If you are not sure what the TV future holds, Lisa Bernhard, deputy editor of TV Guide, says cops bringing order and peace is what America is looking for right now. Family programs as well are going strong, so expect to see shows like "Everwood," "7th Heaven," "American Dream" and "Ed."
As for reality TV, it is still going strong, too. "Survivor," "Amazing Race," "American Idol," and "The Bachelorette" will be joined by newcomers like "Joe Millionaire" on Fox. Also, "Star Search" is back (without Ed McMahon) to try and capitalize on the success of "American Idol." And CBS is unveiling "The Real Beverly Hillbillies"; the network is going to pluck a real family from down south and plop them in Beverly Hills.
One of the reasons reality is hot with the networks is cable programming, Bernhard says. Cable has become the place for movies and mini-series, so, to combat this new threat, expect a lot of bad language, sex and violence.
In England, reality shows are about autopsies and people going through detox. They may end up in the U.S. next.
Bernhard says the nostalgia craze of last season basically has been run into the ground.
As for the demographics, Bernhard says the networks will still continue to court the younger audiences 18-49. That's where the ad dollars are still going.
Her big hit predictions? ABC's "Dragnet." It has good buzz with Ed O'Neil (from "Married With Children") and the coveted post-Superbowl slot. ABC is also hoping "Miracles" (a "Touched by an Angel" meets "The X-files" kind of show) will be big. NBC is hoping "Boomtown" does well. And CBS is still betting on reality and "CSI."
The shows that probably won't see the light of 2004 are: "Buffy," "Crossing Jordan," "Firefly," "Bonnie Hunt," and most of the new programs, she says.
Here are the replacement lineups for the new year:
- "High School Reunion" (WB, Sundays, 9 p.m. ET/PT, Jan. 5). A 10-year reunion from an Oak Park, Ill., high school reunites classmates in Hawaii.
- "Joe Millionaire" (Fox, Mondays, 9 p.m. ET/PT, Jan. 6). In this gold-digging version of "The Bachelor," set in France, female suitors are led to think that a $19,000-a-year construction worker is rich. Will the winning girl still love him when she finds out the truth?
- "Abby" (UPN, Tuesdays,9 p.m. ET/PT, previews Jan. 6). Sydney Tamiia Poitier and Kadeem Hardison play a split-up couple, now platonic roommates, in San Francisco.
- "The Bachelorette" (ABC, Wednesdays, 9 p.m. ET/PT, Jan. 8). A twist on the hit reality formula allows first-season finalist Trista Rhen to choose from among 25 eligible bachelors.
- "Star Search" (CBS, Wednesdays and Thursdays, 8 p.m., Jan. 9). A revival of the venerable talent-hunt competition aims to ride the coattails of "American Idol."
- "The Surreal Life" (WB, Thursdays, 9:30 p.m. ET/PT,Jan. 9). This version of MTV's "The Real World" is peopled with celebrity has-beens.
- "Mister Sterling" (NBC, Fridays, 8 p.m., Jan. 10). A drama about an earnest young senator (Josh Brolin) who bucks the system. Think Mr. Smith.
- "Queens Supreme" (CBS, Fridays, 10 p.m., Jan. 10). Oliver Platt, Annabella Sciorra and Robert Loggia star in this comedy/drama about a chaotic New York City courtroom.
- "American Idol" (Fox, Tuesdays, 8 p.m. ET/PT, Wednesdays, 8:30 p.m. ET/PT, Jan. 21). The search for the next Kelly Clarkson begins, with the same judging panel, the now-solo host Ryan Seacrest and on the same nights.
- "The Pulse" (Fox, Thursdays, 9 p.m. ET/PT, Jan. 23). The network's latest stab at a newsmagazine franchise returns .
- "Veritas: The Quest" (ABC, Mondays, 8 p.m., Jan. 27). An Indiana Jones-style adventure series follows a rebellious teen-ager and his archaeologist dad.
- "Miracles" (ABC, Mondays, 10 p.m., Jan. 27). Skeet Ulrich stars as an investigator of paranormal phenomena in this sci-fi-tinged series.
- "Dragnet" (ABC, Sundays, 10 p.m., Feb. 2). Ed O'Neill ("Married . . . With Children") stars as Sgt. Joe Friday in a remake of the '60s series from producer Dick Wolf ("Law & Order").
- "A.U.S.A." (NBC, Tuesdays, 9:30 p.m., Feb. 4). Scott Foley (Felicity) stars as a harried prosecutor in this workplace comedy.
- CBS is also developing a reality series based on "The Beverly Hillbillies" using real hillbillies and moving them to Beverly Hills.