LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- CBS has given second seasons to both "Close to Home" and "The New Adventures of Old Christine" as well as handed "The King of Queens" a 13-episode midseason commitment.
The shortened order for "Queens" is understood to avoid conflicts with co-star Kevin James' duties on the feature "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry." Said film, in which he and Adam Sandler play straight firemen who wed for insurance reasons, is set to begin production this fall.
A renewal is also said to be pending for "The Unit" while "Courting Alex," "Out of Practice" and "Still Standing" are not expected to make the cut.
So far this season CBS has only axed three series: "Love Monkey," "Threshold" and "Yes, Dear."
Meanwhile in pilot pick-up news, the Eye reportedly is moving forward with at least five new dramas - "Jericho," "Shark," "Smith," "Waterfront" and the untitled Peter Ocko hour - and two comedies - "The Class" and Tom Hertz's "Rules of Engagement."
"Jericho," from CBS Paramount Network Television, revolves around a small town in Kansas that's dealing with life after a series of nuclear attacks destroys most of America's big cities. The show's ensemble cast includes Alicia Coppola ("N.C.I.S."), Ashley Scott ("Birds of Prey"), Erik Knudsen ("Saw II"), Gerald McRaney ("Deadwood"), Kenneth Mitchell ("Miracle"), Lennie James ("Sahara"), Michael Gaston ("Prison Break"), Pamela Reed ("Pepper Dennis"), Skeet Ulrich ("Into the West") and Sprague Grayden ("Over There"). Stephen Chbosky created the hour, which also comes from executive producer/director Jon Turteltaub.
James Woods stars in "Shark," about a celebrity attorney-turned-prosecutor. Ian Biederman ("Cold Case") is behind the 20th Century Fox Television-based hour, which also stars Alexis Cruz ("American Family"), Danielle Panabaker ("Yours, Mine and Ours"), Jeri Ryan ("The O.C."), Lindsay Frost ("The Unit"), Romy Rosemont ("C.S.I.: Crime Scene Investigation"), Samuel Page ("Point Pleasant"), Sarah Carter ("Numb3rs") and Sophina Brown ("Chappelle's Show"). Imagine Television's Brian Grazer and David Nevins also serve as executive producers while Spike Lee directed the pilot.
Warner Bros. Television-based "Smith," from "ER's" John Wells and Christopher Chulack, deals with the inner workings of a team of criminals. Ray Liotta ("ER") toplines the cast, which also includes Amy Smart ("Just Friends"), Chris Bauer ("Jonny Zero"), Franky G ("Jonny Zero"), Jonny Lee Miller ("Aeon Flux"), Michelle Hurd ("According to Jim"), Simon Baker ("The Guardian") and Virginia Madsen ("Firewall").
"Waterfront," also from Warner Bros. Television, focuses on the quirky mayor (Joe Pantoliano) of Providence, Rhode Island. Larenz Tate ("Love Monkey"), Lyndsy Fonseca ("How I Met Your Mother"), Mary Stuart Masterson ("Law & Order: Special Victims Unit"), Natalia Cigliuti ("All My Children") and William Baldwin ("Fun with Dick and Jane") also star in the hour, which comes from creator Jack Orman ("dr. vegas"). Richard J. Lewis directed the pilot.
As for the Ocko project, Mark Feuerstein ("The West Wing") stars as a rising-star brain surgeon who is doing a fellowship under the guidance of a brilliant but unpredictable surgeon (Stanley Tucci). Armando Riesco ("Fever Pitch"), Indira Varma ("Rome") and Tamara Taylor ("Sex, Love & Secrets") also star in the project, which comes from CBS Paramount Network Television and executive producers Barry Levinson, Paul Stupin, Peter Ocko and Tom Fontana. Davis Guggenheim helmed the pilot.
On the comedy front, "The Class" is an ensemble comedy about a group of eight twentysomethings - all of whom attended the same third-grade class 20 years ago - that are reunited after one of them (Jason Ritter) throws a surprise anniversary party for his girlfriend, also of the same group. David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik are behind the Warner Bros. Television-based half-hour, which also stars Andrea Anders ("Joey"), Heather Goldenhersh ("Tempting Adam"), Jesse Tyler Ferguson ("Ordinary Sinner"), Jon Bernthal ("How I Met Your Mother"), Lizzy Caplan ("Related"), Lucy Punch ("Being Julia") and Sean Maguire ("Eve").
And finally, "Engagement" is a relationship comedy about a married couple, an engaged duo and a single guy. Sony Pictures Television and creator Tom Hertz are behind the half-hour, which stars Kathleen Rose Perkins ("Four Kings"), Megyn Price ("Grounded for Life"), Patrick Warburton ("Less Than Perfect") and Paulo Costanzo ("Joey"). Happy Madison's Adam Sandler, Doug Robinson and Jack Giarraputo also serve as executive producers.