News Briefs: J.J. Abrams Sells a Pilot to The CW

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MORE PILOTS NEWS

... J.J. Abrams is executive producing a pilot for The CW. So what crazy sci-fi mystery will unfurl before our eyes in Shelter? It follows the staff at a New England summer resort as they tend to the needs of the guests! Wait, that's it? Is the resort a portal to Hell? Are we looking at the guests from another dimension? Is the hotel a giant sentient robot that's stealing everyone's dreams? No, no, and no. In fact, Shelter was actually written by One Tree Hill creator Mark Schwahn, so it looks like it will be exactly what it sounds like. [Deadline Hollywood]

... ABC has picked up the latest project starring Judy Greer, who in another universe is my wife and the deservingly successful star she should be (gotta take the bad with the good, Judy!). Greer, who has been known as a bit of a Black Widow when it comes to TV shows from her time on Arrested Development, Miss/Guided, and Mad Love, among others, will star in the single-camera comedy American Judy. The show is loosely based on Greer's life and is about a woman who moves out to the suburbs for marriage. I'm crossing my fingers for you, Judy. [Deadline Hollywood]

... NBC will shoot a pilot for Bad Girls, an NBC drama executive produced by John Wells (ER). Based on a U.K. show of the same name, Bad Girls explores the fertile world of women's prisons, where soap-dropping isn't really an issue at all. [Deadline Hollywood]

... ABC is moving forward with a pilot for Scruples, based on the 1978 book by Judith Krantz. A woman who loses a lot of weight, marries a wealthy man, and opens a clothing boutique in Beverly Hills is the subject. It will be produced by Natalie Portman. Hey Natalie, don't you have enough stuff going on in your life!? [EW]

... But ABC still isn't done! The network is also moving forward with four more hour-long dramas. Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry has Devious Maids, about a quartet of Beverly Hills cleaning ladies who aspire to make it big, in the pipeline. Zero Hour follows the editor of a skeptic's magazine who stumbles onto a huge conspiracy (oh, one of those shows again). Gotham, from Heroes executive producer Michael Green, is about a magical world that exists within New York City. And Penoza revolves around a woman whose organized-crime-boss husband is killed, forcing her to take over his role. [THR]


THE SAD STATE OF TV NEWS

... Last night, the highest-rated and most-watched episode during primetime was a repeat of Two and a Half Men. [TV By the Numbers]


[INSERT PROFESSION] WIVES NEWS

... TLC has ordered Preacher Wives, which is about the wives of preachers. It's set in Atlanta, so I'm sure it will be very mellow. [Deadline Hollywood]


CASTING NEWS

... Saturday Night Live's Paul Brittain has decided to leave the sketch show to pursue other projects. He's the guy who played "Sex" Ed Vincent and Lord Wyndemere and did impersonations of James Franco and Ron Paul. [EW]

... Vivica A. Fox will guest-star on Raising Hope as the head of the church's community service group. When her position goes up for election, Burt runs against her. As you can guess, it won't go well. [EW]

... John Stamos is in talks to join Fox's comedy pilot Little Brother, a new pilot from Men of a Certain Age creator Mike Royce. Stamos would play a man who finds out that he has a half-brother who is an ex-con. [Deadline Hollywood]


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom