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TV Pilots Picking Up the New Year

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As many execs returned to their offices after the holidays, Hollywood is abuzz with the latest info about the status of the 2009-2010 TV season. Few are surprised to learn that NBC is showing the largest ratings decline of the Big Four, and their recently-announced plans to pick up a total of 18 pilots this season is no doubt a reflection of their commitment to revive their suffering programming schedule (no word yet on the future of Jay Leno).

Another no-brainer? CBS is doing just fine, thanks to the success of shows like “CSI” and the new “NCIS: Los Angeles.” But their biggest success is a surprise – the comedy series “The Big Bang Theory” has just seen the largest year-to-year ratings increase. Whether or not showrunner Bill Prady’s avid Twitter usage and fan interaction has had any impact on this is difficult to speculate, however word of mouth and general buzz for the show remains positive.

This comes on the heels of other gossip about the future of TV, as we enter the high-stress TV “pilot season.” The first announcement for NBC is a new Adam Carolla project. In this multi-cam comedy, Carolla will star as a guy who works in construction and must reinvent his life after his wife leaves him. Executive producers reportedly include Carolla’s old pal from “The Man Show,” Jimmy Kimmel.

In other network news, ABC’s first drama pick-up of 2010 is “187 Detroit,” a real but humorous look at Detroit’s top homicide division. Behind the show is ABC Studios and Mandeville, as well as executive producers Jason Richman, Todd Lieberman and David Hoberman, and according to The Hollywood Reporter the show will be shot in the fictional documentary style that’s been heralded by “The Office” and embraced most recently (and arguably, effectively) by the ABC comedy “Modern Family.” ABC’s ratings are slightly down from last year, despite their strong new Wednesday comedy line-up, while The CW remains on par with the previous season’s ratings at this point, and FOX is the only network to be up in viewers.

by Annie Stamell

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