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Sunday, September 07, 2003

By Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV Editor

The best new show of the season isn't on the broadcast networks; it's HBO's "Carnivale" (9:30 p.m. Sept. 14). ESPN's "Playmakers" (9 p.m. Tuesday) ranks high up, too. But because this section is devoted primarily to prime-time series on the traditional networks, those series didn't make the list.

Midseason shows aren't included, either. But if they were, I'd nominate ABC's "Lines of Duty" (FBI agents vs. organized crime in Richmond, Va.) and consider Fox's "Wonderfalls" (inanimate objects speak to a Niagara Falls gift shop employee).

And Fox's "reality" show "The Simple Life" - two young heiresses are sent to live on a farm in Arkansas - deserves to be on the "best" list as the fall's funniest new series, but Fox stubbornly refuses to announce a premiere date or time slot.

Those lengthy caveats aside, these are the series that, judging by their premiere episodes alone, look to have the most and least potential.

Best

"All of Us" (UPN)
"Joan of Arcadia" (CBS)
"I'm With Her" (ABC)
"One Tree Hill" (The WB)
"Steve Harvey's Big Time" (The WB)
"Two-and-a-Half Men" (CBS)

Worst

"Hope & Faith" (ABC)
"It's All Relative" (ABC)
"Luis" (Fox)
"The Mullets" (UPN)
"The Ortegas" (Fox)
"Rock Me Baby" (UPN)

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