General News

Networks Prepare Fall Schedules

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May 05, 2003 | 10:24am EDT

The buzz is starting as the major networks get ready to present their hottest pilots to advertisers in New York to determine what will or won't make it to the final fall schedule. Presentations begin May 12, Variety reports.

According to Variety, NBC is looking at some strong sitcom possibilities, including a reworking of the BBC smash sexcom Coupling and the John Larroquette/Christine Baranski starrer Happy Family. Both seem destined for series orders. Also high on the network's list are sitcoms revolving around Saturday Night Live alum Tracy Morgan, who plays a Ralph Kramden-esque mechanic and Whoopi Goldberg, as an ex-diva turned hotel operator. The Heather Locklear sitcom Once Around the Park is being bantered around as well.

On the drama side, the Alicia Silverstone romantic dramedy Miss Match from Sex and the City creator Darren Star could be a sure bet as well as the Rob Lowe starrer Lyon's Den and studio head-turned-producer Kerry McCluggages' Homeland Security.

ABC will lead off with their laffer Platonically Incorrect, described as a straight Will & Grace, with Tom Everett Scott and A.J. Langer starring as platonic best friends. Good things are also being said about the sitcom Hope & Faith, starring Kelly Ripa as a washed-up soap star who moves in with her housewife sister, played by Faith Ford, Variety reports.

Buzz seems to be heaviest around ABC's dramatic series Karen Sisco, based on the female federal marshal character played by Jennifer Lopez in the Steven Soderbergh film Out of Sight. Also creating some noise: The D.A., about a district attorney (Steven Weber) who teams with a private investigator.

CBS generally keeps their fall plans on a tight rein, which makes speculation a little difficult. According to Variety, however, the network has its eye on Jerry Bruckheimer's tentatively titled femme detective drama Cold Cases as well as the quirky Joan of Arcadia and the Joe Pantoliano crime drama Street Boss.

On the lighter side, CBS execs seem to like the Nicole Sullivan laffer Crazylove and Chuck Lorre's 2-1/2 Men, starring Charlie Sheen.

Fox, meanwhile, has already picked up two shows for what the net now refers to as its year-round sked: Dramas The O.C. and Wonder Falls, Variety reports. Other dramas generating buzz include the Keyser/Lippman drama No Place like Home and Steven Bochco's NYPD 2069.

On the comedy front, Fox is digging its Molly Shannon starrer Cracking Up, which boasts an all-star behind-the-scenes lineup of producers/writers--including The Good Girl's Mike White, the Weitz brothers and Brad Grey.

Finally, over at the WB, drama Tarzan and Jane swings in as a heavy hitter, as does basketball-themed One Tree Hill, which is a new take on MacGyver, Variety reports.

When it comes to yukking it up, the Frog network is looking to greenlight a half-hour comedy starring Anthony Anderson (Barbershop) and the Adam Sandler-produced The Mayor.

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