Pilots: 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."