If you're accustomed to the current prime-time schedule on ABC, well, just forget about it. The network is about to make changes on five nights - all in preparation for more permanent changes coming in the fall.
Well, using the word "permanent" when it comes to describing a network schedule is actually quite silly. They're "permanent" for about one day at a time.At any rate, here's what to expect:
- As of Tuesday, July 14, "Home Improvement" moves to 7 p.m. - the time slot it will occupy in the fall.
"Soul Man" moves to Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m. - a time slot it will not occupy in the fall because it has been canceled.
- As of Wednesday, July 15, "Dharma & Greg" moves to 7 p.m. and "Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place" moves to 7:30 p.m. - the time slots they will occupy in the fall.
(For six weeks beginning July 28, "Dharma & Greg" will also be seen Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m. ABC is hoping to hype the ratings of the show by giving it some extra exposure.)
- As of Tuesday, July 21, "Spin City" moves to 8 p.m. - the time slot it will occupy in the fall.
- "Push" - the one-hour drama about aspiring athletes that was yanked off the air and canceled after only two episodes this past spring - will burn off its remaining five episodes on Thursdays at 7 p.m. beginning Aug. 6.
- As of Saturday, Aug. 6, "America's Funniest Home Videos" moves to 7 p.m. - the time slot it will occupy in the fall.
- On Sunday, Aug. 9, at 8 p.m., both halves of a two-part installment of "The Practice" will air back-to-back. Beginning the following week, hourlong episodes of the show will air Sundays at 9 p.m. - the time slot the show will occupy in the fall.
Now, have you got all that straight?
It makes some degree of sense to give these shows a head start in their new time slots, but will anybody really notice during the summer months?
SUDS FOREVER: The ABC soap "One Life to Live" celebrates its 30th anniversary on Wednesday, July 15. (In TV time, that's an eternity.)
And, to mark the occasion, throughout the month of July the show will open with a 60-second flashback, leading up to an hourlong highlights show on Friday, July 31.
QUOTABLE: The host of MSNBC's "The Big Show with Keith Olbermann," commenting on Matt Drudge's new show on the Fox News Channel: "He has gone from being an idiot with a modem to an idiot with a modem and a television show."
AIR JORDAN: The Fox Family Channel (which will replace the current Family Channel on Aug. 15) is planning a TV movie about the life of Chicago Bulls star (and failed baseball player) Michael Jordan for telecast sometime next year.
Jordan is not participating in the teleflick, which is pompously titled "Michael Jordan: The Untold Story of an American Hero."
As if we haven't already seen enough of this guy to last us the rest of our lives. And beyond.
TAKE "THE STAND": ABC is also planning to rebroadcast the eight-hour miniseries "Stephen King's The Stand" this month. Originally telecast in 1994, it will air in two-hour installments on Sunday, July 12; Monday, July 13; Tuesday, July 14; and Thursday, July 16.
In addition to being a rather good flick about a deadly virus that wipes out most of the world's population and sets up a final battle between good and evil, much of "The Stand" was shot here in Utah. (Salt Lake City's Avenues sub for Boulder, Colo.)
And you've got to love the fact that the devil and his followers gather in Las Vegas.
WHOOPS: An alert reader pointed out that in Tuesday's column, yours truly referred to a new CBS sitcom as "King of the Hill." That, of course, was incorrect - "King of the Hill" is the animated comedy that airs on Fox.
The new CBS show is actually titled "King of Queens." (You'll notice the similarity there.)
If the networks insist on giving shows similar names, they just have to expect that certain TV critics whose brains are addled by endless viewing are going to make these kinds of mistakes. (OK, that's a lame excuse. But it's the only one I can think of.)
PROUD: On Father's Day, 7-year-old Hillary presented me with a lovely card she'd made at school. Inside were various attributes she ascribes to me.
Obviously, she's somewhat biased because she said that I'm "as handsome as a movie star."
The best - and most accurate - statement came last. Hillary wrote that her Dad is really smart. I even know "what's on without looking in the TV Guide."
I'm so proud.