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Tuned In: 'Fugitive' on the run again, may head to Pittsburgh

Thursday, May 18, 2000

By Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV Editor

NEW YORK -- The Fugitive" is on the loose again, and he may be headed for Pittsburgh. CBS's revival of the classic series, starring Tim Daly ("Wings") and Mykelti Williamson ("Forrest Gump"), will film on location in cities across the country, including a possible stint in Pittsburgh -- providing the show lasts long enough.

The "Fugitive" pilot, which reportedly cost $6 million to film, was shot on location in Chicago and Miami.

Peter Roth, president of Warner Bros. Television, which is producing "The Fugitive" for CBS said as many as four episode of the series may be filmed in Pittsburgh.

"We're seriously thinking about Pittsburgh right now," Roth said. "It's a great city for us, it's film-friendly and economically advantageous."

Shooting on location is a key element of the series, Roth said. "We have to really traverse the country to allow the audience to believe the fugitive is on the run."

Boston, Philadelphia and the Pacific Northwest may also serve as filming locations during the show's first season.

"This series is the crown jewel of our company," Roth said, adding that he couldn't remember another TV show filmed at changing locations since "I Spy."

Roth said key production personnel will travel the country with the series, but "we will be hiring local crews."

"The Fugitive" will kick off a revamped Friday night, announced by CBS president Leslie Moonves at a press briefing yesterday morning.

"There are action sequences in this pilot that you just don't get in television pilots," Moonves said. "But if 'The Fugitive' only works on the basis of its action, we're in trouble. You can have all the action in the world, but if you don't like the people, you won't come back. This show has heart and character."

The addition of four new dramas and three new comedies means several cancellations, including freshman fantasy series "Now and Again."

CBS Entertainment president Nancy Tellem said that was one of the hardest decisions to make because CBS executives liked the low-rated series, but she said it was expensive to produce.

"Early Edition and "Martial Law" also will not return and, as expected, veteran medical drama "Chicago Hope" was dropped in favor of "City of Angels."

Moonves acknowledged low-rated "City of Angels" was renewed, in part, because it's the sole drama on television with a primarily African-American cast.

"It was part of it, but not the major influence," Moonves said. "It's a quality show that has evolved and, as all Bochco shows do, will get better in its second season."

"City of Angels" will take "Chicago Hope's" 9 p.m. time slot Thursday, Moonves said, adding, "the only audience not served by 'Will & Grace' and 'Millionaire' is the African-American audience." But he cautioned that "City of Angels" must draw more viewers, regardless of ethnicity, if the show is to survive.

Here's the CBS fall schedule and descriptions of new programs (in bold):

Sunday

7 p.m. "60 Minutes"

8 p.m. "Touched by an Angel"

9 p.m. "CBS Sunday Movie"

Monday

8 p.m. "The King of Queens"

8:30 p.m. "Yes, Dear" -- After inflicting "The Mike O'Malley Show" on NBC last season, O'Malley returns in this ensemble comedy about two couples with different views on parenting. O'Malley gets paired with Liza Snyder as couple No. 1 and Anthony Clark ("Boston Common") and Jean Louisa Kelly ("Cold Feet") are couple No. 2.

9 p.m. "Everybody Loves Raymond"

9:30 p.m. "Becker"

10 p.m. "Family Law"

Tuesday

8 p.m. "JAG"

9 p.m. "60 Minutes II"

10 p.m. "Judging Amy"

Wednesday

8 p.m. "The Bette Show" -- Bette Midler tackles a sitcom playing a character very much like, well, Bette Midler. Lindsay Lohan plays her daughter and Joanna Gleason stars as Midler's best friend and manager.

8:30 p.m. "Welcome to New York" -- Jim Gaffigan stars as an Indiana weatherman who gets his own morning news show in New York City in this sitcom from David Letterman's production company. Any resemblance to Letterman's career path is purely intentional. Christine Baranski ("Cybill") plays the news show's executive producer and Rocky Carroll ("Chicago Hope") is Gaffigan's co-anchor. This show's title is likely to change before it airs.

9 p.m. "CBS Wednesday Movie"

Thursday

8 p.m. "48 Hours"

9 p.m. "City of Angels"

10 p.m. "Diagnosis Murder"

Friday

8 p.m. "The Fugitive" -- Dr. Richard Kimble (Tim Daly) is accused of killing his wife, so he runs for it, chased all the way by Lt. Phillip Gerard (Mykelti Williamson) in this remake of the 1960s series from the producers of the Harrison Ford "Fugitive" feature film.

9 p.m. "C.S.I." -- Crime Scene Investigators examine the evidence at crime scenes in Las Vegas, trying to piece together what happened. William Peterson plays the senior forensics officer and Marg Helgenberger ("China Beach") is a single mom on his task force.

10 p.m. "Nash Bridges"

Saturday

8 p.m. "That's Life" -- A drama about a thirtysomething New Jersey woman (Heather Paige Kent) who dumps her blue-collar fiance and returns home to enroll in college. Ellen Burstyn plays her mother, Kevin Dillon is her brother and Debi Mazar ("Civil Wars") is her best friend.

9 p.m. "Walker, Texas Ranger"

10 p.m. "The District" -- Craig T. Nelson returns to series television as the police commissioner of Washington, D.C., hired by the deputy mayor (Jayne Brook, "Chicago Hope"). He butts heads with the D.C. chief of patrol (Roger Aaron Brown), who was expecting to get the job. Lynne Thigpen ("Where in the World Is Carmen San Diego?") also stars.

CBS didn't announce any midseason series, although Moonves said the Ellen DeGeneres sitcom/variety show developed for fall remains a possibility and a retooled "Ladies Man" might return.



MORE FROM ABC: Late Tuesday afternoon during ABC's presentation to advertisers, ABC News president David Westin clarified plans for the network's three newsmagazines this fall.

The original "20/20," airing Friday at 10 p.m., will continue to have Barbara Walters as host, while the Thursday edition, "PrimeTime Thursday," will be anchored by Charlie Gibson and Diane Sawyer. "PrimeTime" revives part of the title of the old "PrimeTime Live" franchise, but the "live" aspect of the show will be dropped because Gibson and Sawyer must get up early to serve as hosts for "Good Morning America."

Monday's 8 p.m. edition of "20/20" will be known as "Downtown," which aired Thursday after "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" this past season. Westin didn't name an anchor for "Downtown."

Here are reactions to ABC's four new shows on first glance:

The romantic comedy "Geena" (9:30 p.m. Tuesday"), starring Geena Davis, seems like a natural companion series to "Dharma & Greg." Clips from the pilot made the show look cute.

Andre Braugher returns to series television as a warm, caring doctor in "Gideon's Crossing" (10 p.m. Wednesday), a medical drama from "Homicide: Life on the Street" creator Paul Attanasio. Anything with Braugher deserves a look, but clips from the show didn't make it stand out much from other hospital shows on the air. But it does look more promising than CBS's "City of Angels."

"People Who Fear People" (8:30 p.m. Friday) co-star Jon Cryer hasn't had a successful sitcom yet, and all the previous ones he's been in have been better than this one appears to be. Chances are his track record won't change now.

Yesterday I called "The Madigan Men" (9:30 p.m. Friday), starring Gabriel Byrne, a male "Sex and the City" based on ABC's description of the sitcom. Having seen scenes from the show, I now realize that's not what the show is at all. It's actually a standard-issue comedy about three generations of men in the same family.

Upcoming films on "The Wonderful World of Disney" include a new live-action "Snow White"; a remake of "The Miracle Worker"; the Cinderella story told as "Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister"; the story of Robin Hood's daughter, called "Hearts and Arrows" and "Mame," starring Barbra Streisand.

The ABC Monday night movie returns after the conclusion of "Monday Night Football" with original productions that will include an adaptation of Fannie Flagg's novel "Welcome to the World Baby Girl"; a look at the musical family "The Osmonds"; Judy Davis stars in "Me and My Shadows: The Judy Garland Story"; Glenn Close and Harry Connick Jr. headline the musical "South Pacific"; and Oprah Winfrey presents a film based on the novel "Amy and Isabelle."



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