For the third year in a row, ABC is likely to be the busiest network at this week's upfronts.
It is expected to announce the pickup of 10 new series for 2007- 2008 at its upfront this week. The new shows include the Grey's Anatomy spinoff Private Practice, a pair of dramas from Greg Berlanti, and Cavemen, a comedy based on car-insurance ads, the showbiz trade papers report.
ABC makes things official today, when it presents its slate for next season to advertisers.
Private Practice stars Kate Walsh, whose Grey's Anatomy character, Dr. Addison Montgomery, will be moving to Los Angeles. Viewers got a look at the show in a two-hour Grey's episode 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, Joshua 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 development -- not all of it good. As in the commercials, the show will focus on a cadre of prehistoric men 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 Notes from the Underbelly may join it, though there's a chance it will return next fall.
Notes premiered in April and has drawn steady if unspectacular numbers. There's a chance also that The Knights of Prosperity and According to Jim could come back from the presumed-dead list.
Knights was thought to be a goner after ABC pulled the show from the schedule in early March. It averaged a shade under 5 million viewers a week and was yanked with three episodes left to air. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the network is considering building a second season of the show featuring Ray Romano as the target of a robbery attempt.