TV briefs


‘Real World’ heads down under

Attention Sydney-based purveyors of Foster’s: Now might be a good time to stock up, because “The Real World” is coming to town.

MTV announced Tuesday that the 19th installment of its signature series will take place in Australia. Filming is set to begin in Sydney in the coming weeks, with the show scheduled to premiere sometime in late 2007.

“We are extremely thrilled to be bringing the show to Australia for its 19th season,” “Real World” co-creator Jon Murray says. “Australians are fun-loving people who love to party, so “The Real World’ cast should feel right at home.”

Sydney, site of the 2000 Olympics, will be the third international destination for “The Real World.” The show has previously left the United States for seasons in London and Paris. Sydney should present ample opportunities for beauty shots of its harbor and famed opera house, as well as plenty of places for the “Real World” cast to get good and soused.

The current edition of “The Real World” follows a group of seven young adults in Denver; their job this season is to work as Outward Bound counselors. Its ratings aren’t quite up to those of past seasons, but it’s still the most popular show on cable among MTV’s target audience of teens and young adults.

Pilots: ABC tries on ‘Cashmere’

In the latest round of pilot orders, ABC is joining Darren Star’s “Cashmere Mafia” and picking up a drama based on books by best-selling author James Patterson.

NBC has also given a green light to its long-in-development project “Lipstick Jungle,” based on the book by “Sex and the City” author Candace Bushnell. Another female-lead hour from “House” creator David Shore is also in the works at NBC.

Star will executive produce “Cashmere Mafia,” which is being written by Kevin Wade (“Working Girl,” “Maid in Manhattan”), the showbiz trade papers report. It will focus on four women who’ve been friends since college and now lean on each other while dealing with the demands of their professional and personal lives. Wade and Gail Katz (“The Perfect Storm”) will also exec produce.

Also at ABC, Brett Ratner (“X-Men: The Last Stand,” “Prison Break”) has signed on to direct “Women’s Murder Club,” based on a series of Patterson novels about four women – a reporter, a detective, a prosecutor and a medical examiner – who work together to solve murder cases. One of the novels, “1st to Die,” was adapted into an NBC movie in 2003.

Elizabeth Craft and Sarah Fain, veterans of “The Shield” and “Angel,” are writing the script and will serve as exec producers with Ratner, Patterson and Joe Simpson (“Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica”).

At NBC, meanwhile, “Lipstick Jungle” has received the go-ahead after more than a year of development and the coming and going of a couple of writers. Gina Gershon was also attached to star in the show at one point last year; it’s unclear if she’ll still be involved.

Deann Heline and Eileen Heisler (“Committed,” “How I Met Your Mother”) are now the writers-exec producers of the pilot, with Bushnell also producing.

Finally, Shore and fellow “House” writer Peter Blake are collaborating on an NBC drama about a group of police officers with a female cop at its center. It’s likely to offer a mix of procedural and character elements – not unlike “House” – as well as a fair amount of humor.

CBS moves on Dorff, ‘Viva’ pilots

Stephen Dorff will take the lead role in the CBS pilot “Skip Tracer.”

The drama focuses on a skip tracer, a “charming rogue” who searches Los Angeles’ underbelly for missing persons.

According to the industry trades, Dorff helped develop “Tracer” under his talent deal with CBS. The “Blade” co-star, who recently appeared in “Covert One: The Hades Factor” for the network, will executive produce along with “Sopranos” veterans Robin Green and Mitchell Burgess.

Dorff’s latest big screen credits have included “Cold Creek Manor” and “World Trade Center.”

In other CBS development news, the network has sent the tentatively titled “Viva Laughlin!” to pilot. The musical extension of the acclaimed BBC miniseries “Viva Blackpool!” is executive produced by Hugh Jackman, with the “X-Men” star set to make a guest appearance in the pilot.


Leary lands Fox pilot

Things have been busy at Denis Leary’s production company, Apostle.

The “Rescue Me” co-creator and star’s shop has earned its second pilot order in the past week, this one a legal drama called “Canterbury’s Law” at Fox. The network has also ordered two other dramas, one about clerks at the Supreme Court and the other following nurses at a big-city hospital, the showbiz trades report.

“Canterbury’s Law” comes from writer Dave Erickson (“D.C. Sniper,” “Murder in Greenwich”). It centers on a female defense lawyer who uses any means necessary to ensure her clients get a fair shake. Leary and producing partner Jim Serpico will executive produce the pilot, with Erickson getting a co-exec producer credit.

It’s the second Apostle pilot to be greenlit in the past week. NBC ordered the cop show “Fort Pit” a few days ago.

“Supreme Courtships,” written by Gary Tieche (“MDs”), looks at the lives of several clerks at the highest court in the land. Tieche will executive produce the project with Marty Adelstein (“Prison Break”) and Michael Thorn.

Finally, Fox has ordered an untitled dramedy about nurses from Samantha Goodman and Andy Stern (“Return to Me”). “Bones” executive producer Barry Josephson will serve in the same capacity on the pilot, along with the two writers, Ann McManus and Eileen Gallagher.

Toon Disney finds more ‘Yin Yang’ balance

There is still more Woo Foo to be learned.

Toon Disney has picked up its highest-rated animated series “Yin Yang Yo!” for a second season, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The cartoon revolves around sibling rabbits Yin and Yang who learn about the mystical martial art Woo Foo from their panda master called Master Yo. The new season will find the bunnies discovering more of their own powers, new villains cropping up and old villains revealing new motivations.

Toon Disney ordered 26 more episode for its “Jetix” programming block.

“Yin Yang Yo!” debuted in September to the channel’s highest ratings for an original animated series bringing in nearly 500,000 total viewers and drawing in kid demos kid demos 2-11 (334,000) and 6-11 (217,000).