CBS gets serious about series

Net picks up Jerry Bruckheimer drama 'Eleventh Hour'

CBS didn't wait until the eleventh hour to make its new series pickups. It ordered six new series Monday, including Jerry Bruckheimer's drama "Eleventh Hour."

But it went down to the wire on its bubble series: "Shark" and "Moonlight"; solid performers "The Unit," "Rules of Engagement" and "The New Adventures of Old Christine"; and even overachiever "How I Met Your Mother" -- none of which had heard their fate by Monday night.

But while the other series are waiting to find out whether they will be back, the question for "Old Christine" seems to be which network will the series return to.

In a deja vu of the "Scrubs" predicament in May 2007, when the series almost went to ABC before getting a last-minute reprieve by NBC, it is understood that ABC is ready to pick up "Old Christine" with a 22-episode order if CBS declines to do so.

There have been rumblings that CBS is considering using the Julia Louis-Dreyfus starrer "Old Christine" to open a second comedy block on Wednesday. The network on Monday picked up another female-oriented comedy, "Worst Week," about an engaged couple.

In addition to "Eleventh Hour" and "Worst Week," CBS also ordered the dramas "The Mentalist," starring Simon Baker; "The Ex List," starring Elizabeth Reaser (formerly "Mythological Ex"); and the Jon Turteltaub-directed "Harper's Island"; and the Jay Mohr-starring comedy "Project Gary" (formerly the untitled Ed Yeager project).

Although CBS wouldn't specify which series are picked up for fall and which for midseason, "Harper's Island" -- a serialized story about a group of friends terrorized on an island off the Seattle coast -- is said to be for midseason.

Meanwhile, "Project Gary," about a middle-class dad, appears tailor-made to join CBS' Monday comedy block, possibly following "Two and a Half Men."

CBS' sister network the CW also went down to the wire in renewing cult-favorite supernatural drama "Reaper" on Monday, a day before its upfront presentation.

"Reaper" will return for 13 episodes in midseason and likely will be paired with "Supernatural" on Thursday nights after "Smallville" concludes its run.