CHICAGO (thefutoncritic.com) -- The Television Critics Association is set to conclude its summer press tour this week in which the various broadcast and cable networks talk about their upcoming plans to the nation's top critics and entertainment reporters. The final week of the tour rounds out the rest of the broadcast networks as CBS held its two sessions on Sunday and Monday for the press.
Here's a breakdown of the highlights of CBS' presentation:
-- CBS became the first of the major networks to outline its fall premiere dates. As expected, virtually of its series will debut during "premiere week" (the first official week of the 2003-04 season as described by Nielsen Media Research) which runs September 22-28. The only exceptions are "Survivor: Pearl Islands" and "Becker" which will start Thursday, September 18 and Wednesday, October 1 respectively:
Thurday, September 18
8:00/7:00c - "Survivor: Pearl Islands"
Monday, September 22
8:00/7:00c - "Yes, Dear"
8:30/7:30c - "Still Standing"
9:00/8:00c - "Everybody Loves Raymond"
9:30/8:30c - "Two and a Half Men"
10:00/9:00c - "C.S.I.: Miami"
Tuesday, September 23
8:00/7:00c - "Navy N.C.I.S."
9:00/8:00c - "The Guardian"
10:00/9:00c - "Judging Amy"
Wednesday, September 24
8:00/7:00c - "60 Minutes II"
9:00/8:00c - "King of Queens" (One-Hour)
10:00/9:00c - "The Brotherhood of Poland, N.H."
Thurday, September 25
9:00/8:00c - "C.S.I.: Crime Scene Investigation"
10:00/9:00c - "Without a Trace"
Friday, September 26
8:00/7:00c - "Joan of Arcadia"
9:00/8:00c - "J.A.G."
10:00/9:00c - "The Handler"
Saturday, September 27
8:00/7:00c - "48 Hours Investigates"
9:00/8:00c - "Hack"
10:00/9:00c - "The District"
Sunday, September 28
7:00/6:00c - "60 Minutes"
8:00/7:00c - "Cold Case"
9:00/8:00c - "CBS Sunday Night Movie"
Wednesday, October 1
9:30/8:30c - "Becker"
-- CBS topper Les Moonves told reporters that while Ray Ramano and series creator Phil Rosenthal aren't locked up beyond "Raymond's" upcoming eighth season (and have been hesitant to commit to anything beyond that), the network is considering a spin-off of the series to continue the franchise. While specifics have yet to be ironed out, the leading contender is said to be one surrounding Brad Garrett's character, Ray's long-suffering brother. Eye executives and the "Raymond" camp are expected to come to a decision about the show in January.
-- Moonves also insisted that the network's proposed "The Real Life Beverly Hillbillies" in still in development, despite being announced over a year ago. The potential series drew the ire of Sen. Zell Miller (D-Ga.) over its rural stereotypes, even getting a mention on the Senate floor.
-- The network plans to celebrate its 75th anniversary on Sunday, November 2 with a three-hour special, "CBS at 75: A Primetime Celebration," from New York's Hammerstein Ballroom. While the Columbia Phonograph Broadcasting Co. (as the radio network was then called) actually launched on Sept. 18, 1927, Eye executives are recognizing January 1929 as its start date, when William Paley bought the company and renamed it the Columbia Broadcasting System.
-- James Brolin has signed on as the lead of the Eye's upcoming mini-series "The Reagans." Judy Davis had previously signed on as Nancy Reagan in the project, which could be ready by November sweeps. Craig Zadan and Neil Meron's Storyline Entertainment, Hallmark Entertainment Distribution and Sony Pictures Television are all behind the mini-series which will be directed by Robert Allan Ackerman.
-- Lastly, also on tap for the 2003-04 season are two reunion specials: "The Andy Griffith Show" and "The Dick Van Dyke Show" (air dates TBA).
Upcoming TCA schedule: Tuesday (July 22) - UPN; Thursday-Friday (July 24-25) - NBC