LL Cool J the 'Man' for CBS


CBS is warming up to "The Man," giving a pilot presentation order to a drama project from "CSI" creator Anthony Zuiker featuring LL Cool J.

Meanwhile, ABC has given the green light to three comedy pilots: "The Thick of It," from "Arrested Development" alums Mitchell Hurwitz and Richard Day; "The News," from Ric Swartzlander (ABC's "Rodney"); and "Traveling in Packs" from Jhoni Marchinko ("Will & Grace")

"Man," from CBS Paramount Network TV, centers on an undercover Los Angeles cop (LL Cool J) who juggles his job while developing a fatherlike relationship with a boy orphaned after one of his drug busts.

Zuiker penned the script and is executive producing. LL Cool J and his manager, Jason Barrett, will serve as producers. The project originally was picked up by ABC in September with a put pilot commitment (HR 9/18).

"Thick," from Sony Pictures Television and BBC Worldwide Prods., has been given the green light to pilot after commanding a put pilot order with large penalty attached in the fall (HR 11/15). Based on the BBC 4 comedy series of the same name, the show revolves around the antics in the office of a member of Congress. Hurwitz, Day, Paul Telegdy and original series creator Armando Iannucci are executive producing. Hurwitz recently formed a Sony-based production banner with producers Eric Tannenbaum and Kim Tannenbaum, but "Thick" is being produced separately from that partnership (HR 1/12).

Swartzlander's "News" revolves around a chaotic TV newsroom in Phoenix. The single-camera pilot, penned and executive produced by veteran comedy scribe Swartzlander, hails from Touchstone TV.

Marchinko's "Packs," from Warner Bros. Television, centers on three thirtysomething single women who find living together has more benefits, and is more fun, than living alone. Marchinko's credits include "Murphy Brown."