At ABC, Life Goes On With 11 New Series : Television: The network announces its 1993-94 prime-time lineup, dropping ‘Homefront’ and ‘Doogie Howser, M.D.’ among others.
Former heavyweight champion George Foreman, three stand-up comedians and a new police show from Steven Bochco are featured on the fall, prime-time lineup that ABC announced Monday.
But gone from the schedule will be the critically acclaimed one-hour drama “Life Goes On,” which viewers tried to bring back with a letter-writing campaign. Two other high-profile dramas, “Homefront” and “Civil Wars,” were also canceled.
Another critical favorite, “Dinosaurs,” was bumped from the fall lineup but will be a mid-season replacement. In addition, the much-praised “The Wonder Years” was previously announced as a casualty of ABC’s decision-making for fall.
Tom Arnold’s sitcom, “The Jackie Thomas Show,” which the comedian and his wife, Roseanne Arnold, fought to keep on the schedule, was canceled by ABC. After the network apparently held firm on its decision, Tom Arnold said last week that he was leaving to star in a CBS sitcom produced by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, creator of “Designing Women” and “Evening Shade.”
The coveted time slot following Roseanne Arnold’s series, “Roseanne,” will be returned to “Coach.” The two shows performed powerfully together for the first half of the season, but the slot then was given to “The Jackie Thomas Show.” Roseanne Arnold has threatened to take her smash series and leave ABC next year for another network.
ABC said it will offer seven comedies and four dramas in its eight hours of new series. One of the dramas will be “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman,” described by the network as “a ‘90s version of the American classic.”
Foreman will star in the sitcom “George” as a retired boxer with a family who starts up a youth center.
The three stand-up comedians will all headline their own series:
* Brett Butler will be given the desirable time slot following “Home Improvement” for her new sitcom, “Grace Under Fire,” in which she plays a divorced woman determined to find a better life for herself and her three children.
* Thea Vidale will star in the sitcom “Thea” as a “proud, feisty widow with four children.”
* And “The Paula Poundstone Show” will be an attempt by ABC to attract the young audience on Saturday nights, with the comedian starring in an hour of “irreverent and spontaneous entertainment.”
Bochco, the co-creator of “Hill Street Blues” and “L.A. Law” whose series “Civil Wars” and “Doogie Howser, M.D.,” were canceled by ABC, has a long-term deal with the network, and his latest entry come fall will be “NYPD Blue,” a drama about the New York Police Department.
On Mondays this fall, ABC is going strictly for news and sports, pairing its newsmagazine “Day One” with “Monday Night Football.”
On Wednesdays, the network is using the potent “Home Improvement” as the 9 p.m. linchpin to help hold together four new series. On Thursdays, “Matlock,” successful since being picked up from NBC, has earned a starting berth. On Saturdays, “George” and “Where I Live” will lead into “The Paula Poundstone Show” and “The Commish.”
And on Sundays, “Lois & Clark” will try to move in on the 8-9 p.m. slot dominated for years by CBS’ “Murder, She Wrote.”
Other new ABC series are:
* “Phenom,” a sitcom with Judith Light as the mother of a teen-age tennis champion daughter and William Devane as the girl’s overbearing coach.
* “Joe’s Life,” a sitcom with Peter Onorati as an unemployed electrician who has to tend house and take care of his kids while his wife is at work.
* “Boy Meets World,” a “warm family comedy” that looks at life through the eyes of an 11-year-old boy portrayed by Ben Savage, younger brother of “Wonder Years” star Fred Savage.
* “Do the Strand,” a private eye drama set in Miami Beach.
* “Missing Persons,” a drama with Daniel J. Travanti as the commander of the Missing Persons Bureau of the Chicago Police Department.
Other ABC series from this season that will not return include “Delta,” “American Detective,” “FBI: The Untold Stories,” “The Indiana Jones Chronicles,” “Getting By,” “Going to Extremes,” “Camp Wilder,” “Laurie Hill,” “Covington Cross,” “Crossroads,” “Sirens” and “Jack’s Place.”
The night-by-night schedule:
Sunday: “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” “America’s Funniest People,” “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman,” “ABC Sunday Night Movie.”
Monday: “Monday Night Football,” “Day One.”
Tuesday: “Full House,” “Phenom,” “Roseanne,” “Coach,” “NYPD Blue.”
Wednesday: “Thea,” “Joe’s Life,” “Home Improvement,” “Grace Under Fire,” “Do the Strand.”
Thursday: “Missing Persons,” “Matlock,” “PrimeTime Live.”
Friday: “Family Matters,” “Boy Meets World,” “Step by Step,” “Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper,” “20/20.”
Saturday: “George,” “Where I Live,” “The Paula Poundstone Show,” “The Commish.”