Taking The Measure Of Fall TV

heather paige kent
What's new on television this fall? CBS News Sunday Morning Anchor Charles Osgood takes a short tour and ends, as he often does, in verse.

That's Life on CBS stars Heather Paige Kent as Lydi DeLucca, a thirty-something Jersey girl who leaves the man she's about to marry and goes back to college -- a decision that her family, especially her father, played by Paul Sorvino, doesn't seem to understand.

Says his character, "You don't have to pay these people $100 a credit just so you can contemplate. If you want to find yourself, go to Mass."

And if you thought being a student was hard, try being a teacher. David Kelley's new drama, Boston Public on Fox, is a day in the life of teachers and administrators at Winslow High School and the difficulties they face.

Somebody thinks the prognosis is good for another hospital show. ABC's Gideon's Crossing stars Andre Braugher as Dr. Ben Gideon, the head of a teaching hospital.

A Departure From TV's Four Food Groups
Sunday Morning's John Leonard offers a TV roundup of the best fall shows per profession. This season the TV networks extend beyond the usual doctors, lawyers, cops and cowboys offerings.

And the presses are rolling on another newspaper drama. Deadline on NBC stars Oliver Platt as Wallace Benton, a New York newspaper columnist.

But if you want to know Who Done It? Well, the answer is: CBS Done It, with a raft of new crime shows:

  • CSI stars Marg Helgenberger and William Petersen as forensic investigators poking their noses into crime scenes.
  • The District marks Craig T. Nelson's return to TV as the new police commissioner on the block who's determined to clean up the Washington police force.
  • And Tim Daly's the new man on the run as Dr. Richard Kimble in The Fugitive.

Dynasty returns with a new name and new faces in NBC's Titans, Aaron Spelling's latest soap opera about the rich and beautiful.

But if it's money you want, Darren Starr's got it in his new drama, The $treet (Wall Street, that is) on FOX, where things can get tough for young, aspiring traders.

And I can't forget to mention the much-anticipated sci-fi adventure series from director James Cameron, Dark Angel on Fox, starring the young Jessica Alba. She plays ax, a genetically engineered superwoman living in a brave new world.

But there's something funny about the new season: lots of new comedies with lots of comedy star power.

Many loved him as Kramer in Seinfeld. But this fall, Michael Richards is making a TV comeback as Vic Nardozza, Private Eye in NBC's The Michael Richards Show.

ABC's got Geena Davis, starring as a glamorous career woman who finally meets the man of her dreams in The Geena Davis Show, and Gabriel Byrne, who plays Benjamin Madigan, a recently divorced New York architect who doesn't have a clue about dating, in Madigan Men.

Christine Baranski stars in Welcome to New York on CBS. She plays Marsha Bickner, a TV executive producer who helps her new weatherman, Jim Gaffigan, adjust to life in the Big City. A sample of her dialogue: "The suit is brown, Jim. People in New York do not wear brown. We wear black. And it's only until something darker comes around."

But CBS' best bet this year is Bette (Bette Midler, that is), starring the diva herself.

Just click the remote
And there on the screen
Are new shows to fill up each day.
As to which will be hits
And which will be flops,
I cannot remotely say.