[05/17/07 - 04:37 PM]
The Futon's Upfront Notes: CBS & the Cw
By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)

LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- A round-up of the various developments from CBS and The CW's upfront presentations that may have gotten lost in the shuffle:

-- Sitcom vet Tim Doyle has been tapped as the showrunner of the CW's "Aliens in America". The development is the result of a two-year, seven-figure overall deal the writer/producer has inked with co-producer CBS Paramount Network Television. He'll assume the day-to-day operations of the series as co-creators David Guarascio and Moses Port work on fellow newcomer "The I.T. Crowd" for NBC.

-- CBS plans to recast the female lead of its newcomer "Moonlight." "The O.C.'s" Shannon Lucio played said role of Beth Turner - "a beautiful, ambitious reporter who has been covering the ongoing plague of unusual murders" - in the original pilot. It's not clear why the decision was made.

-- As previously indicated, "N.C.I.S." co-creator/executive producer Don Bellisario is exiting the series. It's understood co-executive producer Chas. Floyd Johnson and head writer Shane Brennan will take over as co-showrunners for the series' fifth season. As for Bellisario, he'll turn his focus to development for the show's producer CBS Paramount Network Television, where his overall deal is based. No specific reason was given for his exit however industry insiders suggest tension between Bellisario and the show's star, Mark Harmon, as being part of the decision.

-- "Veronica Mars" star Kristen Bell will voice the title role on the CW's "Gossip Girl." Her character is an anonymous blogger who narrates the action, exposing the characters' various secrets in the process.

-- Just eight series didn't make the cut for the Eye's 2007-2008 schedule, the least of any of the big four networks. The CW likewise only saw five shows left behind, but it programs just 13 primetime hours per week. Last season, CBS cut just six of its non-summer entries while UPN and the WB purged a combined 20 series as part of the CW merger.

  [may 2007]  


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