For the third year in a row, ABC is likely to be the busiest network at this week's upfronts.
The Alphabet is expected to announce the pickup of 10 new series for 2007-08 at its upfront this week. The new shows include the no-brainer "Grey's Anatomy" spinoff "Private Practice," a pair of dramas executive produced by Greg Berlanti, and "Cavemen," a comedy based on a series of car-insurance ads, the showbiz trade papers report.
ABC makes things official on Tuesday, when it presents its slate for next season to advertisers. The network is continuing a trend of picking up lots of shows, having ordered double-digit numbers of shows in both 2005 and '06.
"Private Practice" stars Kate Walsh, whose "Grey's Anatomy" character, Dr. Addison Montgomery, will be moving to Los Angeles to set up shop with a cast that includes Merrin Dungey, Tim Daly, Amy Brenneman and Taye Diggs. Viewers got a look at the show in a two-hour "Grey's" episode on May 3, which scored big Nielsen numbers.
"Everwood" creator Berlanti, an executive producer of "Brothers & Sisters," is behind two offbeat dramas, "Dirty Sexy Money" and "Eli Stone." The former stars Peter Krause ("Six Feet Under") as the overworked lawyer for a privileged, often-in-trouble family, while "Eli" features Jonny Lee Miller ("Smith") as a man who becomes convinced he's a prophet.
Other likely drama pickups are "Pushing Daisies," about a guy (Lee Pace) whose touch can revive the dead; and "Big Shots," a show about four guys (Michael Vartan, Dylan McDermott, Josh Malina and Christopher Titus) with powerful jobs and a close-knit friendship.
"Cavemen," based on the Geico ads, has received a lot of attention during the development season -- not all of it good. As in the commercials, the show will focus on a cadre of prehistoric gentlemen trying to make their way in the modern world.
ABC is doing pretty much a complete revamp of its comedy slate, also picking up "Sam I Am," about an amnesiac (Christina Applegate) trying to put her life back together; and "Carpoolers," about friends who try to make sense of things on their daily ride to work. "Miss/Guided," starring Judy Greer, may get a midseason berth.
"George Lopez" looks to be on its way out, and "According to Jim" may join it, though there's a chance it will return next fall. The other likely returnee on the comedy side is "Notes from the Underbelly," which premiered in April and has drawn steady if unspectacular numbers.
Another midseason show, the drama "October Road," is also a good bet to return.