The Upfronts Selection Show

The week before the upfronts are always crazy: you have networks canceling shows and picking up pilots to series for either this fall or for midseason.

Welcome to The Upfronts Selection Show, where choices are made and bubbles are burst. Call this the television business’ version of March Madness. All of this hubbub this place before the big show kicks off on Monday, where media buyers get the opportunity to get gouged by the networks.

Here is a cliffs’ notes version of what the nets have picked up and have canceled officially, with more information (including where and when the new shows will be slotted):

– ABC picked up several pilots to series on Friday, including the new drama Nashville, which features former Friday Night Lights star Connie Britton, plus Reba McIntire’s sitcom Malibu Country. ABC also picked up five more comedies: Sarah Clarke’s How To Live With Your Parents, plus Family Tools, Red Widow, Zero Hour, and The Neighbors.

ABC also picked up supernatural drama 666 Park Avenue (666… get it?)

As noted here on Thursday, ABC picked up ten series for renewal.  On Friday, there were more: America’s Funniest Home Videos, Wife Swap (why?), Scandal, Private Practice, Happy Endings (for 22 episodes), Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23 (yes!), Last Man Standing (despite recent ratings indicating a deserving cancellation instead), and Body Of Proof.

As far as cancellations go, ABC dumped Missing, Pan Am, and The River. None really a surprise.

– NBC picked up a whopping fifteen series for next season, including sitcom 1600 Penn, about a family in the White House (not to be confused with First Family, which is a project from Entertainment Studios currently being pitched in syndication); Animal Practice, a comedy set in a vet’s office; and Save Me, with features Anne Heche as a woman who believes she is channeling God.

Drama pickups includes J.J. Abrams’ sci-fi thriller Revolution, Ryan Muphy’s New Normal, and Dick Wolf’s Chicago Fire (not to be confused with the MLS soccer team of the same name.) It is not known if Fire will shoot in Chicago. This is NBC’s first firefighter-type drama since Emergency!. Based and filmed in Los Angeles County, Emergency! ran from 1972-77, and did well opposite dominant ratings juggernut All in the Family on Saturday nights.

In addition to the four series NBC renewed on, Thursday NBC surprised everyone by renewing low-rated but critically blasted series Fashion Star and Whitney – two moves that do not make sense. In fact, NBC only canceled five shows: Are You There Chelesa?, Awake, Bent, BFF, and Harry’s Law.

With all the series pickups and all the renewals, one could wonder just how much room NBC has for all of these series on their schedule. Any minute now, look for NBC to renew Hello Larry 32 years after they canceled it. After all, Kim Richards needs a job…

– CW announced Friday it was picking up five pilots to series, including a prequel to Sex In The City called The Carrie Diaries. Set in the 1980’s, the series features a young Carrie Bradshaw coming of age in Manhattan (Who knows? There might be a chance of Carrie running into that Chris kid from Everybody Hates Chris, which was set in the same time frame. Oh, who are we kidding?)

CW also picked up Green Arrow (based on the comic book series); Cult, about the goings on in a reality TV show; First Cut, a series about a first-year medical student; and Beauty and The Beast, a loosely-based remake of the 1987-90 CBS series, which had a cult following among women.

Renewals include 90210, Hart of Dixie, Nikita, and Supernatural; freshmen series Ringer and The Secret Circle were canceled. One Tree Hill ended its nine-season run last month.

– In addition to picking up all of its animated series (including Bob’s Burgers), Fox renewed Glee, New Girl, Raising Hope, Bones, Touch, and X Factor, with Cops returning in midseason. Canceled shows include I Hate My Teenage Daughter, Alcatraz, The Finder, and Breaking In (again.) Fox picked up pilots from The Office’s Mindy Kaling, a mob series based in Chicago, a FBI drama featuring Kevin Bacon, and two other sitcoms: Ben & Kate and The Goodwin Games (not to be confused with Ted Turner’s Goodwill Games, which was a bad TV sports miniseries that took place every four years…)

– CBS has yet to announce any pickups or cancellations ahead of its upfront presentations, which takes place on May 16.

Keep it right here as T Dog Media covers the 2012 Upfronts with all the announcements, analyzation of network schedules, and of course, the snark and wild commentary only yours truly can provide.

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