Alyssa Milano pilot nears pickup

ABC comedy closing in on 13-episode order

ABC will be "Romantically Challenged" this midseason.

The network is close to picking up the multicamera comedy pilot starring Alyssa Milano to series with a 13-episode order.

"Challenged," from Warner Bros. TV and writer Ricky Blitt, centers on a thirtysomething man who is torn between his new girlfriend and needy best friend.

The pilot, which was shot in the spring, was a serious contender for a berth on ABC's fall schedule, with female lead Milano getting strong buzz for her performance.

"Challenged" was one of three ABC pilots, along with "This Little Piggy" and "Solving Charlie," which remained in midseason contention after options for some of their cast members were extended in June.

On "Challenged," ABC and WBTV extended the options on Milano, who plays the girlfriend; Kyle Bornheimer, the best friend; and Kelly Stables, Milano's younger sister.

The other roles are expected to be recast.

"Challenged" marks ABC's first midseason comedy series order this year.

All four of the network's new comedy series picked up in May -- "Modern Family," "Cougar Town" and the WBTV-produced "Hank" and "The Middle" -- are set to launch in the fall as a Wednesday night block.

ABC has three new drama series on tap for midseason: "V," "Happy Town" and "The Deep End."