Options open for four pilots

Midseason hopes remain for ABC, CBS projects

A month and a half after the end of the 2008-09 broadcast development season, four pilots -- ABC's "Romantically Challenged," "This Little Piggy" and "Solving Charlie" and CBS' "House Rules" -- remain in midseason contention after their cast options have been extended.

The actors on all broadcast pilots are tied to projects until June 30, when they're released and free to book other jobs. The networks and studios have until then to decide whether they want to keep any of their pilots alive by paying the actors to continue to be attached to them.

This year, the multicamera comedies "Challenged" and "Piggy" and the dramas "Charlie" (formerly the untitled Daniel Cerone) and "Rules" and made the cut, with the options of some but not all cast members extended.

"Challenged" hails from WBTV; the three others are produced by ABC Studios.

"Challenged," about a thirtysomething man torn between his new girlfriend and needy best friend, was a serious contender for a berth on ABC's fall schedule, mainly on the appeal of female lead Alyssa Milano.

The options for three regulars in the pilot -- Milano, who plays the girlfriend; Kyle Bornheimer, the best friend; and Kelly Stables, Milano's younger sister -- have been extended.

On "Piggy," only the options of Andrea Parker and Rebecca Creskoff have been extended.

The project revolves around two adult siblings (one played by Creskoff) who are forced to move in with their eldest brother and his wife (Parker) after falling on hard times.

On "Rules," which follows the freshman class of Congress as they begin their careers in Washington, most of the cast is staying on, including star Zoe McLellan, Eion Bailey, Kristin Bauer, Tawny Cypress, Anna Chlumsky and Denzel Whitaker.

Also almost intact is the cast of "Charlie," about a low-level detective (Jimmy Wolk) who gets help from his genius 11-year-old brother (Dakota Goyo).

Wolk and Goyo are still on, as are Brad Henke and Dania Ramirez.