Archive for May, 2007

Fox 2007-2008

OK, so that isn’t the flashiest headline, but that’s what the network gets for being the last one to present its fall schedule in what has turned into a very long week.

The only 2006-2007 series that made the final cut was the boring Brad Garrett show “’ Til Death.” Go figure. Hey, as long as Fox still has “Bones,” “House,” “American Idol” and “The Simpsons,” I’ll still be watching.

In the fall, the network will be bringing out two new dramas – “K-Ville” and “New Amsterdam” – one new comedy, “Back to You” and three reality shows – Gordon Ramsey’s “Kitchen Nightmares,” American Idol producers do “The Search for the Next Great American Band” and check out the country music hopefuls on “Nashville.”

After the holidays, the schedule gets juggled and we’ll see two new dramas, “Canterbury’s Law” and “The Sarah Connor Chronicles” and a new comedy, “The Return of Jezebel James.”

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K-VILLE
Pictured L-R: Maximiliano Hernandez, John Carroll Lynch, Anthony Anderson, Cole Hauser, Blake Shields and Tawny Cypress. CR: Rebecca Brenneman/FOX

Two years after Katrina, cops Marlin (Anthony Anderson) a brash veteran and his new partner Trevor (Cole Hauser), a former soldier who served in Afghanistan before joing the department, are committed rebuilding the city.

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NEW AMSTERDAM
Nicolaj Coster Waldau

Director Lasse Hallstrom (“My Life as a Dog”) comes to TV for the first time as the producer of this drama about an immortal (Nikolaj Coster Waldau) whoworks as a New York homicide detective while trying to find the true love which will break his curse and allow him to age gracefully.

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BACK TO YOU

In the 1990s, Chuck (Kelsey Grammer) and Kelly (Patricia Heaton) were the beloved news anchors. Then Chuck took a better job, leaving Kelly in the dust. But after a fall from grace, Chuck’s back in Pittsburgh toiling away with Kelly once again.

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CANTERBURY’S LAW
Pictured L-R: Jocko Sims, Linus Roache, Julianna Margulies, Trieste Dunn and Ben Shenkman. ©2007 Fox Broadcasting Co. CR: FOX/KC Bailey

Denis Leary is one of the producers behind this drama starring Julianna Margulies and Linus Roache as lawyers who try to get on with their lives after their young son’s disappearance. The two move to Rhode Island to try to patch up their troubled relationship.

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THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES
Pictured L-R: Thomas Dekker, Lena Heady, Richard T. Jones and Summer Glau. ©2007 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Joe Viles/FOX

Just when you thought you knew everything you ever wanted about “The Terminator” character, here’s a series to tell you even more. Lena Headey stars, with Thomas Dekker as her 15-year-old son John as they try to stay one step ahead of those sent back from the future to destroy them.

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THE RETURN OF JEZEBEL JAMES

Parker Posey and Lauren Ambrose star as estranged sisters who are trying to patch things up. The show comes from “Gilmore Girls” creator Amy Sherman-Palladino, so we’re willing to give it a try.

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THE RULES FOR STARTING OVER
Pictured clockwise from L: Johnny Sneed, Craig Bierko, Shaun Majumder and Rashida Jones. Cr: Michael Desmond/FOX

From the Farrelly brothers comes this comedy about a group of newly single friends learning the painful lessons of starting over in their 30s. Craig Bierko, Rashida Jones, Johnny Sneed and Shaun Majumder star.
Fox 2007-2008 Primetime Schedule:
Fall/Spring

Monday

8 p.m. “Prison Break”
9 p.m. “K-VILLE”/“24”

Tuesday
8 p.m. “NEW AMSTERDAM”/“American Idol”
9 p.m. “House”

Wednesday

8 p.m. “BACK TO YOU”
8:30 p.m. “ ‘Til Death”/“THE RETURN OF JEZEBEL JAMES”
9 p.m. “Bones”/“American Idol”

Thursday

8 p.m. “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?”
9 p.m. “KITCHEN NIGHTMARES”/“CANTERBURY’S LAW”

Friday

8 p.m. “THE SEARCH FOR THE NEXT GREAT AMERICA”/“Bones”
9 p.m. “NASHVILLE”/“NEW AMSTERDAM”

Saturday
8 p.m. “Cops”
9 p.m. “America’s Most Wanted”

Sunday

8 p.m. “The Simpsons”
8:30 p.m. “King of the Hill”
9 p.m. “Family Guy”/“THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES”
9:30 p.m. “American Dad”

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Pass on the Pussycats, but love the rest

I’m not a fan of the “Pussycat Dolls,” so I could have done without watching them prance around like the girls at the Bada-Bing! today during the CW’s live streaming of their presentation of new fall series.

But I’m pretty excited about the rest of the line-up.

“Aliens in America” was laugh-out-loud funny, about a geeky high school boy with strange parents who decide to take in a hot foreign exchange student to beef up his popularity. Instead, they get a Pakistani Muslim, which opens the series up to some seriously hilarious situations.

The other CW show that looks promising is “Life is Wild,” a family drama set in Africa and centering on a blended family and veterinarian dad.

Hey, it’s got great scenery, animals and good drama. I’m there.

“Gossip Girls” from the best-selling books and from our old “The O.C.” pal Josh Schwartz looks good, and so does “Reaper,” about a 21-year-old guy who discovers his parents sold his soul to the devil and now he’s a bounty hunter for Satan. It’s from Kevin Smith (“Clerks”), so it’s got plenty of laughs in it.

The CW also offers up “CW Now,” blending news and entertainment and “Online Nation,” which features the hottest Web sites,

For those out there still watching “One Tree Hill,” it comes back as a midseason show.

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ALIENS IN AMERICA
Dan Byrd as Justin, Adhir Kalyan as Raja star. Photo: Trae Patton/ The CW

Justin is a senstive 16-year-old trying to make it in high school with the help of his well-meaning mom Franny (amy Pietz) and dad Gary (Patrick Breen) and his popular sister Claire (Lindsey Shaw), who is sweetly unaware of how pretty she is. Franny decides to up Justin’s popularity by signing up for a hot foreign exchange student who will help Justin fit in. Instead, she gets Raja, a 16-year-old Pakistani Muslim.

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REAPER
Nikki Reed as Andi, Bret Harrison as Sam, Tyler Labine as Sock, Ray Wise as the devil. Photo: Michael Courtney/The CW

For the first 20 years of his life, Sam’s parents always let him get by with everything while keeping the pressure on his younger brother Keith (Kyle Switzer) to over-achieve. Turns out that mom (Allison Hossack) and dad (Andrew Airlie) made a mistake and sold his soul to the devil (Ray Wise). Now Satan wants him, and Sam’s new job is being his bounty hunter for souls who escaped hell.

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LIFE IS WILD
Pictured: (Front row) K’Sun Ray as Chase Clark, Judith Hoag as Jo Weller-Clark, Brett Cullen as Danny Clarke, Mary Mouser as Mia Weller. (Back Row) Andrew St. John as Jesse Weller, Leah Pipes as Katie Clarke, David Butler as Art. Photo: David Bloomer/The CW

Veterinarian Danny (Brett Cullen) feels as if his blended family is falling apart, so he brings his wife Jo (Judith Hoag), his teen daughter Katie (Leah Pipes), 11-year-old son Chase (K’sun Ray), Jo’s teen son Jesse (Andrew St. John) and her 7-year-old daughter Mia (Mary Matilyn Mouser) to a lodge in Africa for a year. The lodge is owned by Danny’s deceased wife’s father Art (David Butler).

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GOSSIP GIRL
Pictured: (Back Row) Penn Badgley as Dan, Ed Westwick as Chuck, Taylor Momsen as Jenny. (Middle Row) Leighton Meester as Blair, Chace Crawford as Nate. (Front Row) Blake Lively as Serena. Credit: The CW / Timothy White

No one knows the identity of Gossip Girl, who blogs all about the priviledged prep shcool on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. She’s the one who lets everyone know that Serena (Blake Lively) is back in town. Her former best friend Blair (Leighton Meester) isn’t happy Serena’s back. Oh, the drama…

Here’s the new lineup:

Monday
8 p.m. “Everybody Hates Chris”
8:30 p.m. “ALIENS IN AMERICA”
9 p.m. “Girlfriends”
9:30 p.m. “The Game”

Tuesday
8 p.m. “Beauty and the Geek”
9 p.m. “REAPER”

Wednesday
8 p.m. “America’s Next Top Model”
9 p.m. “GOSSIP GIRL”

Thursday
8 p.m. “Smallville”
9 p.m. “Supernatural”

Friday
8 p.m. “Friday Night Smackdown!”

Sunday
7 p.m. “CW NOW”
7:30 p.m. “ONLINE NATION”
8 p.m. “LIFE IS WILD”
9 p.m. “America’s Next Top Model (encore)”

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Melinda, You’re Still Our No. 1

In the end, Melinda Doolittle’s superior singing abilities were no match for Jordin Sparks’ adorability factor or Blake Lewis’ showmanship in the “American Idol” competition.

Doolittle consistently came through on the vocals, but never quite captured the hearts of “American Idol” voters the way Sparks and Lewis did. Sparks’ vocals kept getting better and better each week, but what keeps her in the game _ and makes her the favorite to win the whole thing _ is that she simply looks and acts like a young teen idol.

From the beginning, the women kept outshining their male counterparts in the competition until Lewis started bringing on his A game. While Doolittle depended on her pipes to get her through, Lewis kept putting his own spin on each song. Last night, he really pull out all beats for a stellar night. He stole the show with “This Love” and brought it home with “When I Get You Alone.”

Simon Cowell chided Sparks for choosing the old tune “I Who Have Nothing,” but it was Doolittle who came off looking old fashioned with the pop tune-turned-ad “I’m A Woman” and wearing a dated pants suit.

Doolittle should be quickly snatched up by a record label, so we won’t shed any tears for her. And we look forward to the Lewis-Sparks showdown next week.

American Idol is down to two contestants? Will it be the very sweet Jordin Sparks or beat-boxer Blake Lewis? I give my take, along with Mercury News news reporter Sandra Gonzales and Contra Costa Times TV critic Chuck Barney.

We discuss Melinda Doolittle leaving the show, the judges, the fans, and give their own predictions for the winner. Mercury News music writer Marian Liu moderates.
Here is the link:
http://www.mercextra.com/listen/index.php?id=355

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CBS’ Boldly Goes into New Season

CBS taking chances?

Who would have thought it of the conservative network, home of the police procedurals and slightly naughty sitcoms.

The network will bring back 17 current programs, but the sitcom “The Class” and the once-promising “Jericho” won’t be among them. CBS brings just one comedy, one reality show and three dramas this fall, leaving most of the schedule intact.

Earlier this year, CBS entertainment president Nina Tassler tipped off a few reporters about her plans to shake things up with a musical drama, a wife-swapping drama and a Latino sudser.

“We approached our development this year with a specific goal in mind _ to be daring and different,” Tassler says when announcing the new fall series on Wednesday. “The fall and midseason series we have selected offer creativity and variety with great potential to excite and surprise television audiences.”

Well, it certainly surprised us, even though Tassler had already told us about “Viva Laughlin,” we never thought the CBS suits would buy it.

We were wrong.

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VIVA LAUGHLIN
Executive produced by Tony and Emmy Award winner Hugh Jackman (pictured, guest staring as Nicky Fontana).
Photo: Robert Voets/CBS

Based on the British series “Viva Blackpool,” the series is produced and co-stars Hugh Jackman. In addition to high-wattage star power, the series also marks the first time since Steven Bochco’s ill-fated “Cop Rock” that a musical drama series has made it to the air.

Ripley Holden’s sole ambition is to run a casino in Laughlin, but he gets embroiled in a murder investigation after his business partner’s body is found at Ripley’s club. Ripley (Lloyd Owen) also deals with an attention-starvedwife (Madchen Amick) and teen daughter and son. The characters break out in contemporary songs to punctuate the drama and the comedy.

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MOONLIGHT
Alex O’Loughlin as Mick St. John. CBS 2007 Upfront Photo: Robert Voets

Tapping into the “Angel” market, “Moonlight” centers on Mick St. John (Alex O’Loughlin) as a vampire who uses his powers to help people through his private investigation firm.

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CANE
Pictured right to left: Jimmy Smits, Paola Turbay, Hector Elizondo, and Rita Moreno. 2007 Upfront Photo: Robert Voets/CBS

“Cane” stars Jimmy Smits, Hector Elizondo and Nestor Carbonell (Richard on “Lost”) as the power players in this steamy drama about a large Cuban-American family running a successful rum and sugar business in South Florida.

Coming on in midseason is “Swingtown” from the director of the Showtime series “Big Love” and HBO’s “Rome.” The series takes viewers back to 1970s suburbia where the sexual revolution is being played out with open marriages and women’s lib. When a couple (Molly Parker and Jack Davenport) moves into an affluent Chicago suburb in search of barbecues and neighborhood get-togethers, they have no idea what is really happening. Grant Show (“Melrose Place” and “Dirt”) and Lana Parrilla play the swinging couple who share more than just recipes with their neighbors. Miriam Shor and Josh Hopkins play the couple’s former neighbors and friends who are appalled and intrigued by the neighborhood.

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THE BIG BANG THEORY
Brainy best friends Leonard (Johnny Galecki, right) and Sheldon (Jim Parsons, left) meet their new neighbor, Penny (Kaley Cuoco, center) 2007 Upfront Photo: Robert Voets/CBS

The lone comedy on the schedule, “The Big Bang Theory,” comes from “Two and a Half Men” producer Chuck Lorre. The show centers on a group of geeks being navigated through the crazy world of women with the help of their sexy new neighbor Penny (Kaley Cuoco).

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KID NATION
Photo: Monty Brinton/ CBS

CBS, which will be keeping “Survivor” and at least one cycle of “The CBS, which will be keeping “Survivor” and at least one cycle of “The Amazing Race” this season, branches out with the reality series “Kid Nation.” The series drops 40 kids into a New Mexico ghost town where they will have 40 days to build a working town. The children, aged 8 to 15, will also create a new government. Sounds a little PBS to us.

While not on the fall schedule, “The New Adventures of Old Christine” has been picked up as a midseason replacement series. We would have put “Christine” on this fall rather than sticking with the lukewarm “Rules of Engagement” for the Monday night comedy block. But, again, we didn’t get that phone call from CBS asking our opinion.

Here’s the CBS fall lineup:

Monday
8 p.m. “How I Met Your Mother”
8:30 p.m. “THE BIG BANG THEORY”
9 p.m. “Two and a Half Men”
9:30 p.m. “Rules of Engagement”
10 p.m. “CSI:Miami”

Tuesday
8 p.m. “NCIS”
9 p.m. “The Unit”
10 p.m. “Cane”

Wednesday
8 p.m. “Kid Nation”
9 p.m. “Criminal Minds”
10 p.m. “CSI: New York”

Thursday
8 p.m. “Survivor: China”
9 p.m. “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”
10 p.m. “Without a Trace”

Friday
8 p.m. “Ghost Whisperer”
9 p.m. “MOONLIGHT”
10 p.m. “Numb3rs”

Saturday
8 p.m. “Crimetime Saturday”
9 p.m. “Crimetime Saturday”
10 p.m. “48 Hours: Mystery”

Sunday
7 p.m. “60 Minutes”
8 p.m. “VIVA LAUGHLIN”
9 p.m. “Cold Case”
10 p.m. “Shark”

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NBC Keeps the Lights On

“Studio 60” is gone. So is “Crossing Jordan.”

(Which I guess solves that plane crash question left at the season finale.)

But NBC decided to keep the lights on “Friday Night Lights” and actually put in on Friday night.
And we’ll be getting even more “Heroes” this coming season with no long absences.

There will be 24 new episodes of “Heroes,” with limited repeats and six new stand-alone episodes titled “Heroes: Origins,” featuring new heroes.

“Each will feature an entirely new cast. We saw certain characters last year, like the waitress in Texas, that people were really intrigued with,” says NBC Entertainment President Kevin Reilly. “The stories will be like those, budgeted like a standard episode.”

At the end of those six episodes, which will probably air next spring, viewers will be able to vote on which character they would like to see added to the cast.

Reilly also announced there will be 30 new episodes of “The Office,” including five one-hour episodes and 25 new episodes of “My Name is Earl.”
“Scrubs” will also be returning to the network for a seventh season, and Jerry Seinfeld comes back to NBC.

Seinfeld has produced “minisodes” spinning off of his “Bee Movie.” The times have not yet been announced.

The best news, however, is that NBC didn’t go into typical bottom-feeder network mode and begin juggling the schedule and adding far too many new programs.

Only four new dramas and one new reality program were announced on Monday for fall, with one drama and a comedy announced for midseason.

No surprise, with the popularity of “Heroes,” that three of the new dramas – “Bionic Woman,” “Journeyman” and “Chuck” - have a sci-fi spin.

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BIONIC WOMAN:
Chris Bowers as Will, Michelle Ryan as Jamie Sommers, Miguel Ferrer as Jonas, Will Yun Lee as Jae, Molly Price as Ruth — NBC Photo: Alan Zenuk

“Bionic Woman” stars Michelle Ryan (“EastEnders”) as Jaime Summers, who is technologically enhanced after a near-fatal car accident. Her co-stars include Miguel Ferrer, Mae Whitman, Molly Price, and former Bay Area resident Will Yun Lee. The show is produced by such sci fi veterans as David Eick
(“Battlestar Gallactica”), Glen Morgan (“The X-Files”) and Laeta
Kalogridis (“Birds of Prey”).

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JOURNEYMAN
Gretchen Egolf as Katie Vasser, Reed Diamond as Jack Vasser, Kevin McKidd as Dan Vasser, Moon Bloodgood as Livia Beale — NBC Photo: Mitchell Haaseth

“Journeyman” is a romantic mystery starring Kevin McKidd of “Rome” as a San Francisco journalist who travels through time and changes people’s lives. We’re thinking that he travels back to a time when people read more newspapers.

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CHUCK
Yvonne Strzechowski as Sarah, Zachary Levi as Chuck, Adam Baldwin as John Casey — NBC Photo: Chris Haston

“Chuck” comes from former “The O.C.” team of Josh Schwartz and McG, starring Zachary Levi (“Less Than Perfect”) as a computer geek who becomes a secret agent after vital data is dowloaded into his brain.

Also making the schedule are “Life” and, after football, “Lipstick
Jungle.”

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LIFE
Robin Weigert as Lt. Karen Davis, Sarah Shahi as Dani Reese, Damian Lewis as Charlie Crews, Adam Arkin as Ted Early, Melissa Sagemiller as Constance Griffiths — NBC Photo: Mitchell Haaseth

“Life” stars Damian Lewis (“Band of Brothers”) as a detective who was wrongly accused of a crime, served some time and is now back on the force. We’re excited to report that phenomenal actress Robin Weigert (“Deadwood”) co-stars.

Both “Life” and “Bionic Woman” will repeat on USA and Sci Fi,
respectively.

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LIPSTICK JUNGLE

Lindsay Price as Victory, Brooke Shields as Wendy, Kim Raver as Nico — NBC Photo: Mitchell Haaset

“Lipstick Jungle” comes from the novel by Candace Bushnell (“Sex and the City”) about three high powered friends in the New York fashion business. Kim Raver, Brooke Shields and Lindsay Price co-star.

The lone new reality show on the schedule is “The Singing Bee,” which challenges contestants to accurately sing the lyrics to popular songs.

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THE IT CROWD
Joel McHale as Roy, Richard Ayoade as Moss, Jessica St. Clair as Jen — NBC Photo: Mitchell Haaseth

Also on the horizon, but not on the schedule, is the sitcom “The IT Crowd,” about quirky techies, based on the British comedy and the reality show “World Moves,” from Randy Jackson (“American Idol”), centering on dance teams from around the world.

Despite fears that “Law & Order” might not return, it will be back for an 18th season, but potential presidential candidate Fred Thompson will be leaving the series.

Also returning is “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.” “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” will be airing on the network’s cable sibling USA, with an option for the episodes to air on NBC later.

NBC PRIMETIME SCHEDULE FOR FALL 2007-08

New programs in CAPS (with the exception of “ER”)

MONDAY
8-9 p.m. “Deal or No Deal”
9-10 p.m. “Heroes”
10-11 p.m. “JOURNEYMAN”

TUESDAY
8-9 p.m. “The Biggest Loser”
9-10 p.m. “CHUCK”
10-11 p.m. “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”

WEDNESDAY
8-9 p.m. “Deal or No Deal”
9-10 p.m. “BIONIC WOMAN”
10-11 p.m. “LIFE”

THURSDAY
8-8:30 p.m. “My Name Is Earl”
8:30-9 p.m. “30 Rock”
9-9:30 p.m. “The Office”
9:30-10 p.m. “Scrubs”
10-11 p.m. “ER”

FRIDAY
8-9 p.m. “1 vs 100″/”THE SINGING BEE”
9-10 p.m. “Las Vegas”
10-11 p.m. “Friday Night Lights”

SATURDAY
8-9 p.m. “Dateline NBC”
9-11 p.m. Drama Series Encores

SUNDAY (Fall 2007)
“Football Night in America”
“NBC Sunday Night Football”

SUNDAY (January 2008)
7-8 p.m. “Dateline NBC”
8-9 p.m. “Law & Order”
9-10 p.m. “Medium”
10-11 p.m. “LIPSTICK JUNGLE”

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ABC’s new fall schedule

On Monday, NBC decided to stick with most of its schedule. When it was ABC’s turn at bat on Tuesday, the network announced it was bringing on a whopping seven new dramas, four new comedies and one new “alternative’’ series this fall.

Although the buzz was bad on the “Grey’s Anatomy’’ episode sending Addison (Kate Walsh) down to sunny Southern California from Seattle Grace, ABC is still strong on the show. Now titled “Private Practice, the series will air on Wednesday, a day ABC has programmed with all new series.

ABC entertainment president Stephen McPherson acknowledged Tuesday that the episode wasn’t up to snuff.

“ `Practice’ needs work,’’ he said in a press conference. “It was a hybrid introduction that introduced all the characters and didn’t spend enough time on story. What (`Grey’s’ creator) Shonda does brilliantly is the conflict between people and the intricacies that (weren’t well served in the pilot).’’

McPherson also talked about the dramas that didn’t make it from last season, including “The Nine’’ and “Six Degrees,’’ compared to more escapism fare like ABC’s “Ugly Betty,’’ “Brothers & Sisters’’ and NBC’s “Heroes.’’

“Look at the news every day and it is bad. Paris Hilton is going to jail,’’ McPherson said, getting a chuckle out of the room. “People didn’t show up for these shows. They didn’t see them and reject them, they just didn’t show up. `Nine’ was very hard, very dense. It was compelling but demanding.’’

In a move to less demanding shows, ABC is going to comedies like “Cavemen,’’ based on those obnoxious guys from the Geico commercial.

Initially, ABC will roll out eight new shows in the fall, staggering the other series through the rest of the year.

The schedule offers a nice dose of Bay Area influence, from “Eli Stone’’ and “The Women’s Murder Club,’’ both set in San Francisco, to Bay Area actors like Newark’s Christopher Titus in “Big Shots’’ and Santa Rosa’s Peter Krause in “Dirty Sexy Money.’’

The new dramas are:

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(ABC/KEVIN FOLEY) CHRISTOPHER TITUS, WENDY MONIZ, MICHAEL VARTAN, NIA LONG, PAIGE TURCO, DYLAN McDERMOTT, PEYTON LIST, JESSICA COLLINS, JOSHUA MALINA, AMY SLOAN

“Big Shots’’ stars Titus, Michael Vartan , Dylan McDermott and Josh Malina as four friends at the top of their game professionally who have some trouble with the ladies in their lives.

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FRANCES O`CONNOR, JULIAN OVENDEN, LUCY LIU, BONNIE SOMERVILLE, MIRANDA OTTO, PETER HERMANN
“Cashmere Mafia’’ stars Lucy Liu, Frances O’Connor, Miranda Otto and Bonnie Somerville as four gal pals fighting the glass ceiling in the Big City. The series comes from “Sex and the City’’ producer Darren Star.

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(ABC/BOB D`AMICO) FRONT ROW: SAMAIRE ARMSTRONG, ZOE McLELLAN, PETER KRAUSE, JILL CLAYBURGH, DONALD SUTHERLAND, NATALIE ZEA; BACK ROW: BILLY BALDWIN, GLENN FITZGERALD, SETH GABEL
“Dirty Sexy Money’’ stars Krause as an idealistic lawyer who takes on the wealthy, and morally muddled, Darling family. Co-stars are Donald Sutherland, William Baldwin, Samaire Armstrong and Jill Clayburgh.

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(ABC/BOB D`AMICO) NATASHA HENSTRIDGE, VICTOR GARBER, JAMES SAITO, JONNY LEE MILLER, LAURA BENANTI, SAM JAEGER, LORETTA DEVINE
“Eli Stone’’ stars Jonny Lee Miller as a San Francisco lawyer who might also be a prophet. Victor Garber, Natasha Henstridge and Loretta Devine co-star in this series from the team who brought you “Brothers & Sisters.’’

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(ABC/BOB D`AMICO) TAYE DIGGS, MERRIN DUNGEY, TIM DALY, KATE WALSH, AMY BRENNEMAN, PAUL ADELSTEIN, CHRIS LOWELL
“Private Practice’’ stars Walsh as she sheds McDreamy and McSteamy for more adult company in an established medical practice. Co-stars include Tim Daly, Taye Diggs, Paul Adelstein and Merrin Dungey.

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(ABC/BOB D`AMICO) ELLEN GREENE, SWOOSIE KURTZ, ANNA FRIEL, LEE PACE, CHI McBRIDE, KRISTIN CHENOWETH
“Pushing Daisies’’ is a fantasy forensic series about a guy who helps solve murders through his ability to bring things, and people, back to life _ and then put them back into the grave. Lee pace stars with Anna Friel, Chi McBride, Swoosie Kurtz and Kristin Chenoweth in a series from Bryan Fuller (“Wonderfalls,’’ “Heroes’’).

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(ABC/BOB D`AMICO) ELIZABETH HO, LAURA HARRIS, TYREES ALLEN, ANGIE HARMON, PAULA NEWSOME, AUBREY DOLLAR

“Women’s Murder Club’’ is base don James Patterson’s best-sellers about four women _ a detective, a district attorney, a medical examiner and a reporter _ working in San Francisco. Stars Angie Harmon.

The new comedies are:

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ABC/CRAIG SJODIN) JERRY MINOR, JERRY O`CONNELL, T.J. MILLER, ALLISON MUNN, TIM PEPER, FRED GOSS, FAITH FORD

“Carpoolers’’ starring Fred Gross, Faith Ford, Jerry O’Connell, Jerry Minor as four guys who commiserate about their lives, jobs and families while bonding during their commute.

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.(ABC/CRAIG SJODIN) STEPHANIE LEMELIN, DASH MIHOK, NICK KROLL, BILL ENGLISH, KAITLIN DOUBLEDAY, JOHN HEARD

“Caveman’’ is described as a unique buddy comedy offering a twist on stereotypes and race relations. Come on now, it’s based on a Geico commercial.

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(ABC/BOB D`AMICO) EARL BILLINGS, JONATHAN SADOWSKI, JUDY GREER, KRISTOFFER POLAHA, BROOKE BURNS

“Miss/Guided’’ has Judy Greer returning to high school as a counselor and reliving her unpopular past. Comes from Ashton Kutcher and Jason Goldburg, the guys behind “Beauty and the Geek.’’

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(ABC/CRAIG SJODIN) MELISSA McCARTHY, CHRISTINA APPLEGATE, JENNIFER ESPOSITO, TIM RUSS, JEAN SMART, KEVIN DUNN

“Sam I Am’’ has Christina Applegate starring as a woman who emerges from a coma without a memory and discovering she wasn’t very nice. Now she wants to make amends.

The lone “alternative series’’ is “Oprah’s Big Give’’ where needy contestants vie for a chance to win large amounts of cash.

The midseason series “October Road’’ and “Notes from the Underbelly’’ and the new series “Cashmere Mafia’’ will premiere after “Dancing with the Stars’’ and “The Bachelor’’ conclude their fall seasons.
As previously reported, “Lost’’ will not return until 2008 with 16 new episodes running almost uninterrupted.
In addition to shows already axed, the network canceled the drama “What About Brian,’’ and comedies “George Lopez,” “Help Me Help You” and “Knights of Prosperity.” ABC is still debating whether to bring back “According to Jim.’’

Monday:
8 p.m. “Dancing with the Stars”
9:30 p.m. “SAM I AM”
10 p.m. “The Bachelor”

Tuesday
8 p.m. “CAVEMAN”
8:30 p.m. “CARPOOLERS”
9 p.m. “Dancing with the Stars Results”
10 p.m. “Boston Legal”

Wednesday
8 p.m. “PUSHING DAISIES”
9 p.m. “PRIVATE PRACTICE”
10 p.m. “DIRTY SEXY MONEY”

Thursday
8 p.m. “Ugly Betty”
9 p.m. “Grey’s Anatomy”
10 p.m. “BIG SHOTS”

Friday
8 p.m. “Mind in Trees”
9 p.m. “WOMEN’S MURDER CLUB”
10 p.m. “20/20”

Saturday
8 p.m. “Saturday Night College Football”

Sunday
7 p.m. “America’s Funniest Home Videos”
8 p.m. “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”
9 p.m. “Desperate Housewives”
10 p.m. “Brothers & Sisters”

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Yau’s still the man

Yau-Man Chan will go down in “Survivor” history as the man who gave away a $65,000 truck to a man who reneged on his promise to give Chan immunity.

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Yau-Man Chan

The 54-year-old Martinez man who works as the Director of Information Systems for the College of Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley says as soon as the curtain dropped on the huge Ford truck, he knew he could never take it home.

“When they dropped the curtain, I knew that’s not my lifestyle. I own two hybrids. If I took it home, my wife would leave me and the children would have disowned me, but it was nice of Ford to donate the truck,” Yau-Man says the morning after the finale. “Now, if they would have donated a hybrid Escape, I wouldn’t be so quick to trade it off.”

Of course, that was also before he knew how much the truck was worth, joking that he would never have made it on “The Price is Right.”

So, does he have to pay taxes on the truck anyway?

“I didn’t touch it, the title never touched me,” Yau-Man says. “I’m in the clear.”

He says that he knew how much Dreamz wanted the truck and so he decided almost immediately to use it as a bargaining chip because he knew when it came down to the final four, either he or Dreamz would win the immunity challenge.

“Looking back, I may have overplayed (Dreamz honoring his promise),” Yau-Man says. “I can’t read people like Cassandra did. I found out I don’t have a talent for that. Dreamz really had no intention of living up to his word, and I thought that he would.”

The final four were Yau-Man, ad executive Earl Cole, college administrator Cassandra Franklin and cheerleading coach Andria “Dreamz” Herd.

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EARL, CASSANDRA, DREAMZ

During Sunday night’s reunion show, Earl says the shocked look on his face when Dreamz backed out of his agreement with Yau-Man was that he just realized he’d won a million dollars. He knew up against Yau-Man, he probably would have lost.

That was borne out on Sunday when host Jeff Probst asked the jurors if they would have voted for Yau-Man to win the million.

In a show of hands, it was revealed that Yau-Man would have won the game.

“So Dreamz, who was never going to win the million because of what he had done during the course of the show, decided the outcome by not giving me the immunity he had promised,” Yau-Man says. “Earl won the million dollars, and because neither Dreamz nor Cassandra got a single vote, they tied for second and will get $100,000. Since I came in third, I will get $60,000. Although I havent’ checked the check yet.”

Dreamz, who has lived most of his life as a homeless young man, was all over the map making him very difficult to read at the best of times. He mentioned on the reunion show that he hoped to meet Oprah Winfrey.

Perhaps if he had honored his bargain, that might have happened.

As it is, Yau-Man says he doubts Oprah would “even allow him close to her
building.”

Yau-Man says Dreamz feels a lot more guilty over his decision than it would appear.

“Being nice to him was worse than being angry. He really wants me to be all over him about this, but I’m not going to give him the pleasure,” Yau-Man says. “Look, life is short. I don’t want to hold that anger or a grudge against him. He will have to deal with this for the rest of his life. He’s in bad shape, because he will have to do a lot of good deeds to offset that image. He committed a major moral infraction in front of millions of people.”

The funny thing is, Yau-Man says, is that Dreamz is telling everyone he’s going
to donate the truck to the charity that helped him when he was homeless.

“We all rolled our eyes and said please have a lot of television and newspaper coverage or else we won’t believe it,” Yau-Man says.

And Yau-Man admits he was a little disappointed that his pal Earl sided with Cassandra and Dreamz to vote him out.

“I was hoping he would vote for Cassandra so we could have a tie vote, but I understand that he felt he had a better chance at the final tribal council with Dreamz and Cassandra,” Yau-Man says. “I still think that if Dreamz hadn’t won the immunity, Earl would have voted him out instead.”

Yau-Man says that when he thought he might have a shot at winning the million, he thought about retiring. But now that’s not an option.

He says people are seeking him out for endorsements, but he says he thinks he’ll steer clear of commercial endorsements while doing what he can for charities.

“There’s a move on the Internet to get a million people to send in a dollar each so I can win the million,” Yau-Man says with a laugh. “I’m getting a lot more recognition on the street. I’m basically a shy person, so I’m trying to be more outgoing. It’s a new experience for me.”

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Yau’s the Man!

Few would have given Yau-Man Chan of Martinez much of a shot of getting past the first few days of “Survivor,” much less be poised to take it all on Sunday night.

After all, at 54 he’s one of the older competitors, works as the Director of Information Systems for the College of Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley and he’s a table tennis champ.

Although impressive, none of that screams “Survivor.”

Yau-Man’s also originally from Malaysian Borneo and slipped right in
when it came to life in Fiji. He also used his considerable observation skills to slip out of more than one trap.

On Thursday, he played the game with a prowess that hadn’t been seen since fellow Bay Area “Survivor” champ Yul Kwon took it all in the last go-round.

Biding his time like a Triple Crown winner coming from behind the pack, he let others set the pace early on and did his best not to make enemies.

His cunning and playful side came out after he found the first Immunity Idol _ and then decided to make a fake idol and hide it for someone else to find.

But he really brought it on when he started winning challenges like the archery competition and proved he had some mad skills.

Yau-Man did what no other competitor has ever done on Thursday when he won a Ford truck valued at close to $50,000 and gave it to another competitor, Dreamz.

Earlier, Dreamz, a person who has been homeless for much of his life, revealed that he has never owned a car and would do anything to have one. It would change his life, he proclaimed.

So Yau-Man, out of the goodness of his heart _ and a plan to get further ahead in the game _ decided to give Dreamz the truck.

In return, he only asked that if Dreamz got immunity in the final four, he would give his immunity to Yau-Man. The Man decided that move would get him into the final three if his calculations were correct.

Then Yau-Man promptly sent himself to Exile Island _ another “Survivor” first _ so that he wouldn’t burn any bridges and he could find a clue to get another Immunity Idol for his pal Earl.

He succeeded in getting Earl an idol, but he didn’t count on Dreamz
attempting a coup to get him out of the game. Dreamz decided that he would have to get Yau-Man out before that final four so he wouldn’t have to go back on his word to hand over the immunity.

Might have been easier just to fail at the immunity challenges, but
that would have been too simple I guess.

Again, with seconds ticking away at Tribal Council, Yau-Man was feeling uneasy and decided to play his Immunity Idol.

It was a million dollar decision, because everyone in the tribe except Earl voting Yau-Man out. With his immunity played, the person he and Earl had chosen, Stacy, was voted out.

That leaves only five left standing for Sunday’s finale. Earl and Yau-Man have a solid alliance, but they have to get past Boo, Cassandra and Dreamz – all the people who had voted Yau-Man off.

Can Yau-Man win immunity again and make it into the final three, when it is up to the jury to decide? If so, he’s got a good chance to win it all because he’s played the game with honesty and integrity.

You go, Yau-Man.

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Locke “Lost”?

Could it be? How could it happen?

All we know is that John Locke was last seen gasping for air after Ben shot him dead in the chest and sent him tumbling into a mass grave for all those dead Dharma guys.

Oh, and we also know through Eonline gossip goddess Kristin Veitch that Terry O’Quinn, who plays Locke, recently sold his home in Hawaii…not good.

We did learn a lot about Ben. Mom Emily (which was also Locke’s mom’s name) died in childbirth outside Portland. Dad Roger holds it against Ben. Dad’s also the guy who became dead Roger Work Man in the VW van that Hurley found a few episodes back.

After years of dad ignoring Ben’s birthday, on this particular birthday Dad decides it’s time to take the boy out for a beer in the jungle. Too late, daddy dearest. Ben kills daddy.

These father issues just don’t quit on this show.

And we finally got a glimpse of the mysterious Jacob, who is apparently one of the “whisperers” on the island. He whispers to Locke “Help Me” when Ben brings Locke to the old cabin where the mostly invisible Jacob lives.

Locke better hope Jacob can help him out. Otherwise it’s hasta la Locke.

And we’ve also seen that Ricard hasn’t aged at all in the decades he has known Ben.

Who are these “Others” anyway? We know they whacked the Dharma people, with the help of Ben. We know they steal women and children. And we know that they can’t reproduce.

And if you really want to get your head spinning, check out Jacob.

And why did Ben kill all the Dharma people, including, it would seem, his sweet little girlfriend. Or maybe she was one of the children carried off by “The Others.”

We don’t know much, but we know there’s going to be a big showdown soon. It’s going to set up quite a new season. Next week, we get a catch-up special where the “Lost” producers get us up to speed on anything we might have missed. Then just two more episodes before the mind-blasting finale.

Now talk amongst yourselves about the Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland references.

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Addison, come back to Seattle Grace

Just how badly did “Grey’s Anatomy” creator Shonda Rhimes NOT want to do a “Grey’s Anatomy” spin-off?

Apparently, enough to give us a horrible “Grey’s” episode last week that had Addison going down to So Cal to hook up with some old med school pals. We were slightly encouraged at the beginning with Addison, played by the fantabulous Kate Walsh, getting whipped by her hair in the convertible as she cruised along oceanside highway.

Then it just went oh-so-bad.

A talking elevator? Addison going all girly over some doctor she met in the talking elevator?

And while I won’t go as far as the New York Times did in remarking that the scene with the three women doctors oogling the young male receptionist as he walked out half naked to surf was setting feminism back decades, I will say that it was corny and stupid.

Maybe Rhimes is still ticked that the network put the brakes on her real passion project about journalists that starred “Denny” – Jeffrey Dean Morgan – and instead wanted an Addison-driven doc drama.

In any case, if ABC puts that stinker on its schedule next week, then we know those people have spent way too much time cooking their brains at the beach.

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