CBS Orders 'NCIS' Spinoff, 'Odd Couple,' Four More to Series
The pickups include Kevin Williamson's "Stalker," "Madam Secretary," genius drama "Scorpion" as well as redeveloped comedy "The McCarthys."
With little room on its schedule after landing Thursday night football, CBS joined the series pickup fray Friday, ordering four new dramas and two comedies to series.
The drama orders include NCIS spinoff New Orleans, Kevin Williamson drama Stalker, Tea Leoni political effort Madam Secretary and genius entry Scorpion. They join the previously announced Vince Gilligan/David Shore drama Battle Creek on the network's 2014-15 schedule. On the half-hour side, CBS has added family comedy The McCarthys and Matthew Perry reboot The Odd Couple.
Left out of the pack is How I Met Your Mother spinoff, How I Met Your Dad -- which sources told THR had been picked up to series though CBS and studio 20th Century Fox TV denied. Also absent is CBS' CSI-technology themed spinoff, which had been an early front-runner. It's unclear if CBS is done with its new series orders.
NCIS: New Orleans stars Scott Bakula and first aired as a backdoor pilot from CBS' flagship series. It becomes the third show in the NCIS franchise, joining the mothership and NCIS: LA. Episodes of the two-part pilot were steady, week-to-week, averaging just over 17 million viewers and a 2.5 rating among adults 18-49. NCIS' Gary Glasberg penned the script and will exec produce the CBS Television Studios entry alongside Mark Harmon.
Williamson's Stalker, a psychological thriller centering on a pair of detectives who handle stalking cases for a unit of the LAPD. Maggie Q and Dylan McDermott co-star in the drama from Warner Bros. Television, giving Williamson three shows on the air next year, including The CW's The Vampire Diaries and Fox's The Following.
Scorpion, meanwhile, is based on the life of genius Walter O'Brien and stars Elyes Gabel and Smash's Katharine McPhee. Prison Break's Nick Santora penned the script and exec produces the CBS Television Drama alongside K/O Paper Products' Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Heather Kadin. Exec producers include Justin Bieber's manager and music mogul, Scooter Braun, O'Brien and co-EPs Danny Rose, Danielle Woodrow and Troy Craig Poon. The pickup gives Kurtzman and Orci four shows: Hawaii Five-O, Sleepy Hollow and the El Rey Network's Matador.
Madam Secretary, which sources told THR was one of Nina Tassler's favorite pilots of the season, stars Tea Leoni as a maverick secretary of state. From CBS Television Studios and Revelations Entertainment, Homeland's Barbara Hall will now exit the Showtime Emmy winner and oversee the drama. She'll exec produce alongside Morgan Freeman, Lori McCreary and Tracy Mercer. This marks the latest political series to earn a pickup this season, joining NBC's Katherine Heigl drama State of Affairs.
On the comedy side, Friends alum Perry is back on TV every week with the network's reboot of The Odd Couple. He stars as Oscar opposite Thomas Lennon as Felix in the drama that he wrote and exec produced with Frasier's Joe Keenan. Eric and Kim Tannenbaum, Carl Beverly and Sara Timberman (Two and a Half Men, ABC Family's Young and Hungry) produce the CBS Television Studios, Tannenbaum Co. and Timberman-Beverly multicamera comedy. Bob Daily (Frasier, Desperate Housewives) will serve as showrunner on the drama, extending his overall deal with CBS Television Studios for a year to do the show.
Finally, The McCarthys -- rolled from 2013 and reshot with a largely new cast and shifted from a single- to a multicamera comedy -- stars Joey McIntyre, Jack McGee and Laurie Metcalf in a family comedy about a loud and sports-crazed Boston clan. Metcalf, who took the role in second position to the now-renewed HBO comedy Getting On, will likely exit the comedy and the role will be recast. Are You There, Chelsea's Brian Gallivan penned the script and will co-exec produce alongside EPs Will Gluck and co-EP Richie Schwartz. Mike Sikowitz will serve as showrunner on the Sony Pictures Television, CBS Television Studios and Olive Bridge entry.
Last year, CBS picked up six new comedies and three dramas. Of the rookie class, only two comedies have been renewed so far -- Chuck Lorre's Mom and Greg Garcia's The Millers. And the network already has Gilligan/Shore drama Battle Creek already on the schedule with a 13-episode commitment.
The new series join a scripted roster that includes The Big Bang Theory, Blue Bloods, Criminal Minds, CSI, Elementary, The Good Wife, Hawaii Five-O, Mike & Molly, NCIS, NCIS: L.A., Person of Interest, 2 Broke Girls and Two and a Half Men.