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[05/17/04 - 12:00 AM]
2004 Broadcast Upfront Presentations: Nbc, Part 6
By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)

LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- NBC has released several images of its new projects in conjunction with its upfront presentation.

Here's a look at each, listed alphabetically according to series:

CRAZY FOR YOU -- Pictured: (l-r) Tom Poston as Clown, Tammy Lynn Michaels as Tess, Jennifer Finnegan as Marni Fliss, Josh Cooke as Nate Solomon, Darius McCrary as Bowie

Welcome to the funny and highly unusual courtship of New Yorkers Nate (Josh Cooke, "Century City") and Marni (Emmy winner Jennifer Finnigan, NBC's "Crossing Jordan"). On the surface, they couldn't appear more different; Nate's the heir apparent to a long line of geniuses whose mental ability has caused them all to go insane. Then there's Marni, an occupational therapist and perpetual optimist, who ponders whether to take one more dip in the city's dating pool. Somehow, they meet and ironically find a connection that could become love. Although he's negative to a fault, she's likewise positive to a fault, so these total opposites may just be made for each other. Now they just have to figure that out if they don't get in the way first. Darius McCrary ("Kingpin"), Tammy Lynn Michaels ("The L Word") and Tom Poston ("Newhart") also star. Eileen Heisler and DeAnn Heline ("Three Sisters") wrote the pilot and serve as executive producers. Gary Halvorson (NBC's "Friends," "Everybody Loves Raymond") directs the pilot for this series from NBC Universal Television.

FATHER OF THE PRIDE -- Pictured: 'Father of the Pride' art

NBC teams with the creative powerhouse studio that brought the world "Shrek," along with some all-star voices, to create a computer-generated-imaging (CGI) series of the highest caliber. Viewers will journey inside the lives of a pride of white lions who perform in the world-famous Siegfried and Roy show and will also explore their lush Las Vegas habitat. The lions are led by zoo-raised Larry (John Goodman, "Roseanne") and his wife Kate (Cheryl Hines, "Curb Your Enthusiasm"), a showbiz veteran. In fact, Kate's father, Sarmoti (Emmy winner Carl Reiner, "The Dick Van Dyke Show"), is a Las Vegas legend who is used to headlining the show. However, when Sarmoti's age begins to catch up with him, he reluctantly passes the crown to Larry -- and sets the Las Vegas "neighborhood" abuzz. Other animals in the mix include a mischievous gopher named Snack (Orlando Jones, "Magnolia"), a karaoke-performing orangutan, and an easily agitated pink flamingo. Oddly enough, their world is a lot like ours - except for the whole talking animals thing. CGI versions of Siegfried & Roy (voiced by Julian Holloway, "Michael Uncle Silas," and Dave Herman, "Office Space) will be featured in the series. Danielle Harris ("Rugrats Gone Wild") and Daryl Sabara, "Spy Kids") also star. "Father of the Pride" will be the first primetime television show with feature film-quality CGI animation. Created by Jeffrey Katzenberg ("Shrek") and developed by Jonathan Groff ("Late Night with Conan O'Brien"), the series is executive-produced by Katzenberg, Groff, Jon Pollack ("Spin City," "Just Shoot Me") and Peter Mehlman ("Seinfeld"). The series is produced by DreamWorks Television and DreamWorks Animation.

HAWAII -- Pictured: (l-r) Aya Sumika as Linh Dias, Sharif Atkins as John Decian, Michael Biehn as Max Harrison, Ivan Sergi as Danny Edwards, Eric Balfour as Christopher Gains, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa as Capt. Terry Harada

Hawaii can seduce just about anyone...cops and criminals alike. Murder, drug-running and organized cartels filter through the unique island culture to represent just some of the big-city casework that this big island police force confronts. Where else would cops discover a smoldering torso at the base of an active volcano? The diverse group of cops and detectives may work against a breathtaking backdrop of jungles and seascapes, but they can never take a vacation from the tangle of local and international criminals who constantly cross their paths. It's never a typical crime scene and these are not TV's typical cops - which is exactly what makes "Hawaii" so alluring. Michael Biehn ("Terminator"), Sharif Atkins (NBC's "ER"), Ivan Sergei (NBC's "Crossing Jordan"), Eric Balfour ("Six Feet Under"), Aya Sumika and Cary Tagawa star. Jeff Eastin is the creator and executive producer. Daniel Sackheim ("The Lyons Den") directs. "Hawaii" is from NBC Universal Television.

JOEY -- Pictured: (l-r) Paulo Costanzo as Michael, Drea De Matteo as Gina, Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani, Ashely Scott as Allisona

The still-single Friend strikes out on his own as Emmy nominee Matt LeBlanc reprises his "Friends" role as charming Joey Tribbiani in this spinoff that continues the beloved "Friends" tradition. LeBlanc is backed by the award-winning writers and director who contributed to the unforgettable "Friends" phenomenon. Joey leaves New York for Hollywood in order to take his acting career to the next level. He also says goodbye to a time when his friends were his family and welcomes the chance to turn his family into his friends. After reuniting with his high-strung sister Gina (Drea de Matteo, "The Sopranos"), Joey moves in with Michael (Paulo Costanzo, "Road Trip"), his 20-year-old genius nephew, who unbelievably is literally a rocket scientist. However, what Joey lacks in book smarts he makes up for with people smarts - making him the best new friend his nephew could ask for. Ashley Scott ("Birds of Prey") also stars as Joey's attractive neighbor. "Joey" is produced by Warner Bros. Television. Kevin S. Bright ("Friends") returns as executive producer and director; Shana Goldberg and Scott Silveri (both "Friends") also return as executive producers and writers.

LAX -- Pictured: (l-r) Frank John Hughes as Henry, Paul Leyden as Tony, Heather Locklear as Harley Random, Blair Underwood as Roger, Wendy Hoopes as Betty, David Paetkau as Nick

Television favorite Heather Locklear ("Spin City") returns to primetime -- full-time -- in this off-beat dramatic series centered in a world unto itself: a major international airport. Security breaches, tearful reunions, illegal immigrants, missing children, runaway animals, drug busts, drunken pilots -- there are countless stories to tell in "LAX." Whether it's the ongoing power struggle between the Airfield Chief (Locklear) and the Terminal Manager (Blair Underwood, "L.A. Law"), the romantic misadventures of the Airline Supervisor Tony (Paul Leyden, "As the World Turns") or the trial-by-fire of a young, naive Immigration Office clerk Nick (David Paetkau, "Final Destination 2"), viewers will be pulled into this unique world. Then there are the passengers, loading, unloading and passing through each episode. Each week will feature their compelling dramas -- from chance encounters between strangers to surprise reunions of long-lost lovers to - "the sky's the limit." Wendy Hoopes ("Daria"), Chad Todhunter ("Party of Five") and Frank John Hughes ("Band of Brothers") also star. "LAX" is from NBC Universal Television. Mark Gordon and writer Nick Thiel are the executive producers. Joe and Anthony Russo ("Lucky") directed the pilot.

LAW & ORDER: TRIAL BY JURY -- No photo available.

The television benchmark of crime and justice arrives with the fourth edition of the history-making phenomenon. In many respects, "Law & Order: Trial by Jury" represents the pinnacle of executive producer Dick Wolf's remarkable franchise: it's courtroom justice - pure, but not so simple. The ripped-from-the-headlines stories will be entirely court-based, with a feel of contemporary "Perry Mason" mystery offering trademark twisting toward resolution. The complicated cases will begin with a criminal arraignment and will take viewers through all the twists and turns of a trial. Audiences will see the judges, prosecutors, public defenders and other legal players like never before - inside their chambers and offices, inside their minds and machinations. Stars from other "Law & Order" series may also appear, though the real star will be the stories as they unfold, weaving a fascinating tale of legal drama as only "Law & Order" can. This series is from Wolf Films and NBC Universal Television.

MEDICAL INVESTIGATION -- Pictured: (l-r) Troy Winbush as Frank Powell, Anna Belknap as Eva Rossi, Neal McDonough as Dr. Stephen Connor, Kelli Williams as Dr. Natalie Durant, Christopher Gorham as Dr. Miles McCabe

Based on true accounts, these are the stories of the National Institute of Health, America's most elite unit of medical experts. But these doctors don't operate in a hospital. At a moment's notice, they're summoned anywhere in the country, authorized to take over treatment of any case. Each assignment is a life-or-death rescue against time and the leader is Stephen Connor (Neal McDonough, "Boomtown"), a doctor consumed by his job -- with a broken marriage to prove it. Equally passionate Dr. Natalie Durant (Kelli Williams, "The Practice") is the heart and soul of the team. Investigations are complicated by a harried government administrator who consistently pushes Bowman to go by the book, -- which is unlikely to happen. Completing the unit are a chief investigator Troy Winbush ("John Q."), the team's press liaison (Anna Belknap, "The Handler") and a young doctor (Christopher Gorham, "Jake 2.0") new to the team. A saltshaker, a cigarette butt, a flower petal -- anything could be the clue to crack the case. Part cop show, part medical drama - and a great hour of mystery. Michelle Ashford, Bob Cooper and Scott Vila are executive producers for this series from Paramount Network Television and NBC Universal Television. The pilot episode was written by co-executive producer Jason Horwitch and Michelle Ashford.

MEDIUM -- Pictured: (l-r) Miguel Sandoval as D.A. Devalos, Particia Arquette as Allison Dubios, April Grace as Balinda Alexander

In this drama, Allison Dubois (Patricia Arquette, "Stigmata," "Flirting with Disaster") sees dead people - and in fact, she hears them constantly too. No, she's not crazy, although her husband Joe (Jake Weber, "U-571"), a rocket scientist, thought that was a possibility at first. So did Allison herself, until she realized that her "gift" could not only change fate -- but provide justice for those who no longer had a voice. Don't think Allison is totally comfortable with all of this -- in fact, she's as creeped out as everyone else. Imagine a dead father-in-law popping up unexpectedly at the foot of someone's bed. Plus, there are the jarring slices of disturbing crime scenes that pepper Allison's thoughts, added to her ability to sometimes know exactly what those around her (dead or alive) are thinking. Luckily, Allison has a great sense of humor along with her sixth sense. Even Joe, whose whole career is based on logic and fact, has become a bemused believer. The real challenge is convincing law enforcement agencies around the country that Allison is the real deal. "Medium" is from Picturemaker Productions and Grammnet Productions in association with Paramount Network Television. Glenn Gordon Caron ("Moonlighting") and Kelsey Grammer ("Frasier") are executive producers.

REVELATIONS -- No photo available.

Bill Pullman ("Independence Day") stars as a scientist faced with the toughest personal, professional and philosophical challenges of his life. Dr. Richard Massey is searching for reasonable explanations -- to explain signs that seem to indicate the apocalyptic end as foretold in Scriptures is in motion. To save humanity, Massey will have to let go of scientific facts and embrace faith. His first step in his quest to conquer the impending evil is to align himself with a nun (Natascha McElhone, "Solaris") whose devout beliefs are unshakeable. Despite many obstacles, including their own fears and doubts, the two remain determined to prove that Man can regain control of fate. Time is literally running out in their thrilling, fast-paced race around the globe to thwart Armageddon -- and restore hope. Michael Massee ("Se7en"), newcomers Chelsea and Britney Coyle and Tobin Bell ("The Road to El Dorado") also star. "Revelations" is a production of Pariah. Vivian Cannon and Jessika Borsiczky will oversee the project for Pariah. "Revelations" is directed by David Semel (NBC's "American Dreams").

THE CONTENDER -- Pictured: Mark Burnett, Sylvester Stallone

Produced by Mark Burnett Productions, Inc. and Dreamworks, "The Contender" is a new unscripted drama about the lives of 16 boxers. The boxers will be selected from a nationwide search and will represent the best and most promising talent available. Sylvester Stallone and Sugar Ray Leonard will mentor these young boxers as the compete for a million dollar prize. Comprising of one weight class (weight class to be determined), the boxers will be brought to a training camp where they will live, eat, sleep and train together. Each episode will culminate in a boxing match where the winner moves on, one step closer to his dream, and the loser heads home. The one man who wins all his fights will earn the title of "Contender" and a one million dollar grand prize. "The Contender" is not a show simply about boxers or boxing, it is a show about people and the dreams, hopes, desires and fears that motivate all of us in our battles big and small. The backdrop may be the sport of boxing, but this show will reveal emotion, humor and personal drama that any viewer can relate to. "The Contender" will give us a chance to meet 16 amazing boxers while becoming a part of their lives. America will not only know who they are, but will understand why they fight, as we cheer, or cry, with them all the while witnessing them struggle to make their dreams come true.

THE MEN'S ROOM -- Pictured: (l-r) Shelly Cole as Charlotte, Suzanne Cryer as Karen, Scott Cohen as Charlie, John Cho as Bob, Eric Lively as Michael

Along a sunlit stretch of Southern California beachfront paradise co-exist the not-always-idyllic lives of next-door neighbors Charlie (Scott Cohen, "The Practice"), Bob (John Cho, "American Pie") and Michael (Eric Lively, "Uprising"). Charlie -- 42 and married for 20 years -- wonders if life, love and those gorgeous, young roller-blading babes are passing him by. At the other end of the generational spectrum, Michael is 22 going on 50-something, trying to be less "responsible" and a lot more "fun." Both men have no clue how to grasp the happiness that eludes them, so they turn to Bob, a 32-year-old budding male guru, in this comedy about guys helping guys be better guys. Suzanne Cryer ("Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place") and Shelly Cole ("Prey for Rock") also star. "The Men's Room" is produced by NBC Universal Television. Danny Zucker is the executive producer and writer. Marc Cendrowksi is the director of the pilot.

THE OFFICE -- No photo available.

Based on the popular British series of the same name, this faster-paced American version follows the daily interactions of a group of idiosyncratic office employees via a documentary film crew's cameras. Regional manager Michael (Steve Carell, "Bruce Almighty") thinks he's the coolest, funniest, best boss ever - which, of course, makes him the uncoolest, most obnoxious and annoying boss as far as his staff is concerned. His co-worker Jim (John Krasinski, "Kinsey") lusts after engaged receptionist Pam (Jenna Fischer, "Miss Match") when he's not sabotaging his "cube-mate" -- the know-it-all Dwight (Rainn Wilson, "Six Feet Under"). Meanwhile, the entire office is constantly worried about the impending staff cuts. Will there be layoffs? Will there be office romance? Will Michael ever shut up? If it's truly a typical office, then the answers are "maybe," "yes," and "absolutely not." B.J. Novak ("Raising Dad") also stars. Ben Silverman, Greg Daniels, Howard Kelin, Golden Globe winner Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant are the executive producers. Ken Kwapis executive-produced and directed the pilot. The series is produced by Reveille in association with NBC Universal Television.





  [may 2004]  
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· AMERICAN DREAMS (NBC)
· BAND OF BROTHERS (HBO)
· BIRDS OF PREY (WB)
· BOOMTOWN (NBC)
· CENTURY CITY (CBS)
· COMMITTED (NBC)
· CONTENDER, THE (VERSUS)
· CROSSING JORDAN (NBC)
· CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM (HBO)
· ER (NBC)
· EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND (CBS)
· FATHER OF THE PRIDE (NBC)
· FRASIER (NBC)
· FRIENDS (NBC)
· HANDLER, THE (CBS)
· HAWAII (NBC)
· JAKE 2.0 (UPN)
· JOEY (NBC)
· JUST SHOOT ME (NBC)
· KINGPIN (NBC)
· L WORD, THE (SHOWTIME)
· LAW & ORDER: TRIAL BY JURY (NBC)
· LAX (NBC)
· LUCKY (FX)
· LYON'S DEN, THE (NBC)
· MEDICAL INVESTIGATION (NBC)
· MEDIUM (CBS)
· MEN'S ROOM, THE (NBC)
· MISS MATCH (NBC)
· OFFICE, THE (NBC)
· PARTY OF FIVE (FOX)
· PRACTICE, THE (ABC)
· RAISING DAD (WB)
· REVELATIONS (NBC)
· SIX FEET UNDER (HBO)
· SOPRANOS, THE (HBO)
· SPIN CITY (ABC)
· THREE SISTERS (NBC)
· TWO GUYS AND A GIRL (ABC)
· UPRISING (NBC)











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