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ABC Looks To Build On Sitcom Successes

5/18/2003 08:00:00 PM Eastern

Finishing the season in fourth place in adults 18-49, ABC still has a way to go in a rebuilding effort that started after a disastrous 2001-02 season

ABC hopes to build on its comedies, with which it had modest success this year. It is adding four comedies to bring its total to 10—the most of any network and the most for ABC in four years—and wants to increase that number to a dozen by midseason. It also is bringing back its "TGIF" Friday sitcom block.

It adds action-packed crime dramas this fall. All of last season's new dramas crashed and burned.

David Kelly's The Practice
returns to Sundays at 10 p.m. President of Entertainment Susan Lyne apologized publicly to Kelley for moving the show to Monday in January. Now, back where it once belonged, on Sunday, it will face NBC's new legal drama show, The Lyon's Den. ABC is also moving The Wonderful World of Disney
to Saturday night.

New for the Fall

4 sitcoms / 3 dramas

Back to Kansas
(sitcom, Friday, 8:30)—New York City guy marries and moves to his wife's Kansas hometown, where he struggles to fit in with her family. Tom Hertz and Brad Grey executive-produce. From Brad Grey Television with Twentieth Century Fox Television.

Hope & Faith
(sitcom, Friday, 9)—Faith Ford (Murphy Brown) as a housemom and Kelly Ripa as a suddenly out-of-work soap-opera star end up living together. Joanna Johnson executive-produces and writes, with Guymon Casady, Emile Levisetti, and Michael Edelstein. From Touchstone.

I'm With Her
(sitcom, Tuesday, 8:30)—Schoolteacher falls in love with movie star. Chris Hency and Marco Pennette write and executive-produce, with Mike Tollin, Brian Robbins and Joe Davola. From Tollin-Robbins with Warner Bros. Television.

It's All Relative
(sitcom, Wednesday, 8:30)—Engaged couple struggles with parents: Bobby's are blue-collar Irish Catholics, Liz was reared by two gay men. Ann Flett-Giordano and Chuck Ranberg write and executive-produce with Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. From Touchstone and Paramount.

10-8
(drama, Sunday, 8)—Rookie's tough training to become a Los Angeles sheriff. Jorge Zamacona writes and executive-produces, with Aaron Spelling and E. Duke Vincent. From Spelling and Touchstone.

Karen Sisco
(drama, Wednesday, 10)—Based on Jennifer Lopez's character in the theatrical release Out of Sight, the adventures of a smart, sexy federal marshal. Jason Smilovic and Scott Frank write and executive-produce. From Jersey Television and Universal.

Threat Matrix
(drama, Thursday, 8)—Homeland Security Agency fights terrorism—and Friends
and Survivor. Daniel Voll writes and executive-produces, with Emile Levisetti, Michael Edelstein and Keith Addis. From Touchstone and Industry Television.

For Midseason

Line of Fire
(drama)—Mafia vs. the FBI. Executive-produced and written by Rod Lurie, with Marc Frydman and Jeff Melvoin. From DreamWorks Television and Touchstone.

Stephen King's Kingdom Hospital
(drama)—ER crossed with The Shining, according to King himself. Thirteen episodes executive-produced and written by King with Mark Carliner. From Sony Pictures Television with Touchstone.

 

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