[05/15/03 - 12:00 AM]
Broadcast Upfront Presentations: Fox, Part 1
By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)

CHICAGO (thefutoncritic.com) - FOX will add three new one-hour dramas and four new half-hour comedies to its 2003-2004 programming slate, it was announced today by Gail Berman, President, Entertainment, FOX Broadcasting Company. The new fall dramas are SKIN, THE O.C. and TRU CALLING. The new comedies include ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT, A MINUTE WITH STAN HOOPER, THE ORTEGAS and LUIS. Returning series include 24, AMERICAN IDOL, AMERICAN JUNIORS, BERNIE MAC, BOSTON PUBLIC, CEDRIC THE ENTERTAINER PRESENTS, JOE MILLIONAIRE, KING OF THE HILL, MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE, OLIVER BEENE, THE SIMPSONS, THAT '70s SHOW, and WANDA AT LARGE. Also returning are FOX's Saturday staples COPS, AMERICA'S MOST WANTED: AMERICA FIGHTS BACK and the late-night sketch-comedy series MADtv.

Slated for midseason are the new dramas STILL LIFE and WONDERFALLS, the new comedy CRACKING UP, and the new reality series BANZAI.

"After finishing the year as the #2 network in Adults 18-49 for the third straight season, and by the closest margin in FOX's history, we head into the new season with stability and momentum," said Berman. "We're overwhelmingly dominant in Adults 18-34 and Teens � with strong female demos to complement our already powerful delivery of young men. This year our quality scripted programming will speak directly to these target demos, and our unscripted and variety series will be both noisy and groundbreaking. All told, they create a balanced schedule that sends a clear message: FOX is the one to watch."


8:00-9:00 JOE MILLIONAIRE (WONDERFALLS will premiere in January '04)
9:00-10:00 SKIN

8:00-9:00 AMERICAN JUNIORS (AMERICAN IDOL will premiere in January '04)
9:00-10:00 24

8:00-8:30 THAT '70s SHOW
9:00-9:30 BERNIE MAC
*(AMERICAN IDOL results show will premiere in January '04; time slot TBD)

8:00-9:00 TRU CALLING
9:00-10:00 THE O.C.

8:00-8:30 WANDA AT LARGE
8:30-9:00 LUIS
9:00-10:00 BOSTON PUBLIC

8:00-8:30 COPS
8:30-9:00 COPS
11:00-12:00 MADtv

7:00-7:30 OLIVER BEENE
7:30-8:00 KING OF THE HILL
8:00-8:30 THE SIMPSONS
8:30-9:00 THE ORTEGAS

The new dramas for the coming season are:

THE O.C.: DOUG LIMAN ("The Bourne Identity," "Go"), McG ("Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle," "Fastlane") and FOX, the network that brought you "Beverly Hills, 90210," invite you to visit THE O.C. THE O.C., otherwise known as Orange County, California, is an idyllic paradise � a wealthy, harbor-front community where everything and everyone appears to be perfect. But beneath the surface is a world of shifting loyalties and identities, of kids living secret lives, hidden from their parents, and of parents living secret lives, hidden from their children. RYAN ATWOOD (BENJAMIN MCKENZIE), a troubled teen from the wrong side of the tracks who is thrust into this world, will soon learn that nothing is what it seems. He moves to the O.C. when SANDY COHEN (PETER GALLAGHER, "American Beauty," "While You Were Sleeping"), an idealistic pro-bono public defender, invites him to stay in his guest house. Sandy's wife, KIRSTEN (KELLY ROWAN), wealthy and beautiful, former homecoming queen, perfect spouse, mother, and business woman, isn't happy that Ryan has moved in. And she's worried about how it will affect their teenage son SETH (ADAM BRODY, "Growing Up Brady," "Neverland"), a soulful dreamer ostracized by his peers. Making the whole situation more interesting is MARISSA COOPER (MISCHA BARTON), the heartbreakingly beautiful girl next door who seems to glide through life effortlessly. That is, until the indiscretions of her wealthy father JIMMY (TATE DONOVAN, "Hercules," "Mister Sterling") threaten to break her world apart. THE O.C. is a story of fathers and sons, husbands and wives, and the coming of age of three young people. Ryan's arrival is the catalyst for new alliances forged, old flames rekindled, and unlikely friendships born. It comes from Warner Bros. Television, Wonderland and Hypnotic.

-- Production Companies: Warner Bros. Television, Wonderland and Hypnotic

-- Executive Producers: Doug Liman, McG, Dave Bartis

-- Executive Producer/Writer: Josh Schwartz

-- Director: Doug Liman

-- Cast: Peter Gallagher as Sandy, Benjamin McKenzie as Ryan, Adam Brody as Seth, Mischa Barton as Marissa, Tate Donovan as Jimmy, Kelly Rowan as Kirsten, Melinda Clarke as Julie, Rachel Bilson as Summer, Chris Carmack as Luke

SKIN: JERRY BRUCKHEIMER ("CSI," "Black Hawk Down") and JIM LEONARD ("Thieves") team to create a new, intense character drama about a world you've never seen. SKIN is the story of two young lovers, desperate to be together, but who have two warring families who will do anything to keep them apart, and almost anything to destroy each other. ADAM (D. J. COTRONA), a 17-year-old Latino from east L.A., meets JEWEL (OLIVIA WILDE), 16, a wealthy, beautiful Westside girl, at a party. They fall for each other, passionately, purely, and completely, before they realize that their parents are at "war." Adam's Latina mother LAURA (RACHEL TICOTIN), a judge, and Anglo father MICHAEL (KEVIN ANDERSON, "Nothing Sacred"), the Los Angeles District Attorney, are prominent members of the city's judicial system. And, at the moment, Michael happens to be investigating and prosecuting Jewel's father, LARRY (RON SILVER, "Ali," "The West Wing," "Festival in Cannes"), the most successful producer of adult entertainment in Los Angeles. SKIN is about sex and race. SKIN is about politics. And most of all SKIN is about skin: complexion, beauty, desire, attraction, obsession, and prejudice in contemporary Los Angeles. SKIN is shot through with black comedy, passion, white-collar crime, scandal, naked ambition, and action. RUSSELL MULCAHY ("Queer as Folk," "1st to Die") directs SKIN, from Warner Bros. Television, Jerry Bruckheimer Productions, and Hoosier Karma Productions.

-- Production Company: Warner Bros. Television, Jerry Bruckheimer Productions and Hoosier Karma Productions

-- Executive Producers: Jerry Bruckheimer, Jonathan Littman

-- Executive Producer/Writer: Jim Leonard

-- Director: Russell Mulcahy

-- Cast: Ron Silver as Larry Goldman, Kevin Anderson as Michael Roame, D.J. Cotrona as Adam, Olivia Wilde as Jewel, D.W. Moffett as Ziti, Rachel Ticotin as Laura, Pamela Gidley as Barbara

TRU CALLING: What would you do if you could relive a day? If you're TRU DAVIES (ELIZA DUSHKU, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"), you'd save lives. Tru is a smart, sexy recent college graduate who � when her high-powered medical internship falls through � finds herself working the midnight shift at the New York City morgue. One night, Tru questions reality when she thinks she hears a beautiful murder victim asking for her help. But the next morning, our heroine wakes up to find that she is back at the beginning of that very same day � twelve hours before a murder that only she knows about is set to take place. With the clock ticking, Tru is compelled to traverse the city of New York over those next twelve hours to prevent this wrongful death, while at the same time rescuing members of her own family from their dangerous and self-destructive lives. Directed by renowned filmmaker PHILLIP NOYCE ("The Quiet American"), TRU CALLING combines the sexiness and speed of "Alias" with the procedural crime format of "CSI." TRU CALLING is from 20th Century Fox Television and Original Television and comes from executive producer/writer JON FELDMAN ("American Dreams," "Roswell," "Dawson's Creek").

-- Production Companies: 20th Century Fox Television and Original Television

-- Executive Producers: Marty Adelstein, Neal Moritz, Dawn Parouse

-- Executive Producer/Writer: Jon Feldman

-- Director: Phillip Noyce

-- Cast: Eliza Dushku as Tru Davies, Shawn Reaves as Harrison, Jessica Collins as Meredith, A.J. Cook as Lindsay, Heath Freeman as Cameron, Zach Galifianakis as Davis

The new comedies for the coming season are:

ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT: MICHAEL BLUTH (JASON BATEMAN, "The Sweetest Thing"), a widower, wants nothing more than to be a good father to his 13-year-old son GEORGE MICHAEL (MICHAEL CERA), so he resolves to quit the family business for good and move to Arizona to start a new life. But instead Michael's eccentric family pulls him back in when his father GEORGE BLUTH SR. (JEFFREY TAMBOR) gets arrested for shifty accounting practices at Bluth Co. This sends the family reeling, and when their assets are frozen, this puts a major crimp in each of their lives. LUCILLE BLUTH (JESSICA WALTER), Michael's mother, is a flamboyant, stylish and spoiled society matron who finds herself alone in her Balboa Bay Club penthouse without the financial means to maintain it. GEORGE OSCAR BLUTH II (WILL ARNETT), "Gob," Michael's older, wildly eccentric brother, has devoted his life to the field of magic but now he must contend with the possibility of getting a real job in the real world. BUSTER BLUTH (TONY HALE) is Michael's younger brother, a professional graduate student who is alternately cool and incredibly self-conscious. Michael decides to stay in Orange County and invites his sister LINDSAY FUNKE (PORTIA DE ROSSI, "Ally McBeal") and her family to move in with him and George Michael. Lindsay is married to the hapless TOBIAS (DAVID CROSS), a doctor who lost his license after performing CPR on a man who was sunbathing and didn't need it. Lindsay and Tobias are the ultra-permissive parents of MAE (ALIA SHAWKAT), "Maeby," who delights in finding unique ways to rebel against her over-indulgent parents. Michael reluctantly finds himself having to pull his offbeat family up by their bootstraps and slowly "teach" them how to live without the family's largess. ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT comes from Imagine Television and 20th Century Fox Television. RON HOWARD ("A Beautiful Mind," "Parenthood"), BRIAN GRAZER ("The Nutty Professor 1 and 2," "8 Mile," "24"), DAVID NEVINS and MITCH HURWITZ ("The Ellen Show," "Golden Girls") serve as executive producers.

-- Production Companies: 20th Century Fox Television and Imagine Television

-- Executive Producers: Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, David Nevins

-- Executive Producer/Writer: Mitch Hurwitz

-- Directors: Anthony and Joe Russo

-- Cast: Jason Bateman as Michael, Portia De Rossi as Lindsay, Michael Cera as George Michael, Alia Shawkat as Mae, Jessica Walter as Lucille, Will Arnett as Gob, Tony Hale as Buster, Jeffrey Tambor as George Bluth Sr., David Cross as Tobias

LUIS: LUIS (LUIS GUZMAN, "Traffic," "Punch-Drunk Love," "Boogie Nights") is living the American dream. He's the proud owner of a Spanish Harlem donut shop and the landlord of the building it's in. But a dream is only a dream, and you've got to wake up sometime. He wakes up every day ... to a cast of characters that includes an obnoxious elderly Irish woman who lives in a rent-controlled apartment; a Chinese delivery boy who swears he was a cardiologist back in the "Old Country" and doesn't speak English because "This is America � you speak Spanish"; and to TK (MALCOLM BARRETT) a young African-American kid who harasses his customers by trying to sell them "merchandise" he found in Luis' dumpster. Luis' family doesn't help much. His ex-wife, ISABELLA (DIANA-MARIA RIVA), constantly reminds him why they got divorced, but somehow she can't get enough of him or his donuts. Their daughter, MARLY (JACLYN DESANTIS), is responsible and hardworking but lives in Luis' building with her free-loading boyfriend GREG, a pretentious "artiste" who hopes to pay his share of the rent by selling his paintings. At least Luis has Ginger � his mint, '82 Olds Delta 88, and his trusted assistant RICHIE (CHARLIE DAY), who pines for Luis' daughter. Luis is not quite conservative, not quite liberal. He's a man who's got the world figured out � the world just doesn't know it yet. The series comes from creator and executive producer WILL GLUCK ("The John Larroquette Show") and 20th Century Fox Television.

-- Production Company: 20th Century Fox Television

-- Executive Producer/Writer: Will Gluck

-- Director: Jeff Melman

-- Cast: Luis Guzman as Luis, Jaclyn DeSantis as Marly, Diana-Maria Riva as Isabella, Malcolm Barrett as TK, Charlie Day as Richie

A MINUTE WITH STAN HOOPER: For ten years, "A Minute with Stan Hooper" has closed each episode of "Newsline," America's highest rated newsmagazine. In his "Minute" segments, STAN HOOPER (NORM MACDONALD, "Saturday Night Live," "Norm") has been telling real stories of real people that make up the fabric of America. But now Stan is making his "Minute" more honest. He no longer wants to comment on life from a studio in midtown Manhattan. He wants to live in the vanishing America he has been talking about for a decade - a place where ordinary people enjoy life's simple pleasures, where people have never heard of cappuccino. So, Stan and his wife MOLLY (PENELOPE ANN MILLER, "Kindergarten Cop," "Full Disclosure") are moving to Waterford Falls, Wisconsin. Stan thinks this small town they passed through on their honeymoon 15 years ago is the embodiment of the old-fashioned values and idyllic lifestyle he has been championing in his "Minute" reports. Except that the house that Stan and Molly rent comes with a butler, GARY (BRIAN HOWE). And the local cheese mogul's son, RYAN (ERIC LIVELY), who is dating a waitress, CHELSEA (REAGAN DALE NEIS, "Maybe It's Me"), temporarily moves in with Stan and Molly. And that the two guys who own the local diner, PETE (DANIEL ROEBUCK, "Agent Cody Banks," "We Were Soldiers") and LOU (GARRET DILLAHUNT) PETERSON, are a couple. Stan Hooper is a commentator on life, whose observations and insights will solve some problems while creating others. A MINUTE WITH STAN HOOPER is created by BARRY KEMP ("Coach," "Newhart") and Norm Macdonald, and produced by Paramount Television.

-- Production Company: Paramount Television

-- Executive Producer: Lori Jo Hoekstra

-- Executive Producers/Writers: Barry Kemp, Norm Macdonald

-- Director: Barry Kemp

-- Cast: Norm Macdonald as Stan Hooper, Penelope Ann Miller as Molly Hooper, Eric Lively as Ryan, Reagan Dale Neis as Chelsea, Brian Howe as Gary, Garret Dillahunt as Lou, Daniel Roebuck as Pete

THE ORTEGAS: Live from California's beautiful San Fernando Valley ... it's THE ORTEGAS. Based on the International Emmy-winning and hit BBC series, "The Kumars at No. 42," this inventive new series blends comedy, reality and improvisation into one wild, unique mix. LUIS ORTEGA (AL MADRIGAL, "2002 Montreal Comedy Festival") is the likeable young host of his very own talk show, thanks to his generous immigrant parents HENRY (CHEECH MARIN, "Nash Bridges") and ESMERALDA (TERRI HOYOS, "Town and Country"), who built a television studio in the family's backyard. Each week, the family -- including Luis' darling and often uncensored grandmother MARIA (RENEE VICTOR, "Never Trust a Serial Killer") -- welcomes actual celebrity guests into their home, smothering them with hospitality and homemade traditional Mexican snacks. And once they've step out of the back of the house and into the television studio, the talk show begins. At this point the entire family showers their guests with spontaneous and wide-ranging interview topics leaving the live audience wondering what could possibly be next. Look out Dave and Jay - Luis Ortega is on his way. As if Luis, Henry, Esmeralda and Maria are not enough, THE ORTEGAS will introduce their friends, family, and neighbors who inhabit this crazy world called "Van Nuys." They are all as colorful and entertaining as the Ortegas themselves. WALLY WOLODARSKY ("The Oblongs"), GAVIN POLONE ("Hack"), JIMMY MULVILLE ("The Kumars at No. 42") and DENISE O'DONOGHUE ("Whose Line Is It Anyway?") serve as executive producers. LINDA MENDOZA ("The Bernie Mac Show") directs this comedy from Pariah and Hat Trick Productions.

-- Production Companies: Pariah and Hat Trick Productions

-- Executive Producers: Jimmy Mulville, Denise O'Donoghue, Gavin Polone, Wally Wolodarsky

-- Director: Linda Mendoza

-- Cast: Al Madrigal as Luis Ortega, Cheech Marin as Henry, Terri Hoyos as Esmeralda, Renee Victor as Maria

-- The series slated for midseason are WONDERFALLS, CRACKING UP, STILL LIFE and BANZAI:

WONDERFALLS: Set against the backdrop of Niagara Falls, WONDERFALLS is a funny, provocative and magical one-hour dramedy about JAYE TYLER (CAROLINE DHAVERNAS), an underachieving twenty-something souvenir shop worker whose life is forever changed after she has what her family calls "an episode." That's when inanimate animal figures � toys, cartoon images, anything in the form of an animal � begin talking to her, and their cryptic messages set into motion a chain of events that invariably lead her into the lives of others in need. Described by its creators BRYAN FULLER ("Star Trek: Voyager") and TODD HOLLAND ("Malcolm in the Middle"), with tongues firmly in cheek, as "Touched by a Crazy Person," the series focuses on Jaye as she meddles in, muddles up, and ultimately betters the lives of herself, her eccentric family of overachievers, and the eclectic variety of strangers that cross her path. Over the course of this series Jaye will discover that the world around her really is a magical place, and that the seemingly random events in her life are actually all part of something much greater. WONDERFALLS is from 20th Century Fox Television and Regency Television.

-- Production Companies: 20th Century Fox Television and Regency Television

-- Executive Producers/Writers: Bryan Fuller, Todd Holland

-- Director: Todd Holland

-- Cast: Caroline Dhavernas as Jaye, Katie Finneran as Sharon, Tyron Leitso as Eric, William Sadler as Darrin, Diana Scarwid as Karen, Adam Scott as Aaron

CRACKING UP: BEN, an idealistic psychology student, gets more than he bargained for when he moves into the guest house of a wealthy Beverly Hills family. TED (CHRIS McDONALD, "Spy Kids 2," "Perfect Storm") the proud patriarch of the family, is a successful pharmaceutical executive. Ted's wife, LESLEY (MOLLY SHANNON, "Saturday Night Live," "Superstar"), is the happy homemaker and helpmate. Their three children are CHLOE (CAITLIN WACHS), the pretty cheerleader, who suffers from delusions of grandeur; PRESTON (JAKE SANDVIG), the all-American athlete, and TANNER (NATHAN NORTON), who they all consider the "troubled child." They may look like the picture-perfect clan, living the American dream in a gorgeous mansion, but on closer inspection, each member of the family proves to be crazier than the next. Ben and his fun-loving friend, LIAM (DAVID WALTON), soon find themselves playing in-house therapists to a brood of whackos. The household is the perfect training ground for a budding therapist and, although Ben is shocked by some of their more eccentric behavior, he is determined to help "fix" this family. They may be "cracking up," but they're also fascinating, lovable, and a whole lot of fun. CRACKING UP is written by MIKE WHITE, the award-winning writer and star of "The Good Girl," "Chuck & Buck" and "Orange County." The series is directed by PAUL and CHRIS WEITZ of "About a Boy" and "American Pie" fame.

-- Production Companies: 20th Century Fox Television and Brad Grey Television

-- Executive Producer/Writer: Mike White

-- Executive Producers/Directors: Chris Weitz, Paul Weitz

-- Executive Producer: Brad Grey

-- Cast: Molly Shannon as Lesley, Chris McDonald as Ted, David Walton as Liam, Jake Sandvig as Preston, Caitlin Wachs as Chloe, Nathan Norton as Tanner

STILL LIFE: STILL LIFE tells the story of an American family, the MORGANS, through the eyes of JAKE MORGAN, the eldest of BEN and CHARLOTTE MORGAN's four children. Jake was the golden child that every parent dreams of having. Following in his father's footsteps, he decided to become a cop. And, on his first day on the job, Jake was murdered. We rejoin the Morgan family a year after Jake's death. Jake now is our narrator, watching his family from beyond with amusement, longing and neverending curiosity as their true lives are revealed to him. Jake is not a ghost, but in many ways he is still a part of the lives of the people he loves, and he still has unresolved issues. His mother, CHARLOTTE (SUSANNA THOMPSON, "Dragonfly"), has been galvanized by tragedy to resume her dream of running for public office. His father, BEN (DAVID KEITH, "Daredevil," "Behind Enemy Lines"), a detective, must overcome the guilt he feels for his son's death and rediscover the lust for life he once had. Jake's younger brother, MAX (JENSEN ACKLES, "Dark Angel"), is a 21-year-old concert of darkness and light. His love-hate relationship with Jake is revealed in a love triangle with MAGGIE (MORENA BACCARIN), the girl they both love and owner of an art gallery. EMILY (AUDREY MARIE ANDERSON, "Moonlight Mile"), Jake's 19-year-old sister and best friend, is a haunting beauty whose life has been set adrift by the absence of her brother. She is looking for someone to give her that connection again, and the search could take her anywhere. His youngest sister, DAISY (JEANETTE BROX), is a precocious 16-year-old coming of age faster than she is ready. She is a positive, upbeat spirit buoyed by the belief that Jake is "still here." By turns heart-breaking and life-affirming, joyful, combative and complicated, STILL LIFE is a beautiful celebration of love, life and family. MARK PIZNARSKI ("Once and Again," "My So-Called Life," "Everwood") directs STILL LIFE, from 20th Century Fox Television and Original Television.

-- Production Company: 20th Century Fox Television and Original Television

-- Executive Producers: Marty Adelstein, Neal Moritz, Kip Koenig, Dawn Parouse, Marti Noxon

-- Writer: Kip Koenig

-- Director: Mark Piznarski

-- Cast: Jensen Ackles as Max, David Keith as Ben, Susanna Thompson as Charlotte, Audrey Marie Anderson as Emily, Jeanette Brox as Daisy, Morena Baccarin as Maggie

BANZAI: BANZAI, the hilarious spoof Japanese interactive entertainment show, invites viewers to predict the outcome of various funny and bizarre betting scenarios. Sample scenarios include "Mr. Shakehands Man" (How long can he shake a celebrity's hand before he/she pulls away?), and "The Michael Jackson's' Reverse Race Rendezvous" (Which Michael Jackson impersonator can moonwalk the fastest, on an ice rink?). Let's not forget "Lady One Question," who interviews unsuspecting celebrities in her own unique way. They are situations you would never expect to encounter, and you won't be able to take your eyes off of. Viewers at home can wager with friends and family to see who can best predict the comedic, outrageous and very unpredictable outcomes. BANZAI is from Radar and producers TIM BREADIN and GARY MONAGHAN.

-- Production Company: Radar

-- Producers: Tim Breadin, Gary Monaghan

The above is taken from FOX's press release concerning its upfront presentation.

  [may 2003]  

· 24 (FOX)

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