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John Kiesewetter on the world of local and national TV

Senior Entertainment Reporter John Kiesewetter has been covering TV and media issues for 20 years. After joining the Cincinnati Enquirer in 1975 as a summer intern, he worked as a county government and suburban reporter; assistant city editor and suburban editor; and features editor supervising the Life section. He has a B.S. in journalism from Ohio University.

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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Time Warner digital interactive

Time Warner digital cable customers here who watch “Last Comic Standing” today (8-10 p.m., Ch 5) will see several interactive features during the show.
NBC and Time Warner are expanding the interactive polling, which started with Bravo’s “Top Chef” this spring.
Viewers may use their remote control to respond to trivia questions about the show, and vote on contestants. Cincinnati market results will be shown to viewers during the show, which was taped in April. "The voting will have no bearing on the show results. It’s just fun stuff for viewers to do,” says Vanthan Khel, NBC Universal publicist.
Comedian Chip Chinery, an Anderson Township native and a 1982 St. X grad, will be one of the comics auditioning tonight.

Channel 5 news?
Wish I had some more WLWT news tidbits for today, which created quite a reaction late last week. Don't have any news today, but was wondering over the weekend if they're thinking of changing the slogan to "Where the news comes second in the morning?" Or "Where the news comes third?"

You be the GM
Ok, local news junkies, you be the GM: If you ran a local TV station, would you put the CrimeStoppers "Wheel of Justice" -- a carnival wheel plastered with a dozen mugshots of fugitives -- on your air as Channel 12 does it, with Booty Collins theme song and everything?
Here's a link to my story today:
Here's a link to the WKRC-TV CrimeStoppers segments archives:
What do you think? What would you do?

Friday, May 26, 2006

WLW & Channel 5 news deal

Yes, WLW-AM has blown off Clear Channel sister station WKRC-TV to do a news partnership with WLWT (Channel 5). What a shock at Channel 12. They didn't see it coming, and didn't know about it until told Thursday morning.
When Clear Channel corporate gave the radio station permission to ditch Ch 12 a week or two ago, Channel 5 jumped at the opportunity. Duh! Channel 5 is third in the ratings, while WLW has been No. 1 for six years.
PD Darryl Parks says: “I know Clear Channel gets rapped for ‘cram downs’ on stations, but the radio stations truly are run autonomously.” This would be proof.
The deal starts August 1. Channel 12 will continue to service the 7 other Clear Channel stations here.
Some history: WLW radio was sold off by Channel 5’s owners in the 1970s. The two stations had a weather/news relationship in the early 1990s, when Pat Barry did weather at Channel 5.
But soon expect to hear a lot about Jim O’Brien, Sandra Ali, Sheree Paolello, Lisa Cooney, Derek Beasley on the air by Willie and the gang....

Super show for coaster fans
Roller coaster lovers should set the DVR for “SuperCoasters” (8-10 p.m. Monday, National Geographic Channel). It’s a great look at the science behind coasters, including how Paramount Kings Island’s Flight of Fear slings people from 0 to 50 mph in 4 seconds. More than half of the film was shot on the big thrill rides at Cedar Point, the flagship park of the company buying PKI from CBS. PKI season pass holders will wonder if the new owners will build similar huge coasters here in coming years. Let's hope.

Comedian Gilbert Gottfried – seen often on Jay Leno’s “Tonight Show” sketches – plays Go Bananas comedy club in Montgomery tonight through Sunday. He’s done tons of stuff, but his voice might be best known as the AFLAC duck. Tickets are $25. Info at

Sunday night sports ratings
You asked for it, you got it: The #1 Sunday night local sports show from 11:30 p.m-midnight is Channel 9’s “Sports of All Sorts,” with a 4.2 rating and 10.5% audience share. Next are Channel 5’s “Sports Rock” (3.6 rating/10%), and Channel 12’s “Sports Authority” (3.4 rating/9% share). “SOAS” is the only one that goes a full hour, and the audience drops off at midnight for an hour average of 3.4/10%.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Local news ratings

Sorry to disappoint the Anonymous poster yesterday, but Fox 19 didn’t win the morning news. In fact, from 6-7 a.m., Fox 19 was fourth in the overnight Nielsens for May sweeps, which ended last night.
WLWT (Channel 5) jumped into second at 6 a.m., but at 11 p.m. fell from second (a year ago) to a distant third for the city’s only female co-anchor team. Demographics may show a different story, but the overnights don't look so hot for Sandra Ali and Sheree Paolello, given all the billboards, radio promotions, Olympics promotions, etc.
Here are the May weekday ratings. I’m still waiting on the numbers for the Sunday night sports shows.
7-6 a.m.
WKRC-TV: 4.3, 16%
WLWT-TV 3.8, 14%
WCPO-TV 3.7, 14%
WXIX-TV 3.6, 14% (Was #2 with a 3.8/16% last May)

5-6:30 p.m.
WCPO-TV 8.4, 19%
WKRC-TV 7.0, 12%
WLWT-TV 4.0, 9%
10 p.m.
WXIX-TV 9.1, 15% (Ratings about equal to last May's 10 p.m. audience split between Ch 19 (7.8/12%) and Ch 64 (1.2/2%)
11 p.m.
WKRC-TV 13.8, 27%
WCPO-TV 8.6, 17%
WLWT-TV 5.9, 12% (Was #2 with a 9.2/16% last May)

Terrific "Combat Diary " tonight
I’ve seen parts of A&E’s “Combat Diary: The Marines of Lima Company,” and it’s terrific. You really get a look at our troops – it’s all about the Ohio Marine Reserve Unit, which suffered six casualties from our area -- in Iraq that you’ve not seen. More than half of the film is video shot by the soldiers over there. Check out Howard Wilkinson’ excellent story about the film:
The premeire is 9-11 p.m. today. The repeats are
Friday: 1 a.m.
Saturday: 8 p.m.
Sunday: midnight and 1 p.m.
Monday: 8 a.m., 2 p.m.
Saturday, June 3: 11 a.m.

Idol surprises
To me, the most amazing aspect of the two-hour “American Idol” finale last night was how entertaining it was. Fox was smart to replay clips of the worst auditions (in the “American Idol awards”). Surprising the Clay Aiken wannabe was hilarious.
Injecting the two hours with plenty of star power –Toni Braxton, Al Jarreau, Meat loaf, Carrie Underwood, Mary J. Blige – and wasn’t Dionne Warwick terrific? – made for a great show. I was dreading sitting through the two hours, to get to the 9:57 p.m. announcement, but I really enjoyed the show. Tonight I'll catch up to the season finale of "Lost"...

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

More Da Vinci Code secrets

Thought you might need a laugh today. Did you hear Chris O’Brien’s Top 10 list about the Da Vinci Code on oldies WGRR-FM (103.5)? Here it is:

Top Ten Other Secrets Revealed in the Da Vinci Code

10 - At Jesus’ bachelor party St Peter wasn’t such a saint.
9 - Most disturbing mystery—Tom Hank’s hair.
8 - Even Da Vinci couldn’t figure out why Chris Daughtry was kicked off American Idol.
7 - The Code is broken with the help of Shaggy and Scooby.
6 - Mary Magdalene chosen to replace Star Jones on The View.
5 - The Da Vinci Code turns out to be what Da Vinci used to get cash out of the ATM.
4 - Thanks to product placement, last supper takes place at Applebee’s
3 - Magician David Blaine spends a week immersed in holy water.
2 - What happens in Vatican City, Stays in Vatican City.
And the Number 1 Other Secret Revealed in the Da Vinci Code:
1. Not every actor named Tom is a complete Nutcase.

NBC News
If you’re a Katie Couric fan, watch the “Today” show next Wednesday for a three-hour recap of her career (7-10 a.m.).

Gotta go
Sorry for the short blog today. Busy week, with sweeps ending tonight. I hope Kat wins tonight– she’s the best – but it probably will be Taylor. She’ll have the better career of the two…

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Elizabeth Vargas out, Gibson back on ABC News

I sure didn’t see this one coming, but it makes sense: ABC News just announced that Charlie Gibson will take over as solo anchor of the “ABC World News Tonight” on Monday. He replaces Elizabeth Vargas, who is pregnant and will return from maternity leave this fall to co-anchor “20/20.”
Gibson will do double duty on “Good Morning America” and the evening news through June, then leave “GMA.” No word who will replace him. (Will they go with Diane Sawyer and Robin Roberts?)
Vargas and Bob Woodruff were named co-anchors last year after the death of Peter Jennings. She has been solo since Woodruff was seriously injured in Iraq in January.
Why now? ABC wanted to put Gibson on the evening news before Katie Couric debuts this fall on CBS. And he’ll remain on “GMA” in June, after Couric leaves the “Today” show at the end of the month.
See the ABC release at

Rosemary Clooney tribute on WVXU-FM
WVXU-FM has picked up the four-part British Broadcasting Corporation’s documentary about Rosemary Clooney. The U.S. radio premiere of “Rosie All The Way: The Rosemary Clooney Story” will be 8 p.m. on the four Sundays in June.

Sweeps questions
So is Jack Bauer on a slow boat to China after he saved the world again on "24"?
Who’s going to win "American Idol?"
Will we really learn anything new on the “Lost” finale on Wednesday?
Tell me what you think….

Monday, May 22, 2006

Chip Chinery on "Last Comic Standing?

I got an email over the weekend from Chip Chinery, the Anderson Township native working in Los Angeles as a comedian and actor. He says to look for him on the season premiere of NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” on May 30 (8-10 p.m., Ch. 5). The first episode features “Tonight Show” talent scouts traveling across the nation looking for the best comedians.
Chinery, who has done a lot of commercials and sitcom guest shots (“Sons & Daughters,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Seinfeld,” “Friends,” “Drew Carey”), says he polished up his stand-up routine for NBC. He says he could be on the second and/or third weeks too.

The end is near
Hope you’ve cleared out some space on the DVR. The next three days are gonna be packed with season finales, with May sweeps ending Wednesday. Tonight we have:
--Series ending: “Alias” (9-11 pm, Ch 9).
--Season finales: “24,” (8-10 pm, Ch 19), "King of Queens" (8 pm). “Wife Swap,” (8 pm), “New Adventures or Old Christine” (two parts, 8:30 & 9:30 p.m., Ch 12), “Two And A Half Men (9 pm, Ch 12), “Medium” (10 pm, Ch 5), “CSI: Miami” (10 pm, Ch 12), "Punk’d" (10 p.m., MTV).

CW network update
The people commenting on my blog last Thursday was right: If you want to see the new CW network – to watch “Gilmore Girls,” “Supernatural,” “Smallville,” “Girlfriends,” “Smackdown” or your favorite WB and UPN shows – start calling your cable system now. The new CW network won’t be on regular over-the-air TV here. Channel 12 will broadcast it as digital Channel 12.2, only available to those with digital TV receivers. So Channel 12 is talking to Time Warner and Insight about carrying the channel, as the cable systems do for CET’s digital channels and WLWT’s weather channel. By law the cable systems don’t have to pick up all the local digital channels… so demanding consumers will help get a deal done between Channel 12 and the cable operators by the fall TV season premieres.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

The new CW's first fall

Most -- not all -- of your favorite WB and UPN shows have survived to become part of the CW's first fall lineup. "7th Heaven" was renewed by CW, after WB canceled it and aired a series finale on May 8. Also back are "Gilmore Girls," "Veronical Mars," "Smallville," "One Tree Hill," "Supernatural," "Girlfriends." But not "Reba," "Everwood" or "What I Like About You."
Nick Lachey's sitcom pilot didn't make the fall schedule, but I'm told its still alive and under consideration for midseason.
Here's the CW announcement:



Urban Comedy Block Will Premiere on Sunday Night
With Three Returning Series and New Spin-off “The Game”
From “Girlfriends” Producers
Mara Brock-Akil and Kelsey Grammer

Two Critically Acclaimed Series, “Gilmore Girls” and “Veronica Mars,”
Become Next-Door Neighbors on Tuesday Night

“7th Heaven,” Television’s Longest-Running Family Drama,
Returns to 8:00 P.M. Monday Timeslot for an
Unprecedented Eleventh Season,
Leading into Exciting New Drama “Runaway”
From Producers Darren Star and Ed Zuckerman,
Starring Donnie Wahlberg and Leslie Hope

Midseason Heats Up with New Drama “Hidden Palms”
From Producer Kevin Williamson

May 18, 2006 (New York, New York) ─ The CW Network unveiled the schedule for its premiere 2006-2007 season today at Madison Square Garden before more than 3,000 advertisers, affiliates and national media. The announcement was made by Dawn Ostroff, President of Entertainment, The CW.
“With the launch of The CW, we have an unprecedented programming advantage,” said Ms. Ostroff. “By bringing together established hit series with innovative new shows, we were able to create a stellar schedule for our premiere season. Putting this lineup together was a programmer’s dream with so many choices and so many passionate fans making their voices heard about the shows they love. We will launch in the fall with hit shows on all six nights, giving our affiliates a strong foundation to succeed from day one.

The CW will be the destination network for viewers 18-34, and we will deliver quality, diverse programming that advertisers and viewers will embrace in a major way.”

With a strong commitment to diversity, The CW will schedule two original hours of urban comedies on Sunday night. The returning series begin at 7:00 p.m. with EVERYBODY HATES CHRIS, the most acclaimed new show last season, from executive producers Chris Rock and Ali LeRoi. At 7:30 p.m., ALL OF US, from Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, is coming off an impressive season, and will be followed at 8:00 p.m. by GIRLFRIENDS, which has been the most-watched show by African Americans since it debuted in 2000. The new comedy, THE GAME, from GIRLFRIENDS producers Mara Brock-Akil and Kelsey Grammer takes a comedic behind-the-scenes look at the lives of the wives and girlfriends of the star athletes on an NFL team. The series stars Aldis Hodge, Coby Bell, Tia Mowry, Hosea Chanchez and Wendy Raquel Robinson. The 9:00-10:00 p.m. hour will top off the evening with an encore presentation of AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL.

Additionally, the four comedies will repeat on Sunday from 5:00-7:00 p.m., giving the network four hours of programming starring African-Americans on the most-watched night of the week.

Television’s longest-running family drama, 7TH HEAVEN, will return for an unprecedented eleventh season in its familiar Monday night timeslot. Due to the overwhelming outcry from fans and the fact that the series’ ratings were up in key demos last season, 7TH HEAVEN is the perfect platform to launch the new drama RUNAWAY, from executive producer Darren Star. Starring Donnie Wahlberg and Leslie Hope, along with newcomers Dustin Milligan, Sarah Ramos and Nathan Gamble, RUNAWAY focuses on a family on the run from the law until the father can prove he was framed for the murder of a co-worker. Living under assumed identities, the family has to stick together under extreme conditions in order to survive.

Tuesday nights are all about girl power with the return of the award-winning series GILMORE GIRLS, starring Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel, at 8:00 p.m., followed by another critical favorite, VERONICA MARS, starring Kristen Bell, at 9:00 p.m. These highly compatible series will each bring new viewers to the Tuesday lineup.

On Wednesday night, AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL will return in its highly successful 8:00 p.m. timeslot. This super-hit from supermodel Tyra Banks will air two cycles each season, alternating with one cycle of another hit reality show, BEAUTY AND THE GEEK, from producers Ashton Kutcher and Jason Goldberg. Returning drama ONE TREE HILL will continue to build on its already loyal young fan base on Wednesday night.

Thursday night turns on the testosterone with the pairing of two action-packed dramas, SMALLVILLE, starring Tom Welling as the young Clark Kent, and SUPERNATURAL, starring Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles. Both series showed extreme compatibility after being paired together the second half of last season, with SUPERNATURAL retaining more than 90% of the SMALLVILLE lead-in in key demographics.

The wildly popular FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN! rules the night with two hours of original wrestling extravaganzas 52 weeks a year.

Following is The CW’s 2006-2007 primetime schedule, a night-by-night breakdown and accompanying details on all the programs.



7:30-8:00 PM ALL OF US
8:30-9:00 PM THE GAME (New Series)
9:00-10:00 PM AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL (Encore Presentation)


8:00-9:00 PM 7TH HEAVEN
9:00-10:00 PM RUNAWAY (New Series)




9:00-10:00 PM ONE TREE HILL






Returning for its second season, this hit comedy was inspired by the childhood experiences of comedian Chris Rock. Rock also serves as the narrator of this hilarious, touching story of a teenager growing up as the eldest of three children in Brooklyn, New York, during the early 1980s. Uprooted to a new neighborhood and bused into a predominantly white school two hours away by his strict, hard-working parents, Chris struggles to find his place while keeping his siblings in line at home and surmounting the challenges of middle school. This responsible, resilient adolescent brings a distinct, funny spin to his everyday trials and traumas, in the Golden Globe- and People's Choice-nominated comedy EVERYBODY HATES CHRIS. The single-camera comedy series stars Tichina Arnold (“One on One”) as Rochelle, Terry Crews (“The Longest Yard”) as Julius, Tyler James Williams (“Law & Order: SVU”) as Chris, Tequan Richmond (“Ray”) as Drew, Imani Hakim as Tonya, and Vincent Martella (“Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo”) as Greg. EVERYBODY HATES CHRIS is from Chris Rock Enterprises, Inc. and 3 Arts Entertainment, in association with CBS Paramount Network Television Inc. Co-creator/narrator Chris Rock (“Head of State”), co-creator/writer Ali LeRoi (“Head of State”), Michael Rotenberg (“The Chris Rock Show”) and Dave Becky (“The Hughleys”) are the executive producers.

7:30-8:00 P.M. “ALL OF US”
Inspired by the domestic adventures of entertainment superstars Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, ALL OF US returns for a fourth season to reflect a new generation's enlightened attitude toward ex-spouses, dating and professional lives and dealing with them all using humor, sensitivity and heart. Los Angeles TV personality Robert James has had his fair share of ups and downs in both love and his career, but now he's juggling it all while living with his somewhat self-absorbed ex-wife Neesee as they raise their son, Bobby, Jr. Despite their past history, the two refuse to buy into the old stereotype that being divorced means you can't get along with the ex. ALL OF US stars Duane Martin (“Deliver Us from Eva”) as Robert James Sr., LisaRaye McCoy (“Beauty Shop”) as Neesee James, Khamani Griffin (“Daddy Day Care”) as Robert James Jr. and Tony Rock (“The Chris Rock Show”) as Dirk Black. The series is produced by Overbrook Entertainment in association with Warner Bros. Television, with executive producers Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith, Jeff Strauss (“Friends”), James Lassiter (“Ali,” “Hitch,” “I, Robot”) and Arthur Harris (“One on One”). Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith and Betsy Borns are the creators.

8:00-8:30 PM “GIRLFRIENDS”
Returning for its triumphant seventh year, GIRLFRIENDS provides an open, honest exploration of the hot-button issues about family, friends, relationships and careers facing women today through the lives and loves of three Los Angeles women. Taking on universal subjects that interest all women with fearlessness and sincerity ─ whether it's learning to date after divorce or balancing friendships and a new marriage ─ GIRLFRIENDS treats them all with tenderness, care and respect. The series stars Tracee Ellis Ross (“Hanging Up”) as Joan Clayton, Golden Brooks (“Beauty Shop”) as Maya Wilkes, Persia White as Lynn Searcy, and Reggie Hayes (“Getting Personal”) as William Dent. Mara Brock-Akil (“Moesha,” “The Jamie Foxx Show”) created the series and serves as executive producer along with Kelsey Grammer. GIRLFRIENDS is a production of Happy Camper Productions and Grammnet Productions in association with CBS Paramount Network Television.

8:30-9:00 PM “THE GAME” (NEW COMEDY)
Being the wife or girlfriend of a pro-football player might sound like a glamorous and stress-free existence, but Melanie Barnett is about to discover the truth. Melanie’s boyfriend, Derwin, is the new third-string wide receiver for the San Diego Sabers. While Derwin worries about the plays on the field, Melanie learns about the power plays that NFL wives use to get their men the best agents, managers, endorsements, merchandising deals and even the “in” charity. As she deals with egos, groupies and image consultants, Melanie is finding out how THE GAME is played among the women behind the athletes. THE GAME stars Aldis Hodge as Derwin, Coby Bell as Jason, Tia Mowry as Melanie, Hosea Chanchez as Malik, and Wendy Raquel Robinson as Tasha. THE GAME is from Happy Camper productions and Grammnet Productions in association with CBS Paramount Network Television with executive producers Kelsey Grammer (“Frasier,” “Girlfriends,” “Medium”), Mara Brock-Akil (“Girlfriends,” “Moesha,” “The Jamie Foxx Show”) and Steve Stark (“Medium,” “The In-Laws”).

9:00-10:00 PM “AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL” (Encore Presentation)
Returning with its seventh cycle, the runaway runway hit series features supermodel Tyra Banks. The show gives real people an opportunity to prove that they can make it in the high-stress, high-stakes world of supermodeling. With mentoring by Tyra Banks and exposure to high-profile fashion-industry gurus, young women of various backgrounds, shapes and sizes must endure a highly accelerated modeling boot camp and face weekly tests to determine who will make the cut as they vie for a professional modeling contract. The executive producers are Ken Mok (“Making the Band”), Tyra Banks and Anthony Dominici (“The Amazing Race”). The dramality series was created by Tyra Banks and developed by Mok and Kenya Barris. AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL is produced by 10 by 10 Entertainment in association with Bankable Productions.

8:00-9:00 P.M. “7TH HEAVEN”
A minister, his wife and their seven children share love, life and laughter in this contemporary family drama. The WB’s highest-rated series for many years, 7TH HEAVEN has captured the hearts of television audiences with its witty, charming and heartwarming storytelling and has been praised for providing high-quality entertainment for all ages. In the fall of 2005, 7TH HEAVEN began a record-breaking 10th season, making it the longest-running family drama in television history. 7TH HEAVEN stars Stephen Collins as Eric Camden, Catherine Hicks as Annie Camden, David Gallagher as Simon Camden, Beverley Mitchell as Lucy Kinkirk, Mackenzie Rosman as Ruthie Camden and George Stults as Kevin Kinkirk. 7TH HEAVEN was created by Brenda Hampton (“Fat Actress,” “Mad About You,” “Blossom”), who also serves as executive producer along with Aaron Spelling and E. Duke Vincent. The series is produced by Spelling Television, Inc., a Paramount/Viacom Company.

9:00-10:00 P.M. “RUNAWAY” (NEW DRAMA)
The Raders look like a normal middle-class American family, with a dad, Paul Rader, his lovely wife Lily, teenagers Henry and Hannah and 8-year-old Tommy. Those are their real names, but as they struggle to blend into a new life in Bridgewater, Iowa, they are all using secret identities. This family is on the run, hiding from the legal system that unjustly accused Paul Radar of a terrible and violent crime. Adding to the danger, the real killer is now threatening the lives of the Rader children. As Paul works to protect his loved ones and uncover the evidence that will clear him, he lives with the daily fear that someone will accidentally reveal the family's dark secret in RUNAWAY, The CW's new one-hour drama. RUNAWAY stars Donnie Wahlberg as Paul Rader, Leslie Hope as Lily Rader, Dustin Milligan as Henry Rader, Sarah Ramos as Hannah Rader, Nathan Gamble as Tommy Rader, Susan Floyd as Gina Bennett, Karen LeBlanc as Angela Huntley. RUNAWAY is from Sony Pictures Television, Darren Star Productions and Golly Inc. with executive producers Darren Star (“Sex and the City,” “Melrose Place,” “Beverly Hills, 90210”) and Ed Zuckerman (“Law & Order”), creator/co-executive producer Chad Hodge and co-executive producer Susie Fitzgerald.


8:00-9:00 P.M. “GILMORE GIRLS”
Returning for its seventh season, GILMORE GIRLS is set in a storybook Connecticut town populated with an eclectic mix of everyday folks and lovable lunatics. The award-winning, one-hour comedy is a humorous multigenerational series about friendship, family and the ties that bind, centered around thirty-something Lorelai Gilmore and her college-age daughter Rory. Though Lorelai and Rory have had their differences, the strong and loving mother-daughter relationship portrayed in GILMORE GIRLS reflects the growing reality of this new type of American family. The series stars Lauren Graham as Lorelai Gilmore, Alexis Bledel as Rory Gilmore, Melissa McCarthy as Sookie St. James, Scott Patterson as Luke Danes, Keiko Agena as Lane Kim, Yanic Truesdale as Michel Gerard, Liza Weil as Paris Geller, Sean Gunn as Kirk, Matt Czuchry as Logan Huntzberger, Kelly Bishop as Emily Gilmore, and Edward Herrmann as Richard Gilmore. This heartfelt comedy was created by Amy Sherman-Palladino (“Roseanne”). David S. Rosenthal (“Spin City,” “Ellen”) and Amy Sherman-Palladino (“Roseanne”) are executive producers on the series produced by Dorothy Parker Drank Here Productions and Hofflund/Polone in association with Warner Bros. Television. Also credited as an executive producer is Gavin Polone (“Stir of Echoes,” “Drop Dead Gorgeous”).

9:00-10:00 P.M. “VERONICA MARS”
Returning for a third season, VERONICA MARS is set in the wealthy, seaside community of Neptune, where the rich and powerful make the rules, own the town and the high school and desperately try to keep their dirty little secrets just that…secret. Unfortunately for them, there's Veronica Mars, a smart, fearless 18-year-old apprentice private investigator, who negotiates the halls of Neptune High each day like any average teenage girl, while at night helps her private-eye father uncover some of the California beach town's toughest mysteries, in the critically acclaimed drama VERONICA MARS. The series stars Kristen Bell (“Deadwood”) as Veronica Mars, Enrico Colantoni (“Just Shoot Me”) as Keith Mars, Percy Daggs III (“The Guardian”) as Wallace Fennel, Jason Dohring (“Judging Amy”) as Logan Echolls, Francis Capra (“C.S.I.: Crime Scene Investigation”) as Eli “Weevil” Navarro, and Ryan Hansen (“Las Vegas”) as Dick Casablancas. VERONICA MARS is from Silver Pictures Television, in association with and distributed by Warner Bros. Television. Production services are provided by Stu Segall Productions, Inc. Joel Silver (“The Matrix”) and creator Rob Thomas (“Cupid”) are executive producers.

Returning with its seventh cycle, the runaway runway hit series features supermodel Tyra Banks. The show gives real people an opportunity to prove that they can make it in the high-stress, high-stakes world of supermodeling. With mentoring by Tyra Banks and exposure to high-profile fashion-industry gurus, young women of various backgrounds, shapes and sizes must endure a highly accelerated modeling boot camp and face weekly tests to determine who will make the cut as they vie for a professional modeling contract. The executive producers are Ken Mok (“Making the Band”), Tyra Banks and Anthony Dominici (“The Amazing Race”). The dramality series was created by Tyra Banks and developed by Mok and Kenya Barris. AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL is produced by 10 by 10 Entertainment in association with Bankable Productions.

In between cycles of AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL, The CW will air returning hit BEAUTY AND THE GEEK.

8:00-9:00 P.M. “BEAUTY AND THE GEEK”
Returning for its third cycle, BEAUTY AND THE GEEK is from the producing team of Ashton Kutcher and Jason Goldberg. The hit social experiment pairs eight beautiful and socially savvy women with eight intellectually endowed, but socially stunted men. Living at opposite ends of the social spectrum, the geeks try to pass their brains on to the beauties, while the beauties provide social skills to the geeks. One couple will make it to the end and walk away gifted and gorgeous with a cash prize of $250,000. BEAUTY AND THE GEEK is from fox21, produced by Katalyst and 3 Ball Productions with executive producers Ashton Kutcher & Jason Goldberg (“Guess Who,” “Punk’d”), Nick Santora (“Prison Break,” “The Guardian,” “The Sopranos”), J.D. Roth (“The Biggest Loser,” “For Love or Money”) and Todd A. Nelson (“The Biggest Loser, “For Love or Money”).

9:00-10:00 P.M. “ONE TREE HILL”
Returning for its fourth season to the town of Tree Hill, this drama revolves around the lives of two young men, Lucas and Nathan, who have little in common aside from their love for hoops and the fact that they share the same father. The star of the high school basketball team, Nathan hails from a wealthy family, while his half-brother Lucas is the only child of a single mom. The inhabitants of Tree Hill have witnessed Lucas’ metamorphosis from loner to high school basketball star, Nathan and Haley’s troubled marriage and Peyton and Brooke’s tumultuous friendship. While the teenagers struggle to find their places in the world, the adults in Tree Hill continue to deal with the residue of decisions they made years ago. The series stars Chad Michael Murray as Lucas Scott, James Lafferty as Nathan Scott, Hilarie Burton as Peyton Sawyer, Bethany Joy Galeotti as Haley James, Paul Johansson as Dan Scott, Sophia Bush as Brooke Davis, Barbara Alyn Woods as Deb Scott, Barry Corbin as Whitey Durham, and Moira Kelly as Karen Roe. ONE TREE HILL is from executive producer and show creator Mark Schwahn (“Coach Carter”), executive producers Mike Tollin, Brian Robbins, Joe Davola (“Smallville”) and Greg Prange for Tollin/Robbins Productions and Warner Bros. Television.


8:00-9:00 P.M. “SMALLVILLE”
Returning for its sixth season, this new interpretation of the enduring Superman mythology and its classic characters blends realism and adventure into an exciting action series. Fourteen years ago, a meteor shower burst from the heavens, raining destruction on the unsuspecting citizens of Smallville, Kansas. From the ashes of tragedy, emerged Clark Kent. Struggling to come to grips with his emerging superpowers, while battling the strange events that have plagued this idyllic Midwest hamlet since the meteor shower, Clark slowly learns to embrace his destiny. SMALLVILLE chronicles Clark’s journey toward becoming the Man of Steel and his relationships with girl-next-door Lana Lang, future love Lois Lane and soon-to-be arch-nemesis Lex Luthor. The series stars Tom Welling as Clark Kent, Kristin Kreuk as Lana Lang, Michael Rosenbaum as Lex Luthor, Erica Durance as Lois Lane, Allison Mack as Chloe Sullivan, John Glover as Lionel Luther, and Annette O’Toole as Martha Kent. Reinterpreting the Superman mythology from its roots, SMALLVILLE was developed for television by Alfred Gough & Miles Millar (“Shanghai Noon,” “Spiderman 2”), based on the DC Comics characters. Gough and Millar serve as executive producers, along with Greg Beeman, Ken Horton, Mike Tollin, Brian Robbins and Joe Davola. The series is produced by Tollin/Robbins Productions, Millar/Gough Ink and Warner Bros. Television. Superman was created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster.

9:00-10:00 P.M. “SUPERNATURAL”
Returning for its second season, this haunting series follows Sam and Dean Winchester, two brothers bound by tragedy and blood to their dangerous, other-worldly mission. Together, Sam and Dean journey into the dark world of the unexplained to find and destroy the demon that killed their mother. Crisscrossing the lonely and mysterious back roads of the country in their ‘67 Chevy Impala, the Winchester brothers encounter creatures that most people believe only exist in folklore, superstition and nightmares. Following the clues in their father’s journal, Sam and Dean take on his crusade to hunt down the evil that preys upon the innocent in the darkest corners of America. The series stars Jared Padalecki as Sam Winchester and Jensen Ackles as Dean Winchester. SUPERNATURAL is from Warner Bros. Television in association with Wonderland Sound and Vision, with executive producers McG (“Charlie’s Angels,” “The O.C.”), Eric Kripke (“Boogeyman”), Robert Singer (“Midnight Caller”) and John Shiban (“The X-Files,” “Enterprise,” “Threat Matrix”).


The internationally popular, totally outrageous FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN! delivers all-new, action-packed shows and specials 52 weeks a year. As the number one show on Friday night for young men, this unique, bigger-than-life two-hour saga continues to ratchet up the drama and intensify the classic rivalries between some of the WWE’s biggest Superstars as they put on an astonishing display of high-flying, hard-hitting athleticism. The executive producer is Kevin Dunn. Taped before frenzied crowds all over the United States, the series is a production of World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.


Johnny Miller was a happy, well-adjusted 15-year-old with good grades and a roomful of sports trophies until the terrible night a year ago that his father committed suicide. Now, Johnny lives in the surreal, sun-drenched city of Palm Springs with his mother and her new husband. On the outside, Palm Springs is a shimmering paradise of resorts, swimming pools, golf courses and country clubs. But as Johnny learns the secrets that lie just beneath the surface of this seemingly typical neighborhood, he and his family are forced to ask the question: how well do you really know the people who live right next door? HIDDEN PALMS stars Michael Cassidy as Cliff Wiatt, Taylor Handley as Johnny Miller, Amber Heard as Greta, Sharon Lawrence as Tess Wiatt, D.W. Moffet as Bob Hardy, Gail O’Grady as Karen Hardy, Ellary Porterfield as Liza Witter, and Cheryl White as Helen Witter. The CW presents a Lionsgate Television production in association with Outerbanks Entertainment with executive producers Kevin Williamson (“Dawson’s Creek,” “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” “Scream 1, 2 and 3”) and Scott Winant (“Huff,” “My So-Called Life”).

Fox fall lineup

Not many surprises in the new Fox lineup. "Prison Break" will air in the fall, with "24," "American Idol" and "King of the Hill" back in January. Gone are "Bernie Mac," "Stacked" and other shows canceled months ago ("Arrested Development," "Malcolm," "Reunion," "Head Cases," etc.)
The biggest name for Fox this fall is Brad Garrett, his first series since "Raymond," in a marriage comedy called "Till Death." Rob Corddry ("The Daily Show") will star in a midseason comedy called "The Winner."
Fox will fill September with a Simon Cowell singing with the stars show, "Duet," pairing "established singing stars with celebrities from outside the music industry." (Jerry Rice is available.)

Here's the Fox release:

FOR 2006-2007 SEASON





New York (Thursday, May 18, 2006) – FOX today unveiled its primetime schedule for the 2006-2007 television season, featuring the network’s most stable and balanced slate in years. Three new dramas and two new comedies will complement returning favorites on every night of the week this fall, announced Peter Liguori, President, Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company.

The new dramas premiering this fall are VANISHED and STANDOFF from 20th Century Fox Television and JUSTICE from Warner Bros. Television and hitmaker Jerry Bruckheimer. The new comedies scheduled for fall debuts are the Brad Garrett comedy ‘TIL DEATH from Sony Pictures Television, and HAPPY HOUR from writers Jeff and Jackie Filgo (“That ‘70s Show”) and Warner Bros. Television. FOX also has a new entry in the Saturday late-night arena, TALK SHOW WITH SPIKE FERESTEN, which debuts Saturday, Sept. 16 (MIDNIGHT-12:30 AM ET/PT) following MADtv. In addition, DUETS, a four-week unscripted series executive-produced by Simon Cowell, will air on Thursdays and Fridays prior to the Major League Baseball playoffs.

A fourth new drama, THE WEDDING ALBUM from Fox Television Studios and 20th Century Fox Television, will launch in January. 20th Century Fox Television’s THE WINNER – the first live-action comedy from FAMILY GUY’S Seth MacFarlane and Ricky Blitt – is also set to premiere at mid-season. Finally, the highly anticipated ON THE LOT, an unscripted series from Mark Burnett and Steven Spielberg, will debut next spring.


“This is the broadest, most stable and most vibrant schedule we’ve ever presented – one that is sure to help us further our lead as the No. 1 network in key demos,” Liguori said. “Once again, we’ll kick off with early premieres to eventize our launches and establish our series before baseball. We’ll also continue our strategy of extending the end of the current season, making for a truly year-round schedule.”

Liguori went on to say: “We’ll have returning shows every night of the week. And in January, 24 and AMERICAN IDOL, along with the BCS games during the first week of the new year, will allow us to launch additional series and reposition ourselves for another dominant second-half surge.”

Following are the FOX primetime schedule for 2006-2007 and synopses of the new series:

(All Times ET/PT)

9:00-10:00 PM VANISHED

8:00-9:00 PM STANDOFF
9:00-10:00 PM HOUSE

8:00-9:00 PM BONES
9:00-10:00 PM JUSTICE

8:00-8:30 PM ‘TIL DEATH
8:30-9:00 PM HAPPY HOUR
9:00-10:00 PM THE O.C.

8:00-9:00 PM NANNY 911

8:00-8:30 PM COPS
8:30-9:00 PM COPS

9:00-9:30 PM FAMILY GUY
9:30-10:00 PM THE WAR AT HOME

(All Times ET/PT)

8:00-9:00 PM STANDOFF
9:00-10:00 PM 24

8:00-9:00 PM AMERICAN IDOL Performance Show
9:00-10:00 PM HOUSE

8:00-9:00 PM JUSTICE
9:00-9:30 PM AMERICAN IDOL Results Show
9:30-10:00 PM THE LOOP

8:00-8:30 PM ‘TIL DEATH
8:30-9:00 PM HAPPY HOUR
9:00-10:00 PM THE O.C.

8:00-9:00 PM BONES

8:00-8:30 PM COPS
8:30-9:00 PM COPS

9:00-9:30 PM FAMILY GUY
9:30-10:00 PM THE WAR AT HOME

The following new dramas will premiere this fall on FOX:

VANISHED (Mondays, 9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT): SARA (Joanne Kelly, “Whiskey Echo”) is the beautiful young wife of prominent Georgia Senator JEFFREY COLLINS (John Allen Nelson, “24”), and she has gone missing. But before the FBI can solve the mystery of where she is, they first need to figure out who she really is. Through the eyes of Senior FBI Agent GRAHAM KELTON (Gale Harold, “Queer as Folk,” “Martha Behind Bars”), ambitious reporter JUDY NASH (Rebecca Gayheart, “Nip/Tuck,” “Harvard Man”) and the distraught members of the Collins family, viewers will journey inside a sensational, mysterious national soap opera. Kelton, working with Agent LIN MEI (Ming-Na, “ER”), uncovers enigmatic clues that suggest Sara’s disappearance may be part of a large, sinister conspiracy. Created by Josh Berman (“CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”) and directed by executive producer Mimi Leder (“The Peacemaker,” “Deep Impact”), VANISHED combines the investigative twists and turns of “CSI,” the nonstop pace and tension of FOX’s “24” and the scope of “The Da Vinci Code.”

PRODUCTION COMPANY: 20th Century Fox Television
CREATED BY: Josh Berman
CAST: Gale Harold as Kelton, John Allen Nelson as Jeffrey, Joanne Kelly as Sara, Rebecca Gayheart as Judy, Margarita Levieva as Marcy, John Patrick Amedori as Max, Chris Egan as Ben, Robert Hoffman as Adam, Ming-Na as Lin Mei

STANDOFF (Tuesdays, 8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT - in fall): There’s no crisis situation they can’t handle ... unless it involves each other. MATT FLANNERY (Ron Livingston, “Sex and the City,” “House”) and EMILY LEHMAN (Rosemarie DeWitt, “Cinderella Man”) are the top-ranked negotiators in the FBI’s Crisis Negotiation Unit (CNU). They’re trained to talk their way through volatile situations. They’re experts at knowing what makes other people tick. They’re also sleeping together … a secret that they agreed to keep to themselves, until Matt reveals it to the entire world during a tense hostage standoff. The public revelation causes friction between Matt, who relies on gut instinct, and Emily, an academic who analyzes every move. Their relationship also gets them into major trouble with their boss CHERYL CARRERA (Gina Torres, “Alias,” “Firefly,” “24”), head of the Los Angeles CNU, and raises eyebrows among their CNU colleagues, including intelligence officer LIA MATHERS (Raquel Alessi, “Ghost Rider”). While Matt and Emily really should be split up for being romantically involved, they’re too valuable as a team. STANDOFF combines the relationship banter of audience favorites like “Moonlighting” with the adrenaline-paced suspense of hits like “24.” The series advances a fundamental idea: that in life and in love, “Everything is a negotiation.”

PRODUCTION COMPANY: 20th Century Fox Television
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Craig Silverstein, Tim Story
WRITER: Craig Silverstein
CAST: Ron Livingston as Matt, Rosemarie DeWitt as Emily, Michael Cudlitz as Frank, Gina Torres as Cheryl, Raquel Alessi as Lia

JUSTICE (Wednesdays, 9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT - in fall): From Jerry Bruckheimer, executive producer of “CSI” and “Without a Trace,” comes JUSTICE, an unflinching, behind-the-scenes look at the way high-profile cases are tried in the media age. JUSTICE features a dream team of four lawyers from disparate backgrounds who join forces to tackle the most controversial and newsworthy cases. With their unique skill sets and the power of forensic law, this formidable team becomes indispensable to the law firm of Turk, Nicholson, Tuller & Gaines. RON TURK (Victor Garber, “Alias,” “Titanic”) is the face seen on every media talk show in the country – and he wants it that way. He’s great at landing a client, spinning a case and getting his way, but juries hate him. Standing behind Ron – as far away from the cameras as possible – is TOM NICHOLSON (Kerr Smith, “Charmed”), the heart of the firm. Tom is a brilliant litigator whose Everyman, earnest manner makes him Ron’s alter ego. LUTHER GAINES (Eamonn Walker, “Oz”), famous in the African-American community, is well-connected, politically motivated and in possession of an uncanny ability to take a step back and assess the merits of a case from both the prosecution’s and the defense’s perspectives. ALDEN TULLER (Rebecca Mader, “The Devil Wears Prada”) is a young, ambitious and brilliant clinician who approaches each case analytically, uncovering ways to destroy expert witnesses on cross-examination.

PRODUCTION COMPANIES: Warner Bros. Television, Jerry Bruckheimer Television
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Jerry Bruckheimer, Jonathan Littman, Jonathan Shapiro
TELEPLAY BY: Tyler Bensinger, Jonathan Shapiro
CAST: Victor Garber as Ron, Kerr Smith as Tom, Eamonn Walker as Luther, Rebecca Mader as Alden

The following drama is scheduled to premiere in January on FOX:

THE WEDDING ALBUM (Fridays, 9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT): From executive producers Andy Tennant and Wink Mordaunt (“Hitch,” “Sweet Home Alabama,” “Ever After”) comes a series that captures the ups and downs of tying the knot through the eyes of the second-most important man in the room – the wedding photographer. TONY ZUTTO (Bruno Campos, “Nip/Tuck,” “ER”) is the guy everyone wants to capture their big day. But just because he’s working every high-profile ceremony in town doesn’t mean he’ll be walking down the aisle himself anytime soon. Tony’s near-celebrity status on the marriage circuit – combined with his own less-than-stellar family history – has turned him into a serial bachelor and consummate playboy ... at least until Tony hires new assistant MILLA CAVENDISH (Tara Summers, “Alfie”), a feisty and alluring young Brit. Unlike the carefree encounters Tony’s had with his share of bridesmaids over the years, Milla and her comrades-in-arms, sassy roommate GRETCHEN (Eva Pigford, “America’s Top Model”) and photo lab tech BRUNO (Jayce Bartok, “Law & Order”), will keep Tony on his toes. Also keeping his wild ways in check are PETER (Ptolemy Slocum, “Hitch”), Tony’s strait-laced half-brother and a minister to boot; Tony’s gregarious father DANNY (Tony Lo Bianco, “Law & Order”), who is always ready to dispense a helping of advice along with the liquor he serves at his neighborhood bar; and GWEN (Ashlie Atkinson, “Rescue Me”), Tony’s take-charge office manager. From the tempestuous rehearsal dinners and unorthodox ceremonies to the wild aftermaths and poignant family disasters, THE WEDDING ALBUM proves that things are definitely more interesting when every day at the “office” is the most important day of someone else’s life.

PRODUCED BY: Fox Television Studios and 20th Century Fox Television
DIRECTOR: Andy Tennant
CAST: Bruno Campos as Tony, Tara Summers as Milla, Tony Lo Bianco as Danny, Ashlie Atkinson as Gwen, Jayce Bartok as Bruno, Eva Pigford as Gretchen, Ptolemy Slocum as Peter

The following new comedies will join the FOX schedule this fall:

‘TIL DEATH (Thursdays, 8:00-8:30 PM ET/PT): ‘TIL DEATH is a comedy about middle-aged EDDIE (Brad Garrett, “Everybody Loves Raymond”) and JOY STAMM (Joely Fisher, “Desperate Housewives”), who are on day 8,743 of their marriage and have the battle scars to prove it. Their new next-door neighbors are young newlyweds STEPH (Kat Foster, “Law & Order”) and JEFF WOODCOCK (Eddie Kaye Thomas, “Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle”) – idealistic, passionate, adorable and married for all of 12 days. It’s a show about new marriage versus old marriage, about keeping the romance alive – or at least staying together so you have someone to drive you to the hospital for your operations. Eddie is a cynical realist who considers himself an expert on most topics. A high school history teacher, he’s learned well the lessons of history and applies the basic principles to his marriage: all fights are about power, land and resources – and women love to kill fun. A veteran of the marriage wars, Eddie freely gives his advice to the younger, idealistic Jeff, who’s the new Vice Principal at Eddie’s school. Of course, Eddie’s little secret all along is that he loves Joy more than anything. And however brash and sardonic Joy herself appears, she loves Eddie right back.

PRODUCTION COMPANY: Sony Pictures Television
CAST: Brad Garrett as Eddie, Joely Fisher as Joy, Eddie Kaye Thomas as Jeff, Kat Foster as Steph

HAPPY HOUR (Thursdays, 8:30-9:00 PM ET/PT): Straight arrow HENRY BECKMAN (John Sloan, “The OH in Ohio”) had it all: a great job, a perfect girlfriend and a sweet apartment. He was a big fish in the small pond of Amsterdam, Missouri. And then he let HEATHER (Brooke D’Orsay, “King’s Ransom”) talk him into moving to Chicago to work in her family business, where it all went wrong. In the space of one morning, Henry gets dumped by Heather, learns he can no longer work for Heather’s uncle, and gets kicked out of their apartment. It’s in this vulnerable state that he meets his new roommate, a vain, flashy, loveable rogue named LARRY CONE (Lex Medlin, “Still Standing”). Larry is a modern-day Dean Martin who is looking for a new protégé to teach the wisdom of staying single and enjoying the good life. Larry’s last roommate and best friend, BRAD (Nat Faxon, “Joey”), has gotten engaged to the shrew TINA (Jamie Denbo, “Must Love Dogs”), a cold and controlling fiancée who’s immune to Larry’s considerable charm. Under Larry’s tutelage, Henry begins to rebuild his life and goes to work for Larry’s childhood friend AMANDA (Beth Lacke, “The Rest of Your Life”), a beautiful mess who’s unsuccessfully trying to emulate her perfect ideal of womanhood, Kelly Ripa. Will Henry manage to hold onto his traditional values and remain a hopeless romantic? Or will Larry indeed “build a better Brad”?

PRODUCTION COMPANIES: Warner Bros. Television, Werner-Gold-Miller
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Jackie Filgo, Jeff Filgo, Tom Werner, Eric Gold, Jimmy Miller
WRITERS: Jackie Filgo, Jeff Filgo
DIRECTOR: Andy Ackerman
CAST: John Sloan as Henry, Lex Medlin as Larry, Nat Faxon as Brad, Jamie Denbo as Tina, Beth Lacke as Amanda, Brooke D’Orsay as Heather

The following comedy will air at mid-season on FOX:

THE WINNER (Day and Time TBD): A 43-and-a-half-year-old narrator, who is incredibly rich and successful, looks way back to 1994, when he lost his innocence and started to become a man – at the tender age of 32. In 1994, GLEN ABBOTT (Rob Corddry, “The Daily Show”), still living with his parents, finally steps out into the world and tries to make something of himself when the only girl he’d ever kissed, the radiant ALISON MILLER (Erinn Hayes, “Everwood,” “Kitchen Confidential”), returns to town. Driven by the desire to become a success and win Alison’s heart, Glen goes through his “wonder years” a mere 20 years older than, well, most everyone. But it’s not in vain, as this unlikely underdog will eventually transform from fear-riddled underachiever to the richest man in Buffalo in a mere five years. Luckily, Glen doesn’t have to go though this awkward period alone. He becomes best friends with the only person he can truly relate to: Alison’s 13-year-old son JOSH (Keir Gilchrist, “A Lobster Tale”). Josh is a fellow hypochondriac, and they help each other survive “puberty.” Glen also receives parental guidance from his absurdly enabling mother IRENE (Julie Hagerty, “Girlfriends,” “Malcolm in the Middle”) and his supportive but quasi-rage-aholic dad RON (Lenny Clarke, “Rescue Me,” “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events”).

PRODUCTION COMPANY: 20th Century Fox Television
CREATED BY: Ricky Blitt
DIRECTOR: Terry Hughes
CAST: Rob Corddry as Glen, Keir Gilchrist as Josh, Erinn Hayes as Alison, Julie Hagerty as Irene, Lenny Clarke as Ron

The following unscripted series are scheduled to premiere this fall on FOX:

DUETS (Thursday and Friday in September, Time TBD): DUETS, from Simon Cowell, pairs established singing stars with celebrities outside the music industry to make beautiful music together by competing as duos for charity. The show will follow the professional singers as they instruct their partners, choose songs and perform duets in front of a panel of judges and a live studio audience. After each episode, viewers will vote for their favorite duets. The winning pair will emerge from the competition in perfect harmony, while the losers definitely will have to change their tune.

PRODUCTION COMPANIES: Simco, Fox Television Studios

TALK SHOW WITH SPIKE FERESTEN (Premieres Thursday, Sept. 16, Midnight-12:30 AM ET/PT): TALK SHOW WITH SPIKE FERESTEN may look like a talk show, but it is emphatically a comedy show. This fast-paced half-hour combines traditional elements of the late-night format with bold and irreverent comedy sketches – both inside and outside the studio. Hosted by Emmy-nominated writer Spike Feresten (“Seinfeld,” “The Late Show with David Letterman”), TALK SHOW gives the staid late-night format a long-overdue update. Among other things, this refreshing approach to the genre uses guests in unpredictable ways, like delivering the monologue and performing in the comedy sketches. Additionally, the show features a staff of writer-performers, hilarious field pieces and much more.

PRODUCTION COMPANY: Fox Television Studios
HOST: Spike Feresten

The following unscripted series is scheduled to air next spring on FOX:

ON THE LOT (Day and Time TBD): Aspiring director/filmmakers from across the country will vie for the opportunity of a lifetime when Mark Burnett, Steven Spielberg, DreamWorks Television and FOX join forces on this exciting new unscripted series. Ultimately, one filmmaker will rise above the rest and will be rewarded with a studio development deal, ON THE LOT at DreamWorks. A group of 16 undiscovered talents will be brought to Hollywood and divided into several teams. Every week, each team will produce a short film in an assigned genre, running the gamut from comedies to thrillers, personal dramas to romance, sci-fi to horror. With one member selected as the director and other members helping produce, they’ll have access to the best resources the industry has to offer. But with the clock ticking, and other teams working with the same genre or premise, they’ll all need to match their vision with decisiveness, execution and flexibility. The competition will air on two nights weekly. The films will be shown and critiqued in front of a live audience during the one-hour “Film Premiere” episode. The judging panel will include a motion picture executive, a film critic and well-respected guest judges. But the filmmakers also will be subjected to perhaps the harshest judge of all … the public. It will be FOX viewers whose votes ultimately determine which film should be left on the cutting room floor. On the half-hour “Box Office” results show, the director of the losing feature will be sent home, leaving that team with fewer contestants to help produce the next week’s film. As the competition continues and more directors are eliminated, the remaining filmmakers will have to work individually, creating a new film every week until only the most talented individual is anointed the winner, whisked away to the DreamWorks studio, met by Steven Spielberg and shown to his or her new office … ON THE LOT.

PRODUCTION COMPANIES: Mark Burnett Productions, DreamWorks Television, Amblin Television.
CO-EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Darryl Frank, Justin Falvey, Conrad Riggs

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

CBS' new fall lineup

This just in... CBS' new fall lineup. Not many surprises. CBS dumped its Sunday night movie, the last network to do so. Also gone are "Out of Practice" (no great loss), "Courting Alex (ditto) and "Threshold." "The Amazing Race" and "Without A Trace" move to Sunday. And press reports say "King of Queens" will be back in January.
Sorry about the long blog, but here's the full announcement:


Four New Shows Enhance Primetime Line-Up That Returns 18 Series And More Time-Winning Programs Than Any Other Network

Six Freshman Series Return From Last Year's Class,
Far More Than Any Other Network

Ray Liotta, James Woods, Virginia Madsen, Skeet Ulrich and Simon Baker
Among Stars of New CBS Shows

Creative Forces Behind New Shows Include David Crane ("Friends"),
John Wells ("ER"), Jon Turteltaub ("National Treasure")
and Brian Grazer ("The DaVinci Code")

CBS to Win the Current Season in Viewers and Adults 25-54,
Continuing Multi-Year Winning Streak

CBS announced today the addition of four new series to its 2006-2007 primetime line-up, enhancing a line-up that will return 18 shows from last year's schedule, including six from last season's freshman class. The line-up, which includes three new dramas and one new comedy, was unveiled this morning by CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler.

The four new shows feature a roster of award-winning actors and executive producers and a unique mix of concepts and genres. The freshman series include a young and sexy ensemble comedy, THE CLASS, from "Friends" co-creator David Crane; SMITH, a high octane heist thriller from "ER's" John Wells starring Ray Liotta and Virginia Madsen; the apocalyptic drama JERICHO, from the producer of "National Treasure," Jon Turteltaub, starring Skeet Ulrich ("Scream"); and SHARK, a glossy, high-stakes courtroom drama from Brian Grazer ("The DaVinci Code," "A Beautiful Mind"), starring James Woods.

Those shows will join a line-up that features more time period winning series and more top 20 hits than any other network as well as a leadership position in nearly every program genre: CBS will return television's Number One drama, CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION; the Number One returning comedy, TWO AND A HALF MEN; the Number One and Number Two freshman dramas, THE UNIT and CRIMINAL MINDS; the Number One new comedy, THE NEW ADVENTURES OF OLD CHRISTINE; the Number One news magazine, 60 MINUTES; and the premiere reality series SURVIVOR and the three-time Emmy Award-winning THE AMAZING RACE.

In an impressive achievement, CBS is returning six of its freshman series, which strengthened four nights of the schedule, for their sophomore seasons, including HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, CRIMINAL MINDS, GHOST WHISPERER and CLOSE TO HOME as well as THE UNIT and OLD CHRISTINE. They are part of the overall 18 series that return to the CBS primetime schedule, along with TWO AND A HALF MEN, CSI: MIAMI, NCIS, CSI: NY, SURVIVOR, CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION, NUMB3RS, THE AMAZING RACE, COLD CASE, WITHOUT A TRACE as well as 60 MINUTES, 48 HOURS: MYSTERY and CRIMETIME SATURDAY.

As a result, CBS will win the 2005-2006 season in viewers and adults 25-54, continuing its multi-year winning streak.

The new 2006-2007 schedule:

On Mondays, CBS adds one new series to its winning comedy line-up. HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, a show that captures a young and loyal audience, moves to 8:00 PM, followed by the new ensemble comedy THE CLASS at 8:30 PM, forming a fresh, sophisticated young adult comedy block. At 9:00 PM, CBS returns television's Number One comedy TWO AND A HALF MEN, followed by the Number One new comedy THE NEW ADVENTURES OF OLD CHRISTINE at 9:30 PM. CSI: MIAMI, the night's Number One show, caps the line-up at 10:00 PM.

On Tuesdays, CBS adds an exciting new series to a night that already features a potent and growing 8:00-10:00 PM block of drama. NCIS, which continues to grow its audience, begins the night at 8:00 PM, followed by CBS's mid-season hit THE UNIT. Both shows will serve as a launching pad for the new 10:00 PM dramatic thriller SMITH, a slick, insider's take on a group of professional thieves planning their next score.

Likewise, on Wednesday, CBS adds a new series, JERICHO, to a line-up that already boasts a dynamic block of dramas -- the rookie sensation CRIMINAL MINDS at 9:00 PM and the time-period winning CSI: NY at 10:00 PM. JERICHO, an explosive new drama that follows the aftermath of a nuclear explosion, will kick off the night at 8:00 PM.

On Thursday, CBS returns its powerful 8:00-10:00 PM programming duo of SURVIVOR and CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION. The network will use CSI, television's Number One drama, as a launching pad for its new James Woods legal thriller SHARK, at 10:00 PM.

And CBS will keep its winning Friday night intact, programming the two freshman successes GHOST WHISPERER at 8:00 PM and CLOSE TO HOME at 9:00 PM, followed by the unsung hit NUMB3RS at 10:00 PM. CBS wins every half hour of this night in viewers, adults 25-54 and adults 18-49.

Saturdays will feature CBS's popular CRIMETIME programming from 8:00-10:00 PM, followed by 48 HOURS: MYSTERY.

And on Sundays, CBS is making key scheduling moves designed to capitalize on the changing competitive landscape of the night. The Number One and most-honored news magazine 60 MINUTES starts the night at 7:00 PM, followed by the Emmy Award-winning reality series THE AMAZING RACE, which moves to 8:00 PM. And from 9:00-11:00 PM, CBS is using two of its most successful and compelling crime series, COLD CASE and WITHOUT A TRACE, to build a seamless block of drama. COLD CASE will air at 9:00 PM, followed at 10:00 PM by WITHOUT A TRACE, one of television's highest-rated series.

Additionally, the network announced the pick-up of four shows for mid-season, including the Monday night stalwart THE KING OF QUEENS as well as two new dramas and one new comedy. They include 3 LBS, starring Stanley Tucci in a medical drama about New York neurosurgeons; WATERFRONT, a drama about a colorful mayor in Providence, R.I. starring Joe Pantoliano; and RULES OF ENGAGEMENT, a comedy starring Patrick Warburton ("Seinfeld") from Adam Sandler's production company that follows two couples and a single guy as they navigate the jungles of dating, engagement and marriage.

The new comedy is:

THE CLASS (Monday, 8:30-9:00 PM, ET/PT), from Emmy Award winner David Crane ("Friends") and Emmy Award nominee Jeffrey Klarik ("Mad About You"), is a comedy about the lives of a group of 20-somethings who are inextricably bound together having shared the same third grade class. Now face to face at an impromptu reunion to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the day they met, they wonder if they'll have anything in common besides vague memories of playground kisses and underwear sightings on the monkey bars. Turns out they do. After two decades apart for most of them, some are eager to show off, some want to rekindle old crushes and others just want to satisfy their curiosity. Whatever the case, their lives will intersect from this point forward, sharing childhood memories and dealing with adult issues -- career, relationships and the general direction or misdirection life will take them. Jason Ritter ("Joan of Arcadia"), Heather Goldenhersh ("The Merchant of Venice"), Lizzy Caplan ("Related"), Jon Bernthal ("Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman"), Sean Maguire ("Eve"), Jesse Tyler Ferguson ("Putnam County Spelling Bee"), Lucy Punch ("Ella Enchanted") and Andrea Anders ("Joey") also star. Multiple Emmy Award winner James Burrows directs. Crane, Klarik and Burrows are executive producers for Warner Bros. Television.

The new dramas are:

SMITH (Tuesday, 10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) stars Emmy Award winner Ray Liotta ("ER," "Goodfellas,") as a criminal mastermind in a drama about a close-knit crew of career criminals who plot and execute intricate and ingenious high-stakes heists across the country. Though Bobby Stevens (Liotta) appears to be a regular family man with a nine-to-five job, he's actually an expert thief who is seeking just two or three more big jobs so he can finally leave the business for a comfortable, lawful lifestyle with his wife, Hope (Academy Award nominee Virginia Madsen, "Sideways"). Bobby's second family, his core band of partners, each bring their own areas of expertise to pulling off the biggest and most sophisticated rmed robberies. The FBI is determined to catch the team but is most interested in capturing "Smith," the crew's mysterious leader and the brains behind the entire operation. It remains to be seen whether Bobby will be able to extricate himself in time from the scores that give him such a rush, or if his retirement will be a forced one -- behind bars. Jonny Lee Miller ("Trainspotting"), Franky G ("Saw II"), Simon Baker ("The Guardian") and Amy Smart ("Felicity") also star. Emmy Award winner John Wells ("ER," "The West Wing") is the executive producer for Warner Bros. Television.

JERICHO (Wednesday, 8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) is a drama about what happens when a nuclear mushroom cloud suddenly appears on the horizon, plunging the residents of a small, peaceful Kansas town into chaos, leaving them completely isolated and wondering if they're the only Americans left alive. Fear of the unknown propels Jericho into social, psychological and physical mayhem when all communication and power is shut down. The town starts to come apart at the seams as terror, anger and confusion bring out the very worst in some residents. But in this time of crisis, as sensible people become paranoid, personal agendas take over and well-kept secrets threaten to be revealed, some people will find an inner strength they never knew they had and the most unlikely heroes will emerge. Skeet Ulrich ("Scream"), Gerald McRaney ("Ike: Countdown to D-Day"), Ashley Scott ("Dark Angel"), Pamela Reed ("Proof of Life"), Kenneth Mitchell ("The Recruit"), Lennie James ("Sahara"), Sprague Grayden ("Six Feet Under"), Michael Gaston ("Prison Break") and Erik Knudsen ("Saw II") star. Jon Turteltaub ("National Treasure"), Stephen Chbosky ("Rent") and Carol Barbee ("Judging Amy") are executive producers for CBS Paramount Network Television, in association with Junction Entertainment.

SHARK (Thursday, 10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) stars multiple Academy Award nominee and Emmy Award winner James Woods ("Ghosts of Mississippi," "ER") as Sebastian Stark, a charismatic, supremely self-confident defense attorney who, after a shocking outcome in one of his cases and a personal epiphany, brings his cutthroat tactics to the prosecutor's office. As the head of the Los Angeles District Attorney's High Profile Crime Unit, Stark works for Jessica Devlin, (Jeri Ryan, "The O.C."), the ambitious and accomplished D.A. who despises his ruthless strategies. Devlin teams him with a group of young prosecutors who are about to have the learning experience of a lifetime because, though Stark is seeking to redeem himself, he has no intention of cooling his underhanded approach to cases just because he's now working for the "good guys." Sam Page ("American Dreams"), Alexis Cruz ("American Family"), Sarah Carter ("Numb3rs"), Danielle Panabaker ("Mom at Sixteen"), Romy Rosemont ("CSI: Crime Scene Investigation") and Sophina Brown ("Without a Trace") also star. Academy Award nominee Spike Lee directs. Academy Award winner Brian Grazer ("A Beautiful Mind," "24"), (David Nevins ("Arrested Development"), Ian Biederman ("Crossing Jordan") and Ed Redlich ("Without A Trace") are executive producers for Imagine Entertainment, in association with Twentieth Century Fox Television.

The following is the 2006-2007 CBS Television Network primetime schedule:

(N=New, NT=New Time, all times ET/PT)

8:30-9:00 PM THE CLASS (N)
10:00-11:00 PM CSI: MIAMI

8:00-9:00 PM NCIS
9:00-10:00 PM THE UNIT
10:00-11:00 PM SMITH (N)

8:00-9:00 PM JERICHO (N)
10:00-11:00 PM CSI: NY

8:00-9:00 PM SURVIVOR
10:00-11:00 PM SHARK (N)

9:00-10:00 PM CLOSE TO HOME
10:00-11:00 PM NUMB3RS

10:00-11:00 PM 48 HOURS: MYSTERY

7:00-8:00 PM 60 MINUTES
9:00-10:00 PM COLD CASE (NT)
10:00-11:00 PM WITHOUT A TRACE (NT)

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

ABC Announces Fall Lineup (Part 2)

ABC's new fall comedies:
“Betty the Ugly” (one-hour comedy, Friday, 8:00 p.m., ET) – In the superficial world of high fashion, image is everything. Styles come and go, and the only constants are the wafer-thin beauties who wear them. How can an ordinary girl -- a slightly plump plain-Jane from Queens -- possibly fit in?

If you took a moment to get to know Betty Suarez, you'd see how sweet, intelligent and hard-working she is. But few people do because, in the world of fashion, Betty is the oversized square peg in the petite round hole. When publishing mogul Bradford Meade hands the reigns of his fashion magazine, Mode, over to his son, Daniel, he specifically hires Betty as his son's new assistant – mostly because she's the only woman in NYC Daniel won't sleep with. Though this “player” is reluctant to accept her at first, Betty’s indomitable spirit and bright ideas will eventually win him over. Neither of them really knows the ins and outs of the fashion world, but the two of them are a formidable team against the label-wearing sharks who will do anything to see them fail.

Executive producers Salma Hayek and Silvio Horta, the creator of “Urban Legend,” bring the Latino television phenomenon to an English-speaking audience. America Ferrera (“The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants”) and Eric Mabius (“The L Word”) are the “Working Girl” couple who tackle the colorful, cutthroat world of fashion head on.

America Ferrera (“The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants”): Betty Suarez
Eric Mabius (“The O.C.”): Daniel Meade
Ana Ortiz (“Boston Legal”): Hilda
Vanessa Williams (“Chicago Hope”): Wilhelmina Slater
Tony Plana (“24”): Ignacio
Ashley Jensen: Christina
Becki Newton (“Charmed”): Amanda
Mark Indelicato: Justin
Alan Dale (“The O.C.”): Bradford Meade
EP/Writer: Silvio Horta (“Jake 2.0”)
EP: Ben Silverman (“The Office”)
EP: Salma Hayek (“Frida”)
EP: Jose Tamez (“The Maldonado Miracle”)
Director: Richard Shepard (“Criminal Minds”)
Production Company: Touchstone Television

“Big Day” (half-hour, Thursday, 8:00 p.m., ET) – If “24” married “Father of the Bride,” their child would be “Big Day.” Everything matters at a wedding, and the smallest imperfections can reverberate throughout the event as if lives actually hang in the balance. Choice of side salad? A trivial decision you would think, but for the mother of the bride, this might as well be the most critical decision of her life, and if you're the caterer, you’d better get it right. That’s just the beginning -- the maid of honor accidentally drinks the best man’s contacts after sleeping with him, and the father of the bride wants to stop the wedding. Things are about to get even more complicated for Danny and Alice, as their day turns into a season-long roller coaster where nothing goes according to plan. Over the course of an entire season, each episode will focus on one day – Danny and Alice’s wedding day.

The writers of “What Women Want” and “13 Going on 30” take a full season to dissect the biggest day in any family's life. Marla Sokoloff (“Desperate Housewives”), Josh Cooke (“Four Kings”) and Wendie Malick (“Just Shoot Me”) star.

Marla Sokoloff (“Desperate Housewives“): Alice
Josh Cooke (“Four Kings”): Danny
Wendie Malick (“Just Shoot Me”): Jane
Kurt Fuller (“Desperate Housewives”): Steve
Miriam Shor (“Hedwig and the Angry Inch”): Becca
Stephen Rannazzisi (“Kitchen Confidential”): Skobo
Stephanie Weir (“Fun with Dick and Jane”): Lorna
EP/Writer: Josh Goldsmith and Cathy Yuspa (“13 Going on 30”)
Director: Michael Spiller (“Jake in Progress”)
Production Company: Sony Pictures Television

“Help Me Help You” (half-hour, Tuesday, 9:30 p.m., ET) – Whoever came up with the idea of group therapy? Take a bunch of people who are all really messed up in different ways and put them in a room together to try and help each other out. The group leader, Dr. Bill Hoffman, is probably the craziest and most self-obsessed of all, but his patients would never know it because he hides behind his very respectable celebrity image as a bestselling author of phenomenally successful self-help books.

Directed by Brian Dannelly (“Saved,” “Weeds”), the series explores the comical side of group therapy as members of the group apply the good doctor's advice to the real world with enthusiastic effort, until they begin to realize maybe Dr. Bill should be doing the heavy lifting along with them. Ted Danson (“Cheers”) stars.

Ted Danson (“Cheers”): Dr. Bill Hoffman
Charlie Finn (“The Dukes of Hazzard”): Dave
Jim Rash (“That ‘70s Show”): Jonathan
Suzy Nakamura (“Dodgeball”): Inger
Darlene Hunt (“I Heart Huckabees”): Darlene
Jere Burns (“Good Morning Miami”): Michael
Jane Kaczmarek (“Malcolm in the Middle”): Guest Star/Anne
EP/Writer: Jennifer Konner (“Undeclared”)
EP/Writer: Alexandra Rushfield (“Undeclared”)
Director: Brian Dannelly (“Weeds”)
Production Company: Regency Television

“In Case of Emergency” (half-hour) – Who you were in high school is usually not who you end up being. Harry, Jason, Sherman and Kelly all went to the same high school. Several years on since graduation, their lives haven’t exactly turned out the way they planned. Diet guru Sherman will hijack a pastry truck and over-indulge after discovering his wife left him and cleaned him out. In the face of a fraud indictment, financial whiz Jason will dodge the suicide bullet only to shoot himself in the foot… literally. Unhappily divorced, Harry goes for a relaxing "massage," only to discover his scantily clad “masseuse” is Kelly, their high school valedictorian. A series of emergencies will reunite this hapless brood and they’ll find, at the end of the day, that they’ve got each other in case of emergency.

Director Jon Favreau (“Elf,” “Swingers”) directs Jonathan Silverman (“Jekyll”), David Arquette (“Scream”), Greg Germann (“Ally McBeal”) and Kelly Hu (“The Scorpion King”) as a fresh quartet of emotionally and physically injured oddballs, and Lori Laughlin (“Full House”) as the doctor who grounds them all. Together, they're proving that any colossal mistake can be overcome with a lot of help from your friends... and pain killers.

Jonathan Silverman (“The Single Guy”): Harry Kennison
David Arquette (“Scream”): Jason Ventress
Greg Germann (“Ally McBeal”): Sherman Yablonsky
Kelly Hu (“CSI:NY”): Kelly Lee
Lori Loughlin (“Full House”): Dr. Joanna Lupone
Nicholas Roget-King (“Yours, Mine and Ours”): Dylan
EP/Writer: Howard J. Morris (“According to Jim”)
EP: Emile Levisetti (“Hope & Faith”)
EP/Director: Jon Favreau (“Elf,” “Swingers”)
Production Company: Touchstone Television

“Let’s Rob…” (half-hour, Tuesday, 9:00 p.m., ET) – For almost 20 years, Eugene Gurkin has dreamt of opening a bar, but his dead end job on the late, late janitorial shift won't even fund a bottle of premium booze. In the wake of a co-worker's death, he catches an episode of television. Call it divine intervention, call it a dumb idea, but whatever it is takes hold of Eugene and soon he recruits a group of misfits into his "gang" for a heist to finance their dreams. The target: Rock icon Mick Jagger’s super-luxe Central Park West apartment. Working together, this band of affable, new-age Robin Hoods, who have never even shoplifted a candy bar, are soon casing the joint and prepping for their crime. What they don't know is that there's a much richer target for them… the chance to find hope, self-esteem and confidence within themselves.

From Jon Beckerman and Rob Burnett, producers of “Late Show with David Letterman” and creators of “Ed,” comes a hilarious tale of haves and have nots. Donal Logue (“Grounded for Life”) stars. Mick Jagger appears in a cameo (he is not a series regular).

Donal Logue (“Grounded for Life”): Eugene Gurkin
Maz Jobrani (“Life on a Stick”): Gary
Sofia Vergara (“Four Brothers”): Esperanza Villalobos
Kevin Michael Richardson (“The Boondocks”): Rockefeller Butts
Lenny Venito (“NYPD Blue”): Francis “Squatch” Scuacieri
Josh Grisetti: Louis Plunk
EP/Writer/Director: Rob Burnett (“Ed”)
EP/Writer: Jon Beckerman (“Ed”)
EP: Mick Jagger
EP: Victoria Pearman
Production Company: Touchstone Television

“Notes from the Underbelly” (half-hour, Thursday, 8:30 p.m., ET) – Andrew and Lauren have just found out they're going to have a baby, and they’re having a difficult time following rule number one – keeping it secret. Suddenly switching to decaf, becoming a teetotaler at cocktail parties, and going to the OBGYN are all difficult to keep from family and close friends.

Well Andrew and Lauren are about to learn that, when the secret gets out, the politics of parenthood can be just as demanding as raising a child. Sometimes all that "help" from loving but intrusive parents and "advice" from well-meaning but competitive friends who are trying to show you what great parents they are is not exactly what you're looking for. Knowing what's best for the child could be the easiest part... maintaining your relationships with family and friends can be the real challenge.

Director Barry Sonnenfeld and two producers of “Two and a Half Men” create a comic take on life's greatest adventure. As these friends watch their lives change to accommodate the little stranger, their relationships change in ways they never expected before they were expecting. Peter Cambor and Jennifer Westfeldt (“Kissing Jessica Stein”) star.

Peter Cambor (“Up to the Roof”): Andrew
Jennifer Westfeldt (“Numbers”): Lauren
Melanie Paxson (“Cupid”): Julie
Rachael Harris (“The West Wing”): Cooper
Michael Weaver (“Monk”): Danny
Sunkrish Bala (“Barbershop”): Eric
EP/Writer: Stacy Traub (“What I Like About You”)
EP: Eric Tannenbaum (“Two and a Half Men”)
EP: Kim Tannebaum (“Two and a Half Men”)
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld (“Lemony Snicket’s a Series of Unfortunate Events”)
Production Company: Warner Bros. Television, The Tannenbaum Company


“Greg Behrendt’s Wake-Up Call” – Greg Behrendt, acclaimed author of He’s Just Not That Into You, will address one couple’s major issues and use his knowledge of relationships to give them the tools to fix theirs. Through his off-the-cuff comedy and bruised-and-battered romantic experience, Greg takes a close look from a different angle to give our couple advice as a close friend, but also that of sage wisdom.

“Just for Laughs” -- ABC has licensed six half-hour episodes of the hidden-camera comedy series. The series cuts across cultural boundaries and has universal appeal, entertaining audiences of all ages and demographics by mixing clever practical jokes, hidden cameras and a few unsuspecting victims.

“Set for the Rest of Your Life” -- Just imagine: You’re leaving the studio financially independent with a monthly payment for as long as you live! Yes, even if you are to live another 100 years. With a big smile on your face, you will be cashing a monthly check for the rest of your life. Now how does that sound? In this high-tension game show, the contestant will first battle for the highest monthly check possible. Does he end up with $50 a month? $500 a month? Or will he receive well over $10,000 a month? The contestant’s next battle is even more important: Time! Does he win that payment just for one month? For a quarter of a year, half a year, one year? For three, ten, twenty years maybe? Or… for the rest of his life? And… did the contestant’s partner, hidden in a sound-proof isolation booth away from where it’s all happening, help to make that dream come true or turn that dream into a nightmare? “Set for the Rest of Your Life” is a game show for strong relationships only, that’s for sure!


ABC Announces Fall Lineup (Part 1)

Geena Davis' brief White House term is over. ABC canceled troubled “Commander in Chief” after one season, along with all the other new series from last fall (including "Invasion").
And we won't see a “Sons & Daughters” camera crew in Hamilton this fall. ABC axed the spring comedy too. Also gone: “Hope & Faith,” “Invasion,” “Rodney,” “Jake in Progress,” “Emily’s Reasons Why Not,” “Crumbs” and “The Evidence.”
ABC renewed "American Inventor." Newtown marketing guru and engineer Doug Hall, a judge on the reality competition show, says he was told it will return in summer 2007.
Here's the first half of the ABC release:


Six New Comedies, Six New Dramas and Three New Alternative Series
Will Join a Slate of Returning Shows

New Series Include “Betty the Ugly,” “Big Day,” “Brothers & Sisters,” “Day Break,”
“Help Me Help You,” “In Case of Emergency,” “Greg Behrendt’s Wake-Up Call,”
“Just for Laughs,” “Let’s Rob…,” “Men in Trees,” “The Nine,” “Notes from the Underbelly,”
“Set for the Rest of Your Life,” “Six Degrees” and “Traveler”

Returning Series Include “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Lost,” “Desperate Housewives,” “Dancing with the Stars,”
“Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” “Boston Legal,” “The Bachelor,” “Supernanny,”
“What About Brian,” “According to Jim,” “America’s Funniest Home Videos,”
“American Inventor,” “George Lopez” and “Wife Swap”

“Grey’s Anatomy” Moves to Thursday

“ABC Saturday Night College Football” Also Joins Fall Primetime Lineup

Prince Lorenzo Borghese Takes Throne as the New Bachelor

Stephen McPherson, president, ABC Entertainment, today outlined ABC’s plans for next season and unveiled the network’s 2006-07 fall schedule before a crowd of ABC affiliates and representatives of the advertising and media communities at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall.

Scheduled to debut next season are six new comedy series -- “Betty the Ugly,” “Big Day,” “Help Me Help You,“ “In Case of Emergency,” “Let’s Rob…” and “Notes From the Underbelly,” along with six new drama series -- “Brothers & Sisters,” “Day Break,” “Men in Trees,” “The Nine,” “Six Degrees” and “Traveler.” Alternative series debuts will include “Set for the Rest of Your Life,” “Just for Laughs” and “Greg Behrendt’s Wake-Up Call.”

In addition to the new series, ABC has ordered season renewals for “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Lost,” “Desperate Housewives,” “Boston Legal,” “Dancing with the Stars,” “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” “George Lopez,” “Supernanny,” “What About Brian,” “According to Jim,” “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” “American Inventor,” “The Bachelor” and “Wife Swap.”

“Our success has been driven by great storytelling and memorable characters that audiences have fallen in love with,” said Mr. McPherson. “We set out to develop a diverse group of shows that will continue in that vein and also to grow our audience. We want viewers making appointments with ABC Television every night of the week.”

During the 2005-06 TV Season, ABC is up more in ratings than any other broadcaster in Adults 18-49 (+8%) and Total Viewers (+8%). It is the only network to grow its audience in the key demographic of Adults 18-49 from the same point a year ago. In just two years, since the end of the 2003-04 TV Season, ABC’s primetime delivery has surged by 25% in Adults 18-49 and 21% in Total Viewers. The network is delivering its most-watched season and the highest-rated among Adults 18-49 in five years – since the same point in the 2000-01 TV Season.

Also joining the fall schedule is “ABC Saturday Night College Football.” Beginning SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 2, 2006 (8:00 p.m., ET), ABC Sports will televise 12 games, concluding with the Dr. Pepper Big 12 Championship game on SATURDAY, DECEMBER 2 (8:00 p.m., ET).

ABC also announced the new Bachelor, Prince Lorenzo Borghese, a handsome 33-year-old cosmetics entrepreneur. Prince Borghese has been selected to star in the ninth edition of “The Bachelor,” ABC’s popular romance reality series, which returns to the network this fall. Once again the series will be set outside the United States in one of the most glamorous, romantic capitals of the world – Rome!

Hosted by Chris Harrison, “The Bachelor” is produced by Next Entertainment in Association with Warner Horizon Television. Mike Fleiss and Lisa Levenson are the executive producers. David Bohnert is the co-executive producer.

ABC’s complete 22-hour fall primetime schedule is as follows (all times listed are Eastern, with new shows in bold):


MONDAY: 8:00 p.m. “Wife Swap”
9:00 p.m. “The Bachelor”/”Supernanny”
10:00 p.m. “What About Brian”

TUESDAY: 8:00 p.m. “Dancing with the Stars” (new night)/”Set for the Rest of Your Life” (new alternative series)
9:00 p.m. “Let’s Rob…” (new comedy series)
9:30 p.m. “Help Me Help You” (new comedy series)
10:00 p.m. “Boston Legal”

WEDNESDAY: 8:00 p.m. “Dancing with the Stars” (new night)/”George Lopez”/
“According to Jim” (new night)
9:00 p.m. “Lost”
10:00 p.m. “The Nine” (new drama series)

THURSDAY: 8:00 p.m. “Big Day” (new comedy series)
8:30 p.m. “Notes from the Underbelly” (new comedy series)
9:00 p.m. “Grey’s Anatomy” (new night and time)
10:00 p.m. “Six Degrees” (new drama series)

FRIDAY: 8:00 p.m. “Betty the Ugly” (new comedy series)
9:00 p.m. “Men in Trees” (new drama series)
10:00 p.m. “20/20”

SATURDAY: 8:00 p.m. “ABC Saturday Night College Football”

SUNDAY: 7:00 p.m. “America’s Funniest Home Videos”
8:00 p.m. “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”
9:00 p.m. “Desperate Housewives”
10:00 p.m. “Brothers & Sisters” (new drama series)

Editors please note: Shows picked up but not listed on the schedule will debut later in the 2006-07 season.

Following, in alphabetical order, are descriptions of the new series joining ABC’s primetime schedule next season (all times are Eastern):

“Brothers & Sisters” (one-hour, Sunday, 10:00 p.m., ET) – The adult children of William Walker, along with their respective families, have gathered to celebrate Kitty’s birthday. Little do they know that, on this day, their lives will take a dramatic turn.

Kitty's radio success has led to a TV pundit job in Los Angeles, but her New York boyfriend just proposed. Down to earth Thomas has joined forces with his sister, Sarah, a high powered executive and mother of three, in an effort to fix the family business. Kevin’s well-ordered life is shaken by the news that his ex-wife is moving his adolescent son to Texas. Justin, a Gulf War vet, has kicked nicotine, but other addictions keep him from moving forward in his career and love life. These siblings are about to find out that underneath the idyllic family façade lie many secrets that threaten to either tear the family apart or bring them closer together.

As told through the insightful eyes of the family's most outspoken and public sibling, Calista Flockhart (“Ally McBeal”) stars alongside Rachel Griffiths (“Six Feet Under”) and Ron Rifkin (“Alias”) in this warm, humorous and relatable drama from producer Ken Olin (“Alias”) and Jon Robin Baitz, one of Broadway's most prominent playwrights (“The Substance of Fire”).

Calista Flockhart (“Ally McBeal”): Kitty Walker
Ron Rifkin (“Alias”): Saul Ashman
Balthazar Getty (“Alias”): Thomas Walker
Rachel Griffiths (“Six Feet Under”): Sarah Walker
Dave Annable (“Reunion”): Justin Walker
Patricia Wettig (“Prison Break”): Holly Harper
John Pyper-Ferguson (“Smallville”): Jed Traylor
Sarah Jane Morris (“Felicity”): Jennifer Walker
Jimmy “Jax” Pinchak (“CSI”): Teddy Traylor

EP/Writer: Jon Robin Baitz (“The Substance of Fire”)
EP/Director: Ken Olin (“Alias”)
EP: Marti Noxon (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”)
Production Company: Touchstone Television

“Day Break” (one-hour) – We’ve all had bad days… the kind of day where nothing goes our way and we just can’t wait to put it behind us. Detective Brett Hopper is having one of those hellacious days… only he can’t put it behind him because he’s living the same day over and over again.

On this particular day, Hopper will be accused of killing Asst. DA Alberto Garza. He will offer a solid alibi which no one will believe. He will realize he's been framed. And he will run, discovering en route that not only he, but his loved ones, are also in danger. He’ll then wake up and relive the same day over and over again. In order to break the cycle and move on, he will have to figure out who framed him and solve the complex mystery surrounding Garza’s death. He will also be forced to heal the fractured relationships with those he loves. Only when Harper figures out why his life is broken and how to fix it will he awaken to a brand new day.

Taye Diggs (“Kevin Hill”) stars in an action-packed, thrilling re-imagining of the “Groundhog Day” concept from director Rob Bowman (“The X-Files,” “Reign of Fire”) and the writer of “After the Sunset.”

Taye Diggs (“Rent”): Det. Brett Hopper
Meta Golding (“JAG”): Jennifer Mathis
Moon Bloodgood (“Eight Below”): Rita Shelton
Victoria Pratt (“Mutant X”): Andrea Battle
Ramon Rodriguez (“Rescue Me”): Damien
Adam Baldwin (“NCIS”): Chad Shelton

EP: Jeff Bell (“The X-Files”)
EP: Matt Gross (“Don’t Say A Word”)
Co-EP/Writer: Paul Zbyszewski (“After the Sunset”)
EP/Director: Rob Bowman (“The X-Files”)
Production Company: Touchstone Television

“Men in Trees” (one-hour, Friday, 9:00 p.m., ET) – Finding a good man in today's world isn't as difficult as some women think. You just have to watch out for the signs. You wouldn't drive with a blindfold on but, for some reason, women continue to date with one.

Relationship coach Marin Frist knows what to look for, what to avoid and what will make her happy. As the many fans of her two bestselling books could tell you, we're all in charge of our own happiness. Marin's personal happiness includes the upcoming wedding to her "perfect man." But like many people full of advice, she fails to apply it to herself. On her way to a speaking engagement in Alaska, she learns that her fiancé has cheated on her... the wedding plans are instantly over. Slapped in the face with personal failure, a snowstorm then leaves her stuck in a small town full of the one thing she really doesn't need -- available men. Marin's friends and her publisher try to lend long-distance support, but the fact remains she’s been living with her eyes closed for too long. Now that they're finally open, she sees the amazingly beautiful world surrounding her, and for the first time she'll have the chance to stop and breathe. Now if she could just get the raccoon out of her hotel room, this place might be perfect.

From the head writer of “Sex and the City” and the director of the Academy Award®-winning “Walk the Line” comes a fun and sexy drama about finding love in the most unexpected places. Anne Heche (“Nip/Tuck”) stars.

Anne Heche (“Nip/Tuck”): Marin Frist
James Tupper (“Gilmore Girls”): Jack
Suleka Mathews (“The West Wing”): Sara
Derek Richardson (“Felicity”): Patrick
Emily Bergl (“Gilmore Girls”): Annie
Abraham Benrubi (“ER): Ben
Sarah Strange (“Life As We Know It”): Theresa
Seana Kofoed (“Law & Order”): Jane
John Amos (“The West Wing”): Buzz
EP/Writer: Jenny Bicks (“Sex and the City”)
EP: Kathy Conrad (“Walk the Line”)
EP/Director: James Mangold (“Walk the Line”)
Production Company: Tree Line Film, Perkins Street Productions, NS Pictures Inc., Warner Bros. Television

“The Nine” (one-hour, Wednesday, 10:00 p.m., ET) – So much in life is beyond your control. You may go about your day like any other when suddenly a random moment, an accident, a blessing, even a stranger redirects your life forever. And on that day, it's up to you to decide if that moment will stop you in your tracks or lift you up to new heights.

Nine people will face just such an unexpected twist when they are caught in a bank robbery gone wrong and endure a 52-hour hostage standoff that will leave more than one person dead. When all is said and done, these people will never be the same. They will share the common bond of what happens inside the bank and will be forever affected and intertwined because of it.

From the creator of “Without a Trace” and an executive producer of “The West Wing” comes a dramatic character study that will keep audiences hooked with the mystery of what happened during the hostage standoff. Each episode will begin with a flashback to reveal another 10 minutes of the hostage crisis, uncovering why and how these nine strangers are still linked today. Tim Daly (“Wings”), Chi McBride (“Boston Public”) and Scott Wolf (“Party of Five”) star.

Chi McBride (“Boston Public”): Malcolm
Jessica Collins (“CSI”): Lizzie
Tim Daly (“Wings”): Nick
Kim Raver (“24”): Kathryn
Scott Wolf (“Party of Five”): Jeremy
John Billingsley (“Star Trek: Enterprise”): Egan
Lourdes Benedicto (“24”): Eva
Camille Guaty (“Prison Break”): Franny
Owain Yeoman (“Troy”): Lucas
Dana Davis (“Veronica Mars”): Felicia
EP/Writer: Hank Steinberg (“Without a Trace”)
Co-EP/Writer: K.J. Steinberg (“Beautiful People,” “Judging Amy”)
EP/Director: Alex Graves
Production Company: Warner Bros. Television, Sunset Road Productions

“Six Degrees” (one-hour, Thursday, 10:00 p.m., ET) – Who will you touch? Who will touch you? They say that anyone on the planet can be connected to any other person through a chain of six people, which means that no one is a stranger… for long. In this hour-long drama from the producers of “Lost” and “Alias,” six very different New Yorkers go about their lives without realizing the impact they're having on one another – yet. A mysterious web of coincidences will gradually draw these strangers closer, changing the course of their lives forever. Is it happenstance? Fate? Is there a greater force at work in our world, guiding us along and connecting our lives?

This intriguing tale of intertwined destinies reminds us that romance, success, peace or forgiveness might be right around the corner, but they can also be lost in an instant. It’s a story that underlines just
how small the world really is, and how someone just five people away might be shaping our future right now. Jay Hernandez (“Friday Night Lights”), Erika Christensen (“Flightplan”), Bridget Moynahan (“Sex and the City”), Dorian Missick (“Lucky Number Slevin”), Hope Davis (“About Schmidt”) and Campbell Scott (“The Secret Lives of Dentists”) star.

Jay Hernandez (“Friday Night Lights”): Carlos
Bridget Moynahan (“I, Robot”): Whitney
Hope Davis (“Proof”): Laura
Campbell Scott (“Loverboy”): Steven Casemen
Dorian Missick (“Lucky Number Slevin”): Damian
Erika Christensen (“Traffic”): Mae Anderson
EP: J.J. Abrams (“Lost,” “Alias”)
EP: Bryan Burk (“Lost,” “Alias”)
EP/Writer: Stu Zicherman (“Elektra”)
EP/Writer: Raven Metzner (“Elektra”)
Director: Rodrigo Garcia (“Six Feet Under”)
Production Company: Touchstone Television

“Traveler” (one-hour) – Jay, Tyler and Will are friends who have spent the last two years in grad school. They are about to depart on a summer trip when a simple prank to rollerblade through one of New York City's most famous museums makes Jay and Tyler prime suspects in a terrorist bombing that destroys the museum seconds later. Hopeful that Will can help clear up this misunderstanding, they learn he's been missing since the explosion and think he may be dead. They’re unable to turn to authorities when they realize they can't prove Will even exists. In every photo from the past two years, he has managed to block his face.

Who will believe them? Friends, family, lovers? The boys are pawns in a conspiracy that will take years to unravel, and the government may not have their best interests at heart. Their friendship will be tested like never before as they try to uncover the truth, while avoiding detection of not only the FBI, but everyone in America who has seen their faces on TV as suspects in the bombing.

Director David Nutter, who has defined many series including “The X-Files,” “Without a Trace” and “Supernatural,” along with the writer of “Eight Below” and the Oscar®-winning producers of “American Beauty” combine “The Fugitive” with “Enemy of the State” in a taut, tense thriller of innocents on the run. Flashing back to the prior two years to illustrate the formation of this friendship and Will's insidious behavior, this action-packed drama taps into our paranoia with pure adrenaline-fueled entertainment. Matthew Bomer (“Tru Calling”) and Logan Marshall-Green (“The O.C.”) star.

Matthew Bomer (“Tru Calling”): Jay Burchell
Logan Marshall-Green (“The O.C.”): Tyler Fog
Aaron Stanford (“X-Men 2”): Will Traveler
Viola Davis (“Law & Order: SVU”): Agent Jan “Naj” Marlow
Steven Culp (“Desperate Housewives”): Agent Fred Chambers
EP: Dan Jinks (“American Beauty”)
EP: Bruce Cohen (“American Beauty”)
Writer: David Digilio (“Eight Below”)
Production Company: Warner Bros. Television, The Jinks/Cohen Company

(Comedies listed on second posting. --Kiese)

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