Riding its game show sensation, ABC announced Tuesday that Who Wants to Be a Millionaire will be on four nights a week this fall instead of three.
With host Regis Philbin quizzing contestants on four prime-time hours, ABC will add only four new shows to its schedule. Among the new series' stars: Geena Davis, Andre Braugher and Gabriel Byrne.
Davis is starring in Geena, a comedy about a career woman thrust into the role of mom when she marries a widower. Braugher, the former Homicide star, is a doctor in the drama Gideon's Crossing. And Byrne is in Madigan Men, about three generations of men making their way through the dating world.
The network also announced plans to cut its newsmagazines from four nights to three, similar to a move NBC announced yesterday, and it is canceling the critically acclaimed comedy, Sports Night.
ABC also is abandoning its long-running TGIF schedule of teen-oriented shows on Fridays, moving Norm and Two Guys and a Girl to that night and premiering the new comedy People Who Fear People about two paranoid men.
The WB network, which also announced its fall schedule Tuesday, is trying to take over ABC's Friday teen franchise. One of ABC's most popular Friday shows, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, is moving to the WB and will air in the same 8 p.m. time slot.
The network, which sagged in the ratings this year, is trying to regain some of its sizzle with two nights of comedies. One new series, Grosse Pointe, is a parody of the teen angst dramas that the WB has become known for.
The WB also hopes to establish Sunday as a comedy night by picking up the animated series The PJs from Fox and moving three existing comedies to the Sunday lineup: The Steve Harvey Show, The Jamie Foxx Show and For Your Love.
Three dramas considered questionable to return Felicity, Roswell and Popular will all be back. But Felicity will share a time slot with Jack & Jill on Wednesdays so the network doesn't have to run repeats.
NBC announced its schedule on Monday. The network is shifting
NBC also said it will add four new comedies and three dramas to its schedule and eliminate its Saturday night lineup of dramas Profiler, Pretender and The Others and the comedies Suddenly Susan, Veronica's Closet, Jesse and Stark Raving Mad.
The network also cut Dateline NBC from five nights to three.