NBC, CBS pencil in script orders

Five freshman drama series -- NBC's Bionic Woman, Life, Journeyman, Chuck and CBS' Cane -- have received orders for additional scripts.

NBC picked up three more scripts of all four of its freshman series, while CBS ordered four scripts for Cane, starring Jimmy Smits.

While it has been a growing trend during the past couple of years for the networks to hedge their bets by ordering additional scripts of new series in lieu of early full-season pickups, the extra scripts carry an additional context this year when the industry is facing a potential writers' strike.

Most of the five series are shooting episodes 8-9, with the special-effects and action-heavy Bionic, starring Michelle Ryan, a little behind. Most shows already have the scripts for the entire initial 13-episode order in the pipeline in different stages, so an early order for additional scripts might help the networks to secure a couple more finished scripts before a potential strike, especially if it begins after the Nov.

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