ABC tryouts in fine time

ABC has given plum time periods to a pair of sitcoms for spring tryouts, scheduling Disney’s “These Friends of Mine” behind “Home Improvement” and inserting Paramount’s “Sister, Sister” into its Friday “TGIF” block.

“Friends,” which stars standup comic Ellen DeGeneres, will premiere March 29 behind “Roseanne” before taking its regular place the next night following “Improvement,” TV’s top-rated entertainment series, which is also distributed by Disney.

“Sister, Sister,” which features Tim Reid, Jackee Harry and teenage twins Tia and Tamera Mowry, will fill the Friday slot occupied by “Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper.” It premiers April 1 with double airings that night at 8:30 and 9:30.

ABC’s regular Wednesday and Friday shows, “Grace Under Fire” and “Hangin’,” are both on hiatus and will return later this season, probably in time for the May sweeps.

The DeGeneres show was created by the team of Carol Black & Neal Marlens. The Paramount show is produced in association with de Passe Entertainment, with Suzanne de Passe, Suzanne Coston and Sy Rosen as exec producers.

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