May 9, 2012




NBC and FOX kick off next week’s parade of network Upfronts on Monday, and now FOX has joined NBC in releasing the titles of at least some of its 2012/13 season pick-ups.  Unlike NBC, which has dribbled out its information over the past couple of days, FOX has issued 5 orders at once, 3  single camera comedies and 2 dramas, as well as a renewal for the bubble drama TOUCH:

IT’S MESSY is the new comedy starring and written by The Office‘s Mindy Kaling, and it’s been loudly rumored as a likely companion piece for New Girl from the start.  The show, from Universal Television, stars Kaling as a single young doctor, with a cast that also includes Chris Messina and Anna Camp.  (The pick-up also means The Office will be lacking at least one familiar presence next season.) 


THE GOODWIN GAMES also has hit pedigree, hailing from How I Met Your Mother creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas along with Chris Harris.  Becki Newton (who recurred as Barney’s girlfriend on this season’s HIMYM), Scott Foley (who’ll be recurring on this summer’s installment of True Blood) and Jake Lacy play siblings who inherit their father’s fortune only if they follow his conditions from beyond the grave.  It’s from 20th Television.

BEN & KATE (which until now was known as variations of Ben Fox Is My Manny) is the other comedy, also from 20th Television.  Written by Dana Fox (and inspired by her actual brother), it stars Dakota Johnson as a single mom whose brother (Nat Faxon) moves in to help her raise her baby.  The supporting cast includes Lucy Punch, and the pilot was directed by Jake Kasdan.

THE FOLLOWING was FOX’s highest-profile drama pilot, and it’s no surprise to see it ordered.  Kevin Bacon, making his series TV debut, plays an ex-FBI agent who’s on the trail of a serial killer (James Purefoy) who’s started his own cult of other serial killers–ouch, hate when that happens.  The show, from Warner Bros Television, was written by Vampire Diaries’ Kevin Williamson, and the pilot was directed by Marcos Siega, who also directed the Diaries pilot.  Its cast also includes Shawn Ashmore and the invaluable Natalie Zea.

THE MOB DOCTOR is the final pick-up, at least for the moment.  It’s a drama written by Josh Berman and Robert Wright, of Drop Dead Diva, and stars Jordana Spiro as a young surgeon who owes a debt to the mob and has to work it off by providing the criminals with medical services while also keeping her respectable career going.  It’s from Sony TV, with Michael Dinner as the pilot director, and the cast also features Zach Gilford, William Forsythe and Zeljko Ivanek.

The Upfront season is just beginning, so stay with SHOWBUZZDAILY for news and analysis–and look for our Mock Schedules for all the networks, starting on Friday!

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."