Titans Article #6

NBC fall sked bowing Oct. 2

LOS ANGELES (The Hollywood Reporter) --- NBC will roll out its fall lineup Oct. 2 with the launch of its new Monday slate, which includes the new 8:30 p.m. comedy "Tucker" and 9 p.m. Dick Wolf drama "Deadline."

NBC's season premieres kick off the night after the network carries the closing ceremonies of the Summer Olympics in Sydney. The peacock's schedule is subject to last-minute changes because of the network's commitments in October to carry the Major League Baseball playoffs and the proposed series of presidential debates, which have become the subject of much sparring between Democratic candidate Al Gore and his GOP counterpart, George W. Bush.

NBC's Tuesday slate is the most vulnerable to sports- and news-related pre-emptions. NBC is delaying the launch until Oct. 24, when "The Michael Richards Show" leads off the night at 8 p.m., followed by "3rd Rock From the Sun" and a special one-hour season opener of "Frasier."

"DAG," the new David Alan Grier comedy, won't bow in the Tuesday 9:30 p.m. slot until Oct. 31, traditionally a low-rated night because of Halloween. Moreover, "DAG" and the rest of the Tuesday entertainment schedule will be pre-empted the following Tuesday by news coverage of presidential election returns. NBC programmers opted to launch "DAG" on Oct. 31 rather than force the show to premiere against tough competition during the November sweep.

The Wednesday slate is set to premiere Oct. 4 with the new Aaron Spelling soap "Titans" leading the charge at 8 p.m., followed by the second-season premiere of "The West Wing."

If the following week's Wednesday lineup is pre-empted by a presidential debate, then "The West Wing" will bow Oct. 4 with a two-hour opener, which would push back "Law & Order's" season debut by two weeks. If there are no pre-emptions Oct. 11, "West Wing's" two-parter will air in two installments, and "Law & Order" will be called into session Oct. 4.

The peacock's new Thursday slate -- with the comedies "Friends," "Cursed," "Will & Grace" and "Just Shoot Me" leading into "ER" at 10 p.m. -- will be unveiled intact Oct. 12. The Friday lineup of "Providence," "Dateline" and "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" doesn't take flight until Oct. 20. "The NBC Saturday Night Movie" returns the following night with the 8-11 p.m. airing of "The Bridges of Madison County."

The revamped Sunday schedule arrives Oct. 8 with the 7 p.m. "Dateline" feeding into the new dramedy "Ed" at 8 p.m., followed by the "NBC Sunday Night Movie" from 9-11 p.m.

In other fall scheduling news, UPN announced plans to air action movies and hidden-camera reality specials in the Friday 8-10 p.m. slot leading into the Oct. 27 premiere of the action-dramas "Freedom" and "Level 9."

John Woo's "Broken Arrow" and "Body Count" will air in the Friday 8-10 p.m. slot Oct. 6 and 13, respectively, followed on Oct. 20 by the one-hour specials "Nasty Neighbors" and "Cheating Spouses."