CBS Orders Dennis Quaid's 'Vegas,' 'Elementary,' 'Friend Me,' Four More

9:15 AM PST 05/13/2012 by Lacey Rose
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Vegas Rising's Dennis Quaid

Ahead of Wednesday's upfront, the network ordered two multicamera buddy comedies, four dramas and one reality show.

CBS will head into the 2012-13 season with seven new offerings, including a reality effort. 

With a sturdy schedule and few holes, the most-watched network is adding the kind of fare its viewers expect and enjoy. In this case, it's two multicamera comedies, both revolving around a pair of male best friends; four dramas, including a cop, legal and detective drama; and a midseason reality show from Survivor's Mark Burnett. The only semi-departure for the network making its upfront presentation to advertisers Wednesday is Vegas, a period Western-style drama with an impressive collection of star power in lead Dennis Quaid, Michael Chiklis and Terra Nova’s Jason O’Mara.

Missing from the list of new additions is a single-camera comedy, a genre CBS brass expressed great interest in earlier in the development process. While some were skeptical that the network best known for such multicam hits as The Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men would take the plunge into single-cam territory, others suggested the net’s execs would have egg on their face if they didn’t pick any up.

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The newcomers join a sizable collection of previously renewed shows, including such freshman entries as2 Broke Girls and Person of Interest. On Saturday, CBS announcedTwo and a Half Men would return for a 10th season.

Here's a look at the pilots CBS has ordered to series:

Comedies:

Friend Me

The multicamera half-hour revolves around twentysomething best friends (Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Nicholas Braun), who move from their hometown of Bloomington, Ind., to L.A. to begin their new lives working at Groupon. Evan has trouble breaking his old slothful habits, and rather than going out after work to explore the town and meet new people, he prefers to play online poker with his friends back home. Rob has different plans and is determined to drag Evan, kicking and screaming, along with him. Parvesh Cheena, Tim Robinson and Dan Ahdoot fill out the cast, which hails from Alan Kirschenbaum and Ajay Sahgal, along with prolific producers Eric and Kim Tannenbaum. How I Met Your Mother’s Pamela Fryman 
helmed the pilot of the CBS Television Studios comedy.

Partners

The comedy revolves around architects Charlie (David Krumholtz) and Louis' (Michael Urie) friendship, which has lasted longer than either of their romantic relationships and almost seems like a weird marriage. When Charlie decides to propose to his girlfriend, Louis' neurotic attempts to be supportive nearly result in the breakup of his own relationship.
The pair is joined by Sophia Bush and Brandon Routh in the Warner Brothers TV project from writer-producers Max Mutchnick and David Kohan of Will & Grace fame. James Burrows, who directed their long-running NBC series, helmed the pilot.

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Dramas:

Made in Jersey (formerly Baby Big Shot)

The legal drama centers on a working-class woman (Janet Montgomery) who uses her street smarts to compete with her more polished colleagues at a top New York law firm. The cast also includes Stephanie March, Kyle MacLachlan, Erin Cummings, Toni Trucks, Felix Solis, Pablo Schreiber and Donna Murphy. Dana Calvo wrote and co-executive producers with Franklin & Bash’s Kevin Falls set to showrun the hourlong project from Sony and CBS TV Studios. Jamie Tarses and Julia Franz are on board as executive producers, with EP Mark Waters having directed the pilot.

Elementary

A modern take on the cases of Sherlock Holmes, the drama centers on the famed detective (Jonny Lee Miller), who is now living in New York City. Watson will be played by Lucy Liu, who is joined by Aidan Quinn in the hourlong project that hails from writer, executive producer and showrunner Rob Doherty. CBS heavyweights Sarah Timberman and Carl Beverly (Unforgettable, A Gifted Man) are attached as producers with EP Michael Cuesta having directed the CBS TV Studios pilot.


Golden Boy

The cop drama centers on the meteoric rise of one cop (Theo James) from officer to detective to police commissioner. Lights Out’s Holt McCallany, Bonnie Somerville, Chi McBride, Kevin Alejandro and Stella Maeva fill out the cast. NYPD Blue’s Nicholas Wootton is writing, executive producing and showrunning the Warner Bros. TV project, with pilot season standout Greg Berlanti on board as an executive producer. (Late last week, Berlanti's Arrow was ordered to series at sister network, The CW.) Melissa Kellner Berman is attached as a co-executive producer, and EP Richard Shepard helmed the pilot.

Vegas (formerly Ralph Lamb)

The 1960s-set period piece centers on the true story of Ralph Lamb (Quaid), a rodeo cowboy-turned-longtime sheriff of Las Vegas.
 The cast also includes Chiklis, O’Mara, Carrie-Anne Moss and Taylor Handley. The project, a departure of sorts for the network, hails from CBS’ sister studio, CBS TV Studios. Goodfellas’ Nicholas Pileggi and Greg Walker are writing and executive producing with EP James Mangold attached as the pilot’s director. Cathy Konrad and Arthur Sarkissian are executive producers, while Quaid and Chiklis were also granted co-EP roles. 

Alternative:

The Job

A reality offering from Survivor's Burnett and Watch What Happens Live's Michael Davies, which has contestants compete for their dream job. Our America's Lisa Ling has been tapped to host the effort from Davies' Embassy Row and Sony Pictures Television. In the series, five contestants selected from thousands of applicants will go head-to-head for the chance to score their dream job at one of America's most prestigious companies.

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