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The 2004-2005 Network Television Thread


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This week, as the networks announce their Fall 2004 Schedules, I'll be adding some notes from their presentations and briefly commenting on the new shows and schedules. This can serve as a nice preview to television this fall. I'll start with NBC, who did their presentation yesterday:

This fall, NBC will be rolling out 2 new comedies and 3 new dramas, totally only 4 hours of new programming, the least amount of new programming the network has ordered in the past 5 years. However, midseason will bring an additional 7 series throughout the year, totaling the most aggressive full season ordering ever for the network.

COMEDIES

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JOEY -- The still-single Friend strikes out on his own as Emmy nominee Matt LeBlanc reprises his "Friends" role as charming Joey Tribbiani in this spinoff that continues the beloved "Friends" tradition. LeBlanc is backed by the award-winning writers and director who contributed to the unforgettable "Friends" phenomenon. Joey leaves New York for Hollywood in order to take his acting career to the next level. He also says goodbye to a time when his friends were his family and welcomes the chance to turn his family into his friends. After reuniting with his high-strung sister Gina (Drea de Matteo, "The Sopranos"), Joey moves in with Michael (Paulo Costanzo, "Road Trip"), his 20-year-old genius nephew, who unbelievably is literally a rocket scientist. However, what Joey lacks in book smarts he makes up for with people smarts - making him the best new friend his nephew could ask for. Ashley Scott ("Birds of Prey") also stars as Joey's attractive neighbor. "Joey" is produced by Warner Bros. Television. Kevin S. Bright ("Friends") returns as executive producer and director; Shana Goldberg and Scott Silveri (both "Friends") also return as executive producers and writers.

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FATHER OF THE PRIDE -- NBC teams with the creative powerhouse studio that brought the world "Shrek," along with some all-star voices, to create a computer-generated-imaging (CGI) series of the highest caliber. Viewers will journey inside the lives of a pride of white lions who perform in the world-famous Siegfried and Roy show and will also explore their lush Las Vegas habitat. The lions are led by zoo-raised Larry (John Goodman, "Roseanne") and his wife Kate (Cheryl Hines, "Curb Your Enthusiasm"), a showbiz veteran. In fact, Kate's father, Sarmoti (Emmy winner Carl Reiner, "The Dick Van Dyke Show"), is a Las Vegas legend who is used to headlining the show. However, when Sarmoti's age begins to catch up with him, he reluctantly passes the crown to Larry -- and sets the Las Vegas "neighborhood" abuzz. Other animals in the mix include a mischievous gopher named Snack (Orlando Jones, "Magnolia"), a karaoke-performing orangutan, and an easily agitated pink flamingo. Oddly enough, their world is a lot like ours - except for the whole talking animals thing. CGI versions of Siegfried & Roy (voiced by Julian Holloway, "Michael Uncle Silas," and Dave Herman, "Office Space) will be featured in the series. Danielle Harris ("Rugrats Gone Wild") and Daryl Sabara, "Spy Kids") also star. "Father of the Pride" will be the first primetime television show with feature film-quality CGI animation. Created by Jeffrey Katzenberg ("Shrek") and developed by Jonathan Groff ("Late Night with Conan O'Brien"), the series is executive-produced by Katzenberg, Groff, Jon Pollack ("Spin City," "Just Shoot Me") and Peter Mehlman ("Seinfeld"). The series is produced by DreamWorks Television and DreamWorks Animation.

DRAMAS

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MEDICAL INVESTIGATION -- Based on true accounts, these are the stories of the National Institute of Health, America's most elite unit of medical experts. But these doctors don't operate in a hospital. At a moment's notice, they're summoned anywhere in the country, authorized to take over treatment of any case. Each assignment is a life-or-death rescue against time and the leader is Stephen Connor (Neal McDonough, "Boomtown"), a doctor consumed by his job -- with a broken marriage to prove it. Equally passionate Dr. Natalie Durant (Kelli Williams, "The Practice") is the heart and soul of the team. Investigations are complicated by a harried government administrator who consistently pushes Bowman to go by the book, -- which is unlikely to happen. Completing the unit are a chief investigator Troy Winbush ("John Q."), the team's press liaison (Anna Belknap, "The Handler") and a young doctor (Christopher Gorham, "Jake 2.0") new to the team. A saltshaker, a cigarette butt, a flower petal -- anything could be the clue to crack the case. Part cop show, part medical drama - and a great hour of mystery. Michelle Ashford, Bob Cooper and Scott Vila are executive producers for this series from Paramount Network Television and NBC Universal Television. The pilot episode was written by co-executive producer Jason Horwitch and Michelle Ashford.

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HAWAII -- Hawaii can seduce just about anyone...cops and criminals alike. Murder, drug-running and organized cartels filter through the unique island culture to represent just some of the big-city casework that this big island police force confronts. Where else would cops discover a smoldering torso at the base of an active volcano? The diverse group of cops and detectives may work against a breathtaking backdrop of jungles and seascapes, but they can never take a vacation from the tangle of local and international criminals who constantly cross their paths. It's never a typical crime scene and these are not TV's typical cops - which is exactly what makes "Hawaii" so alluring. Michael Biehn ("Terminator"), Sharif Atkins (NBC's "ER"), Ivan Sergei (NBC's "Crossing Jordan"), Eric Balfour ("Six Feet Under"), Aya Sumika and Cary Tagawa star. Jeff Eastin is the creator and executive producer. Daniel Sackheim ("The Lyons Den") directs. "Hawaii" is from NBC Universal Television.

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LAX -- Television favorite Heather Locklear ("Spin City") returns to primetime -- full-time -- in this off-beat dramatic series centered in a world unto itself: a major international airport. Security breaches, tearful reunions, illegal immigrants, missing children, runaway animals, drug busts, drunken pilots -- there are countless stories to tell in "LAX." Whether it's the ongoing power struggle between the Airfield Chief (Locklear) and the Terminal Manager (Blair Underwood, "L.A. Law"), the romantic misadventures of the Airline Supervisor Tony (Paul Leyden, "As the World Turns") or the trial-by-fire of a young, naive Immigration Office clerk Nick (David Paetkau, "Final Destination 2"), viewers will be pulled into this unique world. Then there are the passengers, loading, unloading and passing through each episode. Each week will feature their compelling dramas -- from chance encounters between strangers to surprise reunions of long-lost lovers to - "the sky's the limit." Wendy Hoopes ("Daria"), Chad Todhunter ("Party of Five") and Frank John Hughes ("Band of Brothers") also star. "LAX" is from NBC Universal Television. Mark Gordon and writer Nick Thiel are the executive producers. Joe and Anthony Russo ("Lucky") directed the pilot.

MIDSEASON SHOWS

LAW & ORDER: TRIAL BY JURY -- The television benchmark of crime and justice arrives with the fourth edition of the history-making phenomenon. In many respects, "Law & Order: Trial by Jury" represents the pinnacle of executive producer Dick Wolf's remarkable franchise: it's courtroom justice - pure, but not so simple. The ripped-from-the-headlines stories will be entirely court-based, with a feel of contemporary "Perry Mason" mystery offering trademark twisting toward resolution. The complicated cases will begin with a criminal arraignment and will take viewers through all the twists and turns of a trial. Audiences will see the judges, prosecutors, public defenders and other legal players like never before - inside their chambers and offices, inside their minds and machinations. Stars from other "Law & Order" series may also appear, though the real star will be the stories as they unfold, weaving a fascinating tale of legal drama as only "Law & Order" can. This series is from Wolf Films and NBC Universal Television.

CRAZY FOR YOU -- Welcome to the funny and highly unusual courtship of New Yorkers Nate (Josh Cooke, "Century City") and Marni (Emmy winner Jennifer Finnigan, NBC's "Crossing Jordan"). On the surface, they couldn't appear more different; Nate's the heir apparent to a long line of geniuses whose mental ability has caused them all to go insane. Then there's Marni, an occupational therapist and perpetual optimist, who ponders whether to take one more dip in the city's dating pool. Somehow, they meet and ironically find a connection that could become love. Although he's negative to a fault, she's likewise positive to a fault, so these total opposites may just be made for each other. Now they just have to figure that out if they don't get in the way first. Darius McCrary ("Kingpin"), Tammy Lynn Michaels ("The L Word") and Tom Poston ("Newhart") also star. Eileen Heisler and DeAnn Heline ("Three Sisters") wrote the pilot and serve as executive producers. Gary Halvorson (NBC's "Friends," "Everybody Loves Raymond") directs the pilot for this series from NBC Universal Television.

THE MEN'S ROOM -- Along a sunlit stretch of Southern California beachfront paradise co-exist the not-always-idyllic lives of next-door neighbors Charlie (Scott Cohen, "The Practice"), Bob (John Cho, "American Pie") and Michael (Eric Lively, "Uprising"). Charlie -- 42 and married for 20 years -- wonders if life, love and those gorgeous, young roller-blading babes are passing him by. At the other end of the generational spectrum, Michael is 22 going on 50-something, trying to be less "responsible" and a lot more "fun." Both men have no clue how to grasp the happiness that eludes them, so they turn to Bob, a 32-year-old budding male guru, in this comedy about guys helping guys be better guys. Suzanne Cryer ("Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place") and Shelly Cole ("Prey for Rock") also star. "The Men's Room" is produced by NBC Universal Television. Danny Zucker is the executive producer and writer. Marc Cendrowksi is the director of the pilot.

MEDIUM - In this drama, Allison Dubois (Patricia Arquette, "Stigmata," "Flirting with Disaster") sees dead people - and in fact, she hears them constantly too. No, she's not crazy, although her husband Joe (Jake Weber, "U-571"), a rocket scientist, thought that was a possibility at first. So did Allison herself, until she realized that her "gift" could not only change fate -- but provide justice for those who no longer had a voice. Don't think Allison is totally comfortable with all of this -- in fact, she's as creeped out as everyone else. Imagine a dead father-in-law popping up unexpectedly at the foot of someone's bed. Plus, there are the jarring slices of disturbing crime scenes that pepper Allison's thoughts, added to her ability to sometimes know exactly what those around her (dead or alive) are thinking. Luckily, Allison has a great sense of humor along with her sixth sense. Even Joe, whose whole career is based on logic and fact, has become a bemused believer. The real challenge is convincing law enforcement agencies around the country that Allison is the real deal. "Medium" is from Picturemaker Productions and Grammnet Productions in association with Paramount Network Television. Glenn Gordon Caron ("Moonlighting") and Kelsey Grammer ("Frasier") are executive producers.

REVELATIONS -- Bill Pullman ("Independence Day") stars as a scientist faced with the toughest personal, professional and philosophical challenges of his life. Dr. Richard Massey is searching for reasonable explanations -- to explain signs that seem to indicate the apocalyptic end as foretold in Scriptures is in motion. To save humanity, Massey will have to let go of scientific facts and embrace faith. His first step in his quest to conquer the impending evil is to align himself with a nun (Natascha McElhone, "Solaris") whose devout beliefs are unshakeable. Despite many obstacles, including their own fears and doubts, the two remain determined to prove that Man can regain control of fate. Time is literally running out in their thrilling, fast-paced race around the globe to thwart Armageddon -- and restore hope. Michael Massee ("Se7en"), newcomers Chelsea and Britney Coyle and Tobin Bell ("The Road to El Dorado") also star. "Revelations" is a production of Pariah. Vivian Cannon and Jessika Borsiczky will oversee the project for Pariah. "Revelations" is directed by David Semel (NBC's "American Dreams").

THE OFFICE -- Based on the popular British series of the same name, this faster-paced American version follows the daily interactions of a group of idiosyncratic office employees via a documentary film crew's cameras. Regional manager Michael (Steve Carell, "Bruce Almighty") thinks he's the coolest, funniest, best boss ever - which, of course, makes him the uncoolest, most obnoxious and annoying boss as far as his staff is concerned. His co-worker Jim (John Krasinski, "Kinsey") lusts after engaged receptionist Pam (Jenna Fischer, "Miss Match") when he's not sabotaging his "cube-mate" -- the know-it-all Dwight (Rainn Wilson, "Six Feet Under"). Meanwhile, the entire office is constantly worried about the impending staff cuts. Will there be layoffs? Will there be office romance? Will Michael ever shut up? If it's truly a typical office, then the answers are "maybe," "yes," and "absolutely not." B.J. Novak ("Raising Dad") also stars. Ben Silverman, Greg Daniels, Howard Kelin, Golden Globe winner Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant are the executive producers. Ken Kwapis executive-produced and directed the pilot. The series is produced by Reveille in association with NBC Universal Television.

THE CONTENDER - "The Contender" will follow 16 aspiring boxers from training camp through an evolving series of ring challenges and boxing matches over 16 episodes - with the final victor claiming a million dollar prize. The driving force behind the series will be the pursuit of the American dream and the natural trials, tribulations and heartbreak inherent in that quest combined with the drama and tension of the sweet science. The canvas of the show is much broader than boxing - it will give viewers a first hand look into the real life hopes, triumphs and defeats of the contestants. "The Contender" will be a joint production of Mark Burnett Productions, DreamWorks Television and Rogue Marble. Stallone, Burnett and Katzenberg are the executive producers.

FOR LOVE OR MONEY 4 - "For Love or Money 4" - the newest version of last summer's hottest unscripted drama -- returns for a fourth edition. Jordan Murphy ("Boston Public") returns as host of the series, guiding the 16 beautiful female contestants through the numerous twists and turns as they try to win the heart of a handsome and charming bachelor. The upcoming season of "For Love or Money" breaks new ground by introducing an all-new game and a whole new twist. This summer, they women are forced to answer the question "What is the price of love?," since they are each playing for an undisclosed amount between $1 and $1 million. Although the women do not know the value of their checks, their handsome suitor will, leading them all back to the ultimate question . . . who is in it for love and who is in it for money? "For Love or Money" is a production of Nash Entertainment & 3 Ball Productions. Bruce Nash (NBC's "Who Wants to Marry My Dad?," "Mr. Personality") is the executive producer, along with J.D. Roth ("Endurance," "Moolah Beach"), Todd Nelson ("Endurance," "Moolah Beach") and John Foy ("The Martin Short Show").

AVERAGE JOE - The next installment of the NBC smash series "Average Joe" that posed the challenge: Can a drop-dead gorgeous woman actually fall for an ordinary-looking guy? "Average Joe" is from NBC Universal Television; the executive producers are Stuart Krasnow ("Average Joe," "Weakest Link") and Andrew Glassman ("Average Joe").

Finally, the fall schedule:

MONDAY

8-9 p.m. "Fear Factor"

9-10 p.m. "Las Vegas"

10-11 p.m. "LAX"

TUESDAY

8-9:00 p.m. "Average Joe"/"THE CONTENDER"

9:00-9:30 p.m. "FATHER OF THE PRIDE"

9:30-10 p.m. "Scrubs"

10-11 p.m. "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit"

WEDNESDAY

8-9 p.m. "HAWAII"

9-10 p.m. "The West Wing"/"REVELATIONS"

10-11 p.m. "Law & Order"

THURSDAY

8-8:30 p.m. "JOEY"

8:30-9 p.m. "Will & Grace"

9-10 p.m. "The Apprentice 2"

10-11 p.m. "ER"

FRIDAY

8-9 p.m. "Dateline NBC"

9-10 p.m. "Third Watch" - new time

10-11 p.m. "MEDICAL INVESTIGATION"

SATURDAY

8-11 p.m. "NBC Saturday Night Movie"

SUNDAY

7-8 p.m. "Dateline NBC"

8-9 p.m. "American Dreams"

9-10 p.m. "Law & Order: Criminal Intent"

10-11 p.m. "Crossing Jordan"

A few other notes:

- NBC's fall schedule will roll out in late August after the Summer Olympics.

- The Bill Pullman starring Revelations is actually an 8 part miniseries.

My take on the whole thing: Well, NBC's certainly started the rebuilding process on Tuesday nights with Average Joe/The Contender and Father of the Pride building to Scrubs. It will be interesting to see Scrubs given the reigns to a night for once, because it seems obvious that Scrubs will be the most watched program of the evening of the promote it correctly. As for the pilots being ordered, I have little to no interest in any of them apart from The Men's Room (with the MILF guy from American Pie!) and the American version of The Office (and that interest draws from my expecting to see it crash and burn). Debuting the season in August is smart since it will give them the leg up on Thursdays on Survivor, but I have a feeling that Survivor will debut on top in September and stay that way through its entire 9th season. Things weren't to easy for NBC last year, and it's gonna get worse in 04/05.

Credit to most of this: NBCMV.com

Discuss, and I'll get to work on ABC's upfront, which is today (although how many people actually watch NBC?).

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I think the Office will be a flop in America. Americans dont have our ense of humour and wont find it funny at all. Plus, you cant have the Office without Ricky Gervais

It's not the audience's fault that Coupling flopped or that the American Office will flop. If you'd seen the American version of Coupling I doubt you'd have found it funny either. Americans have a great sense of humour. British TV execs love American TV so much that they adapted Friends into their own show, and named it Coupling.

One more point to add about NBC, they've renewed Scrubs through the 05-06 season. Is NBC actually showing some faith in a show not named Friends or Joey?

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I heard about The WB's new programming. Apparently, their going to try to stick two shows starring Jeff Foxworthy and Drew Carey before Smallville. Idiots.

Edited by TheROC-Revolt
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Guest Xecution

I don't know about anyone else but did anyone else think Hawaii 5-0 2004 when they saw the pic and description for Hawaii?

I never watched it but it just came into my mind.

Some of this stuff doesn't really work for me. Joey might be entertaining because I've enjoyed Matt LeBlanc but I've never watched Friends so I don't know about that one.

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I don't know about anyone else but did anyone else think Hawaii 5-0 2004 when they saw the pic and description for Hawaii?

I never watched it but it just came into my mind.

Some of this stuff doesn't really work for me. Joey might be entertaining because I've enjoyed Matt LeBlanc but I've never watched Friends so I don't know about that one.

If Hawaii is like Hawaii 5-0 then the only way it can suceed is if they use the Hawaii 5-0 theme song!

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Alright I just can't write up anything for ABC or The WB, due to my giving less than 1/100th of a fuck. Here are the links to the full up front presentations, and I'll get CBS and FOX when they come out:

ABC

The WB

A few notes:

- What the fuck is ABC doing? If they were trying to shake things up and start a new, they failed miserably. This network has become the brunt of every other networks jokes. Conan O'Brien, who hosted NBC's up fronts, quipped that NBC's new slogan was now "NBC... at least we're not ABC". He's absolutely right. The comedies and dramas being added are the same unoriginal garbage that they've been pumping out for years. As for their reality tv, when is ABC going to realise that reality series' that don't have an executive producer named Fuller or Burnett will never succeed? Either shit (get Burnett) or get off the pot, and try and find something new to save this miserable failure.

- As for The WB, getting McG on board is probably a good idea ratings wise, but almost everything else they've picked up is a collosal mistake. There is nothing hot about Drew Carrey (he's getting a new improv comedy series, only a few seasons after he lost his last one due to shitty ratings), and everyone of Jeff Foxworthy's TV endeavors have failed miserably. They had the right idea getting Mark Burnett on board for a series, except for the fact that it's a scripted comedy, something Burnett has no experience in, unless you believe the theories against Survivor's legitimacy. Jack and Bobby has some potential, but on The WB how much attention is it really going to get? I didn't think they had much of a day either, and it looks like NBC's upfronts remain the best through two days.

- One more completely unrelated note about NBC, it has decided to renew Scrubs through not only next season, but the 05-06 season as well. Good to see Jeff Zucker finally having some faith.

Tommorow is CBS, with UPN and FOX coming on Thursday.

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Fox has shuffled around two of their top shows now. Season four of 24 will return in October, but on a Monday. And The O.C. will be on Thursdays.

I hate the idea of 24 on Mondays. Now I'll need to tape it. The O.C. will be on when Smackdown is on, so that isn't a big deal. But I'd rather watch Raw live than tape. Just my preference.

24 will be on at 9, still, and The O.C. will be on at 8 leading into Tru Calling at 9.

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Guest Ringmaster

Let's not forget that 24 returns in January for some odd reason. What is it with networks making their shows come back in January?

Edit: The plan for 24 is to have a 2 hour premiere, a 2 hour finale, and a 2 hour "special event episode" in the middle of season. Along with no breaks, this should help the season finish by May.

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FOX

FOX BROADCASTING COMPANY 2004-2005 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE

(All times PM ET/PT)

JUNE TO OCTOBER 2004

MONDAY

8:00-9:00 NORTH SHORE (Premieres June 14)

9:00-10:00 THE CASINO (Premieres June 14)

TUESDAY

8:00-8:30 THE BERNIE MAC SHOW

8:30-9:00 METHOD & RED (Encores, starting June 22)

9:00-10:00 THE JURY (Premieres June 8 with back-to-back episodes)

WEDNESDAY

8:00-8:30 THAT '70s SHOW

8:30-9:00 QUINTUPLETS (Premieres June 16)

9:00-9:30 THE SIMPLE LIFE 2: ROAD TRIP (Premieres June 16)

9:30-10:00 METHOD & RED (Premieres June 16)

THURSDAY

8:00-9:00 NORTH SHORE (Encores, starting June 17)

9:00-10:00 TRU CALLING

FRIDAY

8:00-8:30 TOTALLY OUTRAGEOUS BEHAVIOR

8:30-9:00 WORLD'S CRAZIEST VIDEOS

9:00-10:00 THE JURY (Encores, starting June 11)

SATURDAY

8:00-8:30 COPS

8:30-9:00 COPS

9:00-10:00 AMERICA'S MOST WANTED

11:00-Midnight MADtv

SUNDAY

7:00-7:30 OLIVER BEENE (Starting June 6)

7:30-8:00 KING OF THE HILL

8:00-8:30 THE SIMPSONS

8:30-9:00 ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT

9:00-9:30 MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE

9:30-10:00 QUINTUPLETS (Encores, starting June 20)

NOVEMBER 2004 TO JANUARY 2005

MONDAY

8:00-9:00 NORTH SHORE

9:00-10:00 THE SWAN 2

TUESDAY

8:00-9:00 THE BILLIONAIRE: BRANSON'S QUEST FOR THE BEST

9:00-10:00 HOUSE

WEDNESDAY

8:00-8:30 THAT '70s SHOW

8:30-9:00 QUINTUPLETS

9:00-9:30 THE BERNIE MAC SHOW

9:30-10:00 METHOD & RED

THURSDAY

8:00-9:00 THE O.C.

9:00-10:00 TRU CALLING

FRIDAY

8:00-9:00 THE NEXT GREAT CHAMP

9:00-10:00 THE JURY

SATURDAY

8:00-8:30 COPS

8:30-9:00 COPS

9:00-10:00 AMERICA'S MOST WANTED

11:00-Midnight MADtv

SUNDAY

7:00-7:30 KING OF THE HILL

7:30-8:00 MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE

8:00-8:30 THE SIMPSONS

8:30-9:00 ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT

9:00-10:00 THE PARTNER

JANUARY TO JUNE 2005

MONDAY

8:00-9:00 ATHENS

9:00-10:00 24

TUESDAY

8:00--9:00 AMERICAN IDOL

9:00-10:00 HOUSE

WEDNESDAY

8:00-8:30 THAT '70s SHOW

8:30-9:00 RELATED BY FAMILY

9:00-9:30 AMERICAN IDOL

9:30-10:00 THE BERNIE MAC SHOW

THURSDAY

8:00-9:00 THE O.C.

9:00-10:00 TRU CALLING

FRIDAY

8:00-9:00 THE INSIDE

9:00-10:00 JONNY ZERO

SATURDAY

8:00-8:30 COPS

8:30-9:00 COPS

9:00-10:00 AMERICA'S MOST WANTED

11:00-Midnight MADtv

SUNDAY

7:00-7:30 KELSEY GRAMMER PRESENTS: THE SKETCH SHOW

7:30-8:00 KING OF THE HILL

8:00-8:30 THE SIMPSONS

8:30-9:00 MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE

9:00-9:30 ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT

9:30-10:00 AMERICAN DAD

The new dramas launching in June 2004 are:

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THE JURY (June 8): Each week, 12 ordinary people will piece together a puzzle and then make the most important decision of someone else's life. Academy Award-winning director BARRY LEVINSON ("Rain Man," "The Natural," "Diner"), Emmy Award-winning writer TOM FONTANA ("Oz," "Homicide: Life on the Street"), Peabody Award-winning writer JAMES YOSHIMURA ("Homicide: Life on the Street") and JIM FINNERTY ("Oz") team up on this intense new courtroom drama. Set in New York City, the series brings the viewer into the jury room to watch the deliberators try to answer the many questions posed during a trial. As facts are exposed through flashbacks of testimony and crime footage, viewers will form their own opinions about the guilt or innocence of the defendant. Following each verdict, a final flashback will let viewers see the crime as it actually happened and reveal whether or not the jury made the right decision.

PRODUCTION COMPANY: 20th Century Fox Television

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Tom Fontana, James Yoshimura, Barry Levinson, Jim Finnerty

WRITERS: Tom Fontana, James Yoshimura

DIRECTOR: Barry Levinson

CAST: Billy Burke as John Ranguso, Shalom Harlow as Melissa Greenfield Anna Friel as Megan Delaney,Jeff Hephner, as Keenan O'Brien, Cote de Pablo as Maugerite Cisneros, Adam Busch as Steve Dixon, Barry Levinson as Judge Hawthorne, Patrice Oneal as Adam Walker

ns28cast_432.jpg

NORTH SHORE (June 14): NORTH SHORE is a lush drama that captures the passion, intrigue and heart of Hawaii. This 20-something ensemble series is set at the Grand Waimea, a luxury hotel, where JASON MATTHEWS (KRISTOFFER POLAHA, "America's Prince: The John F. Kennedy Jr. Story") is the popular general manager and his ex-girlfriend NICOLE (BROOKE BURNS, "Shallow Hal," "Dog Eat Dog") is the newly hired head of guest relations, having left her father's hotel empire to make her own way in the business ? and in life. Working side by side causes much tension between them, but their romantic relationship may be far from over. Surrounding them in paradise is the rest of the hotel staff, who have dramatic lives of their own. NORTH SHORE delves into relationships among the recurring characters, with the added intrigue of stories about the hotel's affluent and powerful guests.

PRODUCTION COMPANY: 20th Century Fox Television

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Kevin Falls, Peyton Reed, Chris Brancato & Bert Salke

WRITER: Peter Elkoff

DIRECTOR: Michael Dinner

CAST: Kristoffer Polaha as Jason, Brooke Burns as Nicole, James Remar as Vincent, Corey Sevier as Gabriel, Nikki Deloach as MJ, Jason Momoa as Frankie, Jay Kenneth Johnson as Christopher

The two comedies that will premiere in June are:

castyellow1_432.jpg

QUINTUPLETS (June 16): The QUINTUPLETS were adorable when they were first born, but now their overtaxed parents ? BOB (ANDY RICHTER, "Andy Richter Controls the Universe") and CAROL (REBECCA CRESKOFF, "Greetings from Tucson") ? have their hands full with five 15-year-olds in the house. PENNY (APRIL MATSON, "American Dreams") is awkward and unpopular at school, while her beautiful sister PAIGE (SARAH WRIGHT, "Enchanted") has enough self-esteem for both of them. Their brother PARKER (JAKE McDORMAN, "Run of the House") has the looks and gets the girls, and he's embarrassed at every turn by the oddball PEARCE (JOHNNY LEWIS, "Undressed") and the short, girl-crazy PATTON (RYAN PINKSTON, "Punk'd," "Bad Santa"). MARK REISMAN ("Frasier") has created an ensemble comedy about a family pushed to its limits and beyond.

PRODUCTION COMPANY: 20th Century Fox Television and Imagine Television

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: David Nevins, Mark Reisman

WRITER: Mark Reisman

DIRECTOR: Andy Cadiff

CAST: Andy Richter as Bob, Rebecca Creskoff as Carol, April Matson as Penny, Ryan Pinkston as Patton, Johnny Lewis as Pearce, Jake McDorman as Parker, Sarah Wright as Paige

finalcastgolfcart_432.jpg

METHOD & RED (June 16): Popular hip-hop stars METHOD MAN and REDMAN portray fictionalized versions of their real-life selves in this new comedy, in which the duo moves into New Jersey's posh Nottingshire Estates to provide Meth's feisty, old-school mother DOROTHEA (ANNA MARIA HORSFORD, "Minority Report") with the ultimate in luxury and comfort. Unfortunately, their un-hip neighbors don't take kindly to Method & Red's partying ways. With Dorothea keeping them in line, METHOD & RED change tactics ? using spirit, kindness and even fruit cake to ingratiate themselves with their new neighbors in Nottingham Estates.

PRODUCTION COMPANY: Regency Television and 20th Century Fox Television

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Kell Cahoon, Will Gluck, Method Man

WRITERS: Kell Cahoon, Will Gluck

DIRECTOR: Jeff Melman

CAST: Method Man as himself, Redman as himself, Anna Maria Horsford as Dorothea, Beth Littleford as Nancy, David Henrie as Skyler, Peter Jacobson as Bill, Lahmard Tate as Lil' Bit

Two alternative series will complete the June premieres:

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THE CASINO (June 14): A new unscripted series created and executive-produced by reality titan MARK BURNETT ("The Apprentice," "Survivor"), THE CASINO will provide an extraordinary 24/7, behind the-scenes look at the real-life dramas unfolding at the Golden Nugget Las Vegas Hotel and Casino as its new owners, TIM POSTER and TOM BREITLING, attempt to bring back the glory of the hotel's "Rat Pack" heyday. Conceived by Burnett and production partner CONRAD RIGGS ("The Apprentice," "Survivor"), THE CASINO will go beyond the challenges facing Poster and Breitling to explore the personal dramas unfolding among the guests and some of the 3,000 employees inside this high-stakes enterprise ? from cocktail waitresses, to pit bosses, to security, management and entertainers.

PRODUCTION COMPANY: Mark Burnett Productions

CREATOR AND EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Mark Burnett

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Rob Lieberman, Trent Othick

CO-EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Conrad Riggs, Jamie Bruce

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THE SIMPLE LIFE 2: ROAD TRIP (June 16): THE SIMPLE LIFE 2 follows "celebutantes" and best friends PARIS HILTON and NICOLE RICHIE as they pack up their Louis Vuitton bags ? again. Only this time, it's for the ultimate cross-country road trip, a wild ride full of new jobs, host families and small towns all the way from Miami to Beverly Hills. Armed with a road map and their trendy dogs Tinkerbell and Honey Child ? but no cell phones, cash or credit cards ? these hilarious heiresses discover that life on the open road can sometimes drive you crazy. As the girls go from life in the fast lane to life in the carpool lane, the question still remains: can they survive THE SIMPLE LIFE 2: ROAD TRIP ? and can America survive them?

PRODUCTION COMPANY: 20th Century Fox Television in association with Bunim-Murray Productions

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Jonathan Murray

CO-EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Kevin Lee

CAST: Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie, Tinkerbell, Honey Child

Another new alternative series will debut at the end of August:

THE COMPLEX: MALIBU: For couples with a flair for style, an eye for detail and the know-how to achieve the best in home improvement, FOX and FremantleMedia are offering a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a fabulous interior design while simultaneously indulging their competitive instincts. THE COMPLEX: MALIBU will move real-life couples into a condominium building in Southern California's toniest beach community and give them a budget to renovate their unit by a specified date. This unscripted series will capture the mounting excitement and drama as the couples push themselves to the limit while their deadline looms. Once the renovations are complete, the condos will be sold at public auction and the couple whose unit nets the biggest profit will receive a spectacular grand prize. The series has been airing as "The Block" in Australia, where it is that country's most successful television series ever.

PRODUCTION COMPANY: Kickoff Productions, Inc. in association with FremantleMedia North America, Inc.

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Ted Haimes

One new drama will premiere on FOX in November:

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HOUSE: From Executive Producer PAUL ATTANASIO, the creator of "Homicide: Life on the Street", along with KATIE JACOBS and DAVID SHORE, comes a new take on mystery, where the villain is a medical malady and the hero is a cantankerous doctor who trusts no one, least of all his patients. DR. GREG HOUSE (HUGH LAURIE, "Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows") is irreverent, controversial, devoid of bedside manner and wouldn't even talk to his patients if he could get away with it, but he is brilliant diagnostician and only the most dire cases come his way. House and his hand-picked team of experts will do whatever it takes ? legal or not ? to make the diagnoses that will solve these medical mysteries and save lives.

PRODUCTION COMPANY: Universal Television

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Paul Attanasio, Katie Jacobs, David Shore

WRITER: David Shore

DIRECTOR: Bryan Singer

CAST: Hugh Laurie as Dr. Greg House, Lisa Edelstein as Lisa Cuddy, Robert Sean Leonard as Wilson, Jennifer Morrison as Cameron, Omar Epps as Foreman, Jesse Spencer as Chase

Three alternative series also will premiere in November:

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THE BILLIONAIRE: BRANSON'S QUEST FOR THE BEST (working title): SIR RICHARD BRANSON, the colorful founder and Chairman of the Virgin Group of Companies, teams with award-winning Bunim-Murray Productions ("The Simple Life," "Real World") to lead a group of young entrepreneurs on an epic journey around the world, testing their mettle by having them relive some of his own colorful adventures. If they make decisions that impress Branson, they will continue. But each week, one candidate will be left behind on the tarmac as the rest of the group jets off to the next adventure.

PRODUCTION COMPANY: Bunim-Murray Productions

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Jonathan Murray, Kevin Lee, Richard Branson, Lori Levin-Hyams, Laura Fuest, Tod Dahlke

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THE NEXT GREAT CHAMP (working title): Six-time World Champion OSCAR DE LA HOYA and television powerhouse Endemol USA have teamed to discover young, raw boxers with the potential to become a top prizefighter. The hopefuls will push themselves to the limit as they train and slug it out in hopes of achieving every fighter's ultimate dream ? a possible shot at a titleholder and a professional contract with De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions. This unscripted series will feature approximately one dozen up-and-coming fighters from across the country, all getting their shot to become THE NEXT GREAT CHAMP. They'll be joined by someone from their real life ? a friend, co-worker, family member or loved one. The personal relationship between the fighter and friend will add tension, drama and a rare opportunity for viewers to see pugilism through the eyes of a non-boxer.

PRODUCTION COMPANY: Endemol USA

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Paul Buccieri, Joe Livecchi

THE PARTNER (working title): A team of "book smart" Ivy League graduates will compete against a team of "street smart" lawyers from less prestigious schools until one of them wins a job in a major law firm. Each week, the dueling lawyers will serve as prosecutors or defenders in mock trials based on highly charged cases. A jury of lay people ? selected by the contestants ? will determine the winner of each trial. Then the losers go on trial ? defending their performance before a celebrity "judge," who will decide which individual will be thrown out of court. The last two lawyers standing will go head-to-head to argue a final blockbuster case. With every episode, viewers will be drawn into two dramas ? the compelling legal drama of that week's trial, and the suspense of who will ultimately become THE PARTNER.

PRODUCTION COMPANY: Rocket Science Laboratories

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Chris Cowan and Jean Michel Michenaud

January will see the premieres of three new drama series on FOX:

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ATHENS (working title): JOSH SCHWARTZ, creator of "The O.C.," turns his attention to the dramas that arise between characters who are experiencing life as young adults. This series will explore the intertwined lives and loves of the fictional New England community of Athens, home to a prestigious university that acts as a dividing line between the rich outsiders who study and teach there, and the local townies who serve that population. Viewers will enter this world through the friendship of JED HALL, a young English professor, and ETHAN FROST, an 18-year-old freshman whose arrival changes the dynamics for everyone in Athens. Like Ryan and Seth on "The O.C.," Jed and Ethan will become unlikely partners in an alliance that will forever change them and the people of this town.

PRODUCTION COMPANY: Warner Bros. Television in association with Wonderland Sound and Vision

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Josh Schwartz, Bob DeLaurentis, McG, Stephanie Savage

WRITER: Josh Schwartz

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THE INSIDE (working title): At first glance, DANNY ROBERTS (RACHEL NICHOLS, "Dumb & Dumberer") seems to be the quintessential American teenager, dating the quarterback at a suburban high school. Only a few know her secret: Danny is not really a high school student, but a 22-year-old federal agent working undercover. Helping Danny ? who is actually Agent ELIZABETH WORTH ? maintain her cover is Agent SEAN ECKHARDT (PETER FACINELLI, "Fastlane"). In the pilot episode, Danny/Elizabeth's drug investigation is sidetracked when her high school "boyfriend" is murdered. She must confront the pressures of getting personally involved in the lives of her classmates, while working to solve the murder and put the drug investigation back on track ? all without blowing her cover. Over the course of the series, Danny's assignments will vary, but she always faces the unique challenges of going undercover to solve crimes.

PRODUCTION COMPANY: 20th Century Fox Television and Imagine Television

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Kathryn Bigelow, Todd A. Kessler, Brian Grazer, David Nevins, Ron Howard

WRITERS: Todd A. Kessler, Glenn Kessler

DIRECTOR: Kathryn Bigelow

CAST: Rachel Nichols as Danny/Elizabeth, Peter Facinelli as Eckhardt, Willa Holland as Steffi

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JONNY ZERO (working title): In this new drama from JOHN WELLS ("The West Wing," "ER"), FRANKY G ("The Italian Job," "Manito") stars as JONNY, freshly released from prison for drug possession and now caught between his need to redeem himself in the eyes of his family, and the temptations and influences of his own dark past. Jonny goes back to work for his former boss, shady club owner JOSEPH GARRET (RITCHIE COSTER, "Traffic: The Miniseries") ? but this time he uses his criminal knowledge and his entrée into New York's club scene to solve crimes. Meanwhile, the FBI is trying to force him to go undercover and bust his old friends in the underworld.

PRODUCTION COMPANY: Warner Bros. Television in association with John Wells Productions

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: John Wells, Llewellyn Wells, R. Scott Gemmill

WRITER: R. Scott Gemmill

DIRECTOR: Mimi Leder

CAST: Franky G as Jonny, GQ as Random, Brennan Hesser as Velvet, Ritchie Coster as Garret, Chris Bauer as Stringer Tawny Cypress as Nina, Sean Moran as Vincent

Three new comedies will join the FOX schedule in January:

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RELATED BY FAMILY: This series from VICTOR FRESCO centers on several teen characters who work and hang out at the mall food court. There is 18-year-old, optimistic-but-not-ambitious LAZ (ZACHARY KNIGHTON, "The Prince and Me"); his 16-year-old angst-ridden and angry stepsister, MOLLY (SAIGE THOMPSON, "10-8: Officers on Duty"); Laz's best friend FRED (CHARLIE FINN, "Super Troopers"); and Laz's new girlfriend LILY (RACHELLE LEFEVRE, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"). Home base for Laz and Molly is a blended family formed by the marriage of Laz's dad, RICK (MATTHEW GLAVE, "Corky Romano," "The Wedding Singer"), and Molly's mom, MICHELLE (AMY YASBECK, "The Mask"). Rick and Molly love all of their children, but they are particularly obsessed with the only product of their union together: the sweet, perfect and wise 8-year-old GUS (KURT DOSS).

PRODUCTION COMPANY: Paramount Television

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER/WRITER: Victor Fresco

DIRECTOR: Andy Ackerman

CAST: Zachary Knighton as Laz, Saige Thompson as Molly, Matthew Glave as Rick, Amy Yasbeck as Michelle, Kurt Doss as Gus, Charlie Finn as Fred, Rachelle Lefevre as Lily

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KELSEY GRAMMER PRESENTS: THE SKETCH SHOW: Following its critically and commercially successful second year in the UK, THE SKETCH SHOW is coming to FOX, imported by KELSEY GRAMMER's Grammnet Productions along with DAN PATTERSON ("Whose Line is it Anyway") and the original producers of the award-winning UK series, Avalon Television Ltd. ("Jerry Springer ? The Opera"). Reminiscent of "Laugh In," the series features quick-fire puns, gags and fast-paced sketches, averaging a remarkable 30 vignettes per half-hour. RICHARD BODEN ("Blackadder," "Time Gentlemen Please"), director of the first two seasons in the UK, returns to direct the American cast, who will be joined by original UK cast member LEE MACK ("Dick Whittington"). THE SKETCH SHOW will be shot both in London and Los Angeles.

PRODUCTION COMPANY: Grammnet Productions and Avalon Television Ltd.

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Kelsey Grammer, Steve Stark, Jon Thoday, Dan Patterson

WRITER: Dan Patterson

DIRECTOR: Richard Boden

CAST: Kelsey Grammer as himself, Kaitlin Olson, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Lee Mack, Paul F. Thompkins, Malcolm Barrett

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AMERICAN DAD, from "Family Guy" creator SETH MacFARLANE, is the animated story of STAN SMITH (MacFARLANE), who works for the CIA and is constantly on the alert for terrorist activity. Stan will go to extremes to protect his beloved America from harm ? as evidenced by the terror-alert color code on his fridge, and his frequent knee-jerk reaction of shooting holes in the toaster whenever the toast pops up. In addition to Stan's wife and teenage children, the Smith household has two rather unconventional members. There's ROGER (MacFARLANE), the sarcastic space alien Stan rescued from Area 51 who deeply resents the fact that he's not allowed to leave the house, and KLAUS (DEE BRADLEY BAKER, "Stripperella," "Johnny Bravo"), a lascivious, German-speaking goldfish ? the result of a CIA experiment gone seriously wrong.

PRODUCTION COMPANY: 20th Century Fox Television

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS/WRITERS: Seth MacFarlane, Mike Barker, Matt Weitzman

VOICE CAST: Seth MacFarlane as Stan, Roger; Wendy Schaal as Francine; Rachael MacFarlane as Hayley; Ricky Blitt as Steve; Dee Bradley Baker as Klaus

Another FOX comedy will return to the schedule in Summer 2005:

FAMILY GUY: Creator/Executive Producer SETH MacFARLANE serves up a fourth season of the animated comedy FAMILY GUY, fresh off the success of its top-selling DVDs. The subversive series presents the everyday trials and tribulations of family life, but with the distinctive twist and irreverent slant that only animation can provide. PETER GRIFFIN (MacFARLANE) is the father of this not-quite-so-average family of middle-class New Englanders. LOIS (ALEX BORSTEIN) is Peter's loving wife, who struggles to maintain a modicum of normalcy in their home life. Rounding out the Griffin household are their children: 16-year-old, angst-ridden MEG (MILA KUNIS); 13-year-old sweet-natured CHRIS (SETH GREEN); and 1-year-old STEWIE (MacFARLANE), a diabolically clever baby who's already set on conquering the world. And then there's BRIAN (MacFARLANE), the brainiest of the bunch, who also happens to be the family dog.

PRODUCTION COMPANY: 20th Century Fox Television

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Seth MacFarlane

VOICE CAST: Seth MacFarlane as Peter, Stewie, Brian; Alex Borstein as Lois; Seth Green as Chris; Mila Kunis as Meg

I know that their investment in The O.C. has paid off in spades, but I highly doubt moving it to Thursday will make it much of a force on the night. Tru Calling and The OC will draw similar audiences, but in case you haven't noticed Tru barely draws anything. Hopefully some superb writing can make it a ratings player, but given the choice between The O.C. and Survivor: Vanuatu, I'm going to be missing a lot of OC episodes. I must commend FOX on the other hand for making the effort to further extend this little year long schedule of theirs.

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North Shore sounds like Las Vegas set in Hawaii.

As long as The Sketch Show is like the UK version, it won't flop (well, except for the terrible timeslot it is in).

FOX has it's real comedy stronghold on Sunday nights... couldn't really think of a better time for it.

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FOX has it's real comedy stronghold on Sunday nights... couldn't really think of a better time for it.

That may be the case, but won't it be pre-empted or joined in progress half the time due to NFL overrun?

One other thing about The Complex (aka The Block). Series two of this just started in Australia, and is being beaten by repeats of nature documentaries! (and American Idol, but just). The network airing the series has went into damage control, and the series is now airing twice a week. Mind you, this is about the fifth or sixth reality show to flop this year.

Edited by Psicosis
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That may be the case, but won't it be pre-empted or joined in progress half the time due to NFL overrun?

Depending on when in January they choose to premiere it, they could avoid NFL interruption completely. If I remember correctly FOX doesn't cover Conferences finals or the SuperBowl, so if they do it in mid to late January they can avoid any interuption. What this does is give FOX an entire three hour block of new programing, something I don't believe they've ever had before.

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