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May 05, 2009

ABC orders 'Christine' ... just in case ...

Christine ABC picked up Scrubs from NBC's discard pile last year, now ABC has made a deal to snatch up CBS' The New Adventures of Old Christine if CBS cancels the show. One almost suspects ABC's Steve McPherson is doing this as some sort of guerrilla programming tactic just to pressure rivals into keeping their low-rated comedies on the air. After all, it's not like the network benefited much from Scrubs coming over...

By Nellie Andreeva

CBS' bubble comedy series "The New Adventures of Old Christine" is assured of a 22-episode fifth-season order.

ABC has closed a back-up deal with series producer Warner Bros. TV that guarantees a full-season order to "Christine" if CBS doesn't pick up the show.

This is the second consecutive year ABC has made such a pact for the multicamera sitcom starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus as a neurotic divorcee. The network's chief, Stephen McPherson, is considered a big fan of the show.

For now, the odds are in favor of CBS renewing "Christine," which helped the network open a second comedy block on Wednesdays.

But with the comedy going down to the wire every year with 11th-hour pickups at CBS, the back-up deal with ABC gives reassurances to "Christine's" producers, who are seeking to sell the series in syndication. ABC and WBTV declined comment


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