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CBS Woos Advertisers With Glimpses Of New Shows

March 22, 1989

BURBANK, Calif. (AP) _ CBS previewed some of the programs under consideration for its fall schedule for the advertising community Tuesday with an assertion that the third-place network was on the road to recovery.

″The welcome mat is out. We’re no longer the Ayatollah of television,″ said Howard Stringer, president of the CBS Broadcast Group. ″We have a whole new programming department. I think we’re the team to watch.″

The new shows put a heavy emphasis on comedy and comedy-adventure.

The CBS presentation was held on the set of its hit comedy ″Murphy Brown″ at the Burbank Studios and some of that show’s cast appeared for brief introductory skits with CBS executives.

″My goals for the new year are simple,″ said Barbara Corday, CBS executive vice president of prime time programming. ″We’re seriously back in the comedy business. We’re looking at 18 comedy ideas for the new season. We’re open to new ideas. We’re not playing it safe.″

Kim LeMasters, president of CBS Entertainment, said the network had put together a completely new creative team and ″we’re on the road to recovery.″

Among the new shows being considered for the fall season are comedies based on the hit movies ″Adventures in Babysitting,″ ″Coming to America″ and ″Married to the Mob.″

One new show, called ″Normal Life,″ is based on the lives of Dweezil and Moon Unit Zappa, the children of rock iconoclast Frank Zappa.

Dan Aykroyd introduced a new comedy he is producing called ″Mars: Base One.″ ″It’s Duluth, Minn., transported to Mars,″ Aykroyd said. ″Earth is the old country and on Mars the Russians are the hustlers and the capitalists.″

William Katt plays an activist congressman in an adventure drama called ″Top of the Hill,″ created by Stephen Cannell. Cannell said he based the series on the life of Leo Ryan, the California congressman killed at the beginning of the Jonestown massacre.

Katt said: ″In the pilot, I go to Colombia looking for a missing DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) agent. One thing I like about this show is there are no clear winners. It’s at best a compromise all down the line.″

Among other shows under consideration for the fall:

-″Nick Knight,″ a one-hour police show about a homicide detective who is also a vampire.

-″Loose Cannon,″ a tongue-in-cheek detective show created for Shadoe Stevens, the announcer on ″Hollywood Squares″ and host of ″American Top 40″ on radio. Producer Fred Silverman said he believe Stevens is in the same position Tom Selleck was in before he became a hit on ″Magnum, P.I.″

-″Hot Prospects,″ a comedy western starring George Clooney as a man who brings West a group of young women looking for husbands but working as waitresses for his restaurant. He ends up having to put them up in the brothel next door.

-″American Nuclear,″ a drama starring James Farentino as a New York columnist with Lindsey Crouse as his politically connected wife.

-″Travelin’,″ starring Lee Majors and Ellen Greene as journalists looking for stories across America.

-″Snoops,″ starring Tim Reid and Daphne Reid, formerly of ″Frank’s Place,″ in a new detective comedy patterned after ″The Thin Man.″

-″Kahuna,″ a Hawaii-based doctor show that brings Richard Chamberlain back to series television after many years as king of the miniseries.

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