the vine

Empty

A 15th season of "ER" is within reach, sources said. The NBC medical drama has been casting two recurring characters, at least one of which is eyed to continue in the fall. "The Sopranos" alumna Aida Turturro has been tapped for one of the roles, a car accident victim; Australian David Lyons is in talks for the other part, a new handsome doctor who lacks conscience, sources said. In another sign that "ER" is coming back, talent agents have been told that the show plans to go directly into shooting four episodes for next season after wrapping its six-episode post-strike order. NBC and series producer Warner Bros. TV, which have been negotiating an "ER" renewal for the past few months, declined comment.

Little drama

ABC is mulling a dramatic pause for fall. The network, which hasn't picked up a single drama pilot after the end of the writers strike, still plans to order as many as seven hourlong pilots this season but might not be in a rush because all of them would be targeted for a midseason, not for fall, sources said. ABC, which had the strongest slate of new series last fall, still will be busy on the drama side in September, when it will relaunch recently renewed freshmen "Pushing Daisies," "Private Practice" and "Dirty Sexy Money," whose first-year runs were cut short by the strike. ABC has one completed drama pilot, David E. Kelley's "Life on Mars." The network, which declined comment, also handed out a six-episode order to the sci-fi drama "Section 8" shortly before the strike.

'FBI' stealth

Imagine TV/20th Century Fox TV's high-profile drama "The FBI" is looking for a new network home. "FBI," a pet project of Imagine Entertainment principal Brian Grazer, was picked up by Fox in August with a series commitment. Late last month, the network passed on the show, which had a big penalty attached to it. "FBI," which is being done with the agency's cooperation, was taken out to other networks and is being eyed by CBS and TNT, sources said. Penned by Chap Taylor, the drama centers on an Iraq War vet who is appointed as the new head of the FBI's Critical Incidents Response Group. Imagine and 20th TV declined comment. (Nellie Andreeva)
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