In a flurry of pre-upfront activity Thursday, top brass at the broadcast networks and major studios were busy determining the fate of new and returning shows, lining up showrunners and swapping information about prospective scheduling moves to be unveiled at next week's fall schedule presentations in New York. Among the bigger surprises, sources said NBC was not expected to renew Law & Order: Trial by Jury
, which has had an uphill climb ratingswise on Friday night since its midseason debut this year. Reps at NBC, like the other networks, declined comment on any rumors regarding pickups or cancellations. NBC kicks off the schedule unveilings Monday with its presentation at Radio City Music Hall. Among the peacock's new series pickups are expected to be Warner Bros. TV's E-Ring
, the Pentagon-themed drama from Jerry Bruckheimer
TV; NBC Universal TV Studio's Fathom
, about a mysterious deep-sea creature; and Touchstone TV's Inconceivable
, set at a fertility clinic. Book of Daniel
, a drama about an unconventional priest, had been a hot prospect to land on the fall schedule but is said to have cooled off considerably during the past few days.