CHICAGO (thefutoncritic.com) -- The Television Critics Association continued its winter press tour this week in which the various broadcast and cable networks talk about their upcoming plans to the nation's top critics and entertainment reporters.
Here's a breakdown of the highlights of ABC's presentation (via press release):
DAVID SPADE JOINS CAST OF 8 SIMPLE RULES
David Spade has joined the cast of "8 Simple Rules," which airs TUESDAYS (8:00-8:30 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network.
Spade -- who joins the show along with previously announced James Garner -- plays C.J., Cate's (Katey Sagal) wayward nephew, who just can't seem to resist getting himself into trouble and offering questionable advice to Bridget (Kaley Cuoco), Kerry (Amy Davidson) and Rory (Martin Spanjers).
Spade is best-known for his role as Dennis Finch on "Just Shoot Me" and as a cast member on "Saturday Night Live." He was last seen in the film "Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star," and also starred with "SNL" alumnus Chris Farley in "Tommy Boy" and "Black Sheep." Additional movie credits include "Joe Dirt," "Reality Bites," "Light Sleeper," "Coneheads" and "Lost & Found," for which he also co-wrote the screenplay. He was also the lead voice in the Disney animated film, "The Emperor's New Groove." On television he guest starred on "The Larry Sanders Show" and appeared in HBO's "13th Annual Young Comedians Special."
"8 Simple Rules" stars Katey Sagal as Cate Hennessy, Kaley Cuoco as Bridget Hennessy, Amy Davidson as Kerry Hennessy, Martin Spanjers as Rory Hennessy, with James Garner as Jim and David Spade as C.J.
Tracy Gamble ("Home Improvement," "The Golden Girls"), who created the series, also serves as executive producer, along with James Widdoes, Tom Shadyac ("Bruce Almighty," "Liar Liar," "The Nutty Professor") and Michael Bostick ("Bruce Almighty," "Liar Liar"). The series is based on W. Bruce Cameron's bestselling book, "8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter." "8 Simple Rules," which premiered on September 17, 2002, is from Touchstone Television.
NYPD BLUE RETURNS TO ABC'S TUESDAY LINEUP
"NYPD BLUE" RETURNS TO THE ABC TELEVISION NETWORK SCHEDULE TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 10
"NYPD Blue," ABC's long-running, critically acclaimed police drama, will return to the ABC Television Network lineup on TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 10 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET). It had been previously announced that the series would return in the February sweep.
In the premiere episode, entitled "You Da Bomb," a man (guest star William Francis McGuire) who's been kidnapped and has had a bomb attached to his body cuffs himself to Detective McDowell (Charlotte Ross), threatening to blow everyone up, and Jennifer Devlin (guest star Chandra West) wants to break up with Detective Clark (Mark-Paul Gosselaar).
The series stars Dennis Franz as Detective Andy Sipowicz, Henry Simmons as Detective Baldwin Jones, Gordon Clapp as Detective John Medavoy, Bill Brochtrup as John Irvin, Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon as A.D.A. Valerie Haywood, Charlotte Ross as Detective Connie McDowell, Esai Morales as Lt. Tony Rodriguez, Mark-Paul Gosselaar as Detective John Clark, Jacqueline Obradors as Detective Rita Ortiz and Austin Majors as Theo Sipowicz.
Guest-starring are Chandra West as Jennifer Devlin, William Francis McGuire as Brad Cutshall, Mark Ivanir as Ilya Antropov, Richard Kline as Barry Driscoll, Andre Marcellous as desk sergeant, Ray La Tulipe as Josh Astrachan, Ray Proscia as Dan Markov, Allan Rich as Vasiliy Choushkin, Brooke Bloom as Katie Driscoll, Jane Lynch as Susanna Howe, Gina Morelli as Teresa, Brandon Keener as Tim Semple, Mark Bennington as Lowell, Joseph La Rocca as uniform captain, Joe Sabatino as uniform no. 2, Bob Jesser as bomb squad tech and Amanda Rose as Carrie Cutshall.
"You Da Bomb" story is by Bill Clark, Matt Olmstead and Nicholas Wootton, with teleplay by Matt Olmstead and Nicholas Wootton. The episode is directed by John Hyams.
"NYPD Blue" is a Steven Bochco Production, co-created by Steven Bochco and David Milch. Bochco also serves as executive producer with Mark Tinker and former New York City police detective Bill Clark. The series is broadcast in 720 Progressive (720P), ABC's selected HDTV format, with 5.1-channel surround sound.
MIDSEASON COMEDY, THE BIG HOUSE, TO PREMIERE APRIL 2
THE ABC TELEVISION NETWORK ANNOUNCES PREMIERE DATE FOR THE MIDSEASON COMEDY SERIES, "THE BIG HOUSE," FRIDAY, APRIL 2, 8:30-9:00 P.M., ET
The ABC Television Network today announced the premiere date for the new midseason comedy series, "The Big House." The series will premiere on FRIDAY, APRIL 2 (8:30-9:00 p.m., ET).
The announcement was made by Susan Lyne, president, ABC Entertainment, during the Network's Winter Press Tour executive session.
"The Big House" is an all-new half-hour comedy loosely based on the family of its star, standup comic Kevin Hart ("Soul Plane," "Scary Movie 3").
Hart plays Kevin, a spoiled rich kid from Malibu who has it all -- until his wealthy money-manager dad is arrested for embezzling millions of his clients' dollars. His family's house is put on the block and his dreams of attending an expensive college are dashed. Where's a guy with no money and even fewer prospects to go? To The Big House - aka the privacy-challenged Philadelphia home of the Clevelands, an aunt, uncle and three cousins whom Kevin hasn't seen since he was a kid. Kevin is forced to start life again at the bottom - literally - when he moves into their basement.
As Kevin enrolls in Drexel University and adjusts to his new home in the City of Brotherly Love, will his new family stay out of his way long enough for him to get a life? Fat chance.
"The Big House" stars Kevin Hart as Kevin, Faizon Love ("Elf," "The Fighting Temptations," "Wonderland") as Warren, Arnetia Walker ( the Broadway production of "Dreamgirls," the TV series "Nurses" and "Popular") as Aunt Tina, Yvette Nicole Brown ("Girlfriends") as Eartha, Aaron Grady as CJ and Keith David ("Agent Cody Banks," "Barbershop" "There's Something About Mary") as Uncle Clarence.
"The Big House" is executive-produced by Stephen Engel, Brian Grazer and David Nevins. Kevin Hart, Mark Reisman, Rob Lotterstein and Bill Kunstler are co-executive producers, and Kevin Slattery is producer of the series, from Imagine Television in association with 20th Century Fox Television.
MOTOWN 45 (working title) RELEASE
THE ABC TELEVISION NETWORK IS SET TO CELEBRATE THE HIT SINGLES OF LEGENDARY RECORD LABEL MOTOWN WITH "MOTOWN 45" (working title)
Special to Be Hosted by Justin Timberlake and Lionel Richie
Two Hours of Non-Stop Music to Include Performances by Motown Legends and Contemporary Superstars
The ABC Television Network will air an event special celebrating the greatest hits of Motown Records with "Motown 45" (working title) in May 2004, it was announced today by Lloyd Braun, chairman, ABC Entertainment Television Group, and Susan Lyne, president, ABC Entertainment. Two hours of non-stop performances will be hosted by multi-platinum recording artists Justin Timberlake and Lionel Richie and taped at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on April 4. Executive producers are John Hamlin and Jeff Margolis.
From its beginnings in Detroit 45 years ago, Motown has become the symbol of R&B and soul music around the world. The talent lineup is still being created, but it will consist of legendary artists and today's hitmakers.
"Unlike past Motown anniversary specials, this is not a history lesson," said Mr. Hamlin. "There are no awards, speeches, tributes or clip packages. Instead, a constantly rotating pattern of live performances from multiple stages will ensure that the music virtually never stops."
All proceeds from ticket sales to the event will be donated to the United Negro College Fujd. They will host an exclusive after-show party.
ABC TO BRING GAME SHOW, DEAL OR NO DEAL, TO U.S.
ABC TO BRING ENDEMOL USA'S HIT GAME SHOW, "DEAL OR NO DEAL," TO THE U.S.
The ABC Television Network will be bringing the hit game show "Deal or No Deal" to the United States in spring 2004, it was announced today by Lloyd Braun, chairman, ABC Entertainment Television Group, and Susan Lyne, president, ABC Entertainment. The blockbuster game show has become a hit around the world, including in the Netherlands, Argentina and Australia.
A combination quiz show and high stakes guessing and math, "Deal or No Deal" can send winners home millionaires -- or empty-handed.
"Deal or No Deal" is produced by Endemol USA, which also produces "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" for ABC. John DeMol is executive producer. David Goldberg is president of Endemol Entertainment.