Upfront And Center

Fall Season Shapes Up Around The Dial

Devin D. O'Leary
4 min read
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Last week, while viewers were busy watching the big season finales, the broadcast networks were engaging in an annual ritual known as “upfront presentations.” Upfronts are the time when the networks announce what their fall season schedules will look like. So, what shows have been given the boot and what new content we can look forward to this September/October?

CBS—Cancelled: “Courting Alex,” “Love Monkey,” “Out of Practice,” “Still Standing,” “Threshold,” “Yes, Dear.” New: Small-town America becomes the setting for a post-nuclear drama in “Jericho.” James Woods does the lawyer thing in “Shark.” Ray Liotta does the criminal thing in “Smith.” Twentysomething schoolmates reunite in the ensemble sitcom “The Class.”

ABC—Cancelled: “Alias,” “Commander-in-Chief,” “Crumbs,” “Emily’s Reasons Why Not,” “The Evidence,” “Freddie,” “Hope and Faith,” “In Justice,” “Invasion,” “Jake in Progress,” “Less than Perfect,” “Miracle Workers,” “Monday Night Football” and “Sons and Daughters.” New: Calista Flockhart leads the family drama “Brothers & Sisters.” “Northern Exposure” meets “Sex in the City” in the comedy/drama “Men in Trees.” “The Nine” is an ensemble drama about nine people who are mysteriously linked together by a bank robbery/hostage drama. “Six Degrees” is an ensemble drama about six people who are mysteriously linked together by some event other than a bank robbery. (I would assume.) A plain gal enters the fashion world in the Salma Hayek-produced sitcom “Betty the Ugly.” Time-obsessed “24” gets recast as a romantic comedy focussing on the 24 hours leading up to a wedding in “Big Day.” Ted Danson leads group therapy in “Help Me Help You.” A broke bartender plots to rob Mick Jagger in “Let’s Rob …” Newlyweds go preggers in “Notes from the Underbelly.” ABC tries its hand at a “Deal or No Deal” rip-off with “Set for the Rest of Your Life.”

NBC—Cancelled: “Conviction,” “E-Ring,” “Fear Factor,” “Four Kings,” “Joey,” “Surface,” “Teachers,” “West Wing,” “Will & Grace.” New: The hit football movie becomes a series in “Friday Night Lights.” Ordinary people become superpowered in “Heroes.” “Kidnapped” is a serialized kidnap drama. “Behind the scenes of a TV variety show” drama “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip” should not be confused with “behind the scenes of a TV variety show” comedy “30 Rock.” John Lithgow heads mismatched buddy comedy “20 Good Years.” NBC reinvents the primetime football franchise with “Sunday Night Football.”

FOX—Cancelled: “Arrested Development,” “Killer Instinct,” “Kitchen Confidential,” “Malcolm in the Middle,” “That ’70s Show.” New: There’s lawyer drama “Justice,” FBI drama “Standoff” and serialized kidnap drama “Vanished” (not to be confused with NBC’s “Kidnapped”). “Cheers” meets mismatched roommates in “Happy Hour.” Brad Garrett and Joely Fisher are married in “Til Death.” Simon Cowell produces another singing competition with “Duets.” Steven Spielberg produces a moviemaking competition with “On The Lot.” The late-night chat show returns to FOX with “Talk Show with Spike Feresten.”

The CW—Cancelled: Most all of UPN and The WB’s lineup, including “All of Us,” “The Bedford Diaries,” “Blue Collar TV,” “Cuts,” “Eve,” “Love Inc.,” “Modern Men,” “One on One,” “Pepper Dennis,” “Reba,” “Related,” “South Beach,” “Survival of the Richest” and “Twins.” New: Donnie Wahlberg leads the fugitive family drama “Runaway.” Coming-of-age soap “Palm Springs” hopes to capture some of that “O.C.” audience. Sitcom “The Game” concerns the girlfriends of pro football players.
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