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You can't tell the programs without a scorecard. Here are thumbnail sketches of new series from the Big Four networks, Pax TV, UPN, The WB
Staff -- Broadcasting & Cable, 5/20/2001 8:00:00 PM
The network is adding two comedies and three dramas for the fall:
Alias (Sunday 9 p.m.): From Felicity creator J.J. Abrams, this action-packed drama stars Jennifer Garner as a college student who's drawn into working for the CIA. From Touchstone.
Bob Patterson (Tuesday, 9 p.m.): Sitcom features Jason Alexander as a motivational speaker who has his own troubles coping. From Touchstone/ 20th Century Fox.
Philly (Tuesday, 10 p.m.): NYPD Blue star Kim Delaney as a tough Philadelphia defense attorney. From Steven Bochco, Philly takes Blue time slot. From Bochco Productions/Paramount.
The Dad (Wednesday, 8:30 p.m.): Jim Belushi stars as beer-drinking regular guy with two kids, a beautiful wife (Courtney Thorne-Smith). From Touchstone/ Brad Grey Television.
Thieves (Friday, 10 p.m.): John Stamos and Melissa George are high-class thieves forced to work for the FBI. Sexy sparks all over. From Warner Bros.
The Wayne Brady Show (August debut): Comedian Wayne Brady (from Whose Line Is it Anyway?) gets a variety/improv show for the summer. From Touchstone Television/Brad Grey.
The Runner (9 p.m. after Monday Night Football ends in January): One Runner has to complete eight tasks in 28 days without being caught—by you. Viewers may register as "Agents" and can watch the show or get clues via the Internet. From actors Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, for LivePlanet Inc.
The Court (10 p.m. after Monday Night Football ends in January): Sally Field stars as a tough-and-liberal Supreme Court justice, but this is a show about the high court's clerks. From Touchstone.
Ocean Challenge (later in season): James Cameron (Titanic) and Jean-Michel Cousteau produced several undersea-adventure specials.
The network is adding two new comedies, five new dramas and a new reality series:
The Education of Max Bickford (Sunday, 8 p.m.): Richard Dreyfuss and Marcia Gay Harden (both Oscar winners) star in a drama about a college prof whose life is in turmoil because she got the big faculty promotion. From 20th Century Fox/ CBS.
The Guardian (Tuesday, 9 p.m.): CBS thinks Simon Baker is a breakout star, playing a hotshot lawyer forced to perform community service. From Columbia TriStar/CBS.
The Amazing Race (Wednesday, 9 p.m.): Reality series in which 11 teams compete in 30- to 40-day world journey, with obstacles thrown in, and not much money. From Bruckheimer Films/Touchstone/CBS.
Wolf Lake (Wednesday. 10 p.m.): Lou Diamond Phillips, Tim Matheson, Graham Greene star in X-Files-like drama about wolves living in human form in a Seattle suburb. From Big Ticket Television.
The Agency (Thursday, 10 p.m.): Big-cast drama featuring Gil Bellows, Will Patton, Paige Turco, about CIA agents. From Radiant Television/CBS.
The Ellen Show (Friday, 8 p.m.): Sitcom stars Ellen DeGeneres as an Internet exec (and, yes, a lesbian) who decides to go back to her small home town. Can she survive mom (Cloris Leachman)? From Artists Television Group.
American Wreck (Friday, 8:30 p.m.): Daniel Stern stars in sitcom about a single father of two teens who runs the community recreation center. From Acme Productions/Big Ticket.
Citizen Baines (Saturday, 9 p.m.): James Cromwell plays a three-term U.S. Senator who just lost and now returns to Seattle and private life with three grown daughters. (CBS loves the unknown actresses they've cast.) Executive producer is John Wells (of ER and The West Wing fame), who's getting quite an anonymous time slot. From Warner Bros.
Fox announced two new dramas, three comedies and a transcategorical "best-of" series.
Undeclared (Tuesday, 8:30 p.m.): Comedy about a nerdy high school senior who grows handsome over the summer before his freshman year in college, and his friends. Created by Judd Apatow (responsible for NBC's failed but brilliant Freaks & Geeks) From Apatow Productions/DreamWorks.
24 (Tuesday, 9 p.m.): A drama with an unusual gimmick: Each of the episodes covers an hour of a day, for 24 weeks, in which a CIA elite squad leader (Kiefer Sutherland) uncovers a plot to assassinate the president. Also, his marriage is on the rocks, and his teenage daughter is missing. From Imagine Television/20th Century Fox.
Fox Family Comedy Wheel (Wednesday, 8 p.m.): A best-of-Fox-comedies, showing "classics" from The Simpsons, Malcolm in the Middle, and That '70s Show.
The Bernie Mac Show (Wednesday, 9:30 p.m.): Comedian Bernie Mac and his wife don't want kids but inherit threewhen his sister goes into rehab. Tough-love humor. From Regency Television/20th Century Fox.
The Tick (Thursday, 8:30 p.m.): Sitcom based on the animated Saturday kids show about a crime-fighting tick (Patrick Warburton) and his accountant sidekick (David Burke). From Sonnenfeld/Josephson Worldwide Entertainment/Columbia TriStar.
Pasadena (Friday, 9 p.m.): Dana Delaney stars in a drama as a young mother in a powerful family. Diane Keaton directed the pilot. From Columbia TriStar/ Brillstein-Grey.
NBC added three new comedies and three new dramas.
Law & Order: Criminal Intent (Sunday, 9 p.m.): The third NBC series under the Law & Order umbrella, this one looks at big crimes from the criminal's perspective. Vincent D'Onofrio stars. From Wolf Films and Studios USA.
UC: Undercover (Sunday, 10 p.m.): Drama about a Justice Department squad that goes undercover to bust crime, seemingly Mission: Impossible-style. An ensemble cast includes Jon Seda and Vera Farmiga. From NBC Studios, Jersey Films and 20th Century Fox.
Crossing Jordan (Monday, 10 p.m.): Jill Hennessy, formerly of Law & Order, is a "sexy, brilliant, irascible" medical examiner who returns to Boston and teams with her dad (Ken Howard). From Tailwind Productions/NBC.
Emeril (Tuesday, 8 p.m.): In this sitcom, Emeril Lagasse stars as himself: a famed chef with a television show. The network says it tested well. From NBC Studios.
Scrubs (Tuesday, 9:30 p.m.): In a way, a comic ER, starring Zach Braff as JD, who is just beginning his internship, at a hospital full of zanies. Follows Frasier. From Touchstone Television.
Inside Schwartz (Thursday, 8:30 p.m.): Following Friends on the schedule, this sitcom stars Breckin Meyer as an out-of-love sportscaster with high hopes and incredible fantasies. From 20th Century Fox and NBC.
Pax premieres six series over the course of the season, including a version of Candid Camera, and also rebroadcasts NBC's Weakest Link and new Crossing Jordan.
The Ponderosa (Sunday, 9 p.m.): A prequel to the hit NBC series, Bonanza. From Pax.
Forbidden Secrets (Monday, 8 p.m.): How scams and schemes work and how you can beat the system by knowing how various systems work. From Associated Television International.
Pax Big Event (Friday, 9 p.m.): Specials and made-for-television movies, some from ex-ABC, -NBC and -CBS programming czar Fred Silverman.
Ed McMahon's Next Big Star (Sunday, 6 p.m.): A version of his old Star Search. From Pax.
Left Behind (Tuesday, 9 p.m. beginning in January): Based on the best-selling books by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, a sci-fi–meets–the–Bible kind of thing. From Pax.
UPN announced three new dramas, including Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Roswell, picked up from The WB, and a new comedy.
One on One (Monday, 8:30 p.m.): A local sportscaster (Flex Alexander) takes on the task of raising his 14-year-old daughter. Part of the block of African-American comedies on Monday night. From Greenblatt Janollari and Paramount.
Enterprise (Wednesday, 8 p.m.): A prequel, from the 22nd century, part of the Star Trek saga. Scott Bakula stars. From Paramount.
Stephen King's The Dead Zone (midseason): After awakening from a six-year-long coma, Johnny Smith (Anthony Michael Hall) sees the past and the future. From Lions Gate Television and The Lloyd Segan Co.
The WB added a reality show, a game show, five comedies and a drama.
Lost in the U.S.A. (Sunday, 7 pm.): Reality show. Four teams compete in a 48-hour contest of wits and tasks, From ATG and Bunim-Murray.
Men, Women & Dogs (Sunday, 8:30 p.m.): Bill Bellamy stars in an ensemble cast of L.A. men looking for love where they walk their dogs. From Paramount.
Off Centre (Sunday, 9:30 p.m.): In this comedy, British hunk Euan gets the girls when he and his American roommate move in together. From the makers of American Pie, for Warner Bros. and Dreamworks.
Smallville (Tuesday, 9 p.m.): Young, hunky Superman (Tom Welling). In the Buffy time slot. From Warner Bros.
Elimidate Deluxe (Thursday, 8:30 p.m): Prime time version of Telepictures dating-game show.
Maybe I'm Adopted (Friday,, 8:30 p.m.): Molly (Reagan Dale Neis), 15 years old, can't believe this is her family. From Warner Bros. and Touchstone.
Deep in the Heart (Friday, 9 p.m.): Reba McEntire is a smash as a sitcom mom with a philandering husband and a wayward daughter. From 20th Century Fox.
Raising Dad (Friday, 9:30 p.m.): Bob Saget plays a recent widower, a high school teacher whose daughter attends the same school in this comedy developed by Family Friendly Forum. From Paramount.
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