Pilots accelerate at CBS, Fox


CBS has picked up two pilots — a comedy from feature writer-director John Hamburg and a drama from "Las Vegas" creator Gary Scott Thompson.

Meanwhile, Fox has greenlighted "Then," a sci-fi drama pilot based on the graphic novel, to be directed by Jonathan Mostow.

Additionally, NBC has handed out cast-contingent orders to two comedies — one from writer-producers David Israel & Jim O'Doherty and one from Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein — and the CW has picked up a one-hour pilot presentation from Tom Wheeler.

CBS' "The Captain," from CBS Paramount Network TV, is a single-camera comedy about a young writer whose life changes when he moves into a legendary old Hollywood apartment building.

Hamburg, whose feature credits include "Along Came Polly" and the two "Meet the Parents" movies, penned the script and is on board to direct and executive produce.

CBS' "Protect and Serve," from NBC Universal TV Studio, revolves around cops living in the Los Angeles suburbs who deal with the stress of police life on and off the job.

Mark Gibson and Phillip Halprin ("The Wild") penned the script. Thompson is executive producing through his overall deal at NBC Uni TV.

"Them," from Paramount TV and studio-based Circle of Confusion Prods., centers on an agent who, with extraterrestrials infiltrating the human race, is dispatched on a mission to retrieve a rogue operative from his "sleeper cell."

Mostow will direct from a script by John McNamara and David Eick. All three are executive producing, while Circle of Confusion's David Engel, David Alpert and Lawrence Mattis will serve as co-executive producers.

The untitled Israel-O'Doherty project, from NBC Uni TV and studio-based Conaco Prods., is a workplace comedy about the eccentric staff at a popular wildlife park.

Israel and O'Doherty (NBC's "3rd Rock From the Sun") penned the script and are exec producing with Conaco's Conan O'Brien, Jeff Ross and David Kissinger.

"Business Class," from NBC Uni TV and Dutch Oven, is a single-camera comedy chronicling the absurd adventures of two traveling soda salesmen.

Oakley and Weinstein (Fox's "The Simpsons") wrote the script and are exec producing with Dutch Oven's Doug Liman and David Bartis.

CW's "The World According to Barnes," from Warner Bros. TV and studio-based Class IV, is a comedic drama in the vein of "Animal House" and "Ferris Bueller's Day Off." It revolves around two geeky Princeton University students who use their inventive skills to help solve crimes.

Wheeler wrote the script and is exec producing with Class IV's Steve Pearlman and Andrew Plotkin.