Aug 4, 2003  •  Post A Comment

Forget the new fall lineups-oh, you already have? Fine, because we have the fall lineups for 2004 here now. Networks plan further ahead than ever, and thanks to the latest computer programs, they already have the projections to show which series from the 2003-04 season will fail (most of them) and who will have the highest season-long average for that treasured, adored, worshiped and butt-smooched demographic, the 16- to-17-year-olds. In other words, the season’s already over.
To protect our source (thanks, Jayson!) we have changed the names of the networks, but you may be able to figure out who “See: B.S.” and “Phlegm-B-C” are. A certain third network doesn’t seem to be mentioned in the projections; apparently by the fall of ’04 it will have been turned into a ride at Disneyland: “Pirates of the Sea of Red Ink.” Fox, meanwhile, is changing its name to “The `F’ Network” in honor of “the `F’ word,” but has no shows scheduled yet.
What will strike you as you peruse the list, if you happen to be in a perusive mood, is the shattering originality of the new shows that B.S. and Phlegm will be adding to their lineups. You’ll scratch your head (or whatever) in bewilderment, asking yourself rhetorically, “How did they ever think of that?”
“CSI: SUV.” Crimes committed in bulky vehicles on the highways and byways of Hollywood are the focus of this very scientific new crime show to star Colin Farrell, celebrating the death of his movie career, and Brittany Murphy, celebrating the still-birth of hers. Filled with action, moody lighting and microscopic close-ups of fibers, hairs, gaping wounds and belly-button lint.
“OH, THAT JOEY!” Matt LeBlanc stars in a sitcom that network executives describe as “totally new and not a spinoff or anything like that.” LeBlanc plays a lovably dumb actor who lives in Fort Lee, N.J., and frequents a coffeehouse called “Generic Hangout.”
“LAW & ORDER: CSI.” Producer Dick Wolf promises a “radical departure” for his cherished franchise: Instead of regular old police detectives or members of the pervert squad, the characters on this show are all experts in gathering teeny-tiny pieces of itsy-bitsy forensic evidence-you know, fibers, hairs, and stuff like that.
“KISS MY PHOEBE.” Lisa Kudrow, fresh from a stalled movie career, stars in a sitcom that network brass call “totally new and not a spinoff or anything like that.” As a lovable ditz called Phoebe, Kudrow will live in a cute apartment in Queens and frequent a coffeeshop called Cheers.
“FEAR FACTORY.” Although it will indeed include segments in which girls in bikinis eat bugs and wrestle in Wesson oil, network honchos say the centerpiece of this “edgy” spinoff is a high-stakes game in which military men and bureaucrats place bets on where the next terrorist attacks will take place. Says a well-placed network insider: “I am a well-placed network insider”-adding, “Just because it was too tasteless for the Pentagon doesn’t make it too tasteless for us.” John “Pinhead” Poindexter hosts.
“CSI: ABC.” The very very absolute latest in crime-solving technology comes into play each week as co-stars Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck search supermarket parking lots for microscopic clues to the whereabouts of a once-proud television network-and, in a confounding subplot, also try to find some infinitesimal trace of talent in one another.
“NILES TO GO.” David Hyde Pierce stars as Niles Crane, a fussbudgety Seattle psychiatrist, in what network nabobs call a “totally new and utterly unprecedented-and also edgy” sitcom about a gay man so self-deluded that he thinks he’s in love with this British chick.
“BODILY FLUIDS.” Network savants are high on this “sophisticated new sex farce” based on a British series called “Coitus Maximus.” The original title was deemed too subtle and arcane for American audiences-hence the change-and where the British version addressed continuing issues in the age-old battle of the sexes, the Phlegm network’s version will consist entirely of half-naked sex fiends jumping into bed with one another.
“CSI: XYZ: IRS: LMNOP.” Teeny, tiny, microscopic crime fighters, shrunk down to ant-size, crawl through keyholes and under doors as they attempt to infiltrate the production offices of Dick Wolf and sabotage the 27th spinoff of “Law & Order,” tentatively slated for the fall 2006 TV season.
“CHANDLER AND ROSS MOVE IN TOGETHER.” Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer, fresh from aborted movie careers, star in this “100 percent new and daringly unprecedented” sitcom about two straight guys who each think the other is gay. They share a cute apartment on Staten Island and while away the hours at a coffeehouse called “Perk Avenue.” Get it? “Perk Avenue”! Ha ha ha ha.
“EVERYBODY LOVES LESLIE.” Having made more money than God, mediocre comedian Ray Romano retires to France, leaving the supporting cast of his sitcom high and dry-until, ta-dah!, a certain dashing network executive who used to be an actor comes riding to the rescue and assumes the lead role. The series is already being called “a breakthrough hit with a breakout star.” By whom? By the dashing network executive who used to be an actor and assumed the lead role.
“LAW & ORDER: CSI: MIA: ER: DOA.” Details are sketchy on this one, but it reportedly has to do with cops, lawyers, microscopic fibers, missing persons and bloody murders committed in a big-city hospital. Like all but three of the other pilots, it’s from producer Jerry Sledgehammer.
Watch this space for the fall 2005 season, coming-and going-soon.