NEW YORK – NBC’s aggressive rebuilding effort added four more new series for next season on Friday, but left room for cult favorite “Chuck.”

“Chuck,” starring Zachary Levi as a computer whiz implanted with spy secrets, has a rabid, though not large, fan base. It has been on the edge of cancellation before, but Friday’s announcement meant its cast and fans could rest easy before NBC presents its fall schedule to advertisers on Monday.

With another fourth-place season in the rankings, NBC has committed more money to its development process than in recent years. Adding Friday’s announcement, the network has publicly committed to 11 new scripted series for next season.

NBC also turned a page by announcing that “Law & Order” will conclude its run on the prime-time schedule after 20 years.

The new series announced Friday includes one comedy that sounds a lot like one of its classics, even down to the name. “Friends With Benefits” is about a group of friends in their 20s as they navigate the dating world.

The three new dramas announced Friday include “The Cape,” about a framed cop who turns into a comic-book superhero, forced into hiding away from his family. “Harry’s Law” stars Kathy Bates as a disillusioned lawyer who starts a new practice with a young man out of a rundown shoe store. It’s from David E. Kelley, producer of “The Practice” and “Boston Legal.”

Jimmy Smits has already been a president on “The West Wing,” now he’ll play a U.S. Supreme Court justice in “Outlaw.” The character, described by NBC as a playboy and gambler, quits the job to work as a lawyer representing the “little guy.”


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