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The WB's 2003 Pilot Season, 03.20.03 ...

In an effort to further break into the sitcom arena (following the relative success of "Reba" and the transplanted "Grounded for Life"), The WB has ordered 13 comedy pilots for the fall, including a number of family comedies. Some of the new laffers follow familiar formulas, like a remake of "The Courtship of Eddie's Father" (from the producers of last fall's retred of "Family Affair"). Others, like the futuristic "The Spaces" from "Greg the Bunny" producer Dan Milano, seem to have some potential for adventurous spunk. Throw in a few familiar faces like Delta Burke ("Sweet Potato Queens" ), Anthony Anderson ("All About the Andersons" ) and an untitled effort from [not-so-Lil] Bow Wow and The WB should have a healthy variety of choices.

On the drama side, franchise shows are the order of the day, a return to the strategy that didn't quite work out for the network a year ago. This seasons big-ticket freshman dramas were either cancelled ("Birds of Prey"), never arrived in series form ("The Lone Ranger"), or didn't get picked up at all ("Lost in Oz" ). For September, The WB could turn to a modern "Tarzan," a younger-skewing take on "MacGyver" and a spin off of the popular "Gilmore Girls." However, on paper at least, the network's most interesting show may be "Chasing Alice," which mixes the conventions of the police procedural and missing persons drama with a structure borrowed from Lewis Carroll.

MacGyver
Studio: Paramount Network TV
Production Team: Henry Winkler, John Rich, Stephen Downing
Premise: MacGyver's 23-year-old nephew rights wrongs and blows things up using chewing gum, a paper clip, a hair net and some duct tape.
Stars: Jared Padalecki ("Gilmore Girls"), Kiele Michelle Sanchez ("That Was Then"), Ron Canada ("Philly")
Status: Pilot order

Ravens
Studio: Warner Bros. TV, Tollin/Robbins
Production Team: Mike Tollin, Brian Robbins, Joe Davola ("Birds of Prey"), Mark Schwahn ("Whatever It Takes" )
Premise: Estranged half-brothers in a small town.
Stars: Craig Sheffer, Chad Michael Murray ("Gilmore Girls"), Moira Kelly ("The West Wing"), James Lafferty ("Emeril")
Status: Pilot order

Untitled Gilmore Girls Spinoff
Studio:Warner Bros. TV
Production Team: Amy Sherman-Palladino ("Gilmore Girls")
Premise: Jess deals with his estranged father.
Stars: Milo Ventimiglia ("Gilmore Girls"), Rob Estes ("Melrose Place"), Sherilyn Fenn ("Twin Peaks")
Status: Pilot order
Credit: Zap2it


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