Options keep ABC, Fox's pilots flying

Several pilots have received a second lease on life after the options on their actors were extended.

The principal casts of ABC's comedies The Middle and The Hill and Fox's dramedy Nurses have been extended. Also extended were two of the leads of Fox's The Cure, Oded Fehr and Anson Mount. If the Warner Bros. TV-produced medical drama is picked up to series, it is expected to undergo retooling.

Middle, from WBTV, is a single-camera family comedy starring Ricki Lake.

It is not clear how a potential starring role on a primetime series would effect Lake's chances to join ABC's The View as a co-host. Since both shows are owned by ABC, she could follow the lead of Kelly Ripa, who simultaneously starred on ABC's sitcom Hope & Faith and co-hosted ABC's Live With Regis and Kelly.

Hill, also from WBTV, is a multicamera comedic soap set in Washington starring Michelle Trachtenberg, Eric Christian Olsen and Wendie Malick.

The new comedy series that ABC has picked up so far for next season -- Cavemen, Carpoolers and Samantha Who? -- are all single-camera.

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