Eye web sets aggressive fall schedule

NEW YORK — CBS Entertainment president Leslie Moonves today will unveil an aggressive fall schedule that drops the Tuesday movie and shifts Monday night staples “Murphy Brown” and “Chicago Hope” to Wednesday.

The network has ordered three dramas, three comedies and a newsmag with former “Today” anchor Bryant Gumbel. CBS has also picked up two Warner Bros. comedies from ABC’s TGIF lineup, which will air on the Eye’s new family Friday lineup.

CBS is mixing cautious counterprogramming in with some bolder moves that take advantage of competitors’ weak spots and chip away at their strengths. Two nights will remain intact, Saturday and Sunday, which have been steady performers this season.

While CBS was rumored to be canceling its Sunday movie, the web decided to lose the Tuesday pic instead. While NBC is attacking the CBS Monday comedy stronghold with four female-skewing sitcoms, CBS is going after ABC on Friday and is beefing up Wednesday.

Gone from the CBS schedule is one of last year’s highest-profile entries, the Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen comedy, “Ink.” Also canceled are “Pearl,” “Dave’s World,” “Almost Perfect,” “Moloney” and “EZ Streets.”

On Mondays, the web is shifting away from its traditional emphasis on women’s comedies. Three of the Monday comedies will have male leads, and they’ll be followed by an action-packed cop drama. CBS will keep sophomore comedy “Cosby” at 8 p.m., followed by “Everybody Loves Raymond.”

The one remaining female-led comedy, “Cybill,” will tentpole the night at 9 p.m., leading into Paramount’s new comedy “George & Leo” with Bob Newhart. A new cop drama from Steven Bochco, “Brooklyn South,” will follow in the coveted 10 p.m. slot formerly occupied by “Chicago Hope.”

CBS is totally rebuilding its Tuesday lineup. “Promised Land,” which had started the night at 8 p.m., has migrated to Thursdays at 8 p.m. The movie is gone, too, and in their place are one returning and two new dramas. The move is an attempt to counterprogram comedies on ABC and NBC.

Par’s “Jag,” which has bounced around different networks and timeslots, will lead Tuesday night at 8 p.m. Following are the Columbia-New Regency legal drama “Michael Hayes,” starring David Caruso, at 9 p.m., and the Rysher detective drama “Dellaventura,” starring Danny Aiello, at 10 p.m.

CBS could see a significant boost on Wednesdays, where the web moved Monday sitcom “The Nanny” last season and where two other Monday workhorses, “Murphy Brown” and “Chicago Hope,” will now go. “The Nanny” will stay at 8 p.m., followed by “Murphy Brown” at 8:30 p.m. The two solid vets will take on two frosh comedies on NBC and a frosh and sophomore comedy on ABC.

The web is staying out of the 9 p.m. sitcom bloodbath between ABC’s “Drew Carey” and NBC’s “3rd Rock From the Sun.” Instead, CBS will air its new Bryant Gumbel newsmag. At 10 p.m., “Chicago Hope” will take on NBC’s “Law & Order” and ABC’s “Primetime Live.”

CBS is sticking with its basic strategy of older-skewing shows on Thursday to counterprogram NBC’s yuppie comedies.

“Promised Land,” will lead into two shows that aired on Thursdays this season: “Diagnosis Murder” at 9 p.m. and “48 Hours” at 10 p.m. Friday is perhaps the biggest gamble for CBS, which has thrown out some hefty cash in an attempt to “youthenize” the network and weaken ABC’s TGIF lineup.

Long-running Warner Bros. sitcom “Family Matters” starts the night, followed by Warner Bros.’ new sitcom “Meego,” starring Bronson Pinchot as a nanny. At 9 p.m. is another new sitcom from CBS Prods. and Columbia, “The Gregory Hines Show,” followed by Warner Bros.’ “Step by Step,” which also used to be on ABC’s TGIF schedule. The Don Johnson drama “Nash Bridges” will remain at 10 p.m.

Saturdays and Sundays are unchanged.

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