July 14, 1995

Cbs Places ‘New York News’ In Fall Schedule

Verne Gay And Diane Werts Newsday

Well, it looks like the new kid at CBS, Les Moonves, will work out just fine. CBS’ new entertainment boss made his first major schedule change Wednesday, and it’s a good one. “New York News,” the drama about Big Apple newspaper life starring Mary Tyler Moore and Madeline Kahn, will join the schedule this fall, Thursdays at 9 p.m. It replaces “John Grisham’s The Client,” which moves to Tuesdays at 8 p.m.

Who loses? Montel Williams, whose “Matt Waters” has been relegated to midseason replacement status. One could easily surmise that Moonves, former top honcho at Warner TV, is simply giving a Warner TV show (“New York News”) a nice helping hand. But … that would be a little too obvious, don’t you think?

Actually, the big mystery of CBS’ ‘95 fall schedule had to do with the fact that “News” wasn’t on it. By all accounts, the pilot was first-rate and Moore was vocal about her displeasure when it was passed over. Moore plays a tough editor (“The Dragon”) who (according to a producer) “does her best to keep the sinking ship from the sandy bottom.” Come to think, that sounds like Moonves’ job, too.

Thumbs up

Fox gave big votes of confidence Wednesday to the low-rated yet renewed drama “Party of Five.” Programmer John Matoian said he expects the show to follow the “90210”-“Melrose” pattern; those two started slow with a small core audience of women 18-34 and female teens, “and all of a sudden, they started to expand and expand and expand” into huge hits for Fox.

The network even put its money where its mouth is: It brought in “Party” producers and stars for an interview session and a catered lunch with critics, where they revealed that a woman from eldest sibling Charlie’s past pops up in the season premiere as he’s planning his wedding and “poses a huge problem to his relationship,” says creator Amy Lippman.

Lippman and co-creator Chris Keyser hope to maintain the level of honesty that meant nobody in this shattered family was able to say “I love you” all season until the 22nd episode.

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