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ABC picks up five new series

August 25, 2008 |  8:19 pm

Nathanfillion ABC has confirmed it has ordered five new series for this TV season. Delays in production caused by the strike prevented the network from ordering as many series as it does normally in May, when the broadcast networks announce their lineups.

But after the filming of pilots this summer, ABC President of Entertainment Steve McPherson has ordered five new shows and expects to order more in the coming months, ABC executives have confirmed.

The new series will air in midseason.

Of the five shows, three are dramas:

“Castle” is described in the press notes as a comedic crime procedural about a famous mystery novelist, Nick Castle, who has gotten bored with his success. When a real-world copycat murderer starts staging scenes from Nick’s novels, he’s teamed with a female detective, and soon the sparks are flying. Castle is kept grounded by his Broadway diva mother, quick-witted teenage daughter, and his long-suffering ex-wife, who happens to be his editor. It stars Nathan Fillion as Castle, Stana Katic as Det. Kate Beckett, Molly Quinn as Alexis, Susan Sullivan as Martha, Monet Mazur as Gina and Ruben Santiago-Hudson as Capt. Montgomery.

From executive producer Rob Thomas ("Veronica Mars"), "Cupid” is a remake of the 1990s' series of the same title, starring Jeremy Piven. This version, according to the press notes, is romantic dramedy about Trevor, a larger-than-life character who may or may not be the Roman god of love, Cupid, sent to Earth to bring couples together. As fate would have it, Trevor is under the care of famous psychologist and self-help author Dr. Claire Allen, who is also dedicated to helping lonely hearts find their soul mates. While she agrees with his cause, she questions whether he’s crazy or really is Cupid. “Cupid” stars Bobby Cannavale as Trevor, Sarah Paulson as Claire, Rick Gomez as Felix and Camille Guaty as Lita.

“The Unusuals” is a comedic procedural set in a New York police precinct, according to the press notes. Casey Schraeger started her day as an NYPD vice detective but is unexpectedly transferred to the homicide division. She quickly realizes that not only does everyone in her new department have a distinct sense of humor but also their own dirty little secret. “The Unusuals” stars Amber Tamblyn as Det. Casey Schraeger, Jeremy Renner as Det. Joe Walsh, Terry Kinney as Sgt. Harvey Brown, Kai Lennox as Det. Ed Alvarez, Harold Perrineau as Det. Leo Banks, Adam Goldberg as Det. Eric Delahoy, Monique Gabriela Curnen as Det. Allison Beaumont and Joshua Close as Henry Cole.

The other two new shows are comedies:

“Better Off Ted” is a satirical office comedy featuring a successful but morally conscious man, Ted, who runs a research and development department at a morally questionable corporation, Veridian Technologies. No achievement is too farfetched and no invention too unorthodox for Veridian, according to the press notes. Need a suicidal turkey? Done. Need a metal that is hard as steel but bounces –- and is edible? Done and done. Ted loves his seemingly perfect job; he loves his super-human boss, Veronica, and colleagues Lem, Phil and Linda, but he’s starting to take a closer look at the company’s extremely questionable practices, especially when they try to cryogenically freeze one of Ted’s scientists for testing purposes. It stars Jay Harrington as Ted, Andrea Anders as Linda, Portia de Rossi as Veronica, Jonathan Slavin as Phil, and Malcolm Barrett as Lem.

“Single With Parents” is a comedy about Lou, a woman in her mid-30s who is determined to have her own life despite her crazy blended family getting in the way.  According to the press notes, she’s thrilled that her divorced parents are leading exciting lives -– really, she is –- except both of them rely on her way too much. Dad needs her as a surrogate parent, and Mom counts on her 24/7 as a shrink and confidante. Lou has resolved to finally find a fulfilling life for herself. The series stars Alyssa Milano as Lou, Annie Potts as Elizabeth, Beau Bridges as Joe, Amanda Detmer as Sasha, Meagan Fay as Nancy and Eric Winter as Charlie.

The five shows join other previously announced new shows: “Life on Mars,” a drama; “The Goode Family,” a comedy, and two alternative series, “Opportunity Knocks” and the untitled Ashton Kutcher and Tyra Banks Project.

-- Maria Elena Fernandez

(Photo of Nathan Fillion by Stephen Osman / Los Angeles Times)

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