ABC orders up a quirky fall


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It’s been a busy afternoon over at ABC! Ten -- count‘em -- 10 new shows have been picked up, and yes, that includes the much-discussed “Grey’s Anatomy,” spin-off, “Private Practice,” starring Kate Walsh. ‘Nuf said about that. So far, ABC--which is set to unveil its fall lineup on Tuesday--is experimenting with three new comedies:

Christina Applegate returns to TV in “Sam I Am,” a single-camera comedy about a woman who goes into a coma for eight days following a car accident, and wakes up not remembering who she is. Slowly, she discovers what a rotten gal she’s been.


‘Caveman’: Hats off to the Geico Cavemen ad writers for making it look like selling this TV show is a piece of cake. The new single-camera comedy will explore a minority largely ignored across the world: the cave man. Two brothers and one best friend, described as sophisticated cave dudes living in modern-day Atlanta, will continually find themselves at odds with contemporary society and thus comment on today’s race relations.

And speaking of men (and ABC could use a few more in its audience), there’s “Carpoolers,” about four suburban men who obsess, dream and strategize as they commute to and from work every day. Jerry O’Connell (“Crossing Jordan” and fiancé of ‘Ugly Betty’s’ Rebecca Romijn) is one of the leads. In the drama department, things seem to be moving along the way you’ve come to expect at ABC: lots of colorful characters it doesn’t seem we’ve seen before, at least, for the most part.

“Eli Stone,” created by Greg Berlanti, who helped rescue “Brothers & Sisters,” about a mercenary lawyer who might just be a prophet. The tone is quirky and funny and Eli Stone is Jonny Lee Miller who gave TV a shot last season on CBS’ short-lived “Smith.”

“Dirty Sexy Money,” a collaboration between Berlanti and Craig Wright (“Six Feet Under,” “Lost” and “Brothers & Sisters”) about five adult spoiled brats from the Upper East Side. The cast alone is worth getting excited about and it includes William Baldwin, Jill Clayburgh, Donald Sutherland and Peter Krause.

“Pushing Daisies” is about a baker who, besides making fabulous pies, has another gift. He can bring dead people briefly back to life. So he starts working with a private investigator, bringing back his childhood sweetheart from the dead, but then she won’t go back. Another formidable cast: Kristin Chenoweth, Anna Friel, Swoosie Kurtz, Chi McBride and Lee Pace as Ned, the gifted baker. Created by Bryan Fuller (“Dead Like Me,” “Wonderfalls,” and “Heroes”).

“Cashmere Mafia” is pitched as “Sex and the City” meets “The Devil Wears Prada.” Four Manhattan women bonded by their Ivy League educations and their career success help each other to have it all. Starring Lucy Liu, Frances O’Connor, Miranda Otto and Bonnie Somerville. Executive Produced by Darren Star.


“The Women’s Murder Club” adapts James Patterson’s best-selling novels into a drama about a new crime series that focuses on the friendship of four women whose job it is to investigate murders. Angie Harmon plays a detective who assembles the other women: a medical examiner, a newspaper reporter and a young district attorney. Shawn Ryan of “The Shield” and “The Unit” executive produces.

“Big Shots” stars Dylan McDermott, Joshua Malina, Christopher Titus (remember “Titus”?) and Michael Vartan as four dysfunctional CEO’s who will do anything to stay on top. They take refuge at their country club and, yes, they gossip. This was created by Jon Harmon Feldman who last ran “Reunion” for Fox and was an executive producer on NBC’s “American Dreams.”

--Maria Elena Fernandez