CBS will add seven new series in the fall, including a Richard Dreyfuss drama and an Ellen DeGeneres sitcom, as it drops four series, including Nash Bridges.
Walker, Texas Ranger is also taking a walk along with The Fugitive and Diagnosis Murder. And as expected, CBS is getting out of the movie business on Wednesday night. The Dreyfuss drama, The Education of Max Bickford, casts the Oscar-winning actor as a college professor again in a mid-life crisis drama that replaces Touched By An Angel in the Sunday night slot at 8 p.m. CBS is moving that Sunday night mainstay to Saturday night. The DeGeneres sitcom, The Ellen Show, will fill the 8 p.m. slot on Friday nights, to be twinned with American Wreck, a sitcom about a single father running a community center. CBS is challenging NBC's Thursday night franchise, planting future editions of Survivor there with companion hit drama C.S.I.: Crime Scene Investigation, and adding CIA drama The Agency at 10 p.m.
Wednesday night will also be reality night, with the debut of a Survivor-like series, The Amazing Race, throwing 11 teams of people into a month-long worldwide race for a $1 million prize. Its companion will be new sci fi drama Wolf Lake, starring Lou Diamond Philips as a bureau of wildlife management agent hunting wearwolves, anchoring CBS's Wednesday night lineup at 10 p.m.. The Guardian, with Simon Baker as a high-priced attorney forced into community service, follows JAG on Tuesday nights at 9 p.m. Citizen Baines, featuring James Cromwell as a washed-up politician, follows Touched By An Angel on Saturday nights at 9 p.m.
In original productions, CBS will revisit Puritanism at its intolerant best in Salem With Trials, a mini-series with Kirstie Alley and Shirley MacLaine. And it will retell the story of the woman credited with sparking the Montgomery, Ala. bus boycott in The Rosa Parks Story with Angela Bassett and Cicely Tyson. - Joe Schlosser