CBS picks up new sitcom from Joe Keenan
CBS is planning to infuse more fresh blood into its schedule next season than it did last year, adding at least three comedies and five dramas. The dramas picked up for 2005-2006 range from bread-and-butter crime shows (American Crime, Quantico) to the supernatural (Threshold, Ghost Whisperer) to the military-themed The Unit. After years of letting the male point of view dominate CBS comedies, the network is going for a more balanced approach next season with its new sitcoms Everything I Know About Men and Flesh & Blood, the latter from openly gay Frasier writer-producer Joe Keenan.
Another comedy, the Julia Louis-Dreyfus starrer Old Christine, is a subject of last-minute negotiations between CBS and producer Warner Bros. TV for a midseason order. As of Monday night, the two sides were still apart on several key terms. Meanwhile, the midseason drama Numbers was poised to return for a second season, with the comedies Still Standing and Yes, Dear also looking good to come back. The outlook was much grimmer for sophomore drama Joan of Arcadia and veteran Judging Amy, with at least one of them said to be looking at cancellation. CBS is slated to present its fall schedule Wednesday at Carnegie Hall in New York.
Quantico follows the FBI's Behavioral Unit as it tracks dangerous criminals. American Crime stars Jennifer Finnigan as a female prosecutor juggling suburban crime and life as a new mom. On the heels of the departure of its veteran military drama JAG, CBS is putting on the air another military-themed series, The Unit, which is said to be headed for midseason. The show revolves around the personal and professional lives of members of an elite military antiterrorism unit. The ensemble cast includes Dennis Haysbert, Scott Foley, Robert Patrick, and Regina Taylor.
Following the success of Lost, almost every network is adding a new drama about mysterious creatures next season. CBS's entrant is Threshold, about a team of scientists and military personnel communicating with an alien life-form. And CBS's answer to NBC's successful midseason drama Medium is Ghost Whisperer, a Jennifer Love Hewitt vehicle based on the work of James Van Praagh about a newlywed communicating with dead people who have not quite crossed over to the other side.
The comedy How I Met Your Mother is an ensemble from the point of view of a family man looking back on his single life. Flesh & Blood, from Frasier veterans Keenan and Christopher Lloyd, stars Stockard Channing and Henry Winkler as the recently divorced heads of a family of single doctors. And Everything I Know About Men, which is expected to go midseason, stars Jenna Elfman as a single woman juggling the men in her life. (Nellie Andreeva and Cynthia Littleton, via Reuters)