Peter Krause, Rashida Jones, Michael Vartan

Theo Wargo/WirEImage.com,Jim Spellman/WireImage.com,Jeff Vespa/WireImage.com

Fina-freaking-lly.

Starting this Monday, we get to find out which shows will live or die in the new fall season. All will be revealed in New York City at the TV Upfronts, where each year, the networks present their new fall schedules to advertisers—and we press types crash the party because there's (a) big news, (b) big stars and (c) big booze. (The perfect combination for big scoop!)

Important and Supercool Announcement:  I will be in NYC all next week covering all the Upfront events, and this year, we are doing something new and (I think) exciting: Thanks to the new bloglicious format of this column, and also my new best friend, Mr. CrackBerry, I will be able to bring you the news from the Upfront interviews, presentations and parties the very second I hear it. Right here in this very space. How's that for service?

So, please make sure you check back here often Monday through Thursday for instant scoop reports straight from the trenches—and to weigh in with your own questions. (NBC will be on Monday, ABC on Tuesday, CBS on Wednesday and the CW and Fox on Thursday. If you have any questions for the stars of new or returning shows, please email them to tvdiva@eonline.com with the network name in the subject line.)

Now, as you fans know all too well, there are many returning favorites whose fate has not yet been determined. But there are also some spanking-new series (the kids call 'em "pilots") who also will find out this week if they are picked up.

So, who are the newbie contenders? And who's most likely to make it to your TV this fall? Well, we here at WWK Central (myself, Korbi Ghosh and Jennifer Godwin) have done some serious digging among network and studio sources and also watched many of the pilots, and here's what we're hearing...

ABC Logo

ABC

ABC

PASS GO, COLLECT $200 (Very Likely to Get Picked Up)

  • Cashmere MafiaLucy Liu leads this cast of four successful New York women who have each others' backs when it comes to getting ahead and having it all. Created by Darren Star. (Heard of him?) 
  • Dirty Sexy MoneySix Feet Under's Peter Krause takes on the role of protector, adviser and counselor for the filthy rich, scandal-prone Darling family. (I've seen it—it's good.)
  • Miss/GuidedPunk'd producers Ashton Kutcher and Jason Goldberg attempt scripted television with this half-hour comedy about a former dork who gets a job at her old high school as the resident guidance counselor.
  • Big ShotsA Sex and the City of sorts for male CEOs, starring Michael Vartan and Dylan McDermott. (I've seen it and will plead the Fifth.)
  • Private PracticeNot much to reveal here, since 20 million of us already sneak-previewed the pilot during last week's Grey's. Shonda Rhimes moves Addison down to L.A. for a fresh start.        
  • Pushing DaisiesHeroes writer/producer Bryan Fuller is behind this love story about an everyday joe—who possesses the power to bring people back to life with just the touch of his hand—and the girl he can never touch. (Seen it—loved it.)
  • CavemenYou know the cavemen from those Geico commercials? Three of 'em relocate to Atlanta, hoping to lead a normal life, but find themselves fighting constant prejudice.
  • Eli StoneFrom Everwood creator Greg Berlanti (woo woo), Eli Stone pulls a Jerry Maguire, leaving his high-powered legal firm in favor of defending the less fortunate through his own practice. The only problem? He's starting to hallucinate about famous people and dead family members.
  • CarpoolersIt's desperate househusbands in a half-hour format.
  • Sam I AmComing out of an eight-day coma, Samantha Newly (Christina Applegate) has no memory of the awful person she once was and struggles to make a new life and be a better woman. (Also saw this one and am smitten!)

DIRECTLY TO JAIL (Not Likely to Be Picked Up)

  • Mr. & Mrs. SmithThe original writer and director are on board, but Angelina and Brad ain't.

CHANCE CARD (Could Go Either Way)

  • Football WivesUgly Betty creator Marco Pennette brings together one of the most watchable TV couples of all time—James Van Der Beek and Kiele Sanchez (Lost's Nikki)—in this dramedy chronicling the lives of three ladies married to high-profile football players. (Beek and Sanchez are the best part, but this one's still pretty good.)
  • MarloweAn old-school detective drama based in present day L.A., starring—eye-candy alert!—Men in Trees' Jason O'Mara and The O.C.'s Amanda Righetti.
  • Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner OfficeHeroes' Jayma Mays is coached by her new secretary (Jane Curtin) on being cutthroat and sneaky in order to succeed.

 

CBS Logo

CBS

CBS

PASS GO, COLLECT $200

  • Babylon FieldsBack on series TV for the first time since Joan of Arcadia, Amber Tamblyn plays a character who has already been to heaven. But somehow, she's come back from the dead and is trying to put her life on earth back together.
  • Los DuquesIt's the Latin version of Brothers & Sisters, except the family business plays a bigger part.
  • SwingtownIt's Desperate Housewives in the 1970s...I mean, if most of the couples on Wisteria Lane were swingers. Drop those keys in the bowl!
  • Viva Laughlin! Starring Hugh Jackman. Yep. Hugh Jackman! This American adaptation of a British import is about one family's attempt to run a casino. And, oh yeah, it's a musical.

DIRECTLY TO JAIL

  • DemonsOur man Harold Perrineau (Lost's Michael) is a series regular on this drama about an exorcist, so consider these fingers crossed.

CHANCE CARD

  • The CaptainChris Klein and Jeffrey Tambor star in this comedy about an aspiring writer living in an old Hollywood apartment building.
  • The ManSay Punky Brewster had severe emotional problems and used to be a drug-addicted prostitute. Add two other freaky kids to the mix, get 'em adopted by an undercover cop, and presto, you've got this drama, starring LL Cool J and Melinda Clarke.
  • Protect and ServeEric Balfour got killed off 24 just in time for this hourlong series about police officers, on the job and off. Dean Cain also stars.
  • Skip TracerStephen Dorff plays the man to see about finding Los Angeles' missing persons.

 

The CW Logo

The CW

THE CW

PASS GO, COLLECT $200

  • Gossip GirlFrom The O.C. creator Josh Schwartz comes this adaptation of the popular book series about spoiled kids who attend New York private schools. (Seen it; liked it.)
  • ReaperApparently it's possible to escape from hell. But someone will be coming after you.
  • Wild at HeartIt's The Brady Bunch...living on a South African game reserve. (Hmmm...will Greg find a mysterious African idol?)

DIRECTLY TO JAIL

  • I'm Paige WilsonAn idealistic, twentysomething congressional aide is so disappointed by her boss, she runs against him.

CHANCE CARD

  • Aliens in AmericaA Pakistani exchange student moves in with a Wisconsin family.
  • Dash 4 CashA single-camera comedy, chronicling a faux reality show about an Amazing Race-type competition.

 

Fox Logo

Fox

FOX

PASS GO, COLLECT $200

  • Back to YouOriginally titled Action News, there's great buzz on this tale of two local evening news anchors (Kelsey Grammer and Patricia Heaton) who love-hate each other.
  • NursesSara Rue and Eliza Dushku costar in this soapy dramedy set in an urban hospital staffed by beautiful practitioners of medicine. (Hey, it worked for Scrubs, House and Grey's!)
  • The Sarah Connor ChroniclesBased on The Terminator movies, Lena Headey (300) takes over for Linda Hamilton as Sarah, and Thomas Dekker (Clairebear's pal Zach from Heroes) costars as John Connor.
  • ThemProduced by Battlestar Galactica boss David Eick, Them is about alien sleeper agents whose lives get complicated when they start falling in love with us human beings. We are irresistible, aren't we?

DIRECTLY TO JAIL

  • New Amsterdam:  Talk about a man with a past. John Amsterdam is a 400-year-old dude who needs to find true love to break an ancient spell cast by a Native American woman. Also, he's a homicide detective in New York.
  • Playing ChickenStrangely, this show about a guy who becomes paralyzed after losing a game of chicken is not considered a potential feel-good hit of the fall...
  • Supreme Courtships:  A drama about the personal lives of the law clerks who do the heavy lifting at the highest court in the land, this judicial pilot stars Shane West and Kurtwood Smith.

CHANCE CARD

  • The ApostlesJessalyn Gilsig and Shawn Hatosy costar in this drama about cops who live on a cul-de-sac in Simi Valley, California. Think Desperate Housewives meets LAPD Blue.
  • The BeastTyler Troop (played by Steve Howey) is a veterinarian who hates animals but loves women who love animals, so he keeps the job in order to get some, uh, tail. And, you know, other animal parts. For treatment, see?
  • Canterbury's Law:  Julianna Margulies plays a wily defense attorney struggling with the disappearance of her own son.
  • Company ManCreated by the team behind 24, this drama tells the tale of a factory worker forced to become a spy for the clandestine National Security Agency.
  • The CureOded Fehr and Esai Morales together on one show? Huminahumina! In this drama, a pharmaceutical magnate leaves the corporate world behind to do good with guerilla medicine.
  • Deeply IrresponsiblePermanently sloshed grandpa reaches out to his grandson in an attempt to save him from becoming just like his successful, miserable parents.
  • The Hot YearsSomething like Sex and the City as seen through the eyes of prim Charlotte, main Hot girl Allison Miller (played by Molly Stanton) wants to grow up and get serious, but her floozy friends just want to have fun. Which way does she go?
  • K-VilleCole Hauser. Cops living and working in N'Awlins after Katrina. Cole Hauser. We're there.
  • Me & Lee? Brought to you by the smart cookies from Weeds, this is a comedy about an unsuspecting surgery patient who wakes up to find he has had the voice of Lee Majors (yes, Lee Majors, the original Six Million Dollar Man) implanted in his head.
  • Minister of the DivineBased on the long-running BBC comedy The Vicar of Dibley, Kirstie Alley stars in this pilot about a wacky lady minister who shakes up a small town.
  • The Return of Jezebel JamesThis is the new show from Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino. Parker Posey and Lauren Ambrose costar as estranged sisters, one of whom needs to lease the uterus of the other for some baby-makin'...
  • Rules for Starting OverThis pilot from the Farrelly brothers is about thirtysomethings getting back in the dating game after long tours in steady relationships. Since it stars Rashida Jones, a network pickup or lack thereof may dictate the future of the Pam-Jim-Karen triangle on The Office. You can root for it (or not) accordingly...
  • SlutsWe read on the bathroom wall that, for a good time, Fox should definitely call Sluts. It's a comedy about three loose sorority girls who have graduated from college but don't really know how to stop having sex with jocks on beer-sticky frat-house floors...Not that we would know anything about that kind of behavior.
  • Two FamiliesThe Daily Show's Samantha Bee costars in this Beau Bridges vehicle about two families who discover they share the same husband and father. Ruh-roh!
NBC Logo

NBC

NBC

PASS GO, COLLECT $200

  • Bionic Woman:  Michelle Ryan stars as Jamie Sommers, the hot babe who finds herself with superpowers after surgeons install some new features in her body, including a seriously powerful hearing aid.
  • ChuckA drama pilot from Josh Schwartz (the creator of a little show called The O.C.), Chuck is the story of a computer programmer (Zachary Levi) who accidentally downloads the entire CIA database into his brain. (By the way, if you don't know him yet, you will love Zachary Levi, I swear it.)
  • Journeyman:  In the vein of Quantum Leap, time traveler Dan Vassar (Kevin McKidd) is pulled through time and space by forces beyond his control.
  • Life:  Damian Lewis (Band of Brothers) plays an ex-cop who has just been released after serving six years in jail for a crime he didn't commit.
  • Lipstick Jungle:  Based on the novel by Candace Bushnell, Jungle stars Brooke Shields, Kim Raver and Lindsay Price as three friends who are utterly cutthroat in their approaches to both love and work.

DIRECTLY TO JAIL

  • M.O.N.Y.This drama about a man (Bobby Cannavale) who unexpectedly becomes the mayor of New York has little or no pull.
  • The Mastersons of ManhattanDynasty meets The Royal Tenenbaums in this comedy about the tabloid-fodder problems of rich New Yorkers. Said to be dead...

CHANCE CARD

  • Area 57Shaggy (Matthew Lillard) and Pee-wee Herman costar in this wacky workplace comedy set at a secret government research facility. Lillard plays the Air Force officer charged with running the joint; Pee-wee is an alien in custody.
  • Business ClassMark Valley and Horatio Sanz costar in this comedy about the hijinks of two traveling soda salesmen who are known to get naughty (not with each other—jeez!) while chasing the big deals.
  • Fort PitYou've heard of Fort Apache, the Bronx? This is that, but without Paul Newman and Pam Grier. Rescue Me's Denis Leary produces.
  • I'm with StupidWord on the street says this black comedy is brilliant. A Farrelly brothers show based on a BBC sitcom, I'm with Stupid is about a homeless dude who moves in with a wheelchair-bound dude living at an assisted-care facility.
  • The IT CrowdThe Soup's Joel McHale stars in this comedy about socially retarded IT guys. You will include him and this pilot in your prayers until the NBC upfronts on Monday, when the combined power of our goodwill and love for Joel will ensure a pickup. Thank you. That is all.
  • Lipshitz Saves the WorldRemember how in Galaxy Quest, the teenage fanboy's geekery saved the day? Same principle applies to this, only the high school nerd now defends us from villainy of Leslie Nielsen. (Genius!)
  • The WatchThe series follows what happens when a neighborhood watch group goes vigilante.
  • WildlifeIn this comedy from Conan O'Brien, two hot brothers run a wild-animal park together, fight over the same girl and try to win the favor of their imperious father.
  • WintersFamke Janssen stars as a police detective who'll do anything to get her man. Led by an X-babe, this ensemble cop show has a solid shot.
  • ZipGrifter dad Trip Stringer (Rob Huebel) uses his con-artist mojo to help his three kids keep up with the Joneses in their new hometown of Beverly Hills.

Important note:  There will be no chat this Monday because I'll be veddy veddy busy liveblogging all the happenings from NBC's red carpet, presentation and party. Check back here for all the breaking scoop!

—Additional reporting by Korbi Ghosh and Jennifer Godwin

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