CBS Renewals Leave Little Room For New Shows

CBS told advertisers it is doing so well there is little room on the schedule for anything new come the fall. With 14 shows already renewed, the network said it already has a strong hand--especially with two new mid-season shows that are also showing strength--"The Unit" and "The New Adventures of Old Christine."

Media agency executives who went to yesterday morning's New York City program development meeting at the Ed Sullivan Theater--which was closed to the press--weren't offering any videotape of developing show, much the way CBS's and Warner Bros.' CW development presentation went.

Some executives sense the network's development long-term plans seemed to more oriented to younger viewers.

"It looks like they are concentrating to get younger," said Brad Adgate, senior vp and corporate research director for Horizon Media.

One show in particular was a comedy called "The Class," about twentysomethings who originally form a friendship bond in the third grade, then separate, only to get back together at a surprise party. It stars ex- "Joan of Arcadia" star Jason Ritter, son of the late John Ritter. This comes from "Friends" producer David Crane.



"It's not your typical CBS show," said Adgate.

CBS also offered up its more typical hour dramas. "Shark" stars James Woods, who as a veteran attorney leads a bunch of inexperienced lawyers. Spike Lee directs. Brian Grazer and Ron Howard produce the show.

From "West Wing" producer John Wells, "Smith" follows a bunch of criminals making high-stakes heists across the country. Virginia Madsen and Ray Liotta star.

One noted reality show, "Tuesday Night Bookclub," is more of a docu-soap and is unscripted. It features a weekly book club meeting where housewives bluntly talk about the husbands, children, as well as their indiscretions."It's kind of a 'Girls Night Out,'" said Adgate.

In sticking with its suburbia-theme, CBS is also working on another comedy, "The Angriest Man in Suburbia" in which a Manhattan-based man moves his wife and family to Southern California, and is left scratching his head over the West Coast's confusing California social morays.

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