- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Grey’s‘ copycat

The fledgling CW network has greenlighted a new pilot titled “Ghosts,” a drama described as a “young ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ in the FBI,” Reuters news agency reports.

The project chronicles the personal and professional lives of a group of twentysomething operatives who work in the FBI’s elite special surveillance group.

“Ghosts” was created by Adam Mazer, who co-wrote the upcoming feature thriller “Breach,” starring Oscar winner Chris Cooper, Ryan Phillippe and Laura Linney.

The new network, which replaced the WB and UPN in most markets, also has ordered scripts for two other dramas: the military-themed “The Good Ship” and an untitled family project.

“The Good Ship” revolves around an ensemble of young civilian doctors and their military counterparts on a massive Navy hospital ship that sails to crisis points worldwide to provide medical care. Its story is based on the Navy ships the USNS Mercy and USNS Comfort, which were deployed in Indonesia after the 2004 tsunami and off the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina.

The CW’s untitled drama centers on an extended contemporary family whose story is told through the eyes of the 18-year-old daughter on her video blog.

CW’s ratings mixed

In other CW news, Reuters has examined how the new network is faring after its first month on the air.

Since its Sept. 20 debut, ratings for the CW — a joint venture of CBS and Time Warner — have hovered within the same range as those of its respective predecessors, UPN and the WB, last fall, the wire service found.

Moreover, the consolidation of the two networks into one hasn’t, for the most part, boosted viewer numbers above those averaged last season by UPN and the WB. Nevertheless, the CW hasn’t tanked in any of its core demographics, particularly among women age 18 to 34 — no small feat when you consider 13 former WB and UPN shows moved to new stations in virtually every market last month.

“America’s Next Top Model” remains a big hit, but viewership for other veteran WB hits that made the transition to CW is off slightly compared with last season’s numbers. That could be as much a result of all the channel-switching as of the aging factor of “7th Heaven,” in its 11th season, “Gilmore Girls” (season seven) and “Smallville” (season six).

When UPN’s buzz-heavy “Everybody Hates Chris” did poorly in its sophomore-season debut on Sunday two weeks ago, the CW didn’t waste time relocating the Emmy-nominated show — which did better business in its tough 8 p.m. Thursday slot last year — and the rest of its Sunday comedy block to Monday.

“Runaway,” the CW’s lone new drama, also has found the going tough in its 9 p.m. Monday slot behind “7th Heaven.” Now that “Heaven” and “Runaway” are relocating to Sunday, network executives hope the show, about a fictional family on the lam after Dad is wrongly accused of murder, will find some stability with a family audience that should be more available on Sundays than on Mondays.

Casting call

Do you have the stomach to go up against one of the world’s toughest — and most profane — chefs?

Fox’s “Hell’s Kitchen” is auditioning for 12, seeking stouthearted cooks to work alongside Scottish-born, London-based chef Gordon Ramsay for the show’s third season, Cynopsis reports.

Professional chefs, amateurs, recent culinary school graduates — and all who love to cook as a hobby — are invited to audition. Send an e-mail with “HELL’S KITCHEN 3” in the subject title along with your full name, age, contact numbers, photo, address, culinary experience, why you would be an excellent contestant and what makes you unique. Interesting stories about for whom you have cooked — and where— also are welcome.

Prospective cooks also may take the group approach by inviting a friend or relative who likes to cook to join them in the audition as a team. Candidates must be at least 21 years old and U.S. citizens.

Those who can take the heat and/or are suckers for punishment can e-mail their information to Brenda Della Casa at [email protected]

Compiled by Kelly Jane Torrance from Web and wire reports.

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