Mar 8, 2004  •  Post A Comment

Network toppers have a habit of revealing programming news during conference calls with reporters to discuss their sweeps performances. Last week’s calls were no exception. Highlights follow.


ABC Entertainment Group Chairman Lloyd Braun said ABC is in “active discussions” with creator David E. Kelley to bring back “The Practice” in some form. The show could come back intact for a ninth season, but that’s not likely, considering the show is expensive to produce and the studio doesn’t need any new episodes to fulfill its syndication and cable sales obligations. ABC and Mr. Kelley are discussing a new legal drama “that will share some of the same bloodlines as `The Practice,”’ Mr. Braun said. No word on whether a new show would include James Spader, who joined “The Practice” cast this year and helped revive the show.


The finale for “Survivor: All-Stars” will air Sunday, May 9, from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. (ET) followed by a live reunion special from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m., hosted by Jeff Probst. The live show will originate from Madison Square Garden in New York.


Fox will premiere “The Casino,” the network’s first unscripted show from reality guru Mark Burnett, on Tuesday, June 8, from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. The 13-episode series, currently in production, follows the behind-the-scenes drama of the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas as its new owners try to restore it to its former glory.


NBC plans to put freshman drama “Miss Match” back on the schedule to air its last five episodes, but Jeffrey Zucker, president of the network’s entertainment, news, and cable group, said he doesn’t know when or where it will air. However, despite a letter-writing campaign, viewers should not get their hopes up about drama “Ed” returning next year. While no decision will be made until after the network has seen all its pilots in May, “It is very, very unlikely that `Ed’ will return,” Mr. Zucker said.