More NBC pickups: 'The Cape,' 'Friends with Benefits,' 'Outlaw'
The network also made the official announcement about its Season 4 pickup for "Chuck."
If you're keeping score, NBC has now picked up a whopping 11 new scripted series for next season and has renewed "Chuck," "Parenthood," "Law & Order: SVU" and its full Thursday comedy block. It's unlikely all 11 new shows will debut in the fall, but even so, there's going to be a ton of new product on Peacock airwaves come September.
"The addition of these four inventive series to our new scripted lineup demonstrates a wide spectrum of creative stories," NBC Entertainment president Angela Bromstad says. "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 [creators Josh Schwartz and Chris Fedak] have taken the show."
"Friends With Benefits" joins fellow new comedies "Perfect Couples" and "Outsourced" on the schedule. If more than one premiere in the fall, that will likely mean a new comedy block somewhere other than Thursday nights.
The show, from "(500) Days of Summer" writers Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, stars Ryan Hansen ("Party Down"), Danneel Harris ("One Tree Hill"), Fran Kranz ("Dollhouse"), Jessica Lucas -- playing, incidentally, a character named Riley, just as she did in "Melrose Place" -- and Ian Reed Kesler ("The Loop") as friends trying to figure out their romantic lives.
"The Cape" stars David Lyons ("ER") as a cop who is framed for murder and forced into hiding; in an effort to clear his name, he takes on the persona of his son's ( Ryan Wynott) favorite superhero. The cast also includes Summer Glau ("Firefly," "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles"), James Frain ("The Tudors"), Jennifer Ferrin ("Life on Mars," "As the World Turns"), Keith David ("Death at a Funeral") and Dorian Missick ("Six Degrees"). Tom Wheeler ("Empire") is the creator.
"Outlaw" -- formerly known as "Garza" -- is about a Supreme Court justice ( Jimmy Smits) who leaves the bench and returns to private practice. John Eisendrath ("Alias," "My Own Worst Enemy") created the series, and -- strange bedfellows time -- Conan O'Brien is among its executive producers. Jesse Bradford ("Bring It On," "The West Wing"), Carly Pope ("24," "Popular"), David Ramsey ("Dexter") and Ellen Woglom ("Californication") are also in the cast.
Finally, "Harry's Law" (formerly "Kindreds") -- which along with "Outlaw" is likely to get a midseason premiere -- stars Kathy Bates as a veteran patent lawyer who's just been fired from her job and winds up opening a law practice with a young man ( Aml Ameen) whose criminal case she takes on, a recently fired high school teacher ( Ben Chaplin) and her assistant ( Brittany Snow). Beatrice Rosen and Jenna Backstrom round out the cast.
The show is the latest creation of David E. Kelley ("The Practice," "Boston Legal") and is his first scripted series at NBC since he worked on "L.A. Law."
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Photo credit: The cast of 'Friends with Benefits'/NBC