Monday, May 13, 2002
AMERICA’S MOST-WATCHED NETWORK TO INTRODUCE FIVE NEW SERIES AS PART OF NBCS 2002-03 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE
NEW COMEDIES IN-LAWS, HIDDEN HILLS AND GOOD MORNING MIAMI AND DRAMAS AMERICAN DREAMS AND BOOMTOWN JOIN EXISTING LINEUP OF MUST-SEE FAVORITES
Powerhouse Returning Series Friends, ER, The West Wing, Frasier, Will & Grace and the Law & Order Franchise Keep Winning Schedule Stable and Strong
Freshman Scrubs Gets Promoted to Thursdays and Just Shoot Me Moves to Tuesdays
Midseason Series Include Kingpin, Mister Sterling and Its Not About Me
NEW YORK CITY — May 13, 2002 — NBC will introduce five new series to its primetime roster of current hits this fall, positioning Americas most-watched network for another year of ratings dominance and leadership in quality programming. NBC West Coast President Scott Sassa and Entertainment President Jeff Zucker announced the 2002-03 schedule today at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
New comedies joining the lineup are In-Laws (Tuesdays, 8-8:30 p.m. ET), starring Dennis Farina and Jean Smart; Hidden Hills (Tuesdays, 9:30-10 p.m. ET), which focuses on the lives of frenzied families living in the suburbs; and Good Morning Miami (Thursdays, 9:30-10 p.m. ET), from the Emmy-winning creators of NBCs Will & Grace.
Dramas include the touching, one-hour family series American Dreams, set against the backdrop of 1960s Philadelphia when American Bandstand was at the height of pop culture, and Boomtown, from executive producers Graham Yost (Speed) and Jon Avnet (Fried Green Tomatoes).
Sassa said: As we wrap up one of the most successful seasons in television history — with NBC number one in key advertising demographics in every daypart — we’re in a great position to build on that strength next season with the innovative, distinctive new programs we’ll be launching in the fall.”
Zucker added: NBC again this year sticks with an incredibly stable schedule of proven hits. Our development team cast the net wide, took some risks, and delivered some programs with real potential to break out. We thank them and are eager to usher in a new generation of Must-See TV.
The networks schedule which still features the powerhouse Emmy-winning series Friends, ER, The West Wing, Frasier, Will & Grace and the Law & Order franchise (among many others) remains the same on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. New series will be introduced only on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, with critical favorite Scrubs getting promoted to the desirable Thursday 8:30 time period and longtime hit Just Shoot Me returning to the Tuesday comedy block (8:30-9 p.m. ET).
Zucker also announced midseason series the network will launch in 2002-03. They include a limited run of Kingpin, a gritty drama about a family-run Mexican drug cartel; Mister Sterling, starring Josh Brolin as an idealistic U.S. senator, and the innovative comedy Its Not About Me, featuring Jason Bateman as a lawyer who chucks his job to become a teacher.
Following is NBCs primetime schedule for the 2002-03 season, followed by show descriptions. (all times are Eastern Time):
NBC PRIMETIME SCHEDULE FOR 2002-03
*New programs in CAPS
8-9 p.m.Fear Factor
9-10 p.m.Third Watch
10-11 p.m.Crossing Jordan
8:30-9 p.m.Just Shoot Me (new day and time)
9:30-10 p.m.HIDDEN HILLS
10-11 p.m.Dateline NBC
9-10 p.m.The West Wing
10-11 p.m.Law & Order
8:30-9 p.m.Scrubs (new day and time)
9-9:30 p.m.Will & Grace
9:30-10 p.m.GOOD MORNING MIAMI
9-10 p.m.Dateline NBC
10-11 p.m.Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
8-11 p.m.NBC Saturday Night Movie
7-8 p.m.Dateline NBC
8-9 p.m.AMERICAN DREAMS
9-10 p.m.Law & Order: Criminal Intent
GOOD MORNING MIAMI — From the Emmy Award-winning creators of NBCs Will & Grace comes this comedy about a talented young TV producer who arrives in Miami to revamp the lowest-rated morning show in the country. Jake (Mark Feuerstein, NBCs The West Wing) risks taking the job when he sets eyes on the beautiful, down-to-earth hairdresser Dylan (Ashley Williams, in her TV series debut), who wows him like nobody before — and presents a romantic challenge. The carnival of clowns at the station include a pompous host (Burke Moses, Broadways Beauty and the Beast), a self-centered co-host (Tessie Santiago, The Way She Moves) whos devoted to her frou-frou mutt, and a highly insecure station manager (Jere Burns, Something So Right). Suzanne Pleshette (The Bob Newhart Show) stars as Jakes risqué grandmother and Brooke Dillman (The Wayne Brady Show) plays Sister Brenda. Good Morning Miami is a production of Warner Bros. Television; Max Mutchnick & David Kohan (Will & Grace) are the writers/executive producers. Emmy winner James Burrows (Will & Grace, NBCs Friends) directs the pilot.
HIDDEN HILLS — Hidden Hills follows the eye-opening adventures of two suburban couples — Doug (Justin Louis, Trinity) and Janine (Paula Marshall, Snoops), and Zack (Dondre T. Whitfield, All My Children) and Sarah (Tamara Taylor, Party of Five). The comedy explores the wild, sexy and funny side of the burbs where apparently everyone has a lot more to reveal than what first meets the eye. Kristin Bauer (Thats Life) also stars as a sexy, softball mom with an Internet following. Peter Segal (Nutty Professor II: The Klumps) & Ric Swartzlander (Ellen) are writers and executive producers. Susanne Daniels is also executive producer of the pilot, directed by Bob Berlinger (The Bernie Mac Show). Hidden Hills is a production of NBC Studios and Primarily Entertainment.
IN-LAWS — This domestic comedy from the producers of NBCs Frasier features newlyweds Matt (Elon Gold, Clerks) and Alex (Bonnie Somerville, NBCs Friends) who move in with her parents (Dennis Farina, Get Shorty, and Emmy winner Jean Smart, Designing Women) to save money so Matt can attend cooking school. The challenges are great as Matt clashes with his overprotective, gruff father-in-law while his mother-in-law trades in her apron for a real-estate license, all of which makes for an unruly household and a rocky start for the exasperated Matt and Alex. Mark Reisman (Frasier, Wings) is the executive producer and writer of this comedy from NBC Studios, Paramount Television and Grammnet Productions. Multiple Emmy winner Kelsey Grammer (Frasier) also is executive producer. Pamela Fryman (NBCs Just Shoot Me) directs the pilot.
AMERICAN DREAMS — This evocative drama set against the memorable, upbeat sounds of the early 1960s, depicts America as seen through the youthful Pryor family of Philadelphia as they brace for cultural turbulence ahead. Fifteen-year-old daughter Meg (Brittany Snow, Guiding Light) strains against her good girl image and embraces the mores of her more experienced teenaged friend, Roxanne (Vanessa Lengies, For Better or for Worse), as they achieve their dream of becoming dancers on Dick Clarks locally produced American Bandstand. Megs behavior and her mothers (Gail OGrady, NYPD Blue) new influences clash with rock-solid family patriarch Jim Pryor (Tom Verica, NBCs Providence). Will Estes (7th Heaven), Ethan Dampf (Collateral Damage) and newcomer Sarah Ramos also star as the other Pryor family members. Joseph Lawrence (Blossom) and newcomer Rachel Boston round out the cast. Virginia Madsen (The Rainmaker) has a recurring role. Clark and Jonathan Prince (Wilder Days) are the executive producers. David Semel (Dawsons Creek, Buffy, the Vampire Slayer) directed this pilot from NBC Studios and Universal Television.
BOOMTOWN — From Emmy winner Graham Yost (Speed, Band of Brothers) and director Jon Avnet (Fried Green Tomatoes, Uprising) comes this ensemble crime drama that tells the story of the city of Los Angeles as seen through the eyes of some of its flawed heroes: L.A. cops, paramedics, beat reporters and city officials. Striding forth in this urban jungle are series stars Donnie Wahlberg (Band of Brothers) as an emotionally drained detective matched with Mykelti Williamson (Forrest Gump) as his slick, overachieving partner. Also starring are Neal McDonough (Minority Report) as an ambitious D.A. and Gary Basaraba (Brooklyn South) as a veteran patrol officer who is paired with a struggling beat cop played by Jason Gedrick (The Last Don). Nina Garbiras (The $treet) plays a nervy newspaper reporter and Lana Parrilla (Spin City) is a world-weary paramedic. Boomtown is from NBC Studios and DreamWorks Television. Yost and Avnet are executive producers; Avnet is the director.
ITS NOT ABOUT ME — In this offbeat comedy, junior corporate lawyer Nick Case (Greg Grunberg, Felicity) shares his insight with the audience regarding his competitive relationship with best bud and roommate Jake Galvin (Jason Bateman, The Hogan Family), a likable former attorney who jettisons his career for the more noble teaching profession. Jake struggles against classroom bureaucracy to connect with his students — as well as with an attractive fellow teacher, Liza (Nikki Cox, Nikki). Patricia Belcher (Heartbreakers), Kyle Gass (Shallow Hal) and Leslie Grossman (Popular) also star. Jonathan Groff (former head writer of NBCs Late Night with Conan OBrien) and Vic Kaplan (Ellen) are executive producers. The series, written by Groff and directed by Marc Buckland (NBCs Scrubs), is an NBC Studios production.
MISTER STERLING — From Emmy Award winner Lawrence ODonnell, Jr. (NBCs The West Wing) comes a new drama series starring Josh Brolin (Hollow Man, The Mod Squad) as an independent young U.S. senator who brings a fresh perspective — and his own agenda — to Capitol Hill. Raised in the long shadow of his father, a former California governor, William Sterling, Jr. (Brolin) avoided politics and instead worked for prison reform until the states current governor suddenly offers him an appointment to the U.S. Senate to fill a vacated spot. With the super-charged Jackie Brock (three-time Tony winner Audra McDonald, Ragtime) as his chief of staff and the principled, die-hard Democrat Tommy Doyle (William Russ, Boy Meets World) as his legislative director, Sterling sets out to shake up the status quo. Also starring are David Noroña (Six Feet Under) as his staff techno-wiz and Laura Chandler (Chandra West, The Salton Sea) as an ambitious political reporter. James Whitmore appears in the pilot as the senior Sterling. ODonnell, Jr. is executive producer of this production from NBC Studios and Universal Television. Tucker Gates (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) directs the pilot.
MIDSEASON SERIES (LIMITED RUN)
KINGPIN — This gritty, realistic drama spotlights Americas war against a brutal, family-run narcotics cartel as heroic Drug Enforcement Agency operatives square off against charismatic drug chieftain Miguel Cadena (Yancy Arias, The Time Machine). Also starring are Steven Bauer (Traffic) as Miguels cold-blooded, drug-trafficking brother; Sheryl Lee (L.A. Doctors) as the ruthless, power-hungry wife of Miguel, and Brian Benben (Dream On) as a valuable plastic surgeon and the cartels key distribution link. Angela Alvarado (Boss of Bosses) stars as a take-charge D.E.A. special agent and Ruben Carabajal plays Miguels young son. The ongoing fight never allows its undercover warriors to know who is friend, foe — or family — and stealthy infiltration and betrayal is the only universal constant. Kingpin is produced by NBC Studios and Spelling Television, Inc. Aaron Spelling (Beverly Hills, 90210) and E. Duke Vincent (7th Heaven) are the executive producers. Allen Coulter (The Sopranos) directs from a script by executive producer and two-time Emmy winner David Mills (The Corner, NBCs ER).
Rebecca Marks, Senior Vice President, NBC Entertainment Publicity, 818/840-3914
Curt King, Vice President, Primetime Series Publicity, 818/840-3659
NBC-New York, 05/13/02