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April 21, 2006 at 04:00 AM EDT

You’ve probably heard that NBC is developing both a sitcom and a drama about the behind-the-scenes action at a network sketch-comedy show; however, those aren’t the only series occupying similar creative space this pilot season. We have yet to see a single second of footage of any proposed fall program, but don’t think that will stop us from confidently choosing sides in a few hotly contested duels.

ANDY BARKER, P.I. (NBC, comedy) An underemployed accountant (Andy Richter) tries sleuthing to pay the bills.
JULIE RENO, BOUNTY HUNTER (Fox, comedy) A desperate single mother tries bounty hunting to pay the bills.
VERDICT ABPI. While we dig JRBH‘s stop-or-my-mom-will-hunt-your-bounty! premise, the idea of Richter as an unlikely Magnum makes our funny bone hurt. In a good way, we think.

BEYOND (Fox, drama) Scientists and engineers explore new frontiers in NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab.
THE BIG BANG THEORY (CBS, comedy) Two dorky theoretical physicists (including Johnny Galecki) explore the world with a pretty party girl.
VERDICT Big Bang. The physicists and the NASA nerds cancel each other out, but the hot-chick angle easily trumps anything dealing with space technology.

AQUAMAN (The CW, drama) Inspired by the comic-book series about a superhero who enjoys the H20.
ULTRA (CBS, drama) Inspired by the comic-book series about a superhero who’s a single girl in the city.
VERDICT Ultra. We’re down with any superhero who can leap tall buildings and reject men in a single bound. Plus, she’d probably kick ass at speed dating.

UGLY BETTY (ABC, drama) The dramatic struggles of a homely assistant at a women’s fashion magazine.
FLIRT (The CW, comedy) The comedic struggles of a lone man (Wayne Brady) at a women’s fashion magazine.
VERDICT Betty. Of these two fish-out-of-water dishes, Betty‘s ugly-duckling-among-smokin’-swans seems tastier. Plus, we fear Flirt‘s song-and-dance sweeps episode.

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