Steven Spielberg’s “The Family Dog” may nearly be housebroken. CBS Entertainment president Jeff Sagansky said the long-anticipated animated program will pinch-hit during the spring as a series of specials.

Speaking before the Intl. Television & Radio Society on Friday, Sagansky joked that the animated series was “being housebroken” but would soon be ready to be around people.

“The Family Dog,”a half-hour program that looks at life through the eyes of a dog, as been long in the making. Originally targeted as a prime time series at the height of the animation boom two seasons back, the Spielberg/Tim Burton executive produced series has yet to see the light of day.

Reportedly the network received 13 episodes of “The Family Dog” in late October after much reworking.

Sagansky was joined at the luncheon by his counterparts Sandy Grushow of Fox, Ted Harbert of ABC and Warren Littlefield of NBC at the annual appearance of the entertainment heads before the IRTS.

Each of the exex admitted that they underestimated the potential of CBS’ “Dr. Quinn,” which has drawn big audiences. Asked what the biggest surprises of the season have been, each responded with the performance of the Jane Seymour-fronted series.

“No one thought it would amount to much,” said ABC’s Harbert, making his first appearance at the forum. Sagansky added that the performance of “Dr. Quinn” indicates the networks should be offering more quality family programming.

Moreover, on the same issue, Sagansky said his biggest disappointment so far this season has been the topics of the made-for movies.

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