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Fox Going After More Laughs

Fox Broadcasting unveiled a new fall prime-time schedule Tuesday that included six new comedies (including a pair on both Sundays and Mondays), the surprise renewal of the low-rated drama “Party of Five” and the return for a 10th season of “Married … With Children.”

The new slate also finds “Martin” moved from Thursdays to Saturdays (at 8 p.m.), “Living Single” to the anchor position of 8 p.m. on Thursdays, and shortened versions of the reality series’ “Cops” and “America’s Most Wanted,” both of which are being trimmed back to a half-hour on Saturdays.

Among the shows that won’t be returning next season are the virtual-reality hour “VR.5,” “Sliders,” “Models Inc.,” “Medicine Ball,” “M.A.N.T.I.S.”, “The Critic” and the PG version of the HBO sitcom “Dream On.”

For next season, Fox is very comedy-heavy, with 10 sitcoms dotting the slate (up from six last fall). The network ordered 13 episodes of “Party of Five,” giving the critically lauded ensemble hour a half-season to find an audience.

The new shows include:

“Space,” a futuristic drama about intergalactic warfare, kind of like a live-action video game.

“Too Something,” a buddy comedy starring two 20-something guys and based loosely on the feature “My Life’s in Turnaround.”

“Misery Loves Company,” starring Rick Rossovich and Dennis Boutsikaris as two of a group of four divorced men who like to bond.

“Partners,” starring Jon Cryer as a guy trying to survive life with his fiancee’ and best friend.

“Ned & Stacey,” with “Wings” regular Thomas Haden Church starring as an advertising executive who marries the wrong woman.

“Cabin Pressure,” a sitcom about the madcap mix-ups and wacky adventures of flight attendants.

“Strange Luck,” a new 8 p.m. companion drama to “The X-Files” starring D.B. Sweeney as a photojournalist who survives a neardeath experience in a plane crash and gains the ability to save the lives of others.

“The Preston Episodes,” with David Alan Grier of “In Living Color” playing a celebrity journalist.

New shows ordered for midseason on Fox include “The Pastor’s Wife,” from “Picket Fences” and “Chicago Hope” producer David E. Kelley; “The Last Frontier,” a comedy about men searching for wives in Alaska; “The Kindred,” an Aaron Spelling-produced soap opera about modern vampires; and “Divas,” about an African-American female quartet.

Tags: television