NBC pickups to include Kelley pilot

Net expected to announce slew of drama greenlights at TCA

It looks like NBC would be bringing big drama guns to help fill the void that would be left by Jay Leno's expected departure from primetime.

At its TCA presentation Sunday, the network is expected to announce a slew of drama pilot pickups, including a new show from David E. Kelley.

NBC refused to confirm any pickups, but also rumored to be getting pilot orders are remakes of iconic British crime series "Prime Suspect" and the classic U.S. PI drama "The Rockford Files," the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced drama "The Chase" and possibly "The Event."

They would join previously ordered hourlong pilots "Rex Is Not Your Lawyer" and J.J. Abrams' "Undercovers."

The Kelley project, a legal drama, was written on spec by the Emmy-winning producer and was only recently quietly taken to the networks, sparking a bidding war.

The drama, from Warner Bros. TV, marks Kelley's second consecutive pilot at NBC following last year's "Legally Mad."
 
With its pickup, NBC would have two legal drama hopefuls for next season, along with the comedic "Rex," which stars David Tennant as a lawyer who switches to coaching clients who represents themselves in court.

"Prime Suspect," adapted by "Without a Trace" creator Hank Steinberg, "Rockford Files," written by "House" creator David Shore and the Bruckheimer-produced "Chase," penned by "Cold Case" executive producer Jennifer Johnson, had been considered very strong candidates for pilot orders as all had sizable commitments.

"Chase" follows a team tracking down fugitive criminals. It is executive produced by Johnson, Bruckheimer and Jonathan Littman.

"Event," written by Nick Wauters who exec produces it with Steve Stark, chronicles the unraveling of the greatest government cover-up in U.S. history.

"Prime Suspect" is produced by Universal Media Studios and ITV Studios, "Rockford" and "The Event" by UMS and "Chase" by WBTV.

Neither studio would comment Saturday.

NBC brass has said they plan to order 10 drama pilots this season. The network is ramping up the genre after cutting back this season when the traditionally drama-heavy 10 p.m. hour was turned to Leno for his ill-fated Monday-Friday talk show.
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