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[06/01/04 - 12:00 AM]
2004 Summer Programming Preview: Comedy Series
By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)

LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- In recent years the summer months have evolved from being a dumping ground for dead projects and unaired episodes (don't worry there's still plenty of that to go around), as with the success of everything from "Survivor" to "The O.C." during the period, the networks have begun to take the June to August stretch much more seriously.

So in an effort to help navigate the increasingly complicated summer waters, we've compiled a list of everything you can expect to see during the period: from comedies to dramas to reality series to original movies and mini-series.

With that in mind, here's a breakdown of all the comedy projects set to launch this summer (all descriptions are taken from each network's respective press materials where available):

JUNE 2004

THE DREW CAREY SHOW: SEASON NINE (ABC)
Premieres: Wednesday, June 2 (9:00 - 10:00 PM ET/PT)

Season Premiere: Last season, Drew was left at the altar by his runaway bride. The wedding fiasco makes Drew realize whom he's really in love with -- long-time friend Kellie. But as their relationship heats up - and Kellie makes a really big announcement - Drew can't get the girl of his dreams to commit. Meanwhile, circumstances force Mimi to move in with Drew! In the season opening episode, things get ugly when Drew and Oswald compete to fix their moms up (guest stars Marion Ross as Beulah, Adrienne Barbeau as Kim) with the same eligible widower (guest star Mitchell Ryan).

COME TO PAPA (NBC)
Premieres: Thursday, June 3 (8:30 - 9:00 PM ET/PT)

Comedian Tom Papa (�Analyze That�) stars in NBC�s new comedy, �Come to Papa.� The show is based on Papa�s wildly successful standup as it explores the ups and downs of a writer�s family, friends and his desire to do more than live an ordinary life in New Jersey. Papa stars as a reporter for a large newspaper who has bigger plans to become a comedy writer and move out of Jersey. He and his wife Karen (Jennifer Aspen, �Vanilla Sky�) are happily married and are each other�s best friend. Tom�s lifelong friend Judah (Robert Patrick Benedict, �Felicity�) has chosen to not work and live off of his trust fund, even though it only gives him $8,000 a year. At the newspaper, Tom�s boss Blevin (Steve Carell, �Bruce Almighty,� �The Daily Show�) attempts to make the office staff like him better than Tom -- which usually backfires and leaves him with an even greater disdain for Tom. Former Los Angeles Laker and Chicago Bulls star John Salley (�Bad Boys II�) plays the angry, seven-foot-tall mailman who just grows angrier every time Tom tries to befriend him. Created and written by Greg Malins (�Friends�) and Tom Papa, the show is executive produced by Malins and Andy Ackerman (�Curb Your Enthusiam,� �Seinfeld�). The pilot was directed by Ackerman and shot at Hollywood Center Studios. �Come to Papa� is an NBC Studios and Warner Bros. Television production.

GOOD GIRLS DON'T (Oxygen)
Premieres: Friday, June 4 (9:00 - 9:30 PM ET/PT)

From the creators of That '70s Show, this subversive series busts TV taboos by showing what 20-somethings really say, think, and do. An uncompromising yet riotously irreverent look at five flawed friends who will go to just about any length to find love, happiness, or - at the very least - a promising hook up, Good Girls Don't. is the comedy your mother warned you about.

SHOW ME YOURS (Oxygen)
Premieres: Friday, June 4 (10:00 - 10:30 PM ET/PT)

Sexual tension fuels this steamy, romantic comedy, about a woman researching a book on sexual practices and the two men in her life: one, her often�difficult boyfriend, and the other, her increasingly irresistible co�author.

NAKED JOSH (Oxygen)
Premieres: Friday, June 4 (10:30 - 11:00 PM ET/PT) Fresh from a divorce, a young anthropology professor's private life unwittingly illustrates the surprisingly primitive realities of modern love that he teaches in his sexual behavior theory classroom.

OLIVER BEENE: SEASON TWO (FOX)
Premieres: Sunday, June 6 (7:00 - 7:30 PM ET/PT)

New Episodes Begin: Jerry and Charlotte decide to throw a huge bash so that their neighbors, the O�Shaughnessy�s, will reciprocate and invite them to their annual yacht party, but when another neighbor decides to compete by throwing a party at the same time�Jerry tells a big lie. In order to entice everyone to come to their party he tells them that a famous comedian will entertain at his shindig. Meanwhile, not wanting to be humiliated by their father�s secret, Ted and Oliver go in search of the comedian and beg him to entertain the idea of actually going to the Beene�s house in the �Idol Chatter� episode of OLIVER BEENE Sunday, June 6 (7:00-7:30 PM ET/PT) on FOX.

RENO 911!: SEASON TWO (Comedy Central)
Premieres: Wednesday, June 9 (10:30 - 11:00 PM ET/PT)

There oughta be a law! COMEDY CENTRAL is back on the beat with the second season of "RENO 911!," the half-hour unscripted comedy created by and starring Robert Ben Garant, Kerri Kenney and Thomas Lennon as cops patrolling Reno, Nevada. The 14-episode second season of "RENO 911!" premieres Wednesday, June 9 at 10:30 p.m. and is a Jersey Television production in association with COMEDY CENTRAL. The new season includes guest appearances by Traci Bingham, Wayne Brady, Donna D'Errico, Lou Ferrigno, Dick Gregory, Lorenzo Lamas, Martin Mull, Phil Lamarr, Patton Oswalt, Brian Phelps, Kenny Rogers, Mindy Sterling and Sean Young.

QUINTUPLETS (FOX)
Premieres: Wednesday, June 16 (8:30 - 9:00 PM ET/PT)
Encores: Sundays (9:30 - 10:00 PM ET/PT)

The QUINTUPLETS were adorable when they were first born, but now their overtaxed parents � BOB (ANDY RICHTER, "Andy Richter Controls the Universe") and CAROL (REBECCA CRESKOFF, "Greetings from Tucson") � have their hands full with five 15-year-olds in the house. PENNY (APRIL MATSON, "American Dreams") is awkward and unpopular at school, while her beautiful sister PAIGE (SARAH WRIGHT, "Enchanted") has enough self-esteem for both of them. Their brother PARKER (JAKE McDORMAN, "Run of the House") has the looks and gets the girls, and he's embarrassed at every turn by the oddball PEARCE (JOHNNY LEWIS, "Undressed") and the short, girl-crazy PATTON (RYAN PINKSTON, "Punk'd," "Bad Santa"). MARK REISMAN ("Frasier") has created an ensemble comedy about a family pushed to its limits and beyond.

METHOD & RED (FOX)
Premieres: Wednesday, June 16 (9:30 - 10:00 PM ET/PT)
Encores: Tuesdays (8:30 - 9:00 PM ET/PT)

Popular hip-hop stars METHOD MAN and REDMAN portray fictionalized versions of their real-life selves in this new comedy, in which the duo moves into New Jersey's posh Nottingshire Estates to provide Meth's feisty, old-school mother DOROTHEA (ANNA MARIA HORSFORD, "Minority Report") with the ultimate in luxury and comfort. Unfortunately, their un-hip neighbors don't take kindly to Method & Red's partying ways. With Dorothea keeping them in line, METHOD & RED change tactics � using spirit, kindness and even fruit cake to ingratiate themselves with their new neighbors in Nottingham Estates.

FATHERHOOD (Nick at Nite)
Premieres: Sunday, June 20 (9:00 - 9:30 PM ET/PT)
Regularly Airs: Tuesdays (9:00 - 9:30 PM ET/PT)
Encores: Saturdays (10:00 - 10:30 PM ET/PT)

Bill Cosby serves as executive producer of an animated series based on his best selling book, Fatherhood (Doubleday/Dolphin). Blair Underwood ("LA Law," "Sex and The City") stars. Charles Kipps ("Little Bill," "Cosby Mysteries," "Law & Order") is executive producer and David Brokaw ("Little Bill") is producer.

THE GRAHAM NORTON EFFECT (Comedy Central)
Premieres: Thursday, June 24 (10:00 - 11:00 PM ET/PT)

Graham Norton is coming to America and his destination is COMEDY CENTRAL. The British TV sensation, star of Channel Four's hit series, "So Graham Norton," will be very busy at the all-comedy network for the next two years with an American version of the award-winning variety/talk show (premiering in June), his own stand-up special and hosting duties of COMEDY CENTRAL's "Reel Comedy." Describing the new series, Norton says "It's going to be like a great big American pie, hot and tasty and I know what you Americans like to do to pie." The series, the first hour-long series in COMEDY CENTRAL's history, will be reminiscent of the outrageous Norton's previous British efforts, combining celebrity and audience interviews with pre-taped segments. The weekly series will produce episodes the same week they premiere and has received a 13-episode commitment for the first season.

JULY 2004

CROSSBALLS (Comedy Central)
Premieres: Tuesday, July 6 (8:30 - 9:00 PM ET/PT)
Regularly Airs: Tuesdays - Thursdays (8:30 - 9:00 PM ET/PT)

Shot in front of a studio audience, "Crossballs" is a smart, comedic spoof of topical debate shows. Comedian Chris Tallman has been cast as host. Matt Besser ("Upright Citizens Brigade") and Charlie Siskel ("The Awful Truth") are executive producers.

THE ENTOURAGE (HBO)
Premieres: Sunday, July 18 (10:00 - 10:30 PM ET/PT)

Adrian Grenier ("The Adventures of Sebastian Cole") stars as Vince, a sexy young movie star whose career is just taking off. Slipping easily into stardom, Vince looks to his friends from the neighborhood to share the fun of the ride and keep him grounded. Kevin Connolly ("Antwone Fisher") plays Eric, who�s learning the rules of Hollywood as he tries to help Vince make the right choices. Kevin Dillon ("The Doors") plays Vince�s half-brother Drama, whose own acting aspirations have been eclipsed by his success. Jerry Ferrara ("Grounded for Life") plays Turtle, the least experienced of the group, who�s always up for a good time. Jeremy Piven ("Old School") plays Ari, Vince�s aggressive, high-powered agent, who clashes with Eric over his client�s decisions. Guest starring in ENTOURAGE will be Debi Mazar ("The Tuxedo") as Vince�s publicist Shauna, Samaire Armstrong ("The O.C.") as Ari�s assistant Emily, and Monica Keena ("Undeclared") as Vince�s ex-girlfriend Kristen. In addition to Mark Wahlberg, cameo appearances in ENTOURAGE include Jessica Alba, Luke Wilson, Jimmy Kimmel and Sarah Silverman. The pilot episode of ENTOURAGE is directed by David Frankel (HBO�s "Band of Brothers" and "Sex and the City") from a script by Doug Ellin ("Kissing a Fool") and Steve Tompkins ("The Simpsons"). ENTOURAGE is created by Doug Ellin; executive produced by Mark Wahlberg, Stephen Levinson, Doug Ellin and Larry Charles (HBO�s "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "Seinfeld").

DA ALI G SHOW: SEASON TWO (HBO)
Premieres: Sunday, July 18 (10:30 - 11:00 PM ET/PT)

The comedy, a half-hour late night comedy series starring British chameleon Sacha Baron Cohen, who travels across America in the guise of one of three totally different characters, returns for its second season in July.

REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER: SEASON TWO (HBO)
Premieres: Friday, July 30 (11:00 - 11:45 PM ET/PT)

The comedy/talk show returns for the second half of its second season at the end of July.

AUGUST 2004

PENN & TELLER: BULLSHIT! - SEASON TWO (Showtime)
Premieres: Thursday, August 5 (10:00 - 10:30 PM ET/PT)

The magicians return for the second half of their second season (six episodes) in August.






AND DON'T FORGET...

SHORTIES WATCHING SHORTIES (Comedy Central)
Season Finale: Wednesday, June 2 (10:30 - 11:00 PM ET/PT)

THE MAN SHOW: SEASON FIVE (Comedy Central)
Currently Airs: Sundays (10:00 - 10:30 PM ET/PT)

Look for additional series to be added to this page as soon as they are announced!





  [june 2004]  
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· AMERICAN DREAMS (NBC)
· ANDY RICHTER CONTROLS THE UNIVERSE (FOX)
· AWFUL TRUTH, THE (BRAVO)
· BAND OF BROTHERS (HBO)
· COME TO PAPA (NBC)
· CROSSBALLS (COMEDY CENTRAL)
· CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM (HBO)
· DA ALI G SHOW (HBO)
· DREW CAREY SHOW, THE (ABC)
· ENTOURAGE (HBO)
· FATHERHOOD (NICKELODEON)
· FRASIER (NBC)
· GOOD GIRLS DON'T (OXYGEN)
· GRAHAM NORTON EFFECT, THE (COMEDY CENTRAL)
· GREETINGS FROM TUCSON (WB)
· GROUNDED FOR LIFE (WB)
· LAW & ORDER (NBC)
· MAN SHOW, THE (COMEDY CENTRAL)
· METHOD & RED (FOX)
· NAKED JOSH (OXYGEN)
· OC, THE (FOX)
· OLIVER BEENE (FOX)
· PENN & TELLER: BULLSHIT (SHOWTIME)
· PUNK'D (BET)
· QUINTUPLETS (FOX)
· REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER (HBO)
· RENO 911! (COMEDY CENTRAL)
· RUN OF THE HOUSE (WB)
· SEX AND THE CITY (HBO)
· SEX AND THE CITY (HBO)
· SHORTIES WATCHIN' SHORTIES (COMEDY CENTRAL)
· SHOW ME YOURS (OXYGEN)
· SIMPSONS, THE (FOX)
· SURVIVOR (CBS)
· UNDECLARED (FOX)





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