TV Land Takes 'Pity' from Mr. T

Dr. Phil may be the current king of blunt, plainspoken advice, but he's about to get some competition from a man who not only brokes no jibba jabba, but also had his own cereal way before anyone had even heard of Philip McGraw.

Ladies and gentlemen, introducing TV Land's "I Pity the Fool."

The six-episode series, scheduled to premiere in October, will feature Mr. T traveling the country and helping out people in need, "A-Team" style. Instead of building jerry-rigged armored vehicles to take out unscrupulous developers, though, Mr. T will be doling out advice on such matters as getting ahead at work and family issues.

"I Pity the Fool" is one of several original shows the classic-TV network announced at its upfront presentation Tuesday. TV Land has also picked up "Back to the Grind," in which TV stars perform the same job their characters did, without the help of writers and technical advisers, and "My First Time," which will feature actors discussing their big break.

"We're very excited to premiere new original programming with a boomer demographic in mind," says Sal Maniaci, head of original programming at TV Land and sister network Nick at Nite. "Our mission is to produce TV shows for the TV generation, and this slate certainly delivers."

TV Land has also ordered more episodes of the behind-the-scenes show "TV Land Confidential" and "Sit Down Comedy with David Steinberg." Several specials are on tap as well, including one called "Urban Myths and Legends." It will explore such questions as whether Mikey from the Life cereal ads really died from combining Pop Rocks and Coke (nope) and just who the subject of Carly Simon's "You're So Vain" might be.

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