''Angel,'' a ''Buffy'' spin-off, is one of several shows in development

Programming TV is like Christmas shopping: It’s never too early to start thinking about next year. So even though viewers have hardly had time to watch this season’s crop of 36 new shows, network execs are already developing sitcoms and dramas like it’s 1999. True, most concepts don’t make it to the tube, but some in-the-works series have more promise than others. Among the higher-profile projects currently vying to reach your tube next fall:

BLOODLINE Former ER writer Walon Green and ER hunk-in-residence George Clooney (who’s set to doff his scrubs for good by May) are executive-producing this CBS drama about a gang of young mobsters. Clooney will remain behind-the-scenes.

BELLEVUE This tentatively titled medical drama for ABC is being written by yet another TV doc, Chicago Hope‘s Peter Berg, who says it’s ”about the world of psychiatric medicine. It’s pretty intense.” Berg currently has no plans to star in the series.

WASTELAND Writer-producer Kevin Williamson (Dawson’s Creek) has a 13-episode commitment from ABC for his drama about six college buddies, including a homicide cop, a closeted soap actor, and a magazine reporter, living in New York City.

GOD, THE DEVIL AND BOB Production company Carsey-Werner is at work on this animated comedy that will feature the voices of James Garner (God), Robert Downey Jr. (the Devil, natch), and 3rd Rock From the Sun‘s French Stewart (Bob), about a modern-day Job caught between good and evil.

ANGEL The WB’s first spin-off features Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s drool-worthy costar David Boreanaz as a handsome vampire who fights against demons of all sorts in Los Angeles.

Adam Goldberg (Private Mellish in Saving Private Ryan) will star in a sitcom for ABC. Goldberg calls the still-untitled series an ”anti-Dharma & Greg,” about a couple who fight constantly but can’t live without each other. Says Goldberg: ”They’re making out one second, screaming the next.”