CW's 'Gossip,' 'Veronica' closer to pickup


CW's hot drama pilot "Gossip Girl" is moving a step closer to a series pickup as it has been approved to begin staffing, while another female-centered CW Network drama, the three-year-old "Veronica Mars," is inching closer to a renewal after a trailer for the proposed revamped version of the series got a warm reception at the network, sources said.

The nod to "Gossip Girl," about rich teens in New York, puts co-creator/executive producer Josh Schwartz in the enviable position of having two pilots -- along with "Chuck" at NBC -- given permission to begin staffing days before the networks make their series pickups.

"The O.C." creator could conceivably oversee both shows if they're picked up to series as he has been working with co-creator Chris Fedak on the pilot for "Chuck" and co-creator Stephanie Savage on "Gossip."

Meanwhile, CW entertainment president Dawn Ostroff is said to have been very impressed by the trailer "Mars" creator Rob Thomas filmed for an alternate fourth season of the show, which fast-forwards a couple of years and has the title character (Kristen Bell) studying at the FBI Academy.

Cult favorite "Mars" had been on the verge of cancellation, but its fortunes have improved significantly in the past week with the announcement that "Gilmore Girls" won't be coming back and because of Thomas' well-received fourth-season idea.