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Seven New Dramas & Four New Comedies Join ABC’s Slate Of Returning Shows

May 15th, 2007 9:08am EDT
Michael Vartan stars in Big ShotsStephen McPherson, president, ABC Entertainment, today outlined ABC's plans for next season and unveiled the network's 2007-08 fall schedule. Scheduled to debut next season are four new comedy series: "Carpoolers," "Cavemen," "Miss/Guided" and "Sam I Am"; along with seven new drama series: "Big Shots," "Cashmere Mafia," "Dirty Sexy Money," "Eli Stone," "Private Practice," "Pushing Daisies" and "Women's Murder Club." Alternative series "Oprah's Big Give(tm)" is also slated to debut.

In addition to the new series, ABC previously announced season renewals for "Brothers & Sisters," "Men In Trees," "Ugly Betty," "Grey's Anatomy," "Lost," "Desperate Housewives," "Boston Legal," "Jimmy Kimmel Live," "Dancing with the Stars," "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," "The Bachelor," "Supernanny," "America's Funniest Home Videos" and "Wife Swap."

"October Road" and "Notes from the Underbelly" will return for second seasons as well.

"We're heading into the new season with a strong lineup of returning shows that we've developed and nurtured over the past few years," said McPherson. "That solid foundation will help us launch an exciting development slate as we continue our forward momentum this fall. We're dedicated to working hard week after week to deliver the best stories and most memorable characters on TV."

ABC's fall primetime schedule is as follows (all times listed are Eastern, with new shows in bold):


MONDAY: 8:00 p.m. "Dancing with the Stars"
9:30 p.m. "Sam I Am" (new comedy series)
10:00 p.m. "The Bachelor"

TUESDAY: 8:00 p.m. "Cavemen" (new comedy series)
8:30 p.m. "Carpoolers" (new comedy series)
9:00 p.m. "Dancing with the Stars the Results Show"
10:00 p.m. "Boston Legal"

WEDNESDAY: 8:00 p.m. "Pushing Daisies" (new drama series)
9:00 p.m. "Private Practice" (new drama series)
10:00 p.m. "Dirty Sexy Money" (new drama series)

THURSDAY: 8:00 p.m. "Ugly Betty"
9:00 p.m. "Grey's Anatomy"
10:00 p.m. "Big Shots" (new drama series)

FRIDAY: 8:00 p.m. "Men In Trees"
9:00 p.m. "Women's Murder Club" (new drama series)
10:00 p.m. "20/20"

SATURDAY: 8:00 p.m. "Saturday Night College Football"

SUNDAY: 7:00 p.m. "America's Funniest Home Videos"
8:00 p.m. "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition"
9:00 p.m. "Desperate Housewives"
10:00 p.m. "Brothers & Sisters"


"Cashmere Mafia," "Notes from the Underbelly" and "October Road" will premiere after "Dancing with the Stars" and "The Bachelor" conclude their fall seasons.

Following, in alphabetical order, are descriptions of the new series joining ABC's primetime schedule next season:

DRAMAS

"Big Shots"
This is the story of four friends at the top of their game...until the women in their lives enter the room. Lines between boardroom and bedroom blur when these competitive but dysfunctional CEOs take refuge in their friendship, discussing business, confiding secrets, seeking advice and supporting each other through life's surprising twists and turns.

Cast:
Michael Vartan ("Alias"): James Walker
Dylan McDermott ("The Practice"): Duncan Collinsworth
Christopher Titus ("Titus"): Brody Johns
Joshua Malina ("The West Wing"): Karl Mixworthy
Nia Long ("Premonition"): Katie Graham
Paige Turco ("Party of Five"): Lisbeth
Peyton List ("Day Break"): Cameron Collinsworth
Wendy Moniz ("Nash Bridges"): Stacey Walker
Jessica Collins ("The Nine"): Marla
Amy Sloan ("The Heartbreak Kid"): Wendy

Lucy Liu"Cashmere Mafia"
Four ambitious and sexy women, who've been best friends since business school, try to balance their glamorous and demanding careers with their complex personal lives in the city that never sleeps. They've created their own "boys club" to protect each other and discuss their ups and downs as they try to have it all. What good is it to break the glass ceiling without girlfriends to share in your success?

Cast:
Lucy Liu ("Ally McBeal"): Mia
Frances O'Connor ("Windtalkers"): Zoe
Miranda Otto ("War of the Worlds"): Juliet
Bonnie Somerville ("NYPD Blue"): Caitlin
Peter Hermann ("Law & Order: SVU"): Davis
Julian Ovenden ("Related"): Eric

"Dirty Sexy Money"
Some people say money is the root of all evil. They may be right. Nick George's whole life has been lived in the shadow of the Darling family, but as an adult he's leading the perfect life as an idealistic lawyer, until his father's suspicious death. The absurdly wealthy Darlings of New York have asked him to take over his father's job as their personal lawyer, but the money that will allow him the freedom to be an altruistic do-gooder is only part of the picture. That same money pulls him into the dubious doings of the Darling clan. Power, privilege and family money are a volatile cocktail.

Peter KrauseCast:
Peter Krause ("Six Feet Under"): Nick George
Donald Sutherland ("Commander in Chief"): Tripp Darling
William Baldwin ("The Squid and the Whale"): Sen. Patrick Darling
Natalie Zea ("Eyes"): Karen Darling
Glenn Fitzgerald ("Six Feet Under"): Rev. Brian Darling
Samaire Armstrong ("The O.C."): Juliet Darling
Seth Gabel ("The Da Vinci Code"): Jeremy Darling
Zoe McLennan ("JAG"): Lisa
Laz Alonso ("Stomp the Yard"): Colin
Jill Clayburgh ("Running with Scissors"): Letitia Darling

"Eli Stone"
Many lawyers consider themselves prophets, but Eli Stone may be the real deal. Eli has built a successful career at a top law firm in San Francisco representing only the biggest and richest corporations that make a habit of screwing over the little guy. But after experiencing a series of odd hallucinations, Eli seeks to find a deeper meaning to life while trying not to lose his job and destroy his relationship with the bosses' daughter. When Eli discovers an aneurysm in his brain, he wonders if his condition is truly medical or if perhaps he now has a higher calling.

Cast:
Jonny Lee Miller ("Melinda and Melinda"): Eli Stone
Victor Garber ("Alias"): Jordan Wethersby
Natasha Henstridge ("Commander in Chief"): Taylor Wethersby
Loretta Devine ("Crash"): Patti
Sam Jaeger ("Catch and Release"): Matt Dowd
Laura Benanti ("Take the Lead"): Beth Keller
James Saito ("I Think I Love My Wife"): Dr. Chen

Kate Walsh"Private Practice"
From Shonda Rhimes, the Golden Globe-winning creator of "Grey's Anatomy," comes a story about new beginnings and old friends. Addison Forbes Montgomery is a renowned neonatal surgeon, respected by her friends and colleagues at Seattle Grace Hospital. Deciding she can no longer healthily co-exist with her ex-husband, McDreamy, and her ex-lover, McSteamy, Addison heads to Los Angeles for sunnier weather and happier possibilities. Reunited with her once-married, newly divorced medical school friends, Naomi and Sam, Addison joins their chic private practice. "Private Practice" tells the story of a woman unafraid of change and willing to begin a new life.

Cast:
Kate Walsh ("Grey's Anatomy"): Addison Forbes Montgomery
Tim Daly ("The Nine"): Dr. Peter Finch
Taye Diggs ("Day Break"): Dr. Sam Bennett
Paul Adelstein ("Prison Break"): Dr. Cooper Freedman
Merrin Dungey ("The King of Queens"): Dr. Naomi Bennett
Chris Lowell ("Veronica Mars"): William "Dell" Cooper
Amy Brenneman ("Judging Amy"): Dr. Violet Turner

"Pushing Daisies"
From Bryan Fuller ("Heroes") and Barry Sonnenfeld ("Men in Black") comes an unprecedented blend of romance, crime procedural and high-concept fantasy in a forensic fairytale about a young man with a very special gift. Once upon a time, a mild-mannered boy named Ned realized he could touch dead things and bring them back to life. Grown-up Ned puts his ability to good use, not only touching dead fruit and making it ripe with everlasting flavor, but working with an investigator to crack murder cases by asking the deceased to name their killers. But the tale gets complicated, as all tales do, when Ned brings his childhood sweetheart, Chuck, back from the dead and keeps her alive. Chuck encourages him to use his power to help others, instead of merely solving mysteries and collecting the rewards. Life would be perfect for Ned and Chuck, except for one cruel twist: If he ever touches her again, she'll go back to being dead, this time for good.

Cast:
Lee Pace ("The Good Shepherd"): Ned
Anna Friel ("Rogue Trader"): Chuck
Chi McBride ("Boston Public"): Emerson
Swoosie Kurtz ("Sisters"): Lily
Kristin Chenoweth ("The West Wing"): Olive
Jim Dale ("reader of the "Harry Potter" series audio books"): Narrator

"Women's Murder Club"

Based on James Patterson's bestselling novels, The Women's Murder Club, four working women in San Francisco - a detective, a district attorney, a medical examiner and a reporter - use their expertise and unique talents to solve murder cases. Each woman is successful in her own field, but because of their unique friendship, they realize that pooling their resources during investigations leads to undiscovered clues and answers in both work and their personal lives.

Cast:
Paula Newsome ("Little Miss Sunshine"): Claire
Aubrey Dollar ("Point Pleasant"): Cindy
Tyrees Allen ("Alias"): Jacobi
Angie Harmon ("Law & Order"): Lt. Lindsay Boxer
Laura Harris ("24"): Jill
Elizabeth L. Ho: Yuki
Rob Benedict ("Threshold"): Owen

COMEDIES

Jerry O'Connell"Carpoolers"
Less about saving the environment than male bonding, four guys from very different backgrounds relish their daily commute as they commiserate about their lives, jobs and families in the carpool lane. There's Laird, the recently divorced playboy; Aubrey, the timid homemaker and breadwinner; the conservative and traditional Gracen; and eager newlywed Dougie. Together, between the pressures of home and work, these men find time to be themselves while driving to and from the office.

Cast:
Fred Goss ("Sons & Daughters"): Gracen
Faith Ford ("Hope & Faith"): Leila
Jerry O'Connell ("Crossing Jordan"): Laird
Jerry Minor ("Arrested Development"): Aubrey
Allison Munn ("That '70s Show"): Cindy
Tim Peper ("The Guiding Light"): Dougie
T.J. Miller: Marmaduke


"Cavemen"
Cavemen is a unique buddy comedy that offers a clever twist on stereotypes and turns race relations on their head. Inspired by the popular Geico Insurance commercials, the series looks at life through the eyes of the ultimate outsiders - three modern cavemen - as they struggle to find their place in the world. Joel, his cynical best friend, Nick, and easy-going little brother, Jamie, are contemporary cavemen who live in the suburban south and simply want to be treated like ordinary thirty-something guys. Despite their attempts at assimilation, Nick doesn't believe mainstream society will ever completely accept them, Jamie seems to take it all in stride and Joel straddles the middle, torn between his friends, his more traditional values and his loving fiancée.

Cast:
Bill English ("The Pavement"): Joel
Nick Kroll ("Arranged"): Nick
Dash Mihok ("Hollywoodland"): Jamie
Kaitlin Doubleday ("Catch Me If You Can"): Kate
John Heard ("Prison Break"): Trip
Stephanie Lemelin ("CSI: Crime Scene Investigation"): Thorne

"Miss/Guided"
Having navigated the awkward and sometimes traumatic world of high school, Rebecca Freely returns to her alma mater as a guidance counselor, free of the insecurities and orthodontia of her school days. Amidst student behavioral problems and the persistent romantic advances of the male nurse, Gary, Rebecca is certain of one thing -- she is interested in the hot auto-shop-turned-Spanish-teacher, Tim. However, much as in high school days of unexpected teenage angst, Lisa, a former cheerleader and nemesis of Rebecca's, returns as the new English teacher determined to make Rebecca relive her unpopular past, setting sights on Tim as well.

Brooke BurnsCast:
Judy Greer ("Two and a Half Men"): Becky
Brooke Burns ("Pepper Dennis"): Lisa
Earl Billings ("How I Met Your Mother"): Principal Huffy
Kristoffer Polaha ("CSI: Miami"): Tim
Jonathan Sadowski ("American Dreams"): Gary

"Sam I Am"
When a terrible accident leaves Samantha "Sam" Newly in a coma for eight days, she wakes up with no recollection of any past experiences, memories or events. Faced with amnesia, Sam must start over. To her dismay she discovers that she wasn't a particularly honest, good-hearted or loving person. In fact she was self-involved, narcissistic and devoid of real relationships - essentially a bitch. Sam must now struggle with her desire to be good and her temptation to be...not so good. Finding the line between good and evil is never easy.

Cast:
Christina Applegate ("Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy"): Sam
Jennifer Esposito ("Related"): Andrea
Kevin Dunn ("Prison Break"): Howard
Melissa McCarthy ("Gilmore Girls"): Dena
Tim Russ ("Without a Trace"): Frank
Jean Smart ("24"): Regina

ALTERNATIVE SERIES

"Oprah's Big Give"
The first primetime series from Harpo Productions centers on the competition, drama and emotion as millions of dollars are given away to make a difference in people's lives across the country. Each week contestants will face a "big twist" that will test their nerve, drive, ingenuity and passion. Big name stars will turn up throughout the series to join the "Oprah's Big Give(tm)" tour. During the eight episodes filmed in various U.S. cities, the field will be narrowed. The stakes will get higher and higher, with one person ultimately being chosen as The Biggest Giver. "Oprah's Big Give(tm)" is created and produced by Harpo Productions in conjunction with Profiles Television Productions, LLC. Oprah Winfrey, Ellen Rakieten, Harriet Seitler, Jonathan Sinclair, Bertram van Munster and Elise Doganieri are executive producers.