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Source: CBS to add 6 new series to its new schedule



Published: Wed, May 20, 2009 @ 12:00 a.m.

By David Bauder

NEW YORK — Julianna Margulies, Jenna Elfman, Christopher O’Donnell and LL Cool J are among the stars who have landed new series on CBS’ schedule next season.

The nation’s most popular network will introduce six new series, according to someone close to CBS’ scheduling process who spoke on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to speak about the new schedule.

The network releases its schedule today, after announcements by Fox, ABC and NBC on Monday and Tuesday.

CBS will try two new medical dramas, although former “ER” star Margulies isn’t involved in either of them.

She’ll be back in Chicago, though, home of the fictional County General hospital. She’s in the cast of “The Good Wife,” about a woman forced to go back to work as a lawyer when her district-attorney husband is sent to prison.

One medical drama is “Miami Trauma,” about a team of surgeons who try to save patients who have less than an hour to live. “Three Rivers,” with Julia Ormond, is about organ donations.

CBS will spin off “NCIS,” which has quietly become one of its top series over the past two years.

The characters in the established series will be used to set up the story of a former Navy SEAL who works in the NCIS undercover unit in Los Angeles. O’Donnell and rapper LL Cool J are both in this series.

The network has a small, but successful group of sitcoms, and will add only one next year: “Accidentally on Purpose” features Elfman in a story about a 39-year-old woman who gets pregnant from a one-night stand and decides to raise the baby alone.

CBS also has picked up a hidden-camera series, “Undercover Boss,” based on a British show about a company executive who goes by disguise to work alongside his employees.

It’s unclear which of these series will go on in the fall and which are midseason replacements. CBS was expected to begin notifying current series of their fate Tuesday.

CBS is the only one of the four biggest networks to see its audience increase over last season’s strike-marred year.

Yet because of the economy causing a weak advertising market, CBS Corp. lost money during the first three months of the year.


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