TV Upfronts: Who's Winning and Losing -- So Far
With additional pickups expected to come over the weekend heading into next week's formal presentations to advertisers, here's a look at who's leading the pack -- and what isn’t.
With the dust settling on a frantic week of series orders, renewals and cancellations, the news is (nearly) all in as the broadcast networks put the finishing touches on their 2013-14 fare heading into next week's upfront presentations.
Gone are nearly all of NBC's comedies (save for Community and Parks and Recreation), ABC's Happy Endings and CBS' CSI: NY and in their places are a whopping 44 new shows (and counting) -- up dramatically from last year's 34. While the series orders are likely to come through the weekend, here's an early look at who's coming out on top -- so far.
Mega producers: Bill Lawrence is winning the week, receiving series orders at NBC (Undateable), Fox (Surviving Jack) and TBS (Ground Floor), in addition to recently renewed Cougar Town. Also securing three shows on the 2013-14 schedule: Julie Plec -- who in addition to The Vampire Diaries, has its spinoff The Originals and reboot of The Tomorrow People at the CW; J.J. Abrams, who has Fox's Almost Human and NBC's Believe joining Revolution next year; and Dick Wolf, who has Chicago PD, Chicago Fire and Law & Order: SVU all at NBC. Not to be outdone, Chuck Lorre has four comedies on CBS with the addition of Anna Faris entry Mom. And Seth MacFarlane will add another half-hour, live-action Dads, to his comedy empire. ABC also has David Zabel, who has two shows on the schedule with Lucky 7 and Betrayal. Also worth noting: John Davis and John Fox's Davis Entertainment added its first series -- two, actually -- in NBC's heralded The Blacklist and Ironside.
Spinoffs: NBC is looking to Wolf to put a police spin on modest hit Chicago Fire with Chicago PD, CW has Plec's Originals, while ABC -- after seeing only a short 25-minute presentation -- ordered Once Upon a Time in Wonderland to series. Meanwhile, all eyes are on CBS to see what happens with its NCIS: LA spinoff, NCIS: Red.
Sony Pictures Television: The studio so far has seven sales, compared with five last season. Among them, the James Spader starrer The Blacklist -- which has been described as the best script of the season -- and straight-to-series addition The Michael J. Fox Show, both at NBC. The real icing on its cake, however, comes with the fifth-season renewal for cult favorite Community. Meanwhile, the studio is shopping its highest-profile project, Beverly Hills Cop, which didn't get the expected series order at CBS. (Worth noting: Warner Bros. Television leads all studios thus far with 11, up two year-over-year.)
Freshman comedy: None of NBC's seven half-hours have made it to a second season, with the upcoming Anne Heche vehicle Save Me not expected to move beyond its limited run. ABC is one-for-four with the critical bomb The Neighbors earning a pickup and Fox likely one-for-three as summer effort Goodwin Games is expected to join recently departed Ben and Kate. CBS, meanwhile, axed Partners and never aired Friend Me, going zero-for-two.
Young-adult favorites: Despite it being a top priority for CW president Mark Pedowitz, The Selection -- based on Kiera Cass' book -- failed to move forward for the second year in a row despite a major retooling. While it is said to have been a marked improvement compared to its first attempt, the youth-skewing network is back to the drawing board as it searches for a Hunger Games-like entry. Also not moving forward is Fox's Emma Roberts-fronted adaptation of Lauren Oliver's book trilogy, Delirium, which many insiders said seemed better suited for the CW.
Sure things: Just days ago, Beverly Hills Cop was considered a lock to land on CBS' schedule. ABC was also said to be incredibly high on Disney-themed Big Thunder, with the drama based on the rollercoaster of the same name likely being passed over in favor of a classic fairy tale character (Once Upon a Time in Wonderland). Also yet to get the pickup at press time: CBS' NCIS: LA spinoff, Red, which performed on par when it aired earlier this spring.
Here's a full list of what's been ordered to series so far:
Super Fun Night (comedy)
The Goldbergs (comedy)
Back in the Game (comedy)
Trophy Wife (comedy)
Mind Games (drama)
Killer Women (drama)
Lucky 7 (drama)
Once Upon a Time in Wonderland (drama)
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (drama)
The Michael J. Fox Show (comedy)
About a Boy (comedy)
Sean Saves the World (comedy)
The Family Guide (comedy)
Chicago PD (drama)
The Blacklist (drama)
Welcome to the Family (comedy)
The Night Shift (drama)
For a complete list of what's been renewed and canceled, head to THR's Complete Network Scorecard.
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