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Fox Network Goes Out on a Limb Again
[Home Edition]
Los Angeles Times (pre-1997 Fulltext) - Los Angeles, Calif.
Date: May 22, 1991
Start Page: 1
Section: Calendar; PART-F; Entertainment Desk
Abstract (Document Summary)

Eschewing the traditional fall launch for its new schedule, Fox said that it "will (begin to) launch programs year-round, starting with original episodes of `Beverly Hills, 90210' and `The Ultimate Challenge' in July and the premiere of `Roc' in August." "It's All In Your Head" and "Shut Up, Kids" will debut in September, and "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventures" arrives in October. Barry Diller, chairman of Fox Inc., said that his network is trying to break away from the "idiot pack" by offering a premiere of one new show each month and developing new comedies before live audiences-the way that plays try out. As the networks lose viewers to alternative TV, Diller said, "We need a wall-to-wall rethink of the whole process." "Every September," said Jamie Kellner, president of Fox Broadcasting, "viewers are assaulted with a hopeless, confusing spasm of new season launches, with the result being viewer dissatisfaction and wasted promotional investments. Fox doesn't plan to subject any of our program assets to this mindless and counterproductive marketing frenzy." While skeptics may view the Fox lineup as adding to the confusion and being perhaps a shrewd ploy to cover programming deficiencies while trying to unsettle the competition, the network is plowing ahead. Example: After its sort-of-first season this summer and the fall shows, it then comes back with a third season in January. At that time, Fox will move its Monday movies to Wednesdays. And it will abandon Friday nights altogether-switching shows from that lineup to Mondays. Those shows will include "America's Most Wanted" and "The Ultimate Challenge." Other programs considered for that night include "Get a Life," which debuted last season, and "Charlie Hoover," a comedy with Tim Matheson as a troubled fellow and screaming comedian Sam Kinison as his alter ego, who tries to pull him out of his rut. Peter Chernin, president of the Fox Entertainment Group, conceded that the reason the network is moving its series from Fridays to Mondays is that "the available audience on Friday has not proven to be as strong as expected."

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