2ND UPDATE 5:30 PM: This is a mini-shocker. Word is that CBS is passing on the Nick Stoller comedy pilot ENTRY LEVEL. There has always been concern whether CBS would schedule a single-camera comedy in its blocks of all-multi-camera sitcoms but the network had expressed commitment to the genre. However, while Entry Level was received well and was an early frontrunner, it looks like CBS will again stick to all-multi-camera comedies next season. I also hear that APPLEBAUM is now dead too, along with Oh Fk, It’s You. That leaves only Elementary, Ralph Lamb, Baby Big Shot, Golden Boy, Friend Me, Partners and possibly Martin Lawrence in contention. UPDATE 9PM: I’ve confirmed that the Marin Lawrence comedy is not going forward, so here you have it: ELEMENTARY, RALPH LAMB, BABY BIG SHOT, GOLDEN BOY, FRIEND ME and PARTNERS appear to be CBS’ picks for next season.
PREVIOUS SATURDAY AM: Rumors are flying that most of the other CBS pilots are dead, including TROOPER, WIDOW DETECTIVE, DORF/FALCONE and SUPER FUN NIGHT. Information on OH FK, IT’S YOU has been conflicting, with some saying it’s dead and others suggesting that could still be a possibility for midseason.
PREVIOUS FRIDAY PM: And we’re down to the last network that is yet to pick up its new and returning series for next season — CBS. As usual, the Fort Knox of networks this time a year is keeping things close to the vest and dragging on the final pickup decisions until the very last minute. The Sherlock Holmes reboot ELEMENTARY continues its march to the fall schedule. The ambitious period drama RALPH LAMB is considered a major swing and departure from CBS’ comfort zone but, with its execution and the caliber of talent involved, including star Dennis Quaid, it continues to be considered a frontrunner. Among the three procedurals with a female lead, the legal drama BABY BIG SHOT looks like the frontrunner at the moment, and I hear it has begun making offers to writers. Of the other two, APPLEBAUM, which has had support from CBS’ Nina Tassler, has an outside chance, while TROOPER doesn’t seem to be going. Among the rest of the drama field, GOLDEN BOY is heating up again. On the comedy side, two buddy multi-camera comedies, PARTNERS and FRIEND ME, are getting the most buzz, both making writer offers, with the single-camera NICK STOLLER project in contention and the MARTIN LAWRENCE project a possibility, maybe for midseason.
On the renewal front, following the ratings increase for Unforgettable‘s season finale on Tuesday, the renewal chances of the freshman drama also seem to have gone up. Veteran utility player Rules of Engagement also looks good at the moment, while A Gifted Man is unlikely to continue and Rob has been very quiet. Things are still murky around the two CSI spinoffs (the mothership series has been renewed). The drumbeat early on that one of the two will definitely go away has quieted down, and with Jerry Bruckheimer’s pilot Trooper not going, there is speculation that the CSI franchise may cheat death and come back intact. Both sequels are profitable for CBS as they have off-network syndication deals and are big international sellers, along with the main CSI series. Only a week ago, the three CSIs were recognized as the three most watched drama series in the world by the Monte-Carlo TV Festival.