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CBS gives 'Thanks' for a Pilgrim sitcom

CBS will soon be giving us "Thanks" -- but we'll have to wait and see if we'll be giving the network thanks in return.

One of the more offbeat pilots any of the networks had in development for this fall was a sitcom the Eye was working on titled "Thanks." And we're talking genuinely strange -- it's a half-hour comedy about Pilgrims trying to survive life in the New World.Really.

The show, from executive producers Phoef Sutton ("Cheers") and Mark Legan ("Grace Under Fire"), didn't make CBS's fall schedule. But the network has ordered six episodes of the series for broadcast later this summer. (At least it will be something new.)

"Thanks" is the story of the Winthrop family. Having survived their first winter in the Massachusetts Bay colony, James (Tim Dutton) and Polly (Kirsten Nelson) "must decide whether or not to remain in the uncivilized New World and face yet another year of disease -- and each other."

And it's a comedy. Really.

The cast includes the Winthrop's three children -- boy-crazy Abigal (Erika Christensen); "so-smart-she-may-be-burned-at-the-stake Elizabeth" (Amy Centner); and dim-witted William (Andrew Ducote) -- as well as James' best friend, Cotton (Jim Rash), the village idiot.

And then there's multiple Emmy-winner Cloris Leachman, who plays Granny -- "a wizened senior citizen who has quite the eye for strapping young men."


Well, viewers are always saying they want something different. "Thanks" could be that.

MUSICAL ANCHORS: Catherine Crier, who used to be at ABC, is leaving the Fox News Channel for a job at Court TV. She'll be replaced by former CBS newsie Paula Zahn, who will take over the (soon-to-be-retitled) "Crier Report" in addition to her nightly newscast anchoring duties at FNC.

QUOTABLE: "Late Show" host David Letterman: "Former President George Bush, you know what he did on his birthday? He jumps out of an airplane, parachutes out of an airplane. Here's what I like about former President George Bush -- he waits till he's out of office to do something really stupid.