Hollywood heads East for posh presentations

Nine broadcast networks make pilgrimage to Manhattan to show wares to Madison Ave. advertisers

Hollywood invades New York City this week as nine broadcast networks show off their fall schedules for Madison Avenue clients.

Faux schedules abounded as development rumors went into the weekend, with network executives locked in screening rooms making their final moves.

NBC will get the week going with an afternoon song and dance today (May 15) at Lincoln Center (for news about NBC's schedule see cover story) along with Telemundo at the Sony Imax Theatre. The remainder follow, concluding with UPN and FOX on Thursday.

Industry sources late last week speculated that ABC would run the game show Who Wants to be a Millionaire? five nights a week next season, with 8 p.m. ET/PT showings on Monday, Tuesday and Friday nights. Millionaire is expected to air at 9 p.m. ET/PT on both Thursday and Sunday nights. Sure things for ABC's lineup include Gideon's Crossing with Andre Braugher, a comedy with Geena Davis called Lost And Found and The Beast, a drama based on a fictional cable news networkàla CNN. ABC was mum.

At CBS, two new series considered locked-in are a remake of The Fugitive, starring former Wings star Tim Daly, and a sitcom starring Bette Midler. A sitcom from David Letterman's Worldwide Pants called Mr. New York and Yes, Dear, a sitcom from 20th Century FOX TV are also considered favorites.

FOX, with holes to fill, has a deep development bench. Said to be solid is a comedy starring former Roseanne star John Goodman, Teachers from David E. Kelley and drama The Street from Sex and the City creator Darren Star.

Titanic director James Cameron's drama Dark Angel and Chris Carter's Lone Gunmen project are also said to be on the inside track.

UPN has a handful of comedies trying to get into its Monday night "ethnic-skewing" lineup, including front-runner Girlfriends from Paramount and Frasier star Kelsey Grammer.

A pair of action dramas and a sketch comedy show in the vein of In Living Color are also considered top contenders. The WB also has sketch comedy show, Hype, that will likely find its way onto the fall schedule as well as a new comedy starring Nikki Cox that is considered a shoe in.

Drama Gilmore Girls is the best of the batch, WB insiders insist, and comedy Grosse Pointe will likely be joining the five-year-old network's grid.