CBS's fall schedule includes seven new shows, but is chiefly notable for an attempt to maintain stability.
Sundays and Thursdays are unchanged. Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays look much the same. Tuesdays will see the return of a regularly scheduled movie - long a fixture on the CBS schedule until a failed experiement with series this past season.The biggest overhaul comes on Mondays, a night that used to be a CBS strength but saw ratings fall by 40 percent this season. "Cosby" remains at 7 p.m. and "Everybody Loves Raymond" moves to 8 p.m., but they'll be joined by two new sitcoms and a new drama.
The only other returning series that's moving is "Early Edition," which slides up an hour to 7 p.m. on Saturdays.
As for those seven new shows, they'll include familiar stars like Ken Olin, Brian Benben and Dennis Farina. And while "Murphy Brown" has retired after a decade on the network, Faith Ford (who played Corky Sherwood) will return in her own comedy, "Maggie Winters."
CBS did not, however, add a second edition of "60 Minutes," as had been widely rumored. Perhaps the spectre of eight weekly news magazines on ABC (three) and NBC (five!) headed that off.
The network will actually cut back from three to two news magazines - "60 Minutes" and "48 Hours" - having canceled "Public Eye with Bryant Gumbel."
CBS is coming off a season in which it moved from third to second place despite losing ground in the ratings. (ABC's numbers fell even further.) Only two shows CBS introduced last season survived - the midseason replacement series "Kids Say the Darndest Things" and "Candid Camera."
CBS's new half-hour comedies:
The King of Queens (Mondays at 7:30 p.m.) stars standup comedian Kevin James ("Everybody Loves Raymond") as a blue-collar guy whose cozy life with his loving wife (Leah Remini of "Fired Up") is turned upside down when his difficult father-in-law (Jerry Stiller of "Seinfeld") and sister-in-law move in with him.
The Benben Show (Mondays at 8:30 p.m.) stars Brian Benben (HBO's "Dream On") as a Los Angeles TV news anchorman who is demoted to reporter but is determined to regain his old job - any way he can.
Maggie Winters (Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m.) stars Faith Ford as a young woman voted Most Likely to Succeed in high school whose life has taken some unexpected turns - like bad jobs and a bad marriage. She returns to her hometown to try to start over.
And CBS's new hourlong series:
L.A. Docs (Mondays at 9 p.m.) stars Ken Olin ("thirtysome-thing"), Sheryl Lee ("Twin Peaks"), Matt Craven and Rick Roberts as a group of "young, successful, dedicated and sharp" physicians who have just opened their own practice - where "care isn't managed and patients matter more than the bottom line." Written by John Lee Hancock ("Midnight in Garden of Good and Evil," "A Perfect World").
To Have and to Hold (Wednesdays at 8 p.m.) is a romantic comedy that stars Moira Kelley and Jason Beghe as "a wonderfully crazed and confused loving couple." He's a cop, she's a defense attorney and their jobs often put them in conflict with one another.
Buddy Faro (Fridays at 8 p.m.) stars Dennis Farina ("Crime Story") as a private eye who returns to Los Angeles after a 20-year absence and goes back to solving crimes. Written by Mark Frost ("Twin Peaks").
Martial Law (8 p.m. on Saturdays) stars Chinese action-movie star Sammo Hung as "the U.S.A.'s newest and toughest law enforcer." And he's on a mission - to find his former friend and protege, "a tough Chinese girl now on the wrong side of the law." From the producers of "Nash Bridges."
Not a single one of the nine shows that premiered on CBS last fall survived - the network canceled newcomers "George & Leo," "Brooklyn South," "Michael Hayes," "Dellaventura," "Public Eye," "Meego" and "The Gregory Hines Show" as well as "Family Matters" and "Step by Step," both of which had moved over from ABC.
Other shows getting the ax include "Cybill," "The Closer," "Four Corners," "Style & Substance" and - somewhat surprisingly - "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman," which bows out after 4 1/2 seasons.
CBS's fall schedule
New shows are in bold; an asterisk indicates a returning show in a new time slot.
60 Minutes 6 p.m.
Touched by Angel 7 p.m.
Sunday Movie 8 p.m.
Cosby 7 p.m.
King of Queens 7:30 p.m.
Raymond* 8 p.m.
Benben Show 8:30 p.m.
L.A. Docs 9 p.m.
JAG 7 p.m.
Tuesday Movie 8 p.m.
The Nanny 7 p.m.
Maggie Winters 7:30 p.m.
To Have/to Hold 8 p.m.
Chicago Hope 9 p.m.
Promised Land 7 p.m.
Diagnosis Murder 8 p.m.
48 Hours 9 p.m.
Kids Say 7 p.m.
Candid Camera 7:30 p.m.
Buddy Faro 8 p.m.
Nash Bridges 9 p.m.
Early Edition* 7 p.m.
Martial Law 8 p.m.
Walker 9 p.m.