January is almost here, meaning that in the world of network television schedule changes are flying thick and fast.
New shows have been announced. Old ones have been dumped. And others are being sent into the limbo-land of hiatus.Here's a quick rundown on what's happened lately:
- Working It Out has been canceled by NBC - unfortunately. The network scheduled this very funny, well-written, adult-oriented sitcom starring Jane Curtin and Stephen Collins on Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. - a really smart move. Then it moved the show to Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m. for one week - with almost no publicity - and when the ratings weren't good it pulled the plug.
Gee, thanks a lot, NBC.
The last airing will probably be Dec. 26, and no replacement has been named yet.
- Davis Rules, a new sitcom starring Randy Quaid as a school principal and Jonathan Winters as his father, will debut Tuesday, Jan 9 at 7:30 p.m. on ABC.
Head of the Class is being put on hiatus. Although the network promises unseen episodes will show up sometime next spring, you can start working on a eulogy for "Class" right now.
And if you're wondering why "Davis" won the coveted spot between "Who's the Boss?" and "Roseanne," it might have something to do with the fact that it's from the Carsey-Werner company - the same group that brings you "Roseanne" and "Cosby."
Let's just hope that "Davis" is better than C-W's other two time-slot darlings - the awful "A Different World," which follows "Cosby," and the more awful "Grand," which follows "Cheers."
- Uncle Buck is also being sent on hiatus. Although CBS says this show will also be back, it will just be to play out the string - it's dead as dead can be.
Since the network had previously axed Bagdad Cafe, it's left with an hour to fill on Fridays at 7 p.m. And headed into the time slot as of Jan. 4 is The Guns of Paradise, which may sound like a new show but really isn't. It's the return of the Lee Horsely western that used to be titled simply "Paradise."
- Several shows got good news recently as they were picked up for the rest of the season. Among the happy programs are The Flash on CBS, American Dreamer and The Fanelli Boys on NBC and Beverly Hills, 90210 and Babes on Fox.
CBS' Doctor, Doctor got semi-good, semi-bad news when four more shows were ordered. That's better than nothing, but it's still not a full season's worth.
Of course, this doesn't really matter here in Utah because KSL is treating us to inane "Cosby" reruns instead of this very funny, slightly risque show.
- TODAY ON THE TUBE: The college football regular season ends (finally) with Army vs. Navy (noon, Ch. 5); in local basketball action, it's Jazz at Clippers (7:30 p.m., PSN) and Utah at Cal-Irvine (8:30 p.m., Ch. 2); there's Boxing (8 p.m., HBO) action as Mike Tyson faces Alex Stewart; we get a look behind Les Miserables: Stage by Stage (8 p.m., Ch. 7); Clarence Williams III appears on Twin Peaks (9 p.m., Ch. 4) and runs into fellow "Mod Squad" alumni Peggy Lipton; and Tom Hanks hosts Saturday Night Live (12:05 a.m., Ch. 2).
- LOOKING TOWARD SUNDAY: The Chipmunks (6 p.m., Ch. 2) go "Rockin' Through the Decades"; Robert Redford and Sydney Pollack: The Men and Their Movies (8 p.m., Ch. 7) looks at the intertwined careers of the actor and director; Edward Asner is the good one and Ray Sharkey the bad one in Good Cop, Bad Cop (8 p.m., Ch. 2); and Peter Falk is back as Columbo (8 p.m., Ch. 4) in "Columbo Goes to College,"; and The Tragedy of Flight 103: The Inside Story (10 p.m., HBO) is an excellent docudrama that looks behind the bombing of Pan Am flight 103. - SCOTT D. PIERCE.