NBC continued to diminish the news value of its formal fall TV announcement on Monday with this announcement:
NBC has issued pickups for four more new scripted series with dramas “The Cape,” “Outlaw,” “Harry’s Law” and the comedy “Friends With Benefits” – while renewing the action-comedy series “Chuck” for a fourth season -- all for the 2010-11 season. The announcement was made today by Angela Bromstad, President, Primetime Entertainment, NBC and Universal Media Studios.
“The addition of these four inventive series to our new scripted lineup demonstrates a wide spectrum of creative stories,” said Bromstad. “We are featuring popular, top-flight stars along with a strong pedigree of successful writer-producers. Likewise, ‘Chuck’ has proven its enduring appeal and we love the new creative direction that Josh and Chris have taken the show.”
The four new series join previously announced “LOLA’ (“Law & Order: Los Angeles”), “Perfect Couples,” "Chase," "Undercovers," "The Event," "Love Bites" and "Outsourced" as the new scripted series that NBC has revealed for its new season.
"The Cape" is a one-hour drama series starring David Lyons ("ER") as Vince Faraday, an honest cop on a corrupt police force, who finds himself framed for a series of murders and presumed dead. He is forced into hiding, leaving behind his wife, Dana (Jennifer Ferrin, "Life on Mars") and son, Trip (Ryan Wynott, "Flash Forward"). Fueled by a desire to reunite with his family and to battle the criminal forces that have overtaken Palm City, Faraday becomes "The Cape" his son's favorite comic book superhero -- and takes the law into his own hands. Rounding out the cast are James Frain ("The Tudors") as billionaire Peter Fleming - The Cape's nemesis - who moonlights as the twisted killer: Chess; Keith David ("Death at a Funeral") as Max Malini, the ringleader of a circus gang of bank robbers who mentors Vince Faraday and trains him to be The Cape; Summer Glau ("Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles") as Orwell, an investigative blogger who wages war on crime and corruption in Palm City; and Dorian Missick ("Six Degrees") as Marty Voyt, a former police detective and friend to Faraday.
"The Cape" is a Universal Media Studios and BermanBraun production from executive producer/creator Thomas Wheeler (“Empire”), executive producer/director Simon West (“Con Air”), the executive producing team of Gail Berman and Lloyd Braun (“Mercy”) and executive producer Gene Stein (“Accidentally on Purpose”).
Starring Emmy Award winner Jimmy Smits ("NYPD Blue," "West Wing"), "Outlaw" is a new drama from executive producer John Eisendrath ("Alias," "Felicity," "Playmakers"). Cyrus Garza (Smits) is a Supreme Court justice who abruptly quits the high-level position. A playboy and a gambler, Garza had always adhered to a strict interpretation of the law until he realized the system he believed in was flawed. Now that he’s quit the bench and returned to private practice, he’s determined to represent “the little guy” and use his inside knowledge of the justice system to take on today’s biggest legal cases. And he's making plenty of powerful people unhappy along the way. Jesse Bradford ("West Wing"), Carly Pope ("24"), Ellen Woglom ("Californication") and David Ramsey ("Dexter") also star.
“Outlaw” is a Universal Media Studios production along with Conaco productions. Eisendrath is executive producer along with Terry George ("Hotel Rwanda," "Reservation Road"), Conan O'Brien, Jeff Ross and David Kissinger ("Andy Barker, P.I."). "Outlaw" is written by Eisendrath and directed by George.
Emmy Award-winning creator David E. Kelley (“The Practice,” “Boston Legal”) brings his unique storytelling to “Harry’s Law,” a series about fate and the people it brings together, starring Academy Award winner Kathy Bates (“Misery,” “About Schmidt”).
Harriet (Bates), Matthew (Ben Chaplin, “Me and Orson Welles”) and Malcolm (Aml Ameen, “Kidulthood”) couldn’t be any more different. Harriet is a curmudgeonly ex-patent lawyer who, having just been fired from her cushy job, is completely disillusioned with her success and looking for a fresh start. Her world unexpectedly collides with Malcolm’s -- a young man trying to figure out life. When he finds out Harriet is a lawyer, he begs her to represent him in an upcoming criminal case. Matthew, a dreamer at heart and also recently fired from his job as a high school teacher, is introduced to Harriet through Malcolm, a previous student of his. When these three cross paths, they realize they’re all looking for a fresh start. Now, the most unlikely of people are starting a law practice in the most unlikely of places -- a rundown shoe store. “Harry’s Law” also stars Brittany Snow (“Hairspray”) as Harriet’s assistant, Jenna Backstrom and Beatrice Rosen (“Dark Knight”) as Eve, a high school French teacher.
“Harry’s Law” is produced by Bonanza Productions Inc. in association with David E. Kelley Productions and Warner Bros. Television. David E. Kelley (“Boston Legal,” “The Practice”) and Bill D’Elia (“Boston Legal,” “The Practice”) serve as executive producers. D’Elia also serves as director.
From Oscar and Emmy winner Brian Grazer (“A Beautiful Mind,” “Arrested Development”), “Friends With Benefits” is a half-hour comedy revolving around a group of twenty-something singles as they navigate the difficult, and often confusing, world of dating. Ben Weymouth (Ryan Hansen, “Party Down”) is on the hunt for the perfect woman who meets his unique set of standards, while his best friend, Sara Maxwell (Danneel Harris, “One Tree Hill”), is just looking for a man to settle down with and raise a family. Ben and Sara have fallen into the habit of turning to each other for moral and physical support as they wait for Mr. and Ms. Right to arrive. Their friend Aaron (Fran Kranz, “Dollhouse”), a romantic at heart, doesn’t approve of Ben and Sara's complicated friendship, but he, along with womanizer Hoon (Ian Reed Kesler) and straight shooter Riley (Jessica Lucas, “Cloverfield”), are all distracted with their own dating trials and tribulations.
David Nevins (“Lie to Me,” “Arrested Development”) joins Grazer as executive producer for Imagine Television. Also serving as executive producers are David Dobkin (“Wedding Crashers”), who directs the pilot, writers Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber (“(500) Days of Summer”), and Jeff Kleeman. “Friends With Benefits” is a production of 20th Century Fox Television, Imagine Television and Big Kid Pictures.
Now in its third season that concludes with a two-hour season finale on Monday, May 24 (8-10 p.m. ET), "Chuck" is averaging a 2.4 rating, 6 share in adults 18-49 and 6.6 million viewers overall. "Chuck's" ratings increase significantly when all time-shifted viewing is added to its results, growing this season by an average of 22 percent in its 18-49 rating and more than 1.1 million persons in total viewers when going from its “live plus same day” to its “live plus seven day” results from Nielsen Media Research.
Zachary Levi (“Less Than Perfect”) stars in the title role as a regular guy working at a Buy More electronics store who becomes the government’s most vital secret agent. This season, Chuck was transformed into the Intersect 2.0 after another data download into his brain. This time around, he not only knows government secrets, but he also is well equipped with deadly fight skills. Chuck has the potential to become a real agent and gets a helping hand from one of the CIA's top agents and his dream girl Sarah Walker (Yvonne Strahovski, "Gone").
The ever stoic Colonel John Casey (Adam Baldwin, "My Bodyguard," "Firefly") returns with an unlikely new partner, Chuck’s best friend, Morgan Grimes (Joshua Gomez, “Without a Trace”). Also starring are: Sarah Lancaster ("What About Brian?") as Chuck's ever-supportive sister Ellie and Ryan McPartlin ("Living with Fran") as Devon Woodcomb (also known as "Captain Awesome"), Ellie's husband. Chuck's Buy More team consists of Big Mike (Mark Christopher Lawrence, "The Pursuit of Happyness") and the Nerd Herd, which includes Lester (Vik Sahay, "Time Bomb") and Jeff (Scott Krinsky, "The O.C.").
"Chuck" is co-created by Josh Schwartz ("The O.C.," "Gossip Girl") and Chris Fedak, and is executive-produced by Schwartz, McG ("Charlie's Angels," "We Are Marshall"), Fedak, Allison Adler and Matthew Miller. "Chuck" is produced by College Hill Pictures, Wonderland Sound and Vision, in association with Warner Bros. Television.