Stars in the Eye for fall


"Moonlight" fans' prayers have been answered: The show's star, Alex O'Loughlin, is back on CBS with the new medical drama "Three Rivers."

The network went mostly for star vehicles in its first new series picks for next season with "Rivers"; the "NCIS" spinoff, toplined by LL Cool J and Chris O'Donnell; legal drama "The Good Wife," starring Julianna Margulies; and the Jenna Elfman-starring comedy "Accidentally on Purpose."

CBS also handed a series order to the Jerry Bruckheimer- produced ensemble medical drama "Miami Trauma," which has tapped Steve Maeda as executive producer/showrunner.

Additionally, the network picked up the unscripted series "Undercover Boss," a hidden-camera show based on a British format.

As a precursor to the scripted series orders, the network during the weekend gave most of the projects a green light to start making offers to writers and directors.

CBS also is allowing two other drama hopefuls, "House Rules" and "U.S. Attorney," to begin making staffing offers.

The "NCIS" spinoff, "Rivers," "Wife" and "Accidentally" are produced by CBS' sister studio CBS TV Studios, while "Trauma" comes from Warner Bros. TV.

The four CBS Studios-produced shows also had been early standouts at the network, while "Trauma" picked up steam in the final couple of weeks when the project also tapped UTA-repped Maeda, recently an exec producer on "Lie to Me," to come aboard.

CBS ultimately opted to go with two medical dramas: "Rivers" and "Trauma."

The "Trauma" pickup makes for another strong pilot season for Bruckheimer. Both of his pilots, including ABC's "The Forgotten," were ordered to series.

At CBS, where he is the predominant drama series producer, Bruckheimer got more good news Sunday night when the network closed a deal to bring back his "Cold Case."

Meanwhile, his other bubble drama, "Without a Trace," appears dead, as does his "Eleventh Hour."

Also looking unlikely to return is CBS' military drama "The Unit."

The multicamera "Accidentally," from writer Claudia Lonow, is about a movie critic (Elfman) who gets pregnant after a fling with a younger man and the unconventional family that comes from the mistake.

The "NCIS" spinoff, introduced in two episodes of the veteran crime drama this spring, hails from "NCIS" exec producer/showrunner Shane Brennan, who will run both series.

Written by Robert King and Michelle King and directed by Charles McDougall, "Wife" stars Margulies as a politician's wife who joins a law firm.

Penned by Carol Barbee, "Rivers" is a medical show about organ transplants seen from three points of view: the doctors, the donors and the recipients. (partialdiff)