Drama 'Past Life' has a future at Fox


Fox on Thursday picked up to series the reincarnation drama "Past Life" as the network continues to firm its fall plans heading into its Monday upfront presentation.

Meanwhile, ABC's veteran comedy "Scrubs" is closer to a ninth- season renewal as most main cast members have inked deals to return. ABC's comedy "Samantha Who?" is pondering cost-cutting production changes for next season in its bid for a return.

The WBTV-produced "Past Life," starring Richard Schiff, follows a team of detectives who solve crimes using regression therapy and the theory of reincarnation.

Its order follows Fox pickups for the action drama "Human Target," also from WBTV, and 20th TV's comedy "Sons of Tucson."

Things didn't look good Thursday for the comedy pilot "Brothers," while the drama "Maggie Hill" is still in contention, possibly for midseason.

The freshman "Dollhouse" is also still in consideration. Meanwhile, the hit "Bones" surprisingly is still without a deal, with Fox and 20th TV haggling over license fees, but a resolution is pending.

At ABC, "Scrubs" star Zach Braff has inked a deal to come back for six episodes to transition the show to its new setup, which is being worked out. Sarah Chalke also is signed for six episodes.

Donald Faison, John C. McGinley and Neil Flynn have closed deals to continue as regulars in second position to their pilots. Meanwhile, Judy Reyes has not been approached for a deal but might appear as a guest star if "Scrubs" is renewed.

As a renewal condition for "Samantha," ABC has asked the show's producers at ABC Studios to slash $500,000 from its per-episode budget.

To do that, the producing team is considering filming the show with three cameras simultaneously to cut down on producing time. "Samantha" has employed two cameras.

Despite talk about a switch to a multicamera format, the show does not plan to move the filming on stage, keeping its current sets and its single-camera look.