Fox makes few changes

January 07, 1991|By David Zurawik | David Zurawik,Sun Television Critic

LOS ANGELES -- They may not be much. But they are all we have for now. So we're sticking with them.

That was basically the explanation from a top programmer at Fox Broadcasting for why the company is sticking with such shows as "Babes," "Beverly Hills 90210" and "True Colors," which are among the lowest-rated shows in television.

"Overall, it's been a tough year," Peter Chernin, president of the Fox Entertainment division, said at a press conference here. "The truth of the matter is that we put every single thing we could find on the air [this fall]. We completely cleaned out the cabinets. We really went into the year without any backup programming. And, honestly, we've been scrambling ever since."

Chernin called "Babes," a much publicized sitcom about three sisters each weighing over 200 pounds, a disappointment.

"We went in with enormous expectations, which were not met." he said. But Chernin said the show will continue. He said a new cast member will be added, and guest stars, such as Dolly Parton and chef Wolfgang Puck, will be brought in to try and punch up the ratings.

"True Colors," the show about an interracial marriage set in Baltimore, got a vote of confidence from Chernin, despite its ratings.

"We're very proud of that show," Chernin said. "We feel that it gets better with every episode."

Chernin said a new sitcom, "Top of the Heap" starring Joe Bologna, will replace "Good Grief" some time in late February. The character of Al Bundy from "Married With Children" will appear in several episodes. Fox is calling "Top of the Heap" a spinoff of "Married With Children." But that's debatable. The Bundy connection seems very tenuous from Fox's presentation Friday.

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