It was UMS' pickup day at NBC yesterday when the studio's freshman series The Event, Law & Order: Los Angeles and Outsourced all received back-nine orders. Today is Warner Bros TV's turn. As expected, the studio and NBC closed deals for full-season orders to freshman drama Chase and fan favorite Chuck, now in its fourth season, which I hear received a super-sized 11 episode pickup. (Digital rights issues held up both deals from being announced at the same time as the other pickups yesterday.) Additionally, NBC and Warner Bros. TV have settled on the number of additional scripts for freshman spy drama Undercovers, 4. NBC primetime chief Angela Bromstad pointed to Chase's "potential to grow” and Chuck's loyal, passionate audience. Indeed, last night Chase delivered a small ratings uptick at 10 PM, while Chuck held steady. Both finished last in the hour among the major networks.
It is somewhat remarkable that, despite average to disappointing ratings performance by NBC's freshman class, with the exception of cancelled Outlaw all have been given full-season orders or, in the case of Undercovers, an additional script order. NBC has become the first network to decide the fate of all of its new series. Fox picked up one, Raising Hope, and cancelled one, Lone Star, with comedy Running Wilde still awaiting a decision. Besides canceling My Generation, ABC has been mum as has been ratings leader CBS, which may renew all of its freshman series. CW, which made the first move this fall with script orders to Hellcats as well as veteran One Tree Hill, is yet to followed it up with episodic/more script orders.