The “C” in CBS can now officially stand for Chuck as top producer Chuck Lorre will have four series on the network in the fall. I’ve learned that CBS will pick up Lorre’s comedy pilot Mom to series tomorrow, a full week before the network’s upfront presentation. It will be the first pilot from this year’s crop to get a series order. A select few A-list producers get early pickup deadlines from the networks, giving them a window to shop the projects elsewhere if they get a pass. Lorre understandably is in that category with an unusually early deadline for Mom this year even by those standards. Not that there has ever been any doubt that CBS would exercise its option to pick up Mom to series. Written on spec by Lorre, Eddie Gorodetsky and Gemma Baker, Mom has been sailing through the pilot process with a hot script, top-notch cast led by Anna Faris and Allison Janney and great table read and taping that led to a finished pilot that has been well received. The series, produced by Warner Bros TV and Chuck Lorre Prods., centers on a newly sober single mom (Faris) who tries to pull her life together in Napa Valley. It is eyed for the Monday 8:30 PM slot following the final season of How I Met Your Mother – which is exec produced/directed by Pam Fryman, who also helmed the Mom pilot. Despite his tremendous workload, Lorre focused a lot of energy and passion on Mom this season. He will now have the rare distinction of having four series on the schedule in the fall: Mom and the returning Two And A Half Men, The Big Bang Theory and Mike & Molly. The Mom cast also includes Nate Corddry, Blake Garrett Rosenthal, Matt Jones, Spencer Daniels, Sadie Calvano and French Stewart.
With one of the CBS comedy slots going to Mom as expected, attention will shift to the fierce competition for the other berths. If CBS expands in comedy as speculated, given that the network brass seem higher on their comedy development versus drama this season, estimates are that the network could pick up as many as four new comedy series for next season, leaving three slots for the multi-camera Greg Garcia and Friends With Better Lives and single-camera Rob Greenberg and Crazy Ones as well as a potential wild card from several others who are in contention when testing results come in.
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