected by a mysterious web of seeming coincidence and happenstance that draws them together and changes their lives forever. Bridget Moynahan ("Lord of War"), Campbell Scott ("The Exorcism of Emily Rose"), Dorian Missick ("C.S.I.: N.Y."), Erika Christensen ("Flightplan"), Hope Davis ("The Matador") and Jay Hernandez ("Hostel") star in the Touchstone Television-based hour, which comes from executive producers Bryan Burk, J.J. Abrams, Raven Metzner, Stu Zicherman and Thom Sherman. Rodrigo Garc�a directed the pilot.
Both ABC and NBC are expected to add additional series at their upfront presentations next week.