NEW YORK — Fall lineups for CBS and Fox slowly started to take shape Monday as execs at both webs began greenlighting projects for the coming season.
Eye, which will unveil its new lineup Wednesday at Carnegie Hall, has given thumbs up to at least six new shows, with a few more pickups expected late Monday or Tuesday. Among the series going forward:
- “Ellen, Again” (ATG): Yep, she’s back: Ellen DeGeneres stars as a city gal who moves back to her hometown.
- “The Education of Max Bickford” (20th/CBS Prods./Regency): Richard Dreyfuss plays a history prof who’s undergoing a midlife meltdown.
- “The Guardian” (Columbia TriStar TV/CBS Prods.): All about an attorney who fights for kids.
- “Citizen Baines” (Warner Bros. TV): Tentatively titled project from exec producers John Wells and Lydia Woodward about a U.S. senator who loses his bid for re-election, then moves back home to Seattle.
- “Community Center” (Big Ticket TV) stars Daniel Stern as a headed-for-divorce dad who works at a community center.
- “Wolf Lake” (Big Ticket/CBS Prods.): Spooky thriller set in Seattle.
- “The Agency” (Studios USA/CBS Prods.): CIA drama.
There was also word that CBS could schedule its reality-based hour “The Amazing Race” on its fall sked, possibly Wed. at 8 p.m.
Though no final decision has been made, veteran CBS hours “Diagnosis Murder” and “Nash Bridges” seem headed for cancellation.
Over at Fox, which announces its new sked Thursday, there were few leaks.
Despite reports that “Greg the Bunny” would definitely land the coveted post-“Simpsons” timeslot, insiders now believe it’s unlikely the show will bow before midseason. Fox execs may be concerned about the show’s more adult content and the need to promote its unconventional puppet premise in a less-cluttered midseason environment.
Skeins that were looking good for a spot on either the fall or midseason sked include “Andy Richter Controls the Universe” (Paramount/20th); the real-time thriller “24” (Imagine/20th); sudser “Pasadena” (CTTV/Brad Grey TV); and the previously ordered DreamWorks half-hour “Undeclared.” ; “The Bernie Mac Show” (Regency/20th); and “Emma Brody” (20th.)
Fox execs, however, were still said to be mulling several different versions of their fall sked.
As usual, CBS execs were operating under a cone of silence regarding potential scheduling moves, making any speculation about the Eye’s intention particularly risky.
One big mystery was what CBS plans to do on Thursday nights now that “Survivor” and “CSI” have made the net competitive. There’s some speculation CBS may shift “CSI” to 10 p.m. opposite “ER,” particularly as a repeat of the crime drama scored solid ratings in the slot last week.
If “CSI” shifts, Eye would likely launch a new drama at 9 p.m., though there’s been some buzz that the net may attempt to program comedies.
Another sked scenario making the rounds late Monday had CBS moving vet drama “Touched by an Angel” to Saturday night, with “Citizen Baines” taking its place Sundays.