ABC picks up 11 series for fall


In one fell swoop, ABC has picked up three freshman and eight returning series for next season.

Rookies "Ugly Betty," "Brothers & Sisters" and "Men In Trees" have been given an early second-season order.

Dramas "Grey's Anatomy," "Lost" and "Boston Legal," dramedy "Desperate Housewives," reality series "Dancing with the Stars," "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" and "The Bachelor" and late-night talk show "Jimmy Kimmel Live" also have also been picked up for next season, joining recently renewed "America's Funniest Home Videos," "Supernanny" and "Wife Swap."

"We have had a strong year, with two of the season's breakout hits, 'Ugly Betty' and 'Brothers & Sisters,' and the solid performance of 'Men In Trees,'" said ABC Entertainment president Stephen McPherson, who made the pickup announcement at the network's March development meeting with advertisers Wednesday. "We are pleased that viewers have invested in these new favorites along with our other returning series."

Though the pickups for hits like "Grey's," "Lost, "Housewives," "Betty," "Dancing" and "Home Edition" have been widely expected, the early vote of confidence for freshmen "Men In Trees" and "Boston Legal," which have developed smaller but devoted fan base, was somewhat of a surprise. Remaining on the fence is another drama with limited following, sophomore "What About Brian." No half-hour comedy made the cut for an early pickup, though veterans "According to Jim" and "George Lopez" are considered strong candidates to return.

The star-studded "Brothers & Sisters," from ABC TV Studio, is executive produced by Ken Olin, Jon Robin Baitz and Greg Berlanti. Calista Flockhart, Rachel Griffiths and Sally Field lead the ensemble cast.

Golden Globe winner "Betty," also from ABC TV, is executive produced by Salma Hayek, Silvio Horta, Ben Silverman, Jose Tamez, James Hayman and Marco Pennette. Golden Globe winner America Ferrera plays the title character.

The Anne Heche starrer "Men," from Warner Bros. TV, is executive produced by Jenny Bicks, Bicks, James Mangold and Cathy Konrad.