ABC slots ‘Birdland’

ABC has confirmed a 10 p.m. Wednesday time period, as expected (Daily Variety , Dec. 3), for the Columbia Pictures TV drama “Birdland,” beginning Jan. 5.

The show, which stars Brian Dennehy as a psychiatrist, supplants another Columbia hour, “Moon Over Miami,” which will go on hiatus after its Dec. 29 telecast.

“Moon” is produced in association with ABC Prods.

The pressure is on “Birdland,” with a fourth ABC News magazine, “Turning Point,” in the wings and the news division said to be champing at the bit for a crack at the Wednesday slot, already owning the same hour Thursday and Friday.

Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald-Parkes, recently named to top exec posts at Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment (Daily Variety, Nov. 10), are exec producers of “Birdland” along with Scott Frank. ABC has said it will introduce one other show during January, the Columbia/Gracie Films animated series “The Critic,” saving most of its midseason fare until March or later.

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