Actor options keep pilots in flight

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Several pilots have received a second lease on life after the options on their actors were extended.

The principal casts of ABC's comedies "The Middle" and "The Hill" and Fox's dramedy "Nurses" have been extended. Also extended were two of the leads of Fox's "The Cure," Oded Fehr and Anson Mount. If the Warner Bros. TV-produced medical drama is picked up to series, it is expected to undergo retooling.

"Middle," from WBTV, is a single-camera family comedy starring Ricki Lake.

It is not clear how a potential starring role on a primetime series would effect Lake's chances to join ABC's "The View" as a co-host. Since both shows are owned by ABC, she could follow the lead of Kelly Ripa, who simultaneously starred on ABC's sitcom "Hope & Faith" and co-hosted ABC's "Live With Regis and Kelly."

"Hill," also from WBTV, is a multicamera comedic soap set in Washington starring Michelle Trachtenberg, Eric Christian Olsen and Wendie Malick.

The new comedy series that ABC has picked up so far for next season — "Cavemen," "Carpoolers" and "Samantha Who?" — are all single-camera. The network's only returning series, the recently renewed veteran "According to Jim," is a multicamera comedy.

"Nurses," from 20th Century Fox TV, is a comedic drama about a team of nurses starring Eliza Dushku and Sara Rue.

"Middle," "Hill," "Nurses" and "Cure" join ABC's drama "Football Wives," whose actors' options were extended last week.
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