Ten rookies make cut for ABC

Mon May 18, 2009 2:20am EDT

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LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - After adding five scripted series during the strike-impacted 2008-09 season, ABC is back in a reboot mode, ordering 10 new series -- six dramas and four comedies -- and keeping several more pilots for midseason consideration.

ABC's drama slate include two new crime shows -- the amateur-sleuths series "The Forgotten" and murder-mystery "Happy Town"; the legal drama, "The Deep End"; and two 1980s adaptations, "Eastwick," based on the movie with Jack Nicholson and "V," based on NBC's alien miniseries.

In preparation for the upcoming exit of "Lost," ABC is betting heavily on "Flash Forward" as its successor. The action drama, which already was promoted on "Lost" this season, is expected to launch in the fall, filling in for the Emmy-winning island mystery drama while it's on hiatus.

On the half-hour side, ABC went for big sitcom stars in family comedies, a genre that once thrived on the network but has been absent in the past few years.

Its new series picks include two family shows starring Emmy-winning veterans -- "Hank," starring Kelsey Grammer, and "The Middle," starring Patricia Heaton. They're joined by the multi-family mockumentary "Modern Family" and the newly-single-mom comedy "Cougar Town" starring Courteney Cox.

That is in contrast with the two comedies that ABC opted to bring back -- veteran "Scrubs" and freshman "Better Off Ted," both based in the workplace. The order for "Scrubs" came on the heels of most core cast members signing deals to return.

In addition to "Ted," the other freshman ABC series to clinch a renewal Friday was the detective comedy-drama "Castle," starring Nathan Fillion, with midseason entries "The Unusuals," "Cupid" and "In the Motherhood" joining "Life on Mars" as one-season series. ("Ted" is rumored to stay paired with "Scrubs.")

Also renewed was reality series "True Beauty," while "Samantha Who?" is still in serious consideration for a third-season pickup on a smaller budget.

The network also has a 22-episode pickup deal for "The New Adventures of Old Christine" should it fail to earn a renewal at CBS, something considered unlikely as the show and its Wednesday companion, freshman "Gary Unmarried," look good to return.

(Editing by Dean Gooodman)

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