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[05/13/08 - 02:59 PM]
The Futon's Upfront Notes: Abc
By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)

LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- A round-up of the various developments from ABC's upfront presentation that may have gotten lost in the shuffle:

-- 11 series didn't make the cut for ABC's 2008-09 season schedule, including "Oprah's Big Give." "We loved that show and absolutely would have loved to bring it back," ABC entertainment president Steve McPherson said in a conference call this morning. "But it was something [Oprah] didn't want to do." Also confirmed dead: "Big Shots," "Carpoolers," "Cashmere Mafia," "Cavemen," "Just for Laughs," "Men in Trees," "Miss/Guided," "Notes from the Underbelly," "October Road" and "Women's Murder Club."

-- ABC still has 17 pilots under consideration for midseason. McPherson detailed the projects during the actual presentation, which include eight comedies and nine dramas. They are "Bad Mother's Handbook," "Five Year Plan," "Never Better," "Roman's Empire," "This Might Hurt," "Fourplay" (previously "Untitled Kohan/Mutchnick Project"), "Single With Parents" (previously "My Brother's Hot (And Other Dilemmas)" and "In the Motherhood" on the comedy front and "Captain Cook's Extraordinary Atlas," "Castle," "Cupid," "Finnegan," "Good Behavior," "Prince of Motor City," "Untitled David Hemingson Project," "The Unusuals" and "Section 8" on the drama side. All except "Motherhood" were previously announced (as always, you can click on the links to the right for full details on any project). Said half-hour is based on the popular web series of the same name, which starred Jenny McCarthy, Chelsea Handler and Leah Remini. It's not clear why the "Untitled Victor Fresco Project," which has already cast Andrea Anders and Portia de Rossi, was not listed. Overall, only three scripted pilots were completed prior to ABC's upfront: "Life on Mars," "More Things Change..." and the "Untitled Cedric the Entertainer Project." McPherson, who went out of his way to affirm the necessity of the pilot process, hopes to order several new comedies and dramas by August and September respectively for midseason.

-- "Boston Legal" will return for its fifth (and final) season of 13 episodes. The series will shift to Monday's at 10:00/9:00c for its swan song, to be replaced by "The Bachelor" at midseason. McPherson says that creator David E. Kelley is expected to write most of the remaining episodes. Also due at midseason: the "Untitled Banks/Kutcher Project" will spell "Dancing With the Stars" cycles on Mondays while "Scrubs" and newcomer "The Goode Family" will fill the same void on Tuesdays. No time periods were specified for "Lost," "According to Jim" or "Primetime: What Would You Do?"

-- The "Life on Mars" pilot will likely be reshot. McPherson noted that the retooling could involve some recasting but the general idea is establish the vision of incoming executive producers Josh Applebaum, Andre Nemec and Scott Rosenberg.

-- "Here Come the Newlyweds" and "Dance War" may return. Neither project appeared on the Alphabet's 2008-09 schedule but each could potentially return according to network sources. Casting has already begun on a second season of "Newlyweds," however production on a new season hasn't been greenlit.

-- Other odds and ends. "Scrubs" and "According to Jim" have been picked up for 18 episodes each, while the network's fall schedule will kick off during the traditional "premiere week" of September 22.

-- And finally, additional cast and production information has been released about several of the aforementioned pilots:

· Dorian Missick ("Six Degrees") has joined the cast of "Bad Mother's Handbook," while Alison Owen, Faye Ward and Paul Trijbits of Ruby Films have been confirmed as executive producers.

· Newcomer Molly Quinn has been tapped to play Alexis Castle, the daughter of Nathan Fillion's character, in "Castle." Her character is further detailed in the casting notice as follows: "15. The daughter of Nick and Gina, Alexis is a natural beauty, the kind of old soul more at home with adults than with kids her own age. More interested in her physics textbook than in makeup, Alexis is deeply worried about her dad's sudden inability to write, and wants to see her father acting "normally" again. Pleased to share the Castle penthouse apartment with her grandmother, she's even more pleased when Nick's bickering friendship with Detective Kate Beckett gives Nick the germ of an idea for a new character."

· "Veronica Mars" veterans Danielle Stokdyk and Jennifer Gwartz will also serve as executive producers on Rob Thomas's "Cupid" update.

· Gail Mancuso, Jack Bender and Marc Buckland have signed on to direct "Five Year Plan," "The Prince of Motor City" and "Roman's Empire" respectively.

· Tina Majorino ("Veronica Mars") is set as Addy Fisher on David Hemingson's untitled hour.

· And Monique Gabriela Curnen is the first to be cast on "The Unusuals."





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· ACCORDING TO JIM (ABC)
· ALPHAS (SYFY)
· BACHELOR, THE (ABC)
· BAD MOTHER'S HANDBOOK, THE (ABC)
· BETTER OFF TED (ABC)
· BIG SHOTS (ABC)
· BOSTON LEGAL (ABC)
· CAPTAIN COOK'S EXTRAORDINARY ATLAS (ABC)
· CARPOOLERS (ABC)
· CASHMERE MAFIA (ABC)
· CASTLE (ABC)
· CAVEMEN (ABC)
· CUPID (ABC)
· DANCE WAR: BRUNO VS. CARRIE ANN (ABC)
· DEEP END, THE (2008 VERSION) (ABC)
· FINNEGAN (ABC)
· FIVE YEAR PLAN (ABC)
· FOURPLAY (ABC)
· GOOD BEHAVIOR (ABC)
· GOODE FAMILY, THE (ABC)
· HERE COME THE NEWLYWEDS (ABC)
· IN THE MOTHERHOOD (ABC)
· JUST FOR LAUGHS (ABC)
· LIFE ON MARS (ABC)
· LOST (ABC)
· MEN IN TREES (ABC)
· MISS/GUIDED (ABC)
· MORE THINGS CHANGE… (ABC)
· NEVER BETTER (ABC)
· NOTES FROM THE UNDERBELLY (ABC)
· OCTOBER ROAD (ABC)
· OPRAH'S BIG GIVE (ABC)
· PRIMETIME (ABC)
· PRINCE OF MOTOR CITY, THE (ABC)
· ROMAN'S EMPIRE (ABC)
· SCRUBS (ABC)
· SINGLE WITH PARENTS (ABC)
· THIS MIGHT HURT (ABC)
· TRUE BEAUTY (ABC)
· UNTITLED CEDRIC THE ENTERTAINER PROJECT (ABC)
· UNUSUALS, THE (ABC)
· WOMEN'S MURDER CLUB (ABC)





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