[05/13/10 - 07:09 PM]
Chuck, "V," Eight Pilots Make the Cut for 2010-11
By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)

LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- "Chuck" and "V," two of the most-ballyhooed bubble shows, are reportedly on track for renewals by their respective networks, NBC and ABC.

Said decisions, both believed to be for 13 episodes, are expected to come as the books close on the broadcast networks' 2010-11 lineups this weekend.

In addition, ABC has ordered six of its pilots to series while CBS and TBS have each confirmed their first pickups.

The Alphabet's newest additions include three comedies ("Happy Endings," "Mr. Sunshine" and "Better Together") and three dramas ("The Whole Truth", "187 Detroit" and "Generation Y"), which join the previously announced "No Ordinary Family."

Here's how the network details each project:

187 DETROIT: What does it take to be a detective on America's most dangerous streets? Get ready to be part of the action when a documentary crew rolls with some of Detroit's finest. The cameras give us an insider's view of the homicide unit, capturing the professional crises, as well as the raw personal heartbreak and heroism of these inner-city cops. There's the damaged but driven Detective Joseph Fitch (Michael Imperioli, THE SOPRANOS), a wily homicide vet who is the most respected and misunderstood man in the division. His new partner is Detective Damon Washington (John Michael Hill), who in addition to the pressure of his first day working Homicide is also expecting his first baby. Then there's sexy, edgy Detective Ariana Sanchez (Natalie Martinez, SONS OF TUCSON), who has emerged from a rough background to become a rising star in the department. Detective Sanchez has recently been teamed with the streetwise, smooth talking Detective John Stone (D.J. Cotrona, WINDFALL) a combustible pairing rife with conflict and sexual tension. Headed by strong-willed single mom Lieutenant Maureen Mason (Aisha Hinds, TRUE BLOOD), the men and women of Detroit Homicide are as tough as they come. They have to be, working the neighborhoods of the once and future Motor City, a rebounding bastion of middle class America still saddled with one of the highest murder rates in this country. Written by Jason Richman (Swing Vote) and executive produced by David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman (The Proposal, Monk) as well as executive producer/showrunner David Zabel (ER), 187 Detroit is a documentary-style drama that gives a realistic, gritty and, at times, darkly comic, portrayal of the group of men and women bringing justice to one of our most dangerous cities.

Erin Cummings, James McDaniel and Shaun Majumder also star. Jeff Nachmanoff directed the pilot.

BETTER TOGETHER (formerly THAT COUPLE): Which kind of love is better, the slow and steady kind that grows over time or the truly, madly deeply kind that happens in a flash? Two couples, from two different generations, have very different outlooks on love. But together, they discover that when it comes to relationships, everyone has to find their own way. Ben (Josh Cooke, BIG DAY) and Maddie (Jennifer Finnigan, CLOSE TO HOME) followed every rule, except for getting married. After nine years together, they're totally committed to each other and they don't need a stupid piece of paper to prove it, thank you very much. At least until Maddie's little sister Mia (Joanna Garcia, PRIVILEGED) gets engaged. Mia and Casey (Jake Lacy) are completely different from Ben and Maddie. Young and impulsive, Mia and Casey live in the moment which might have something to do with how Mia and Casey ended up both pregnant and engaged after only two months of dating. At first, Ben and Maddie are shocked... and maybe even a little jealous. Should they have gotten married at some point? They're even more jealous when Maddie and Mia's notoriously high-maintenance, meddling parents, the Putneys (Debra Jo Rupp, THAT '70S SHOW; Kurt Fuller, SUPERNATURAL), welcome their new son-in-law with open arms. Maddie and Ben have to ask themselves... is their slow, cautious love as strong as Mia and Casey's untamed version? As Ben and Maddie welcome Casey into their lives and help guide him through the minefields of Maddie and Mia's eccentric family little by little both of these couples discover that married or not, it's the togetherness that counts. From creator Shana Goldberg-Meehan (Friends, Mad About You) comes a fresh, funny look at couplehood. No two relationships are quite alike. That's part of what makes them so great.

James Burrows directed the pilot.

GENERATION Y: What a difference ten years can make. A documentary crew captured Greenbelt High School's class of 2000 on film, highlighting all their hopes and dreams for the future. Now, it's ten years later and as these former classmates return home, they'll discover that just because you're not where you planned doesn't mean you're not right where you need to be. In 2000, a documentary crew visited Greenbelt High School in Austin, Texas. To portray the spirit of real American teenagers, they followed students like Steven Foster (Michael Stahl-David, KINGS) "The Overachiever," Jackie Fox (Jaime King, GARY UNMARRIED) "The Beauty Queen," Ken Finley (Keir O'Donnell, SONS OF ANARCHY) "The Nerd," Dawn Barbuso (Kelli Garner, GROUNDED FOR LIFE) "The Punk" and most popular couple, Brenda Serrano (Daniella Alonso, FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS) "The Brain" and Anders Holt (Julian Morris, 24) "The Rich Kid." Each of these students couldn't wait to graduate and head out into the real world. But the world they were entering got very real, very fast. As these classmates return home to revisit their old hopes for their future, they'll discover that even if you don't get exactly what you thought you wanted out of life, it's not too late to get what you need. Creator Noah Hawley (The Unusuals, Bones) delivers a captivating dramedy about a new lost generation. Full of both humor and heart... Generation Y shows that even if you don't have it all figured out, it's never too late to find your way.

Anne Son, Mehcad Brooks and Sebastian Sozzi also star. Craig Gillespie directed the pilot.

HAPPY ENDINGS: Forget who gets to keep the ring when a couple splits the real question is, who gets to keep the friends? In this modern comedy, a couple's break up will complicate all of their friends' lives and make everyone question their choices. When life throws you for a loop... hold on tight to the people you love. Every circle of friends has someone who's the gravitational center. For years, perfect couple Dave (Zachary Knighton, FLASHFORWARD) and Alex (Elisha Cuthbert, 24) drew their friends in and held them together. Now that they've split, does this group have the stuff to stay together? Or do Max (Adam Pally), Brad (Damon Wayans Jr., MY WIFE AND KIDS), Jane (Eliza Coupe, SCRUBS), and Penny (Casey Wilson, SNL) have to choose sides? Suddenly every event is a negotiation. Like, who gets to go on the annual ski trip? There are a lot of big questions to be answered, but this group has been together so long, somehow, little by little, they'll figure out how to hold on, even though their center is split up. It helps that Dave and Alex have agreed to stay friends. But there will definitely be other complications down the road like Penny's long-suppressed feelings for Dave. What is the waiting period for dating a friend's ex? This show isn't afraid to ask the embarrassing personal questions that inevitably arise in every long-term, close-knit group of friends. This relatable comedy from executive producer Jamie Tarses (My Boys) and hot new writer David Caspe examines the complex network of long-term friendships. Just because one couple breaks up, does that mean their whole urban family has to fall apart? Nope. It just means life is going to get a lot more complicated.

Anthony and Joe Russo directed the pilot.

MR. SUNSHINE: Everyone's life feels like a three-ring circus. For Ben (Matthew Perry, FRIENDS), the middle-aged manager of a mid-level sports arena, some days that's exactly what it is. In this outrageous workplace comedy, Ben has to juggle a wide variety of sports and entertainment acts, while handling his erratic boss and apathetic staff. The Sunshine Center has seen better days, but then again, so has Ben. Ben's unpredictable boss Crystal (Allison Janney, THE WEST WING) is the head of this little dysfunctional workplace family. Ben's not-quite girlfriend Alice (Andrea Anders, BETTER OFF TED) is the heart and mouth of the place. She handles PR. His nemesis at The Sunshine Center is Alonzo (James Lesure, LAS VEGAS), who competes with him for Alice's affection. Alonzo is smooth, attentive, and committed basically everything that Ben isn't at least not yet. Luckily, Ben also has an unlikely confidant and ally in Crystal's unmotivated son Roman (Nate Torrence, STUDIO 60 ON THE SUNSET STRIP). Roman's not much good at work, but he's a heck of a listener. Each week, despite the unusual demands of the ever-changing touring events, Ben tries to keep it all together. Crystal's flightiness may drive him crazy and his slacker crew might make him nuts, but Ben is determined to make the Sunshine Center the very best second rate, two-bit stadium in the world. Mr. Sunshine is co-written by Matthew Perry along with Alex Barnow and Marc Firek and executive produced by Jamie Tarses (My Boys) and Thomas Schlamme (The West Wing), who also directs this wild new workplace comedy. Mr. Sunshine proves even when you're out of your element, you can still be in the right arena.

Portia Doubleday also stars.

THE WHOLE TRUTH: There are two sides to every case. By the time the prosecution rests, you'll swear the defendant is guilty. Then the defense begins and you'll be just as convinced of the defendant's innocence. The Whole Truth invites you to experience firsthand the nerve-wracking job of deciphering where the truth lies. Every trial leaves lives hanging in the balance. While victims and defendants wait breathlessly to learn their fate, lawyers are working behind the scenes and in the courtroom, making frantic moves and countermoves of complex legal wrangling to tilt justice in their favor. For District Attorney Kathryn Peale (Joely Richardson, NIP/TUCK), it's a challenge she relishes. Serious, meticulous, and brilliant, she scares her employees with both her demeanor and her considerable skill. Her legal counterpart and law school friend Jimmy Nolan (Rob Morrow, NUMB3RS) is just the opposite he's a hotshot, fun-loving defense attorney who wears vintage Reebok sneakers to court. As they rally their teams around their arguments and prepare to go head-to-head, the viewer sees their cases from the perspective of both the prosecution and the defense. While the guilt or innocence of the accused will keep you guessing until the final scene, the sparring and maneuvering, both in and out of the courtroom, will keep you enthralled. Somehow, when the verdict is read, no matter what happens, Kathryn and Jimmy always manage to stay friends outside of the courtroom, that is. From executive producer Jerry Bruckheimer and writer Tom Donaghy (Without A Trace) comes The Whole Truth, an innovative law drama that presents both sides equally, putting the viewer in the jury hot seat.

Anthony Ruivivar, Christine Adams, Eamonn Walker and Sean Wing also star. Alex Graves directed the pilot.

Meanwhile, CBS has given the go ahead to the Chuck Lorre-produced "Mike & Molly." The multi-camera comedy stars Billy Gardell and Melissa McCarthy as a couple who meet at Overeaters Anonymous. Mark Roberts is behind the half-hour, which is set up Warner Bros. Television.

And over at TBS, which also announces its 2010-11 plans next week, the cable channel has given an eight-episode order to "Glory Daze." The hour-long dramedy follows four incoming freshman in the 1980s - Joel (Kelly Blatz), Jason (Drew Seeley), Eli (Matt Bush) and Brian (Hartley Sawyer) - who pledge a fraternity at a Wisconsin college. Michael LeSieur and Walt Becker are the co-creators.

Additional pickups from all the aforementioned networks are expected tomorrow.

  [may 2010]  

· V (ABC)

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