ABC goes to 11 with 'Miss'

Far more pilot pickups than rivals

ABC has the industry buzzing about the volume of its new series pickups.

Late Sunday, the network added the comedy "Miss/Guided" to its roster of new scripted series for next season, bringing the total to 11 (HR 5/14).

That is far more than any of the other Big Four networks, which have ordered six to seven new series.

Given the high production and marketing costs as well as the high risks associated with launching new series, a large slate of freshman shows certainly means a major financial commitment for the network.

While ABC's number of new series pickups is on par with last year, when the network ordered 12 scripted pilots to series, the large number of new shows greenlighted this time around still came as a surprise given the fact that ABC had a much better success with its freshman series this season -- including such standouts as "Ugly Betty" and "Brothers & Sisters" -- than it did last season.

Additionally, the network already renewed 13 primetime series in March. Seven of them are scripted, including the bubble dramedies "Boston Legal" and "Men in Trees." They were joined this week by returning freshmen "October Road" and "Notes From the Underbelly."

Meanwhile, veteran "According to Jim" also is said to have a chance to return, but the final decision on its future might wait until after the upfronts.

"Miss/Guided," which stars Judy Greer as an ugly duckling returning to her alma mater as a guidance counselor, is co-produced by 20th Century Fox TV and ABC Studios. It joins ABC's other new comedy series: the buzzworthy "Cavemen," the Christina Applegate starrer "Sam I Am" and the male buddy comedy "Carpoolers."

Led by the "Grey's Anatomy" spinoff "Private Practice," ABC's drama bunch for next season also includes "Eli Stone" and Greg Berlanti's "Dirty Sexy Money," the female ensembles "Cashmere Mafia" and "Women's Murder Club," the paranormal fairy tale "Pushing Daisies" and the male CEO ensemble "Big Shots."

ABC has kept mum about its fall schedule, which will be unveiled today at the network's upfront presentation in New York.

Network brass repeatedly have said that they're not planning any landscape-shifting moves like last year's switch of "Grey's Anatomy" from Sunday to Thursday.

The big question mark this year is where on the schedule the medical drama's spinoff starring Kate Walsh will land, with 9 p.m. Wednesday as the most-buzzed-about possibility.

Several series, including "Cashmere," "Dirty Sexy" and "Murder Club," have been rumored as potential candidates for the post-"Grey's" Thursday slot should ABC move "October Road" out of it.
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