The new fall U.S. network prime-time offerings for 2004...

NBC - Dramatic


Premieres Wednesday, Sept. 1st

Hawaii can seduce just about anyone…cops and criminals alike. Murder. Drug-running. Organized cartels. The stories are as gritty as any urban center, despite the idyllic surroundings. Where else would cops discover a smoldering torso at the base of an active volcano? The diverse group of cops and detectives may work against a breathtaking backdrop of jungles and seascapes, but they can never take a vacation from the tangle of local and international criminals constantly crossing their paths. Cast: Michael Biehn, Sharif Atkins, Ivan Sergei, Eric Balfour, Aya Sumika, Cary Tagawa, Peter Navy Tuiasosopo.

From Jeff Eastin, the writer of “True Lies 2” and “Rush Hour 3,” comes “Hawaii,” one of the season’s most anticipated dramas. This sexy, action-packed drama set in the island paradise of Oahu follows the exploits of Honolulu’s Metro Police Department as they solve crimes that could only happen in this exotic locale, using methods unique to Hawaii.

Action star Michael Biehn (“The Rock,” “Aliens,” “The Terminator”) stars as Sean Harrison, a legendary detective on the force who’s teamed with island newcomer John Declan (Sharif Atkins, “ER”), a detective who recently arrived from Chicago. Declan is smart and impulsive but can’t swim, a skill that comes in handy when fighting crime on an island.

Rounding out the cast of cool cops is Ivan Sergei (“Crossing Jordan,” “Jack & Jill”) as Detective Danny Edwards, Eric Balfour (“Six Feet Under,” “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”) as his partner and island native, Christopher Gains. The cast also includes newcomers Aya Sumika, as sexy Officer Linh, and Peter Navy Tuiasosopo, as her jovial Samoan partner, Officer Kaleo, as well as veteran Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (“The Last Emperor,” “Snow Falling on Cedars”) as the stern but fair Captain Terry Harada.

Eastin, the creator and executive producer of “Hawaii” is joined by co-executive producers Reed Steiner (“The Shield,” “Line of Fire,” “The District”) and Chris Black (“Enterprise,” “Sliders”), supervising producer Terri Kopp (“Third Watch,” “Law & Order”) and producer Wendy West (“Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” “The Practice”) for this new drama from NBC Universal Television Studio.

Has posibilities. Four heads in the trunk of a car. Yelling at a boat to stop. -- E.R.D.

Review of second episode: Very good show. Likeable characters who work well together. Good writing and directing. Grity and realistic look at a Hawaii only those who live there might see.


Premieres Friday, Sept. 10th

Based on true accounts, these are the stories of the National Institutes of Health, America’s most elite unit of medical experts. But these doctors don’t operate in a hospital. At a moment’s notice, they’re summoned anywhere in the country, authorized to take over treatment of any case. Each assignment is a life-or-death race against time so when they solve a case, chances are they save a life. Part cop show, part medical drama, Medical Investigation is one great hour of mystery. Cast: Neal McDonough, Kelli Williams, Anna Belknap, Troy Winbush, Christopher Gorham, Clare Carey, Chris Kelly.

Neal McDonough (NBC’s “Boomtown”) and Kelli Williams (“The Practice”) return to series television as members of a mobile medical team from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) who are summoned in a heartbeat to scope out -- and hopefully snuff out -- outbreaks of unexplained and fearful diseases. These specialists drop out of the sky anywhere and have government carte blanche to take charge when people start dying, which requires them to medically re-construct grisly events to prevent the next epidemic, plague or contagion.

McDonough stars as Dr. Stephen Connor, the leader of the team whose take-charge attitude has enabled him to save the lives of millions, but in the process, has sadly cost the separated Connor his family. Williams portrays Dr. Natalie Durant, who specializes in pathology and epidemiology and works under the supervision of Connor, a man whom she respects, but is willing to stand up to in any life-threatening situation.

The elite team also includes Troy Winbush (“John Q.”) as specialist Frank Powell, a quiet but intense medical inspector who is friends with Connor. Likewise, Powell works well with Dr. Miles McCabe (Christopher Gorham, “Jake 2.0”), the newest and youngest member of the team who tries to prove his “wunderkind” reputation is deserved -- but struggles to mature and keep pace with his colleagues in the big leagues. Anna Belknap (“The Handler”) also stars as the NIH’s publicity liaison Eva Rossi, a woman who uses unconventional methods to keep the media at bay in the middle of a crisis.

"Medical Investigation" is executive-produced by Laurence Andries (“Boomtown”), Bob Cooper, Scott Vila (“The Simple Life”) and Marc Buckland (“Ed”). The series is created and co-executive produced by Jason Horwitch (“The Pentagon Papers”). The pilot episode was executive-produced by Andries, Cooper, Vila, Buckland and Michelle Ashford ("Boomtown"); was written by Horwitch and Ashford; and directed by Buckland.

The series is from NBC Universal Television Studio and Paramount Network Television in association with Landscape Entertainment.

MEDICAL INVESTIGATION -- NBC Series -- Pictured: (l-r) Troy Winbush as Frank Powell, Anna Belknap as Eva Rossi, Neal McDonough as Dr. Stephen Connor, Kelli Williams as Dr. Natalie Durant, Christopher Gorham as Dr. Miles McCabe -- NBC Photo: Justin Lubin

Sort of like the Dustin Hoffman movie "Outbreak." Some potential here if they handle it right...--E.R.D.

Caught an episode. It's better than CSI Miami, but the characters don't relate very well to each other nor do they have much character. There is no "Grissom" in this show. It's plain vanilla CSI. The show still has some potential, but it's pale compared to CSI or even "Outbreak" the movie that this show is loosely based upon. There is no Cuba Gooding, there is no Dustin Hoffman, there is no Kevin Spacey, there is no "character" at all to the characters.


Mon 10 pm

Television favorites Heather Locklear and Blair Underwood are teamed as intense rivals in this dramatic series centered in a world unto itself: a major international airport. Security breaches, terrorist threats, illegal immigrants, missing children, drug busts – when it comes to stories to tell, well, the sky’s the limit. Each week will feature compelling dramas, from chance encounters to surprise reunions to the ongoing power struggles and romantic misadventures between the people who keep LAX running smoothly. Cast: Heather Locklear, Blair Underwood, Paul Leyden, David Paetkau, Wendy Hoopes, Frank John Hughes, Chad Todhunter.

From Emmy nominated writer Nick Thiel (“Magnum P.I”) and producer Mark Gordon (“Saving Private Ryan,” “Speed”) comes NBC’s new drama series “LAX,” which explores the behind-the-scenes dramas and conflicts of both travelers and staff transpiring daily at the bustling Los Angeles International Airport.

Television favorite Heather Locklear (“Spin City”) stars as Harley Random, an ambitious, take-charge runway chief based at LAX – the 5th busiest airport in the world. Harley is frequently confronted by her rival, terminal boss Roger (Blair Underwood, “L.A. Law,” “Sex and the City”), as each jockeys to be named the new director of the airport while working together to solve everything from bomb scares, to VIP arrivals, drunken pilots and roaming pets -- all beneath the din of a frantic “hub” with spokes that touch all corners of the world.

Rounding out this group of airport staff are Tony (Paul Leyden) the suave Airline Passenger Coordinator, who does his best to sooth frazzled nerves; Customs Agent Betty (Wendy Hoopes), who along with Immigration Officer Nick (David Paetkau) and LAPD Officer Henry Engels (Frank John Hughes) help keep the airport safe in an increasingly complicated world.

Created by Thiel, “LAX” is from NBC Universal Television Studio. Gordon and Thiel are executive producers.

LAX -- NBC Series -- Pictured: (l-r) Chad Todhunter as Young Man, Frank John Hughes as Henry, Paul Leyden as Tony, Heather Locklear as Harley Random, Blair Underwood as Roger, Wendy Hoopes as Betty, David Paetkau as Nick -- NBC Photo: Chris Haston

Strong misgivings about this show based on the previews. It is patterened after the highly popular "Airport" movies, especially the first one. I'm a big fan of Heather, but I don't hold out much hope for this show based on the previews I saw... -- E.R.D.

Caught an episode, it played better than the previews. I really liked the "dog" bit with the two baggage handlers, but it got out of control. I really liked the Mayor, he's a card! I hope he comes back for more! I didn't like the choir boy Customs officer and the ending bit with the orphan flight. That ending generated too much tooth decay for my liking. The show has some potential, but some of the songs they used... Please!


9/8pm Wednesdays

This limited-run drama series stars Bill Pullman as Dr. Richard Massey, a scientist faced with his toughest personal, professional and philosophical challenges. Massey is searching for reasonable explanations to signs indicating that the apocalyptic end as foretold in Scriptures is in motion. To save humanity, he must let go of scientific facts and embrace faith, so Massey aligns himself with a nun whose devout beliefs are unshakeable. Time is running out, literally, as the two race around the globe to thwart Armageddon and restore hope. Cast: Bill Pullman, Natascha McElhone, Michael Massee, Brittney & Chelsey Coyle, Tobin Bell.

Bill Pullman ("Independence Day") stars as a scientist faced with the toughest personal, professional and philosophical challenges of his life. Dr. Richard Massey is searching for reasonable explanations -- to explain signs that seem to indicate the apocalyptic end as foretold in Scriptures is in motion. To save humanity, Massey will have to let go of scientific facts and embrace faith. His first step in his quest to conquer the impending evil is to align himself with a nun (Natascha McElhone, "Solaris") whose devout beliefs are unshakeable. Despite many obstacles, including their own fears and doubts, the two remain determined to prove that Man can regain control of fate. Time is literally running out in their thrilling, fast-paced race around the globe to thwart Armageddon -- and restore hope. Michael Massee ("Se7en"), newcomers Chelsey and Brittney Coyle and Tobin Bell ("The Road to El Dorado") also star. "Revelations" is a production of Pariah. Vivian Cannon and Jessika Borsiczky will oversee the project for Pariah. "Revelations" is directed by David Semel (NBC's "American Dreams").

REVELATIONS -- NBC Series -- Pictured: (l-r) Natasha McElhone, Bill Pullman -- NBC Photo

REVELATIONS -- NBC Series -- Pictured: Michael Massee -- NBC Photo: Paul Drinkwater

X-Files updated? Let's wait and see, I can't judge by the previews on this one... --E.R.D.

NBC - Comedy


Premieres Thursday, Sept. 9th

Emmy nominee Matt LeBlanc reprises his Friends role as charming Joey Tribbiani in this comedy spin-off that continues the beloved Friends tradition. Joey, an aspiring actor, is off to Los Angeles to pursue his dream and begin a new chapter in his life. In this new town he’s sure to face new challenges, both professional and personal. After reuniting with his sister, Gina, Joey moves in with his 20-year-old genius nephew, Michael, who is literally a rocket scientist. What Joey lacks in book smarts, however, he makes up for with people smarts, making him the best new friend his nephew could ask for. Cast: Matt LeBlanc, Drea deMatteo, Paulo Costanzo, Jennifer Coolidge..

From three of the executive producers behind the mega-successful hit series "Friends" comes the highly anticipated new comedy "Joey." Multiple Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG Award nominee Matt LeBlanc reprises his "Friends" role as charming and still-single Joey, who has struck out on his own and moved to Hollywood, hoping to truly make it as an actor.

Joey says goodbye to a time when his friends were his family and welcomes the chance to turn his family into his friends. After reuniting with his high-strung sister Gina (Drea de Matteo - "The Sopranos"), a strong and sexy hairdresser, Joey moves in with her genius 20-year-old son, graduate student Michael (Paulo Costanzo, "Road Trip"), who literally is a rocket scientist. What Joey lacks in book smarts, however, he more than makes up for with his people skills, making him the best new friend his nephew could ask for.

From Bright-San Productions and Silver and Gold Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television Production Inc., "Joey" is executive-produced by Kevin S. Bright, Scott Silveri and Shana Goldberg-Meehan. The pilot was written by Goldberg-Meehan and Silveri and directed by Bright.

JOEY -- NBC Series -- Pictured: (l-r) Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani, Drea De Matteo as Gina, Paulo Costanzo as Michael -- Warner Brothers Photo

The agent looks good, so does the sister. Potential here. -- E.R.D.


Premieres Tuesday, Aug. 31

NBC teams with the creative powerhouses who brought you Shrek, along with some all-star voices, to create a computer-generated-imaging (CGI) comedy series of the highest caliber. Viewers will journey inside the lives of a pride of white lions who perform in the world-famous Siegfried and Roy show and will also explore their lush Las Vegas habitat. Voice Talent: John Goodman, Cheryl Hines, Carl Reiner, Orlando Jones, Danielle Harris, Daryl Sabara, Julian Holloway, Dave Herman.

From DreamWorks Animation, producer of the smash hits, “Shrek” and “Shrek 2” comes a new CGI-animated comedy series that goes beyond the bright lights and glitz of the iconic “Siegfried & Roy” show to provide a glimpse of the off-stage antics and the suburban life of the performing white lions.

John Goodman (“Roseanne”), Cheryl Hines (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”), Emmy winner Carl Reiner (“The Dick Van Dyke Show”) and Orlando Jones (“Magnolia”) lend their talents to the half-hour series that incorporates much of the cheeky, edgy and ironic humor that proved so popular in the DreamWorks hits, “Shrek” and “Shrek 2.”

Set in Las Vegas, “Father of the Pride” centers around the family life of Larry, (voiced by Goodman), a down-to-earth, hard-working lion who somehow fell into show business. After falling in love and marrying the beautiful lioness, Kate (voiced by Hines), Larry must endure daily taunting from his father-in-law, the legendary headliner Sarmoti (voiced by Reiner), who was first discovered in Africa by Siegfried & Roy. The now aging star, Sarmoti, is constantly at odds with his son-in-law over such issues as Larry’s disregard for the old Rat Pack-era values or how he parents his two cubs; rebellious 15-year-old daughter Sierra (voiced by Danielle Andrea Harris, “Rugrats Go Wild”) and awkward 9-year-old son Hunter (voiced by Daryl Sabara, “Spy Kids”).

Joining Larry and his family in this “man-made” jungle of lions, tigers and showbiz is his scheming best friend, Snack the gopher (voiced by Jones), as well as the snooty white tigers Blake and Victoria (voiced by John O’Hurley, “Seinfeld” and Wendie Malick, “Just Shoot Me”).

CGI versions of Siegfried & Roy (voiced by Julian Holloway, “Michael Uncle Silas” and Dave Herman, “Office Space”) will also be featured in the series.

“Father of the Pride” will be the first prime-time television show with feature film-quality CGI animation. Created by Jeffrey Katzenberg (“Shrek”) and Jonathan Groff (“Late Night with Conan O’Brien”), the series is executive-produced by Groff, Jon Pollack (“Spin City,” “Just Shoot Me”), Peter Mehlman (“Seinfeld”) and Katzenberg. The series is produced by DreamWorks Animation.

Looks cute! Eddie Murphy will do a guest slot in a future episode, as will other name stars. This has very strong potential, with a cute cast, good comedy writing and a strong success rate for the genre. -- E.R.D.

Caught the epsiode with Eddie Murphy. Good but not great. Expected more from the main characters, however Siegfried and Roy were far better than I thought they'd be in the show and the sub-plot about Gramma's Bed and Breakfast was quite funny!


The Contender

Powerhouse producer Mark Burnett (Survivor, The Apprentice) and box office champ Sylvester Stallone team up for a one-two reality punch with The Contender, a new series following 16 amateur boxers as they train and compete. With Stallone as their guide, viewers will get to know the contenders by not only following their professional training, but also by seeing their personal lives and struggles. Five-time world champion fighter Sugar Ray Leonard is also signed to star.

NBC has joined with Oscar nominee Sylvester Stallone (“Rocky”), executive producer Mark Burnett (NBC’s “The Apprentice,” “Survivor”) and Jeffrey Katzenberg, Co-Principal, DreamWorks SKG for “The Contender,” a new unscripted series about the search for the next boxing superstar.

“The Contender” will follow 16 aspiring boxers as they come to a training camp to follow their dream of becoming a champion boxer. The driving force behind the series will be the pursuit of the American dream and the natural trials, tribulations and heartbreak inherent in that quest. The canvas of the show gives viewers a first hand look into the real life hopes, triumphs and defeats of the contestants and how this single-minded, consuming commitment affects their families.

“This series will tell compelling dramatic unscripted stories as we watch these 16 men follow their dreams of being a Contender,” said Burnett. “We’re looking to reclaim a part of America that has been missing – where are the Mohammad Alis? Where are the Sugar Ray Leonards?”

Stallone and international sports legend Sugar Ray Leonard will serve as both hosts and boxing mentors to this group of fighters as they each try to improve their skills in order rise to the rank of professional boxers.

“The Contender” is a joint production between Mark Burnett Productions, DreamWorks Television and Rogue Marble. Stallone, Burnett and Katzenberg are the executive producers.

THE CONTENDER -- NBC Alternative Series -- "L. A. Open Call" -- Pictured: (l-r) Sugar Ray Leonard, Frank Stallone, Sylvester Stallone -- NBC Photo: Byron Cohen

Returning to NBC this fall

Crossing Jordan
Law and Order Franchise
West Wing
Las Vegas
Third Watch
Will and Grace

ABC - Dramatic

Boston Legal

Sunday 10 pm

Starring: James Spader, William Shatner, Rhona Mitra, Lake Bell Congratulations to James Spader on his Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series and William Shatner on his Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series! Find out if they take home the Emmy on the 56th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, Live! September 19, 2004 at 8e/5p, only on ABC!

Alan Shore and Denny Crane lead the brigade of high-priced civil litigators in an upscale Boston law firm in a series focusing on the professional and personal lives of brilliant, but often emotionally-challenged, attorneys. Fast-paced, darkly comedic, the series will confront social issues, moral conscience, safe sex, pursuit of happiness and money, with varying degrees of priority. Escape to the law firm on One Fleet Street.-where anything goes… and often will.

An outragious show from David E. Kelley (Ally McBeal, Boston Public, LA Law, Chicago Hope and Picket Fences). William Shatner and James Spader are in top form as mentor and protege in a show that's part Peyton Place and part L.A. Law.

Desperate Housewives

Sunday 9 pm

Mark Moses, Cody Kasch, Teri Hatcher, Andrea Bowen, Marcia Cross, Michael Reilly Burke, Felicity Huffman, Eva Longoria, Ricardo Antonio Chavira, James Denton, Kyle Searles Looking down on her friends and family isn't a way of life for Mary Alice Scott. It's a way of death. One day, in her perfect house, in the loveliest of suburbs, Mary Alice ended it all. Now she's taking us into the lives of her family, friends and neighbors, commenting from her elevated POV. Her husband's acting suspicious, the neighbors are talking, and her girlfriends are wondering why one of their own would do something so rash… and so messy.

There's Susan, the divorcée who goes to extraordinary lengths for love. Lynette, the ex-career woman who traded the boardroom for boredom, mixed with moments of sheer panic. Bree, the Martha Stewart on steroids, whose family is about to mutiny. And Gabrielle, the ex-model with everything she always wanted - a rich husband, a big house - so what is she doing with the 17-year-old gardener? As for Mary Alice's husband, Paul, there must be a good reason why he's digging up the pool in the middle of the night.

From her unique vantage point, Mary Alice sees more now than she ever did alive, and she's planning to share all the delicious secrets that hide behind every neighbor's closed door in this seemingly perfect American suburb. The writer of Melrose Place and General Hospital (executive producer Charles Pratt Jr.) has helped create a primetime soap with a truly contemporary take on happily ever after.

Life As We Know It

Thursday 9pm

Sean Faris, Jon Foster, Chris Lowell, Missy Peregrym, Kelly Osbourne, D.B. Sweeney, Lisa Darr, Marguerite Moreau, Jessica Lucas They say teenage boys think about sex every 15 seconds. That's 240 times an hour. And in between they cram everything else: Cheating moms. Interfering dads. Sex. Secret crushes. Pop quizzes. Sex. Clueless teachers. School cliques. Sex. It's enough to make a kid's head explode.

Melvin Burgess' breakthrough novel is the basis for this series about three hormone-charged teenage boys who are trying to do something even harder than losing their virginity, and that's to grow up without totally freaking out. There's Dino, the handsome jock with the secret sensitive side; Jonathan, the artist who sees life through a camera lens; and Ben, the straight-A student who still can't make his parents happy. You know them. You grew up with them. Maybe you were them.

This coming of age drama in the tradition of Stand By Me and The Outsiders comes to ABC from the writers of Freaks & Geeks and Just Shoot Me.


Wed 8pm

Evangeline Lilly, Ian Somerhalder, Dominic Monaghan, Jorge Garcia, Maggie Grace, Malcolm David Kelley, Naveen Andrews, Harold Perrineau, Josh Holloway, Matthew Fox, Terry O'Quinn, Daniel Dae Kim, Yunjin Kim Out of the blackness the first thing Jack senses is pain. Then burning sun. A Bamboo forest. Smoke. Screams. With a rush comes the horrible awareness that the plane he was on tore apart in mid-air and crashed on a Pacific island. From there it's a blur, as his doctor's instinct kicks in: people need his help.

Stripped of everything, the 48 survivors scavenge what they can from the plane for their survival. Some panic. Some pin their hopes on rescue. A few find inner strength they never knew they had-like Kate who, with no medical training, suddenly finds herself suturing the doctor's wounds. The band of friends, family, enemies and strangers must work together against the cruel weather and harsh terrain. But the intense howls of the mysterious creatures stalking the jungle fill them all with fear. Fortunately, thanks to the calm leadership of quick-thinking Jack and level-headed Kate, they have hope. But even heroes have secrets, as the survivors will come to learn.

From J.J. Abrams, the creator of Alias, comes an action-packed adventure that will bring out the very best and the very worst in the people who are lost.

This is a very slow-paced show with a twist. Imagine if a commercial jet liner crashed in the jungle occupied by "something" that is a cross between a Jurassic Park Raptor and Arnold's Preditor! You're on an island, a thousand miles off course, where no one is looking for you and something "evil" lurkes "out there" just waiting to grab one of you in the dark of night!

Holy shades of Stephen King!

ABC - Comedy


Tues 8:30 pm

Rodney Carrington, Jennifer Aspen, Amy Pietz, Nick Searcy, Oliver Davis, Matthew Josten Stand-up comedian Rodney Carrington would like to take you to the middle of real, everyday America. In the tradition of Home Improvement and Roseanne comes a down-to-earth guy's guy who, with his own heartland intelligence, speaks the truth.

Rodney is quitting or getting fired from jobs he hates while doing stand-up in dive bars at night. He may not have much money, but he still finds excitement. He's not afraid to walk into a department store naked on a dare. Not afraid to take credit for flowers someone else sent his wife. Not afraid to get between his fighting boys. Not afraid to tell his wife he wants to make stand-up his career. He's going to figure out how to find happiness while being the best damn husband, dad and son he knows how to be.

Located in a nice time slot between “According to Jim” and “NYPD Blue”

Complete Savages

Friday 8:30

Keith Carradine, Andrew Eiden, Shaun Sipos, Erik von Detten, Evan Ellingson, Jason Dolley, Vincent Ventresca, Meet the Savage brothers. They smell. They're slobs. And they love it that way. Executive producer and director Mel Gibson's real life experiences of raising a brood of boys provides the basis for a take-no-prisoners comedy.

Raised by their single dad, the Savage boys have had a succession of housekeepers — over 20 at last count — to pick up after them. Well today that comes to an end. Dad Nick wants his boys to learn the skills women don't seem to take so much joy in anymore — you know: cooking, cleaning, laundry. Somehow this dad is going to turn his loutish boys into independent men, the kind any girl could take home to her mother. This is going to be some battle because Nick, just like his sons, is still a boy at heart.

Producers Mike Scully and Julie Thacker Scully, writers for The Simpsons, add their own family experience into the mix for a funny, honest take on raising kids. It reminds us that each child comes with their own personalities and problems, and that none of them come with instructions.

Good time slot located after “8 Simple Rules” and before “Hope and Faith”


Wife Swap

Wednsday 10 pm

Already a smash hit in the UK and most recently awarded a BAFTA, the UK's most prestigious television award, "Wife Swap" gives two families the rare opportunity to witness what it's like to live someone else's life and experiences. Two matriarchs from two households trade places for 10 days. For the first five days of the challenge, they must obey the rules of the new family's lifestyle and adopt their daily routine - parenting, shopping, housework, creating budgets and social life. For the remaining five days, these women get to run the new house their own way - a radical shock to both families. This intense new series taps into America's voyeuristic tendencies and desires to judge how others run their households, raise their children and treat their spouses. Never before has a reality series taken such an honest inside look at the American family.

The Benefactor

Monday 8pm

Starring: Mark Cuban What would you do for a million dollars? Billionaire businessman and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is about to find out because he is "The Benefactor," and he's set to give away a million bucks to a complete stranger. Why has he agreed to give away such a large sum of money? Because he can't wait to figure out how America's applicants will prove to him that they deserve it! Sixteen contestants will vie for the money in a competition full of emotional, dramatic challenges - tests of character, intelligence, heart and maybe a little bit of luck.

CBS - Dramatic


Friday 10 pm

Emmy Award-nominee Rob Lowe and Emmy Award-winner Joe Pantoliano in a drama about an unconventional physician who takes a gamble when he leaves behind the world of emergency medicine to become the in-house doctor at a high-end casino in Las Vegas. From his penthouse office suite, Dr. Billy Grant (Lowe) attends to the round-the-clock medical needs of guests, employees and their families amid the lures of Sin City. The doctor's always in when it comes to catering to the often frivolous medical requests of his good friend and boss, Tommy Danko (Pantoliano), the hotel's general manager. Tommy's priority is the well-being of his high rollers and the casino's bottomline, while Billy's committed to upholding the Hippocratic Oath, often putting them at odds. The frenetic pace continues on the casino floor where the action never stops. Vic Moore (Tom Sizemore) is Tommy's first Lieutenant--part casino host, part gambling director and part enforcer. Always on hand is beautiful blackjack dealer, Veronica Harold (Sarah Lancaster), who attends classes during the day and works nights to help support her father. Whether it's a celebrity headliner who takes a header from the stage, an employee hurt on the job or a desperate guest whose luck has run out at the tables, it's a safe bet that Dr. Grant will see his share of unique medical cases. But, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, and for Billy, it's all in a day's work on the Strip.

Has Potential

CSI New York

Wednesday 10 pm

Academy Award-nominee, Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winner Gary Sinise and Emmy Award-nominee Melina Kanakaredes in a crime drama about forensic investigators who use high-tech science to follow the evidence and solve crimes in The Big Apple. Det. Mack "Mac" Taylor (Sinise) is a dedicated and driven crime scene investigator who believes that everything is connected and for everyone there is a story. He and his partner, Det. Stella Bonasera (Kanakaredes), a workaholic and a jack-of-all-trades, share a passion for the job. They lead a team of experts amid the gritty and kinetic city that never sleeps. Their team includes Danny Messer (Carmine Giovinazzo), a Brooklyn-born investigator with rugged good looks, an unflappable spirit and a colorful family history, and Dr. Sheldon Hawkes (Hill Harper), a reclusive coroner who walked away from a promising surgical career after the traumatic loss of two patients. Joining them is homicide Det. Joe Flack (Eddie Cahill), an edgy, hardcore investigator with a quick wit, impressive forensic insight and limited patience with potential suspects. Rounding out the team is Aiden Burn (Vanessa Ferlito), a smart and sexy investigator whose chameleon-like behavior allows her to adapt to any situation at any time. These skilled investigators, who see New York City in a whole different light, follow the evidence as they piece together clues and eliminate doubt to ultimately crack their cases.

Doesn't Thrill me -- and I like Gary Sinise...--E.R.D.


Tues 9 pm

A drama about a 16-year-old boy who becomes a man in a world of overgrown boys when he takes a job as a batboy for a professional baseball team. For the first time, Pete Young (Jeremy Sumpter) takes a risk--perhaps the only risk of his young life--when he applies for and lands his dream job as a batboy for the New York Empires. The problem is his single mom, Lynne (Mare Winningham), has no idea what he's up to. Until now, he's been the golden boy while his rebellious older sister, Betsy (Kirsten Storms), has always been in the doghouse. On the job, Pete becomes a part of a new family that includes Conrad Dean (Dean Cain), the team's captain and star third baseman and one of the boy's all-time idols who takes on the role of an older brother. Also in the clubhouse is his boss, Lou Russo (Christopher Lloyd), a gruff but fair equipment manager who becomes a much-needed father figure, Carlos Tavares (John Ortiz), a rookie who believes that Pete is his good luck charm, and José Marquez (JD Pardo), the Empire's territorial head batboy. Pete is over the moon at being a member of his favorite team, but he must still balance life at home and life in the big leagues as he faces the moral dilemmas and curve balls that life throws his way.

Has potential. A lot along the lines of American Dreams in capturing the imagination.
-- E.R.D.

CBS - Comedy


Monday 8:30 pm

Jason Alexander in a comedy about a well-regarded sports talk show host and columnist who struggles to get the respect and admiration from his family that he gets from his fans. Based on the writings of real-life sports commentator and columnist Tony Kornheiser, Tony Kleinman (Alexander) is an irreverent sports show host who banters about all things sports with his witty sidekick, Bernie Widmer (Malcolm-Jamal Warner), a former football player turned sports show host, on their television talk show, "Shut Up and Listen." Tony has also begun writing a humorous syndicated newspaper column that includes commentary on his family who are less than thrilled to have their trials and tribulations made public. Tony's wife, Dana (Wendy Makkena) works as a fundraiser. While not a sports fan, she is always supportive of her paranoid and obsessive-but-loving husband. Lauren (Daniella Monet) is the Kleinmans' know-it-all, soccer-playing 14-year-old daughter. Mickey (Will Rothhaar) is their 15-year-old golf prodigy son. While Tony's inability to self-edit before broadcasting his thoughts is what makes him most endearing to his fans, it keeps his friends and family on their toes as everything could be fodder for his column.

Not too bad from the preview I saw, which was almost the whole pilot.--E.R.D.


Emmy Award-nominee John Goodman in a comedy about a family man who, by default, is the go-to guy for his eccentric extended clan. John (Goodman) and Kate (Emmy Award-winner Jean Smart) Barnett are still very much in love after 20 years of marriage and are looking forward to the next 20. Only one thing interrupts their bliss: John's family. His sex-obsessed father, Art (Emmy Award-winner Ed Asner,) and his loopy mother, Marge (Academy Award winner Olympia Dukakis,) have a penchant for coming over unannounced, ready to stir the pot. As the owner of a security company, John just hired his gleefully oblivious brother, Tommy (Diedrich Bader), who is having trouble wrapping his mind around the concept of "office hours." John's sister, Lily (Melinda McGraw), is a therapist who is her own best patient. If that's not enough, their 12-year-old son, Miles (Spencer Breslin), has the makings of a perfectly nutty third generation Barnett. As the family patriarch, John fights an uphill battle with Kate's help to keep the peace while his oddball family spins around him.

Eh, another mindless comedy... --E.R.D.

The WB Network - Drama

Jack and Bobbie

What if you could watch the next great American president grow up? That compelling question is the idea behind a powerful new drama from master storytellers Greg Berlanti (Everwood, Dawson's Creek), Thomas Schlamme (The West Wing, Ally McBeal), Vanessa Taylor (Everwood) and Mickey Liddell (Everwood, Go). The pilot was directed by the incomparable David Nutter (Smallville, Without a Trace).

If "greatness is thrust upon us," as Winston Churchill once said, then it stands to reason that those who are destined for greatness are rarely aware of it. Take Jack (newcomer Matthew Long) and Bobby McCallister (Logan Lerman, The Butterfly Effect) for example: two bright young brothers growing up under the watchful eye of their eccentric single mother Grace McCallister (Christine Lahti, Chicago Hope). Grace's personality is a force of nature destined to shape both of these young men's lives and secure one a place in the history books - as President of the United States.

Set in the fictional town of Hart, Missouri in the present day, the series details the relationship between these brothers and the people who shape their values and personalities, especially their mother. A brilliant college professor with an unconventional parenting style, Grace is struggling to let one son go and understand the other. Although she has no way of knowing she is raising a future president, it would not surprise her to know that her boys are destined for greatness. Jack is the big brother everyone wishes they had. A natural hero and a born leader, he seems to have everything going for him. He's the perfect role model for Bobby, who, with a big heart and a quick intellect, is nonetheless an undeniable social misfit. Bobby is caught between the rival forces of his mother and his brother, and it's impossible to please them both.

The arrival of a new college president and his beautiful daughter impacts the lives of all three McCallisters. In Peter Benedict (John Slattery, Mona Lisa Smile) Grace has met not only her new boss, but an intellectual equal. Peter is a brilliant businessman with a questionable character, and Grace finds herself both attracted and repelled by him. Peter's teenage daughter Courtney (newcomer Jessica Paré) soon strikes up a friendship with Jack and forms a special bond with Bobby. The brothers eventually learn that the brave front Courtney presents to the world hides a painful family secret.

Another pivotal figure in Jack and Bobby's childhood is Jack's best friend Marcus Ride (Edwin Hodge, The Alamo). Son of the owner of J.R., a popular neighborhood gathering spot, Marcus is close to Jack, but their relationship is also highly competitive. Over time, their friendship will be tested repeatedly.

Exploring the idea that what happens today in the life of one child could impact the future of the entire world, upcoming episodes will focus on the events that mold Jack and Bobby's characters and shape their values. While the McCallister's family life in the present day is explored, the audience will also see glimpses of what America may be like 40 or 50 years from now. What kind of President will it take to lead the country in 2040? What kind of world will this man inherit? How will Jack and Bobby McCallister make the journey from Hart, Missouri to Washington D.C. and what will their lives mean to every American?

In an era when political parties are more divided than ever, Jack and Bobby offers a look at a leader who truly unifies. His unlimited hope and optimism earns President McCallister the nickname "The Great Believer." Although the McCallister administration is not without controversy and even scandal, the underlying message is that one individual can still make a difference in the world. Each episode will be themed around some aspect of character. What makes someone inspiring? How valuable is faith or honesty? Is greatness born in a person or is it learned? The story of Jack and Bobby McCallister is the origin tale of a great leader.

With flash-forward interviews of White House staffers and the First Lady, Jack and Bobby is a snapshot of a young man being molded to beat the odds and become this mid-century's greatest Presidential leader.

Created by Greg Berlanti & Vanessa Taylor and Steve Cohen & Brad Meltzer, Jack & Bobby is executive produced by Berlanti, Mickey Liddell and Thomas Schlamme. Taylor and Andrew Ackerman (Everwood) serve as co-executive producers.

Stars: Christine Lahti, Matt Long, Logan Lerman, Jessica Pare, Edwin Hodge and John Slattery.

The Mountain

Boundary Mountain is an escapist playground for wealthy tourists and extreme sports enthusiasts, but to the Carver family, it's home. The Mountain chronicles the larger-than-life saga of the Carvers, whose colorful patriarch, David Carver, Sr. (guest star Chad Everett, Mulholland Drive, Medical Center), founded the town and its internationally famous ski resort after winning the land in a poker game. When this legendary man unexpectedly dies, his choice of an heir sends shockwaves throughout the community.

Free-spirited David Carver, Jr. (Oliver Hudson, Dawson's Creek) left home years ago to pursue his dream of becoming a world-class motocross racer, while his older brother Will (Anson Mount, Tully, Crossroads), diligently attended business school with every expectation of taking over the family empire. No one, least of all the brothers themselves, expected David to inherit Boundary Mountain. David finds himself saddled with a responsibility he never wanted and a brother who rightly feels betrayed. On top of this, he is torn between two women and suddenly immersed in a power struggle with a neighboring family. David just wants to run, until he realizes his grandfather may have had bigger things in mind.

Part of the complicated history that both connects and separates the brothers Carver is Maria Serrano (Alana De La Garza, All My Children). Once David's partner in teenage rebellion and now Will's girlfriend, she is the half Irish/half Mexican daughter of one of Boundary's first employees. As Boundary's director of special events, Maria spends her days with both the hard-working locals and the wealthy jet setters who flock to the resort.

Through the episodes to come, David will begin to reconnect with his mother Gennie (Barbara Hershey, Hannah and Her Sisters, Beaches) and teenage sister Shelly (newcomer Tara Thompson). With the death of her all-powerful father, Gennie may finally allow herself to emerge from 15 years of self-imposed emotional exile. The secrets Gennie carries about her father, her husband, even her own children, will eventually come back to haunt them all. Just like her older brothers, Shelly lives to compete. A champion snowboarder, she appears destined to become the world champion athlete her mother was. A sweet and natural flirt, Shelly is oblivious to the fact that her best friend Sam Tunney (Penn Badgley, Do Over) carries a torch for her.

As they work on their new personal and professional relationship, David and Will also have to deal with the ambitious Colin Dowling (Mitch Pileggi, The X-Files), who has built a real estate empire to rival Donald Trump's. The jewel that has always eluded Colin is Boundary Mountain. Now that the Carver patriarch is gone, Colin feels his opportunity has come, and he will use everything and everyone he can, including his own children, to swallow The Mountain whole.

Colin's daughter Max (Elizabeth Bogush, Titans) is a graduate of Harvard Business School, bright and merciless on the surface, with a deep need to win her father's approval. When Max's parents divorced, her mother got custody, and Max was torn away from her father and brother. Of the two Dowling kids, Max thinks of herself as "the tough one," ready to take whatever life or her father can dish out. However, it is her brother Michael (newcomer Tommy Dewey) who is being groomed by his dad to take over the Dowling empire. Michael is being trained as a corporate shark, and so far, he hasn't been very good at it. Growing up under his father's watchful eye has not been easy, and Michael envies Max as much as she envies him.

Finally, the Carvers have to contend with one of Boundary's shadiest characters, Travis Kurri (Johann Urb, Zoolander). Rumor has it that David Carver, Sr. had a torrid affair with Travis' mother, and shortly after her death, Carver Sr. brought the teenaged Travis back to Boundary. Though Travis is adept at the business side of things, he is sorely lacking when it comes to ethics, morality and character.

David Carver's return to Boundary Mountain uncovers long-buried secrets about his town, his co-workers and even his own family mythology.

A production of Wonderland Sound and Vision in association with Warner Bros. Television Production Inc. Executive producers are McG (The O.C and the Charlie's Angels blockbusters) Stephanie Savage (The O.C.) and Shaun Cassidy (American Gothic). David Barrett (Fast Lane) directed.
Boundary Mountain exteriors were filmed at the Lake Louise Ski Hill in Alberta, Canada. The footage was provided by Travel Alberta.

The WB Network - Comedy

Commando Nanny

When you're a 22-year-old ex-commando from the British Special Forces, how can you channel the thrill of combat into your next career? How about defending your life against three Beverly Hills rich kids? That's exactly what happened to megaproducer Mark Burnett (Survivor, The Apprentice) when he first ventured to the West Coast from the British Army Parachute Regiment. Now, Mark brings his unique experience to The WB in a new comedy.

Meet Miles Ross (Owain Yeoman), the young commando whose new barracks are the guest room of a Beverly Hills mansion. Tycoon Ben Winter (Gerald McRaney) has no intention of hiring the young soldier, but Ben's new, younger wife Lizzie sees something in Miles, and offers him a challenging new mission: Monitoring Seth, a 5-year-old in desperate need of attention. Accepting what he intends to be a short-term nanny position, Miles becomes an army of one as he and Ben battle in a daily test of wills. Complicating the agenda are Seth's older siblings. Katie, a very mature teenager, flirts with Miles while plotting behind his back with her surly brother Steven to drive the new recruit AWOL.

From the bunkers to the bunk beds of Beverly Hills, Miles Ross is in for his toughest detail yet when he enlists as the resident Commando Nanny.

A Warner Bros. Television Production Inc., with executive producers David Flebotte (The Bernie Mac Show) and Mark Burnett, and director Gary Halvorson (Friends).

The cast: Owain Yeoman, Gerald McRaney, Kristin Bauer, Beatrice Rosen, Ricky Mabe, Max Wolf Burkholder and Adam Campbell

The UPN Network - Drama


Set in the wealthy, seaside community of Neptune, where the rich and powerful make the rules, own the town and the high school, and desperately try to keep their dirty little secrets just that…secret. Unfortunately for them, there's Veronica Mars (Kristen Bell) a smart, fearless 17-year-old, apprentice private investigator dedicated to solving the town's toughest mysteries. During the day, Veronica must still negotiate high school like any average teenage girl. Along with fellow outcast, sophomore Wallace Fennel (Percy Daggs III), she bravely maneuvers her classes, wary of former in-crowd friends, like ex-boyfriend Duncan Kane (Teddy Dunn) and his best friend Logan Echolls (Jason Dohring), and edgy outsiders, like Weevil (Francis Capra) and his P.C.H. Bike Club boys. At night, Veronica looks after her former-Sheriff father Keith Mars (Enrico Colantoni) and helps with his struggling, new private investigator business. By sneaking through back alleys and scoping out no-tell motels with a telescopic-lens camera and her math book, Veronica attempts to uncover the California beach town's darkest secrets, including who killed her best friend and Duncan's sister, Lilly, and created a scandal that cost her father his job, his home and wife. Pushed to the edge of this multicultural, venomous little Peyton Place, Veronica Mars relentlessly continues to search for evidence that will clear her father's name and get her back into the "in-crowd," but what she finds may tear the town of Neptune apart at the seams.

VERONICA MARS is from Silver Pictures Television in association with and distributed by Warner Bros. Television Production Inc. Production services provided by Stu Segall Productions, Inc.


Stars real-life couple Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Parker as Jackson Muse, a handsome, earnest architect, and Ryan Muse, a beautiful, free-spirited artist, who are enjoying a more romantic, fun-filled second marriage to each other. Several adventurous years after their young first marriage ended, the lovers unexpectedly reunited and couldn't resist giving it another heartfelt go. Now, even with old stuff, new stuff and the stuff in between, the Muses are striving for wedded bliss a second time around. Determined to bring a newfound maturity to matrimony, Jackson and Ryan frequently find themselves in funny, awkward situations when old lovers, old arguments and old division of property issues surface. Even after another smooth, successful engagement and wedding, all of the couple's family and friends continue to dispense varied opinions and marriage advice. Jackson's younger brother Nigel (Brian White), a dentist whose practice scarcely covers his lavish lifestyle, and his snobbish fiancée Paula (Danielle Nicolet) are convinced that the twice-baked pair need to join their couples' therapy group. Ryan's gorgeous, spirited best friend Coco (Melissa De Sousa), certain that "leftovers shouldn't be reheated," believes the marriage is a mistake. With a sense of humor and romance, Jackson and Ryan Muse are ready to clip around the thorny past and surrounding skeptics if it finally means a rosy future together.


Stars Taye Diggs as a 28-year-old, self-made, hotshot entertainment lawyer in New York City with the ultimate bachelor life--a high-power job, plenty of pretty ladies and enough money to buy whatever he wants. Through all of his exploits, he is joined by his buddy, the charming and witty Dame (Jon Seda). But, Kevin's whole life turns upside down when he's left to raise the six-month-old daughter of his cousin, who unexpectedly passed away. After figuring out how to deal with bottles, diapers and his new no-nonsense, gay nanny George (Patrick Breen), Kevin quits his workaholic law firm for a flex-time, boutique law office, Grey & Associates, owned and staffed completely by women. Kevin must adjust his attitude when dealing with his new co-workers, who include Jessie Grey (Michael Michele), a professional single mom and boss; Nicolette Raye (Christina Hendricks), the office's most underestimated legal weapon; and Veronica Carter (Kate Levering), a whip-smart diva, who previously had a one-night stand with Kevin. Despite continuing temptation from his party buddies, Kevin is determined to walk the line between the women at his job, the women that he chases, and the baby girl in the crib.

The UPN Network - Reality Show


Five young adults are given the chance to explore the big city and discover what life is like outside their Amish communities (Amish culture encourages those 16 or older to take this option and learn about other ways before committing to the sect)

In the first two episodes of the UPN reality series, they hit the beach for sun and fun, visit a mall and cultivate sometimes uneasy relationships with six non-Amish sharing their temporary Hollywood Hills home.

The show has caused an uproar in relgious circles, but the producers claim the show is done with decorum and is a "coming of age" saga.

Our video special continues with these offerings from 2004:

Camcorders 2004 | Capture Cards 2004 | HD-DVD

Digital Theatrical Movies | JVC HD Camcorder | Sigma SD9 and Foveon Technology

Color Imaging Technology | V-Chip | 2004 Network Prime Time TV Shows

From our archives with these offerings from 2003:

Camcorders | Hi-Def TV | Promote Ur Videos | Future of DVD | Computer DVD Burners

New US TV Shows for 2003-2004 Prime Time

From our archives we have these articles from the 2002 Issues:

Doing Video On Your Computer | The Pinnacle Capture Card | ATA Hard Drives

Hard Drive Terms | Western Digital Drives | Producing A Scripted iMac Video

Audio For Video | Lighting For Video | Digital VHS | Removable Hard Drives

From September 2001 Issues:

Buying a Camcorder | Producing A Cable Access Show | Producing Broadcast TV

A Technical Look and History of Film, Video and TV | Stream Video and Webcasting

HDTV | Capture Cards


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