NEW YORK — Pax TV will keep the off-network series “Touched by an Angel” and “Diagnosis Murder” in primetime while adding several original shows to its schedule.
The fledgling broadcast web will air an original one-hour drama, “Hope Island,” on Sundays at 9 p.m., Pax TV prexy and CEO Jeff Sagansky announced at a presentation to advertisers on Wednesday.
Sagansky also said that Pax TV has purchased the U.S. rights for a 24-hour live millennium special developed by the producers of the “Live Aid” concert. The New Year’s special, which Sagansky said had a production budget of $40 million to $50 million, will feature celebrities and musical acts from each of the world’s 24 time zones.
“I promise you that little Pax TV will own the millennium,” boasted Sagansky.
“Hope Island” is a one-hour series based on the British TV hit “Ballykissangel.” Sagansky described it as a ” ‘Northern Exposure’ for the new millennium.”
‘Angel’ wings it
Pax TV will anchor its 1999-2000 weeknight lineup with reruns of “Touched by an Angel” at 9 p.m. and “Diagnosis Murder” at 10 p.m. The web will use the 8 p.m. weeknight slot to schedule its original series.
The Monday 8 p.m. slot will feature “The Star Machine,” a new version of “Star Search” from that show’s creator and producer, Al Masini. The veteran producer’s other credits include “Entertainment Tonight” and “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.”
Pax TV will turn its original special “Chicken Soup for the Soul” into a one-hour anthology for Tuesday at 8 p.m. The show comes from “America’s Funniest Home Videos” producer Vin Di Bona Prods.
On Wednesday at 8 p.m., Pax will premiere “Twice in a Lifetime,” a one-hour drama that marks the return of producer Barney Rosenzweig (“Cagney & Lacey”).
The series features the premise that there is a pivotal moment in everyone’s life that permanently shifts its course and what each of us would change if we were given a second chance.
Pax TV brings back its original reality series, “It’s a Miracle,” moving it from Sunday to Thursday at 8 p.m.
The web has also renewed the drama “Little Men” for a second season. The Friday 8 p.m.-9 p.m. show stars Michelle Rene Thomas as a young, widowed mother who runs a boarding school in 19th century Massachusetts.
In an attempt to get a jump on the Big Four broadcast network premiere weeks, Pax TV will begin its new schedule the week of Aug. 23.
Last year, Pax TV sold $25 million in the upfront market but almost all of the ads were sold by Pax’s local stations. The broadcast web sold only five units on the network, said Sagansky. After a slow rating start, Pax TV delivered the 1.0 primetime rating the web guaranteed advertisers last year in March and April.