LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- With the National Association of Television Program Executives' annual conference in Las Vegas concluding last week, we thought we'd take the time to run down the various highlights from said event.
NEW OFFERINGS FOR FALL 2006
(descriptions listed come from the distributor's sales materials, all are targeted for September 2006 launches unless noted)
ACCORDING TO JIM (Buena Vista Television, cleared in 90% of the country) - Jim Belushi stars in the hit family comedy ACCORDING TO JIM as an all-American guy�s guy who struggles to be the perfect husband to his beautiful wife Cheryl (Courtney Thorne-Smith), while going head-to-head with his colorful in-laws. ACCORDING TO JIM is a Touchstone Television production in association with Brad Grey Television. Still in production.
AMERICAN IDOL REWIND (Tribune Entertainment, cleared in 55% of the country) - Season 1 of the hit show comes to syndication, including original, never-before-seen shows and a faster-paced format with new features.
C.S.I.: MIAMI (King World, cleared in 80% of the country) - Inspired by CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, this drama follows a South Florida team of forensic investigators who use cutting-edge scientific methods and old-fashioned police work to solve crimes.
CRIME WATCH (Program Partners, Inc., cleared in 60% of the country) - (Cold Squad) The Cold Squad uncovers and resolves cases that have been long forgotten or abandoned. (Stone Undercover) Tom Stone, an ex-cop, ex-rig worker and ex-con goes undercover for Corporal Marina Di Luzio, a specialist in a police commercial crime squad.
CRISTINA'S COURT (Twentieth Television, cleared in 80% of the country) - Cristina Perez is a tough-as-nails woman who rules her courtroom with the same strict cultural family values she was raised on and instills at home.
THE DEAD ZONE (Debmar-Mercury LLC) - No description provided.
DESIRE (Twentieth Television, cleared in 70% of the country for a June 2006 launch) - Based on the worldwide success of the telenovela format, �Desire� is the new franchise of English-language miniseries, each stripped over 13 weeks.
DR. KEITH ABLOW (Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution, cleared in 90% of the country) - No description provided.
THE GREG BEHRENDT SHOW (Sony Pictures Television, cleared in 87% of the country) - Relationship/talk show: Best-selling author and comedian Greg Behrendt dispenses practical advice in a humorous yet empowering and uplifting manner.
JUDGE MARIA LOPEZ (Sony Pictures Television, cleared in 90% of the country) - Dynamic and outspoken Judge Maria Lopez, the first female Hispanic judge appointed to the Massachusetts Superior Court, hosts this new series.
MASTERMINDS (New Line Television, cleared in 70% of the country) - Each one-hour episode of MASTERMINDS profiles real-life criminals and the masterful crimes and heists they�ve pulled off all over the world.
THE MEGAN MULLALLY SHOW (NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution, cleared in 70% of the country) - No description provided.
RACHAEL RAY (King World, cleared in 85% of the country) - Experience daytime the Rachael Ray way, as TV's most down-to-earth star launches her brand new, syndicated series. It's not just a show, but an event that will give viewers Rachael's "can do" ways to get more out of life each day.
SCRUBS (Buena Vista Television) - The Emmy award-winning comedy SCRUBS features Zach Braff as fresh-faced medical resident J.D. Along with friends and fellow interns Turk (Donald Faison) and the beautiful but socially awkward Elliot (Sarah Chalke), he works and learns in a busy teaching hospital full of unpredictable patients and staffers. Produced by Touchstone Television. Created by Bill Lawrence. Still in production.
THE SHIELD (Sony Pictures Television) - Michael Chiklis stars as rogue cop Det. Vic Mackey, an elite Strike Team leader who effectively eliminates crime while operating on his own terms.
STILL STANDING (Twentieth Television, cleared in 86% of the country) - A blue-collar Chicago couple works to raise their three children responsibly while trying to hold onto their own youthfulness.
VERA WANG: A SHOW ON THE GO (Buena Vista Television) - Vera Wang comes to TV for the first time with her very own show taking us behind the scenes of her chaotic life as a creative icon. Through her irreverent sense of humor, this designer, wife, mother and friend shows us how she juggles it all. The always energetic Vera gives us the scoop on fashion, raising a family and living a stylish life. She shares her insights on what�s hot and trendy while managing her multimillion-dollar business and getting her kids to listen to her. This show has spunk, attitude and enough tips to fill a magazine rack -- all wrapped in a story arc that carries through each episode. Produced by Buena Vista Productions.
WEDDING IN A WEEK (Buena Vista Television) - What happens when you pick up the tab for a couple�s wedding � but give them just one week to plan the biggest day of their lives? This one-hour reality show captures the human drama between a couple, their families and friends, and a team of wedding experts as they try to pull off everything from the guest list to the last dance. Opinions differ, feelings are hurt, tempers flair -- but the clock never stops ticking. WEDDING IN A WEEK showcases a series of intense and touching trips down the aisle. Produced by Buena Vista Productions and Lighthearted Entertainment. Executive produced by Howard Schultz.
WITHOUT A TRACE (Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution) - From Jerry Bruckheimer comes a riveting procedural drama about the New York Missing Persons Squad of the FBI.
DIVORCE COURT (Twentieth Television) - cleared for its eighth season in 85% of the country
ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT (CBS Paramount Domestic Television) - cleared through the 2011-12 season in 60% of the country
GERALDO AT LARGE (Twentieth Television) - cleared for its second season in 70% of the country
THE INSIDER (CBS Paramount Domestic Television) - cleared through the 2011-12 season in 60% of the country
JUDGE ALEX (Twentieth Television) - cleared for its second season in 86% of the country
THE TOM JOYNER SHOW (Litton Entertainment) - cleared for its second season in an unspecified % of the country
THE TYRA BANKS SHOW (Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution) - cleared for its second season in 60% of the country
ODDS & ENDS
For those interested, a handful of shows' episode orders this season were confirmed by their respective distributor's sales materials:
25 episodes - "Family Guy," "The O.C."
24 episodes - "C.S.I.: New York," "My Name Is Earl," "NUMB3RS," "Two and a Half Men," "Will & Grace," "Without a Trace"
23 episodes - "Cold Case," "ER"
22 episodes - "All of Us," "Bones," "Close to Home," "E-Ring," "Eve," "Everybody Hates Chris," "Freddie," "George Lopez," "How I Met Your Mother," "Invasion," "Love, Inc.," "Medium," "One Tree Hill,"* "Out of Practice," "Prison Break," "Smallville," "Supernatural," "Veronica Mars," "The War at Home"
18 episodes - "Related,"* "What I Like About You"
13 episodes - "The Evidence," "Four Kings," "Nanny 911," "The New Adventures of Old Christine," "Stacked," "The Unit"
12 episodes - "Courting Alex"*
8 episodes - "The Book of Daniel," "Love Monkey," "South Beach"
* Note that these counts don't include "Alex" and "Related's" original pilots (which featured some different cast members, among other changes), so technically they'll shoot 13 and 19 episodes respectively. Meanwhile, "One Tree Hill's" order has been quietly cut from 26 to 22 episodes.