Trying to adapt to changing viewing patterns in a world of computers and DVRs, both Fox and the CW network plan novel prime-time scheduling for the 2007-08 TV season.
Wrapping up the weeklong "Upfront" presentations of new series to advertisers in New York, Fox outlined three separate schedules, for fall, winter and spring. And the CW announced a Sunday show featuring homemade material from the Internet, and another that won't have any commercials at all.
Fox unveiled two dramas, one comedy and three new reality shows for fall, and four other new series for the winter and spring. Top fall shows include a sitcom with big stars - Kelsey Grammer and Patricia Heaton - and a cop show set and filmed in New Orleans.
The CW has three new dramas, one new comedy and two reality shows, all premiering in fall.
Shed tears for the exit of Veronica Mars, joined in the dustbin of cancellation by Fox's The Winner and Happy Hour. And, on the CW, All of Us and - still crying? - Gilmore Girls.
The network hopes we forget them and embrace its purported new trademark show, Gossip Girl, tales of life among Upper Eastside preppies.
Postseason baseball gives Fox schedulers fits. So the network is hedging its fall bets with an Idol-style band competition, a soap-u-mentary set in Nashville and more antics from tempestuous chef Gordon Ramsay.
Joining Idol and 24 in January is a legal drama from the Rescue Me boys, starring ER's Julianna Margulies. In springtime, indie queen Parker Posey and Lauren Ambrose (Six Feet Under) get a sitcom, and a new drama follows the further adventures of The Terminator's Sarah Connor.
New scripted shows on Fox this fall:
K-Ville (Mon. 9 p.m.) - Anthony Anderson (The Shield) is the veteran on the New Orleans Police Department Felony Action Squad. Joining him: a wise guy, a hothead, a hottie and a new guy with a secret
New Amsterdam (Tue. 8 p.m.) - Fancy-pants movie director Lasse Hallstrom (The Cider House Rules) heads this show about a New York cop who, because of a 17th-century Indian blessing - or is it a curse? - is immortal, until he finds true love or his show gets canceled.
Back to You (Wed. 8 p.m.) - Grammer is a TV newsman with his career in a tailspin. He returns to down-market Pittsburgh and reunites with former anchor-partner Heaton. The glorious Fred Willard completes a starry trifecta as a goofy, Ted Baxter-style sportscaster.
The CW's new fall series:
CW Now (Sun. 7 p.m.) - Celebrities, fashion, music - whatever supposedly interests the network's young audience - gets rapid-fire coverage in segments sponsored by marketers, via product placement, announcer mention, logos, what have you, and it's all uninterrupted by ads. Maybe that's because it is just one big ad?
Online Nation (Sun. 7:30 p.m.) - Will kids abandon the PC or Mac to watch cool Internet stuff on TV?
Life Is Wild (Sun. 8 p.m.) - Veterinarian dad drags brood to South Africa, where they meet hot human young 'uns and lots of animals, too. Awwwwww.
Aliens in America (Mon. 8:30 p.m.) - Wisconsin sitcom mom signs up for an exchange student, figuring studly Nigel, Sven or Gunther will bring status to her loser son. Oh, no! The visitor turns out to be Raja Musharaff.
Reaper (Tue. 9 p.m.) - Slacker Sam turns 21 and discovers his parents sold his soul to the devil. The drama would be an autobiographical tale for so many in Hollywood if Satan didn't press the kid into service to round up dirtbags who've escaped from hell.
Gossip Girl (Wed. 9 p.m.) - The title sounds a like Gilmore Girls; the narrator is Veronica Mars' Kristen Bell, so maybe it will be a delightful cross of both. And maybe they'll cover science and literature on CW Now.
One Tree Hill (winter return)
Everybody Hates Chris
All of Us