CBS drops big-name shows

May 21, 1998

CBS cancelled some big-name series yesterday as it rolled out its fall schedule for advertisers in New York.

David Caruso ("Michael Hayes"), Tom Selleck ("The Closer"), Jane Seymour ("Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman"), Cybill Shepherd ("Cybill"), Bob Newhart and Judd Hirsch ("George & Leo") all got pink slips, along with Steven Bochco's heavily-promoted "Brooklyn South."

Bryant Gumbel's newsmagazine, "Public Eye," also got the ax, but Gumbel will remain a prominent player at the network, according to Les Moonves, president of CBS Entertainment. "Public Eye" will continue during the summer and could be one of the first shows off the bench if any of CBS' fall shows falters, Moonves said. Moonves is also trying to expand the successful "60 Minutes" to a second night, following the lead of NBC and ABC, which have cloned "Dateline" and "20/20." But executive producer Don Hewitt has resisted, and only the Sunday edition is on the fall schedule.

Next fall the network will add four dramas and three sitcoms, featuring such stars as Ken Olin, Brian Benben, Faith Ford and Dennis Farina.

The dramas are: "L.A. Docs," starring Olin as one of a team of doctors in private practice; "To Have and to Hold," a police drama with Moira Kelly; "Buddy Faro," with Farina as a private detective; and "Martial Law," a martial arts drama starring Sammo Hung.

The sitcoms: "The Benben Show" will star Benben as a TV news reporter; "Maggie Winters" has Faith Ford playing a character who returns home after a failed marriage; "The King of Queens" showcases comedian Kevin James in a family sictom set in Queens.

The network will move "Everybody Loves Raymond" to Monday nights at 9 p.m. and has shifted "Early Edition" an hour earlier to 8 p.m. on Saturdays.

CBS resumes broadcasting NFL football in the fall and hopes to use the opportunity to attract more male viewers, Moonves said. The network finished second behind NBC in overall viewership, but last in young demographics.

Pub Date: 5/21/98

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