Moves are pilot propellers

Graves directs NBC's 'Day One'; helmers also tapped for three ABC shows

Alex Graves has been tapped to direct NBC's post-apocalyptic drama pilot "Day One," Gary Fleder is set to direct ABC's two-hour mystery drama "Happy Town," Mark Tinker is attached to direct the Shonda Rhimes- produced ABC drama pilot "Inside the Box," and Marc Buckland is on board to helm ABC's untitled Tad Quill comedy pilot.

Wednesday also yielded a slew of new pilot orders, with ABC picking up six comedies and CBS greenlighting three more dramas.

ABC's half-hour crop includes "Canned," "Planet Lucy," projects starring Cedric the Entertainer and Christian comedian Anita Renfroe and firm go-aheads to the previously picked up Courteney Cox/Bill Lawrence and Kelsey Grammer/Tucker Cawley projects.

CBS went for the medical drama "Eastmans," crime procedural "I Witness" and the Shawn Ryan-produced "Confessions of a Contractor."

The UMS-produced "Day One" chronicles the aftermath of a devastating global event.

Last season, Graves directed and exec produced Fox's two-hour, $10 million pilot for "Fringe." The helmer is on a hot streak, with three consecutive pilots he directed — "Fringe," NBC's "Journeyman" and ABC's "The Nine" — going to series.

The "Twin Peaks"-esque "Happy Town" reunites writers Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec and Scott Rosenberg with Fleder, who directed the pilot and multiple episodes of their ABC drama "October Road" and an episode of their latest ABC series, "Life on Mars."

ABC Studios' "Inside the Box," about TV journalists in D.C., also continues a long-standing collaboration — between Tinker and "Grey's Anatomy" and "Private Practice" creator Rhimes. Tinker has directed episodes of "Grey's" and is a director/exec producer on "Practice."

Buckland, who is directing Quill's multicamera buddy- comedy pilot for ABC Studios, won an Emmy for directing the pilot of NBC's "My Name Is Earl."

"Canned," which has received a showrunner-contingent order, is a multicamera ensemble comedy about a group of friends who all get fired on the same day. Kevin Etten penned the script and is exec producing with Peter Traugott for ABC Studios and Brillstein Entertainment Partners.

The single-camera "Planet Lucy," from Sony and ABC Studios, has received a cast-contingent presentation order. Based on Fiona Neill's book "Slummy Mummy," it centers on an endearing, disaster-prone everywoman who gave up an impressive professional career to be a stay-at-home mom raising three kids.

The Cedric single-camera comedy, tentatively titled "The Law," revolves around reserve LAPD officers who balance their off-duty lives with the excitement of being weekend cops. Bob Fisher penned the script and is exec producing the ABC Studios/DreamWorks pilot with Cedric and Charles Segars.

This is Cedric's second consecutive comedy pilot for ABC and ABC Studio after toplining a multicamera family comedy last year.

The untitled Renfroe multicamera comedy, from Sony and Tantamount, has received a presentation order. It is a parenting show centered on the thought that family comes first, by any means necessary.

Robert Hanning and Amy Welsh wrote the script and are exec producing with Mitch Hurwitz, Eric Tannenbaum and Kim Tannenbaum.

Penned by Lawrence and Kevin Biegel and produced by ABC Studios, "Cougar Town" stars Cox as a newly single 40-year-old mother with a 17-year-old son.

The Grammer/Cawley comedy, from WBTV and Good Humor TV, stars Grammer as a hot-shot Wall Street executive who loses his job and is forced to reconnect with his small-town family.

"Eastmans," from writer/exec producer Margaret Nagle and WBTV, is a medical show centered on a complicated family of doctors.

It marks the third medical drama pilot for CBS this pilot season. The network, which has focused on finding a new medical franchise for fall, also has ordered "Three Rivers," about organ transplants, and the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced "Miami Trauma," about trauma surgeons.

"Contractor," from 20th TV, is based on Richard Murphy's book and centers on a successful L.A. contractor. Murphy wrote the pilot and is a co-exec producer with Jeff Okin and Paul Green. Ryan will exec produce.

"Witness," from CBS Par, centers on a detective professor who uses her psycho-physiological skills to solve crimes.

"CSI: NY" exec producer/showrunner Pam Veasey and supervising producer Trey Callaway penned the script and are exec producing the pilot.