ABC flush with comedy pickups


ABC was in comedy mode Tuesday, picking up five half-hour pilots: "The Call," "Sam I Am," "Carpoolers," "Family of the Year" and "The Middle."

Fox also gave the green light to a comedy project, Victor Fresco's "Deeply Irresponsible."

"Call," from 20th Century Fox TV and Real Time Prods., is a single-camera comedy about a team of gifted yet unconventional Los Angeles paramedics who save people's lives while screwing up one another's -- all in real time.

"Kitchen Confidential" creator Dave Hemingson penned the script and is executive producing the pilot with Real Time's Joel Surnow, Bob Cochran and Howard Gordon. The project was picked up by ABC in November with an episodic commitment.

"Sam" (previously "The Memory Trace"), from Touchstone TV and studio-based Brillstein Grey Entertainment, is a single-camera comedy about a woman who wakes up from a coma with amnesia and has to rediscover her life, her relationships and herself.

Best-selling Irish novelist Cecelia Ahern and Don Todd (ABC's pilot "Girls on a Bus") conceived the story for the pilot, which was written by Todd. Todd is executive producing along with BGE's Peter Traugott, while Ahern will serve as producer.

Just over the age of 25, Ahern has four popular novels under her belt. Her first book, "PS, I Love You," published when she was only 21, became an instant international best-seller and is being made into a feature by Warner Bros. Pictures starring Hilary Swank.

"Carpoolers," from Touchstone TV, DreamWorks TV and 3 Arts Entertainment, revolves around a group of suburban guys who carpool to work together.

Bruce McCulloch ("Kids in the Hall") penned the script and is executive producing with DreamWorks' Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey and 3 Arts' David Miner.

"Family," from 20th TV, centers on the Holloways, 10-time Tatum, N.M., Family of the Year winners, who are thrown for a loop when a local (and possibly more deserving) family starts encroaching on their territory.

Erica Rivinoja (Fox's "Grounded for Life") penned the script and is executive producing with Pam Brady.

"Middle," from Warner Bros. TV, chronicles the lives of a middle class, Midwestern family through the eyes of the mother.

Eileen Heisler and DeAnn Heline wrote the script and are executive producing.

"Irresponsible," from 20th TV, is a multicamera comedy about an uptight family that is turned upside-down when their freewheeling grandfather comes to live with them.

"Andy Richter Controls the Universe" creator Fresco is the writer/executive producer of the project, originally picked up by the network with a put pilot commitment.