Television


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New US Fall Shows for 2003

NBC DRAMA




MISS MATCH

Kate Fox (Alicia Silverstone, pictured at left in the NBC photo by Glenn Campbell ) is a sharp divorce attorney in her father's Los Angeles law office. Kate also has a knack for matchmaking which started out as a hobby and is now becoming a full time passion, much to the dismay of her father and legal partner.

She balances the two worlds of those fall both into love and out of love, while also starting out on a new relationship that begins with a chance meeting...

The show also stars Lake Bell, Ryan O'Neal, James Roday, David Conrad, Jodi Long as pictured below with Alicia Silverstone in an NBC Photo by Glenn Campbell. From the producers of Sex in the City, Melrose Place and The Practice and is based on a true story!





LAS VEGAS

Pictures above (l-r): James Lesure as Mike Cannon, Vanessa Marcil as Samantha "Sam" Jane, Molly Simms as Delinda Deline, James Caan as Big Ed Deline, Josh Duhamel as Danny McCoy, Marsha Thomason as Nessa Holt, Nikki Cox as Mary Connell -- NBC Photo: Chris Haston/Dave Bjerke

From the writer of the hit movie "Fast and the Furious" comes this new series which stars James Caan as an ex-CIA operative who now runs s surveillance company in Las Vegas that employs an local boy who is an ex-Marine (Josh Duhamel) and revolves around the scene in this hot desert town.




THE LYONS DEN


Rob Lowe (fresh from NBC's The West Wing) stars as Jack Turner in this Washington D.C. based law show.

Turner runs a tiny inner-city law clinic that handles impossible cases. When the managing partner or Lyon, LaCrosse and Levine falls to his death under mysterious circumstances Jack Turner is tapped to replace him at that prestigious firm that is filled with inner-office politics, conspiracies, ambitious insiders who are waiting for the next man to take a fall.

Pictured: at left is Rob Lowe in an NBC Photo by Chris Haston





NBC COMEDY

Whoopi


Pictured above (l-r): Omid Djalili as Abba, Wren T. Brown as Courtney Rae, Whoopi Goldberg as Mavis Rae, Elizabeth Regen as Rita -- NBC Photo: Timothy White


A smart and sassy new comedy that lets Whoopi be Whoopi!

Whoopi Goldberg stars as Mavis Rae, a proud, opinionated lady who owns and runs her own small, downtown New York hotel. Keeping things lively around the place are Mavis' older brother Courtney, Iranian handy man Nasim and Courtney's girlfriend Rita. But the real star of this hotel is Whoopi as Mavis, who keeps the zingers flying with her unique brand of topical humor. Just what you'd hope for from the producers who have so expertly tailored TV comedy roles for the likes of Roseanne, Brett Butler and Bill Cosby. Now is the time and this is the role for America to celebrate anew the brash, bold and unabashedly funny Whoopi Goldberg in all her glory.

Coupling


Pictured above (l-r) Christopher Moynihan, Sonya Walger, Jay Harrington, Rena Sofer, Colin Ferguson, Lindsay Price

The mating ritual can get messy!

Based on the BBC/Hartswood Films series of the same name, created by Steven Moffat, Coupling concerns love and lust among six thirtysomethings who are either involved, formerly involved or looking to become intimately involved -- often with each other.

For example... Steve's with Jane but he's suddenly hot for Susan who met Steve through Jeff whom Susan used to go out with though she's just dumped Patrick so he's asked Sally out which bugs Susan since Sally is her best friend...

The result, not surprisingly, is a very involving comedy filled with eye-popping situations and equally jaw-dropping one-liners. The comic possibilities for pairings appear as limitless as the characters' desires for Coupling. Wild comedy... Insatiable laughs.



HAPPY FAMILY

It's what happens when the kids move out...
(but never leave.)

John Larroquette ("Night Court") and Christine Baranski star as Peter and Annie Brennan, soon-to-be empty nesters who couldn't be happier about it.

Youngest son Tim is ready to graduate junior college, son Todd is getting married and daughter Sara is a big business success. Yep, their kids all turned out great and Peter and Annie can't wait to have the house to themselves. Not so fast. Tim is flunking out and shacking up with their 35-year-old neighbor, Maggie, who happens to be Annie's best friend. Meanwhile Todd's having an affair. And straight-laced Sara just turned up at the doorstep, three sheets to the wind.

Seems now that the kids are grown up, mom and dad are seeing more of them than ever!

Pictured at left (l-r) Tyler Francavilla as Tim Brennan, Christine Baranski as Annie Brennan, John Larroquette as Peter Brennan, Melanie Paxson as Sara Brennan, Jeff Davis as Todd Brennan -- NBC Photo: Bjerke

CBS DRAMA

NAVY NCIS
(Naval Criminal Investigative Service)
From the producers of JAG this show stars Mark Harmon ("The West Wing," "Chicago Hope"), Michael Weatherly ("Dark Angel") and David McCallum ("The Man from U.N.C.L.E.").

NICS is a team of special agents whose mission is to investigate any crime that has a shred of evidence connected to Navy and Marine Corps personnel, regardless of rank or position. Leading this team that operates outside the military chain of command is NCIS Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Harmon), a skilled investigator and interrogator who is smart, tough and willing to bend the rules to get the job done. Working under Gibbs is Agent Anthony Dinozzo (Weatherly), a former homicide detective who joined NCIS just a few years ago, but who has instincts that can come only from working on the streets. Joining them is Agent Abby Sciuto (Pauley Perrette), a gifted forensic scientist whose dark wit matches her goth-style hair and clothes, and Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard (McCallum), a medical examiner.

From murder and espionage to terrorism and stolen submarines, these special agents traverse the globe to investigate all crimes with Navy or Marine Corps ties.

JOAN OF ARCADIA
Stars Tony Award winner Joe Mantegna ("Glengarry Glen Ross," "The Last Don"), Academy Award winner Mary Steenburgen ("Melvin and Howard," "Living with the Dead") and Amber Tamblyn ("The Ring") in a drama that follows a typical family facing atypical situations, not the least of which is their teenage daughter's sudden, unexpected conversations with God.

Tough but soft-hearted police chief Will Girardi (Mantegna) is new to the city of Arcadia and dreams of providing a safe haven for his family and community. An outbreak of serious crime in his idyllic new town challenges Girardi's desire for order, as do the ups and downs he faces with his family. Daughter Joan (Tamblyn), an average teenager, has begun acting a little strange. No one knows that it probably has something to do with the unusual way various people keep popping up, introducing themselves as God, and then giving her specific directions to do things, like get a job. The appearances are hard for her to believe, even more so as she never knows who's going to turn up next. One minute it's a cute boy her own age, the next it's the lunch lady. For now, she's keeping it all a secret.

Rounding out the Girardi family is her mom, Helen (Steenburgen), her 15-year-old science geek brother, Luke (Michael Welch), and her older brother, Kevin (Jason Ritter), a former high school sports star who is in a wheelchair as a result of a car accident.

Unsure of what God wants, and if she's even sane, Joan tentatively begins to follow God's cryptic directives, all the while trying to retain a "normal" teen-aged existence.

THE HANDLER

Stars Joe Pantoliano ("The Sopranos") as Joe Renato, an FBI agent who trains and handles agents who go undercover to solve crimes at all levels of Los Angeles' diverse society.

From underground prostitution rings and drug traffickers to the worlds of high-tech and high finance, it's a behind-the-scenes look at how Joe's well-schooled operatives infiltrate and tackle them all. Joe is the ultimate "puppet-master" who also interfaces with government and local law enforcement agencies that come to him for help with both long-term and quick sting operations. He knows from personal experience that going undercover is an all-or-nothing job. Any lapse in "character" can mean the difference between life and death for his operatives, and Joe goes to great lengths to make sure his people are properly prepared, mentally and physically. He tirelessly directs a revolving cast of characters, including Lily (Anna Belknap, "Deadline"), a wide-eyed rookie undercover agent; Darnell (Hill Harper, "City of Angels"), the ambitious veteran; Heather (Lola Glaudini, "The Sopranos"), an enthusiastic transfer; and Marcy (Tanya Wright, "24"), Joe's trustworthy assistant and sole confidante.

They all walk a fine line between fighting crimes and committing them, all the while looking out for each other.

THE BROTHERHOOD OF POLAND, N.H

Starring Award nominee Randy Quaid ("The Last Detail") and John Carroll Lynch ("The Good Girl") in a drama that celebrates small town life and follows three brothers as they face challenges in their families and careers in the town of Poland, N.H.

Hank Shaw (Quaid), the police captain, Garrett Shaw (Lynch), the mayor, and Waylon Shaw, unemployed, were born and raised in Poland and are former high school hockey stars. Now, as grown men, they are struggling with big city problems. On the job, Hank is known for his explosive personality and tendency to communicate with his fists, while his home life is far from wild with his unhappy wife, Dottie (Academy Award nominee and Emmy Award-winner Mare Winningham). Garrett, the town's pillar of strength, finds his own world beginning to crumble when he's forced to hide a secret from his wife, Helen (Academy Award nominee and Emmy Award winner Elizabeth McGovern), that could jeopardize his marriage and his relationship with his daughter, Monica (Megan Henning). Waylon, out of work and feeling a little paranoid, is convinced that his wife, Julie (Ann Cusack, "Stigmata"), is having an affair. When Waylon enlists him to help, Hank assigns outspoken police officer Francine Hill (Cleo King, "Boston Public") to spy on Julie's potential suitor. Waylon also learns that his teenage daughter, Katie (Angela Goethals), is sleeping with her high school teacher.

As the brothers confront personal and professional dilemmas, the one constant in their lives is their family bond and their unconditional love for each other.

From Emmy award winning producer-creator David E. Kelley ("The Practice," "Chicago Hope," "Ally McBeal," "Boston Public," "Picket Fences" and "L.A. Law").

COLD CASE

Stars Kathryn Morris ("Minority Report") in a drama about Lilly Rush, the lone female detective in the Philadelphia homicide squad who finds her calling when she's assigned to "cold cases," crimes that have never been solved.

Where previously she had used her instinctive understanding of the criminal mind to crack current murder cases, this smart and driven detective is now intrigued by new challenges: interrogating witnesses to old crimes whose lives and circumstances have since changed, making use of today's new science and finding fresh clues to cases once thought to be unsolvable. Lilly is also prepared for the consequences, namely that her work will open old wounds and may lead suspects to commit new crimes. When she hits a dead end, Lilly seeks advice from her respected mentor, Lt. Tom Stillman (John Finn). Also on the team is Det. Will Jeffries (Mel Winkler), who's been around long enough to know where all the bodies are buried; Det. Chris Lassing (Justin Chambers), Lilly's handsome, straight-ahead partner, and Det. Ronnie Vera (Jeremy Ratchford), a tough cop who's considered the go-to guy for getting a confession.

Lilly sees her new assignment as a turning point in her career, and she makes it her business to ensure that no victim is ever forgotten.

From the producers of "CSI," "CSI: Miami," and "Law And Order."

CBS COMEDY

TWO AND A HALF MEN

Stars Golden Globe winner Charlie Sheen ("Spin City") and Jon Cryer ("Pretty in Pink") in a comedy about a wealthy bachelor whose life is turned upside down when his brother and young nephew move into his Malibu beach house.

Charlie Harper (Sheen) savors his swinging single status and his lucrative job as the writer of popular jingles, but his self-indulgent lifestyle is about to come to an end when his about-to-be-divorced younger brother Alan (Cryer) and Alan's 10-year-old son, Jake (Angus T. Jones, "Bringing Down the House"), move into his beach-front home. As Alan, an uptight chiropractor, comes to terms with being dumped by his wife, Judith (Marin Hinkle, "Once and Again"), he gets little compassion from his self-absorbed brother. Soon, however, polar opposites Charlie and Alan discover that they have more in common than they think: they both love Jake and want what's best for him. The brothers agree to create a home for Jake at Charlie's, despite the realization that they'll likely drive each other crazy in the process.

ABC DRAMA

10-8

Starring: Danny Nucci, Ernie Hudson ("Ghostbusters," "The Substitute"), Mercedes Colon, Travis Schuldt, Scott William Winters, Indigo

Brooklyn bad boy Rico Amonte was sliding into a life of crime. Then his policeman brother caught him in the act - and hauled him off to Southern California to set him on the straight and narrow. Two years later, Rico's a graduate of the Los Angeles Sheriff's academy - a Deputy Sheriff trainee about to hit the streets in a uniform and a badge.

L.A.'s streets are dangerous but Rico's seen worse in New York. He can handle that part of the job. But nothing has prepared him for the relentless taunting he gets from his own department. His training officer, John Henry Barnes, is the meanest, toughest veteran on the force - and he's determined to hammer Rico into a by-the-book officer of the law, or break him in the process.

Threat Matrix

Starring: James Denton, Kelly Rutherford, Mahershalalhashbaz Ali, Shoshannah Stern, Kurt Caceres, Melora Walters, Anthony Azizi, Will Lyman

Our nation is a target. Al-Qaeda and other deadly enemies are determined to destroy our way of life. An attack could come at any time, from anywhere around the globe.

Against this rising threat, the Homeland Security Agency has created a highly specialized, elite task force trained and equipped to counter anyone or anything that threatens our nation. The head of this super-secret team is Special Agent John Kilmer. He reports only to the President and has authority to call upon the technical skills, firepower, and specialist agents of the FBI, CIA and NSA.

Working with cutting-edge technology - and vast stores of chutzpah - this clandestine team fights the many faces of terror to keep America safe. The one wrinkle in Kilmer's dream-team is his ex-wife, Frankie. She's as beautiful as she is fearless and lethal. Together they've averted disasters of all kinds, except their marriage.

With stories ripped from headlines, Threat Matrix is a drama with a ticking clock in an arena as deep and complex as today's world.

Karen Sisco

Starring: Carla Gugino, Robert Forster, Bill Duke ("Predator" and "Red Dragon"), Peter Horton, Jake Busey ("Starship Troopers").

Smart. Sexy. Tough. Karen Sisco is a United States marshal on Miami's Gold Coast. In pursuit of dangerous fugitives, Karen must pick her way through the dark underbelly of South Beach nightlife and the sunshine and glitz of Palm Beach highlife … while she struggles to win the respect of her supervisor and fellow officers.

Karen is a barely concealed weapon who can take down a suspect twice her size. The only man she truly trusts is her father - a retired marshal with a wealth of life experience and street smarts. He's Karen's confidant, counselor, confessor - and her rock when her confidence wavers … which it does every time she tries to connect romantically with a man.

Based on the character portrayed by Jennifer Lopez in Elmore Leonard's Out of Sight, Karen Sisco is that rare combination of action and character-drama, with a fresh and original young lead.

ABC COMEDY

Married to the Kellys

Starring: Breckin Meyer, Kiele Sanchez, Sam Anderson, Nancy Lenehan, Emily Rutherfurd, Josh Braaten, Derek Waters

New York writer Tom grew up an only child and is a loner by nature. He's a man who takes pride in refusing to learn the names of his neighbors. But his life is destined for change when he marries Susan, a gregarious social butterfly from the Midwest. Tom loves the big city, but Susan longs for something more, so Tom promises her that when he sells his first book, they'll move wherever she wants. Well, he sells one and has to make good - the couple moves to Kansas City to be near her large and close-knit family. And what a family it is!

Susan's mom, Sandy, is a warm and charming - but quietly controlling - wife who keeps tabs on everyone with her "Doghouse System" of public humiliation for anyone who breaks the house rules. Her dad, Bill, is the rock of the family and, like Tom, an only child himself. Tom sees Bill as a preview of himself in thirty years.

Other characters in this muddled menage include brother-in-law Chris, who is married to Susan's sister, Mary, and who regards Tom as a threat to his own 'favorite son-in-law' status. There's Mary herself, chronically competitive and working on her master's degree, who feels compelled to prove her intellectual superiority to Tom at every turn. And there's Lewis, the youngest in the family, who's shy and socially awkward as a result of growing up surrounded by strong women. To make Susan happy, Tom vows to do his best to fit in with her cozy clan, but he has his doubts. After all, you can lead an only child to a big family, but…

Hope & Faith

Starring: Faith Ford, Kelly Ripa, Ted McGinley, Macey Cruthird, Jansen Panettiere

Hope & Faith is a comedy about what happens when the fast lane collides with the carpool lane. It's about the moments that make you want to hug your sister … and the times you have to resist the urge to kill her.

Hope and Faith have been living in two very different worlds. Stay-at-home mom Hope leads a busy, family-centered suburban life in the Midwest with her husband, Charley and three lively children. Her celebrity sister, Faith has been living the high life in Hollywood as a daytime soap opera diva until her soap's character, Ashley Storm, is suddenly and unceremoniously killed off on The Sacred and the Sinful by her evil twin. Faith, who has never saved a dime, flees Tinseltown and the relentlessly inquiring minds of the tabloid press and seeks refuge in the suburbs with her sister. As Hope soon learns, you can kill the diva off on the daytime drama, but you can't take the drama out of the diva.

Hope, a down-to-earth, happily married mom of three, quickly finds her tidy world up-ended by her celebrity sister's arrival. She already had her hands full at home dealing with a busy household that includes two daughters - a precocious pre-teen and a rebellious teen - and a quirky son. But Hope begins to lose some of the control she holds so dear upon the arrival of Faith, whose outrageous antics have a way of engulfing the people around her.

Can Faith adjust to life far away from the spotlight without turning Hope's world upside down? Can Hope share a roof with her larger-than-life sister and still hold on to normalcy and order?

It's All Relative

Starring: Lenny Clarke, Reid Scott, Maggie Lawson, John Benjamin Hickey, Harriet Harris, Chris Sieber

So you think Romeo and Juliet had family issues? Listen to this.

Bobby's a bartender - the only son of gregarious, salt-of-the-earth Irish Catholic parents from Boston. His fiancé, Liz, is a toney Harvard medical student and she's Protestant (no, that's not the problem). Liz has two dads, not one, and they're a worldly pair of well-heeled gay men.

The moment Bobby popped the question to Liz, they knew their families would have to meet. And the first time they brought his Mom and Dad together with her Dad and Dad... well, things did not go well.

Aside from the obvious, there's a culture gap between these in-laws-to-be that makes the Grand Canyon look like a seam in the sidewalk. Liz's parents are devotees of the arts. Bobby's are devotees of the Red Sox. Liz's parents are into St. Laurent. Bobby's parents swear by St. Patrick. Did we mention that Bobby's sister, Maddy, loves throwing gasoline on the fire?

From Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, acclaimed producers of the Oscar-winning Chicago.

I'm with Her

Starring: Teri Polo, Rhea Seehorn, Danny Comden, David Sutcliffe

Writer Chris Henchy's real life marriage to Brooke Shields is the inspiration for this fresh romantic comedy: He's an average guy living with a woman who can't even pick up their dry cleaning without being asked for an autograph! Which means he's got plenty of funny stories to bring to this series about a high school teacher who falls for a movie star.

On the day that would change his life, delightful young everyman Patrick Owen is drinking his mid-morning latte when he's bitten by love. Literally. The gnashing jaws belong to Monroe, the easily-excited puppy of movie star Alexandra Young. When she tries to apologize - and when Patrick recognizes her famous face - he's awestruck, dumbstruck, and so very charming.

Alex sets her sights on Patrick, but he's unprepared for the add-on's that come with this little flirtation. His anonymity and privacy go up in the flash of a hundred paparazzi cameras. And he's an overnight sensation with his young male students, for reasons that have nothing to do with his brilliant classroom banter. All of which makes him wonder if it's possible to find true love in the hot spotlight of the media.

From the producers of Smallville comes a unique look at a guy dating out of his league. Way out of his league. This comedy proves nice guys don't always finish last. Sometimes they go the distance.

Television News

Matt LeBlanc regular from the series “Friends” will be doing a spin-off show next year called “Joey” which is named after his character on the hit series “Friends” which ends next year. There will be only 18 original episodes of the #1 NBC comedy hit series running into 2004,followed by six “best of” episodes to be picked by viewers.

“Joey” will occupy the current “Friends” time slot next year when the new show debuts.



Other NBC shows returning later in September include “Scrubs” (we profiled this show and co-star Judy Reyes in past Issues) and “Good Morning Miami.”



Jennifer Garner is set to stay with the hit series “Alias” for several more years. That show is, of course, returning later this month with new episodes to ABC. Garner has been nominated twice for an acting Emmy for her work in “Alias” plus has won a Golden Globe.




Veteran stage, film and television comic Bob Hope died recently after just celebrating his 100th birthday. Hope, who was born an English citizen, was an industry leader in doing USO shows for American troops stationed overseas since World War II. He did Korea, Vietnam and most recently the first Gulf War when we liberated Kuwait.

The United States Department of Defense issued this statement in memory of the great comic:

“Today, we mourn the loss of a true American patriot. The first and only American ever to be made an honorary Veteran of America s Armed Forces, Bob Hope holds a special place in the national security pantheon. He called the troops his "best friends," and he made it his mission to be with them wherever they served, regardless of distance or danger. To many of our forces from across the generations, Bob Hope s visits were a taste of home in a far-off land; a moment of mirth in the middle of war, and a loud and clear message to our military that America honored their service and prayed for their safe return. Bob Hope s final tour, at age 87, took him to the Persian Gulf and the men and women of Desert Storm. Although he is no longer with us in life, he will always remain, just as he was, in our hearts -- cracking jokes, boosting morale, and reminding all the world of what it means to be an American. With profound gratitude for his decades of service to our country, we extend our deepest sympathy to his family and many friends”

Bob Hope was part of an era of classic comedy that included other great entertainers such as Jack Benny, George Burns and Gracie Allen, all of whom has popular careers in movies, stage and television.

Hope had a long running variety show on NBC and was very active in television productions.

Both NBC and Fox Networks had a great summer with their original “real life” shows and are planning do replace poorly watched prime time series again next summer with this type of original programming.

 


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