Nets set to screen pilots

Presentations look promising heading into upfronts

While NBC is set to unveil its new fall series to advertisers Monday, the other broadcast networks will start screening pilots this week.

Several pilots head into the screenings with a considerable amount of buzz.

At ABC, "Flash Forward" is moving fast-forward to the fall schedule as the network kicked off an elaborate marketing campaign for the show last week during the 100th episode of "Lost."

Also hot at the network are the drama "Eastwick" -- based on the 1987 feature "The Witches of Eastwick" -- the mystery "Happy Town" and the Dave Hemingson legal project, with the Romeo and Juliet-flavored "Empire State," alien invasion-themed "V" and performing-arts school-set "Limelight" also in contention.

On the comedy side, the mockumentary "My American Family," the Courteney Cox starrer "Cougar Town" and the untitled Ricky Blitt project have strong buzz, and three other starring vehicles -- Lauren Graham's "The Bridget Show," Kelsey Grammer's untitled project and Cedric the Entertainer's "The Law" -- look promising.

At Fox, "Sons of Tucson" and "Human Target" remain front-runners in the comedy and drama fields, respectively.

The network's adaptation of the British hit "Absolutely Fabulous" also has buzz on the comedy side, and "Cop House" remains in contention. Other drama contenders include the surgeon-with-schizophrenia series "Maggie Hill" and possibly the reincarnation procedural "Past Life."

At CBS, the "NCIS" spinoff continues to look like a sure thing. Both of the network's legal-themed dramas, "The Good Wife" and "U.S. Attorney," also have come in strong, as has the Capitol Hill-set "House Rules." The network's medical dramas "Three Rivers" and "Miami Trauma" have not been delivered, but both have something going for them: "Moonlight" star Alex O'Loughlin and pre-eminent CBS producer Jerry Bruckheimer, respectively.

On the comedy side at CBS, "Accidentally on Purpose," starring Jenna Elfman, and "Happiness Isn't Everything," starring Jason Biggs and Richard Dreyfuss, lead the field, with "Waiting to Die" -- said to have a vibe like "The Big Bang Theory" -- also in contention.

At the CW, "Melrose Place" remains on cruise control toward a series order, but the "Gossip Girl" spinoff no longer is a sure thing. It is expected to compete for the network's two or three available slots with the pilots "Beautiful Life" and "Vampire Diaries" -- both tracking strong -- as well as the early standout "Light Years" and bubble freshman "Privileged."
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