SHOW BY SHOW

ABC

“Hudson Street” (Tuesday 8:30-9). ABC sitcom stars Tony Danza and Lori Loughlin (“Full House”) return to the Alphabet web in a family comedy about a police detective and his relationship with a liberal newspaper reporter. ABC describes the show as an “adult-driven” family comedy, meaning that the network hopes to bring in older viewers as well as the T.G.I.F. crowd. Sandwiched between “Roseanne” and “Home Improvement,” the show should get some initial sampling, and media buyers expect it to win the time period. However, it could face tough competition from NBC’s “NewsRadio.” Exec producer: Randi Mayem Singer (TriStar Television).

“The Drew Carey Show” (Wednesday 8:30-9). Besides “The X-Files” and “Friends” retreads, the other major continuing trend in primetime this year is the use of comedians in sitcom vehicles. “The Drew Carey Show” stars standup comic Carey as a personnel director at a Cleveland department store. Like comedian-driven “Seinfeld” and “Ellen,” Carey is surrounded by his three best friends, played by Diedrich Bader, Ryan Stiles and Crista Miller. ABC is hoping the show can keep viewers with the network in the slot between “Ellen” and “Grace Under Fire.” It goes up against CBS’ “Dave’s World,” WB’s “The Parent ‘Hood,” Fox mainstay “Beverly Hills, 90210” and NBC’s “seaQuest DSV.” Exec producer: Bruce Helford (Warner Bros. TV).

“Naked Truth” (Wednesday 9:30-10). Tea Leoni stars as a photo-journalist who goes from shooting major events and world leaders to photographing celebrities for a sleazy tabloid. ABC has been tampering with this timeslot for the last year trying to find a lead-out for “Grace Under Fire.” The show, which will feature celebrities a la “The Larry Sanders Show,” may face competition from CBS’ “Central Park West.” Also, the rural audience for “Grace Under Fire” may not make the jump uptown, although forecasters think it can take the timeslot. Exec producer: Chris Thompson (Brillstein-Grey Communications).

“Charlie Grace” (Thursday (8-9). ABC kicks off its all-drama Thursday night with this private eye/single-dad show starring Mark Harmon as a divorced ex-cop in L.A.. Faced with the unenviable task of going up against NBC’s strong comedies, as well as “Murder, She Wrote” on CBS, the show could have problems finding its audience. Robert Costanzo, Cindy Katz and Leelee Sobieski co-star. Exec producer: Robert Singer (Warner Bros. TV).

“The Monroes” (Thursday 9-10). Capitol Hill dramas have been few and far between, but ABC is taking the risk in this hourlong show about a high-powered Kennedy-like political family. William Devane plays John Monroe, a business leader with political aspirations. Stuck against NBC’s “Seinfeld” and the highly anticipated “Caroline in the City,” “The Monroes” faces a tough campaign for voters at the Nielsen box. The ensemble also includes David Andrews, Susan Sullivan, Cecil Hoffmann and Darryl Theirse. Exec producer: Rick Kellard (Warner Bros. Television).

“Murder One” (Thursday 10-11). ABC is calling on Steven Bochco to take the wind out of NBC hit “ER’s” sails. The famed producer of “NYPD Blue” and “Hill Street Blues” will have his work cut out for him. “ER” will likely clean up at the Emmys and it was a huge ratings success. But so is the O J . Simpson trial, and Bochco is betting a legal drama about one high-profile murder case can sustain an audience and put a dent in NBC. The law drama stars Daniel Benzali as a prominent defense attorney. Although media pundits don’t think it will knock off “ER,” it could slow that show’s momentum and give ABC a victory much the way NBC’s “Frasier” has done against ABC’s “Home Improvement.” Exec producer: Steven Bochco (Steven Bochco Productions).

“Maybe This Time” (Saturday 8:30-9). Marie Osmond and Betty White return to TV in this comedy about a recently divorced woman who wants to focus on raising her daughter, and her mother who wants her to get back in the dating game. “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman” is forecast to win the hour and some are expecting NBC’s action hour “JAG” to also find an audience that could make things difficult for ABC. However, ABC won’t have to worry about losing any audience to Fox, whose “Martin” will clearly be going after different demos. Exec producer: Bob Young (Touchstone TV).

“Jeff Foxworthy” (Saturday 8-8:30). Starring Southern comedian Jeff Foxworthy, this comedy follows the adventures of a Dixie native transplanted to Bloomington, Indiana. Foxworthy will make comic observations about life in various locales while trying to keep his heating and air-conditioning business afloat. The show co-stars Anita Barone as Jeffs wife, Karen. Exec producer: Tom Anderson (Brillstein-Grey Ent.)

CBS

“Almost Perfect” (Sunday 8:30-9). CBS is going for comedy to replace 11 years of “Murder, She Wrote,” which won the time period but not the young audience for the Eye web. Nancy Travis and Kevin Kilner star in this series about a strong-minded programming exec who meets her male match. With “Cybil” as a lead-in, CBS is hoping it can lure new viewers, but it won’t be easy with NBC moving “Mad About You” to Sunday at 8 p.m., followed by “Hope and Gloria,” as well as competition from “Lois & Clark” on ABC. Exec producer: Robin Schiff (Paramount Domestic Television).

“Can’t Hurry Love” (Monday 8:30-9). “Facts of Life” star Nancy McKeon plays a single woman in New York. Characters include her smarmy co-workers and promiscuous room-mate. Show could benefit from “Nanny” lead-in, and Monday is the Eye web’s strongest night. Exec producers: Jamie Widdoes, Jonathan Axelrod, Gina Wendkos (TriStar TV).

“If Not for You” (Monday 9:30-10). With aging “Murphy Brown” as a lead-in, this romantic comedy will probably get some initial sampling. Also, with the exception of Fox, it is going up against dramas that could also cut the show a break. Elizabeth McGovern and Hank Azaria play the perfect couple. The only problem is they are both engaged to other people. Exec producer: Larry Levin (Touchstone Television).

“The Client” (Tuesday 8-9). Based on the John Grisham book and subsequent movie hit, JoBeth Williams stars as Reggie Love, the reformed alcoholic lawyer. Being the only drama in the timeslot and having name recognition could boost the show’s fortunes. The strong supporting cast includes Ossie Davis and John Heard. Exec producers: Michael Filerman, Judith Paige Mitchell (Warner Bros. Television).

“Bless This House” (Wednesday 8-8:30). Described as a “Honeymooners” for the ’90s, this comedy stars the reformed Andrew (no Dice) Clay and Cathy Moriarty, who play a forever-bickering married couple who, underneath it all, still love each other. Initial buzz has been good and the casting of Clay could get early sampling. For CBS, the show kicks off Wednesday as comedy night after years of drama, and media buyers are optimistic it could do well. Exec producer: Bruce Helford (Warner Bros. Television).

“Central Park West” (Wednesday 9-10). “Melrose Place” moves to New York in this Darren Star-produced drama about a group of upscale New Yorkers. CBS is hoping the show will do for them what Star’s “Beverly Hills, 90210” and “Melrose Place” did for Fox in terms of aud and buzz. Among the stars in the ensemble cast are Lauren Hutton and Mariel Hemingway. Exec producer: Darren Star (Darren Star Productions/CBS Entertainment).

“Court House” (Wednesday 10-11). While most law dramas focus on lawyers and clients, this CBS ensemble starring Patricia Wettig and Robin Givens focuses on judges. The show will face tough competition from NBC standby “Law & Order.” Exec producer: Deborah Joy Levine (Columbia Pictures Television).

“New York News” (Thursday 9-10). Based partly on the film, “The Paper,” this drama stars Mary Tyler Moore in a recurring role as the publisher of “The New York Reporter.” Madeline Kahn co-stars. With “Murder, She Wrote” as a lead-in, “News” might draw mature viewers, but the competition from NBC is too strong to hope for much more. Exec producers: Michelle Ashford, Kim Moses, Ian Sander (Warner Bros. Television).

“Dweebs” (Friday 8-8:30). CBS becomes the first network to tackle the computer world in this comedy starring Farrah Forke as office manager for a reclusive software genius played by Peter Scolari. Exec producer: Peter Noah (Warner Bros. Television).

“The Bonnie Hunt Show” (Friday 8:30-9). From David Letterman’s Worldwide Pants Inc., this comedy stars Bonnie Hunt (“Beethoven”) as a TV journalist who has landed her first big job as an on-the-street reporter. The offbeat comedy is written by Hunt and Letterman head writer Rob Burnett. Exec producers: Hunt, Burnett and Letterman (CBS Ent. Productions).

“American Gothic” (Friday 10-11). Gary Cole plays a sheriff with demonic powers in this paranormal/horror drama about a small North Carolina town. Gail Emory is the journalist who has to do battle with Cole. Early episodes had to be toned down for violence. The show may siphon off “The X-Files'” audience after that drama ends at 10. Exec Producers: Sam Raimi, Robert Tapert (Universal Television).

NBC

“Brotherly Love” (Sunday 7-7:30). “Blossom” star Joey Lawrence returns to TV along with two of his real-life brothers in this sitcom from Witt-Thomas. Lawrence stars as Joe, a 20-year-old who has to take over the family business and assume responsibility for the clan after his father dies. Exec producers: Paul Witt, Tony Thomas, Jim Vallely, Jonathan Schmock (Witt Thomas Prods./Disney).

“Minor Adjustment” (Sunday 7:30-8). Stand-up comedian Rondell Sheridan plays a child psychologist who has problems with his own kids. Exec producers: Tony Thomas, Paul Witt, Ken Estin (Witt-Thomas Productions).

“Pursuit of Happiness” (Tuesday 9:30-10). The comedy follows Tom Anades, a lawyer who thought he was at a point in life where things would calm down. Instead, his wife loses her job, his best friend comes out of the closet and a brother-in-law moves into his home. With “Frasier” as a lead-in, the show will get sampling, and media buyers are predicting a second-place finish for the series behind ABC’s “Coach.” Exec producers: David Angell, Peter Casey, David Lee, Dave Hackel (Paramount Network Television).

“The Single Guy” (Thursday 8:30-9). Jonathan Silverman stars in this sitcom about a single guy surrounded by married friends who want him to settle down. He, on the other hand, longs for the days when they were all single. With the second-best time period in TV – sandwiched between “Friends” and “Seinfeld” – NBC is expecting big numbers and probably won’t be disappointed. Exec producer: Brad Hall (Castle Rock/NBC Prods).

“Caroline in the City” (Thursday 9:30-10). With the best timeslot in TV, between “Seinfeld” and “ER,” media buyers are expecting this sitcom about a cartoonist torn between her boss and her illustrator to be the No.1 new show this year. That was supposed to happen to last year’s “Madman of the People,” but with Lea Thompson starring, the show likely will keep the “Seinfeld” demos that Dabney Coleman couldn’t. Exec producers: Fred Barron, Marco Pennette and Dottie Dartland (CBS Ent.).

“Jag” (Saturday 8-9). Call it “A Few Good Men” at sea. This drama stars David James Elliott and Tracey Needham as Navy lawyers in the Judge Advocate General’s office. Plenty of courtroom and battle action is expected, but the question is whether the show can make a dent in CBS’ “Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman.” Exec producer: Donald Bellisario (Paramount/NBC Productions).

“Home Court” (Saturday 9:30-10). Pamela Reed stars as Sydney Solomon, a tough Chicago Family Court Judge who has no problem ruling in a robe, but as a single mother loses all semblance of control in her own home. Exec producers: Sy Dukane, Denise Moss (Paramount Network Television).

Fox

“Space- Above and Beyond” (Sunday 7-8). Fox has been struggling to find a show to follow its NFL coverage and is hoping this expensive, hourlong drama from former “X-Files” co-exec producers Glen Morgan and James Wong is the ticket to keep sports fans away from “60 Minutes.” Set in 2063, the show features Morgan Weisser and Kristen Cloke leading a squadron of first-year Marines into battle against an alien race (Twentieth Television).

“Too Something” (Sunday 8:30-9). Fox has long been looking for the right comedy to fill the gap between “The Simpsons” and “Married… With Children,” and is hoping this quirky buddy comedy is the ticket. Writer/actors Eric Schaeffer and Donal Lardner Ward (“My Life’s in Turnaround”) are teaming with “Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper” producer Efrem Seeger. The show may face a tough challenge in holding the audience between “Simpsons” and “Married” (Warner Bros. TV).

“Misery Loves Company” (Sunday 9:30-10). Fox revisits “Married… With Children” territory in this comedy about three divorced buddies and their romantic optimist friend. Fox has been trying for years to find a lead-out to “Married” and this may be the closest it has come to the spirit of that show. Exec producers are Michael Jacobs and Rob Young, who created “Dinosaurs” and “Boy Meets World” (Touchstone TV).

“Partners” (Monday 9-9:30). From Jeff & Jeff Prods, in association with Universal Television, this sitcom starring Tate Donovan and Jon Cryer focuses on the relationship between best buddies when one (Dono van) gets married. The pilot was directed by “Cheers” and “Taxi” alumnus James Burrows, and Fox is hoping it can create a post-” Melrose Place” Monday-night comedy block with this and “Ned and Stacey” (Universal).

“Ned and Stacey” (Monday 9:30-10). Ned (Thomas Haden Church of “Wings”) is faced with a dilemma: He wants a promotion, but his boss is saving the slot for a married executive. So with no prospects on the line, he strikes an unusual deal with a blind date, Stacey (Debra Messing). The show co-stars Nadia Dajani and Greg Germann. Exec producer: Michael Weithorn for Hanley Productions (TriStar Television).

“The Crew” (Thursday 8:30-9). Fox is hoping the success of lead-in “Living Single” will bring viewers to this comedy about a stereotypical flight crew living in South Beach. Rose Jackson, Kristin Bauer, Charles Esten and David Burke star. Fox is hoping that it can have continued success on in the 8-9 p.m. block and keep an audience for Dick Wolfs “New York Undercover.” (Twentieth Television).

“Strange Luck” (Friday 8-9). Looking to cash in on the success of “The X-Files, ” this hourlong lead-in drama follows the life of Chance Tate, played by D.B. Sweeney, who has a knack for encountering and surviving disasters. With the help of two friends played by Pamela Gidley and Frances Fisher, he searches for his own true identity. Fox is hoping the sci-fi elements of the show will give it a strong 8-10 block on Friday nights. Exec Producer: Karl Schaefer. Coexec producers John Sakmar, Kerry Lenhart and Michael Cassutt (New World Television).

“Preston Episodes” (Sunday 8:30-9). Fox, looking to make Saturday night comedy night has lined up “In Living Color” alumnus David Alan Grier in this sitcom about a newly divorced professor who chases his dream of becoming a writer by working at a tabloid penning photo captions. With “Martin” as a lead-in, the show could do well and accomplish Fox’s goal. (Twentieth Television.)

“Mad TV” (Saturday 11-11:30). NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” is struggling and Fox, along with CBS, is betting it can claim some of its turf. Based on Mad magazine, “Mad TV” will offer the usual parodies, satire and commercial spoofs. With a half-hour jump on “Saturday Night Live,” the sketch comedy could put a dent in NBC’s flagging franchise if it’s funny. And considering how many of these shows have failed, that is a big if. Exec producers: Quincy Jones, David Salzman, Fax Bahr, Adam Small and Steven Haft(QDE).

UPN

“Nowhere Man” (Monday 9-10). Another show that finds its roots in “The X-Files,” “Nowhere Man” follows the adventures of photographer Thomas Veil (Bruce Greenwood) who finds his whole existence erased. Look for lots of government conspiracies. With the exception of “Voyager,” UPN killed its entire schedule and is hoping this show will keep its sci-fi fan viewers on board Monday nights. Exec producer: Lawrence Hertzog (Touchstone TV).

“Deadly Games” (Tuesday 8-9). James Calvert plays Dr. Gus Lloyd, who is forced to do battle with the evil creations of his own homemade videogame. Christopher Lloyd makes his return to TV in this sci-fi drama as the supreme villain Sebastian Jackal. UPN hopes to establish Tuesday night for action with this show, while the other networks are going with comedies and movies. Exec producers: Leonard Nimoy and Paul Bernbaum (Viacom Prods.).

“Live Shot” (Tuesday 9-10). Jeff Yagher plays Alex Rydell, the young news director who has to deal with back-stabbing reporters, vain anchors and wisecracking technicians. News dramas have not really worked since “Lou Grant,” but the relatively young cast could generate a following. Show also stars David Birney as an aging anchor. Exec producers: Dan Guntzelman and Steve Marshall (RysherEnt.).

WB Network

“Pinky & The Brain” (Sunday 7-7:30). Steven Spielberg delivers this spinoff from his hugely popular “Animaniacs.” WB takes a risk with kids’ animation, but its new approach is toward family fare and this should bring in young viewers.

“Kirk” (Sunday 8-8:30). Kirk Cameron of “Growing Pains” returns to TV in this comedy about a recent college grad who lands his dream job and apartment in New York. The only problem is he ends up having to take care of three younger siblings. Exec producers: William Bickley, Michael Warren (Warner Bros. Television).

“Simon” (Sunday 8:30-9). Comedian Harlan Williams stars as Simon Himble, a naive suburbanite who moves to Harlem and lands a job at a local TV station. Exec producers: Danny Jacomson and Donald Todd (TriStar).

“FirstTime Out” (Sunday 9-9:30). Comedian Jackie Guerra stars as a salon manager with two diverse roommates. She is unsuccessful in love, but her life is full. Executive producers: Shawn Schepps, Stacie Lipp (Columbia).

“Cleghorne!” (Sunday 9:30-10). Former “Saturday Night Live” star Ellen Cleghorne plays a single mom balancing career and parenthood. Exec producers: Steve Pepoon, David Silverman and Steve Sustarsic (Twentieth Television).

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading