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[05/12/06 - 12:00 AM]
ABC Adds Four Dramas, NBC Goes for 'Years'
By Brian Ford Sullivan (TFC)

LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- ABC has expanded its drama roster, as the Alphabet added newcomers "Brothers & Sisters," "Men in Trees," "Traveler" and "Ugly Betty" to its lineup today.

Meanwhile over the NBC, the Peacock is moving forward with "20 Good Years," a sitcom about two best friends (Jeffrey Tambor, John Lithgow) who believe they have 20 good years left in them and vow to live each day as if it is their last.

"The Cosby Show" co-creator Michael Leeson is behind the Warner Bros. Television-based half-hour, which also stars Heather Burns ("Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous") and Jake Sandvig ("Sky High"). Marsh McCall, Eric Gold, Jimmy Miller, Tom Werner and Mike Clements also serve as executive producers.

As for ABC's freshman additions, "Brothers & Sisters" is a multi-generational family drama about five siblings played by Calista Flockhart ("Ally McBeal"), Balthazar Getty ("Alias"), Dave Annable ("Reunion"), Jonathan LaPaglia ("The District") and Rachel Griffiths ("Six Feet Under").

The Touchstone Television-based hour comes from creator Jon Robin Baitz and fellow executive producers Ken Olin and Marti Noxon. Betty Buckley ("Oz"), Gage Golightly ("5ive Days to Midnight"), Jimmy 'Jax' Pinchak ("Over There"), John Pyper-Ferguson ("Battlestar Galactica"), Patricia Wettig ("Prison Break"), Ron Rifkin ("Alias") and Sarah Morris ("Windfall") also star.

"Men in Trees" stars Anne Heche ("Nip/Tuck") as relationship coach/bestselling author who gets stuck in an Alaskan town full of available men soon after she discovers her own fiance has been cheating. Jenny Bicks, Cathy Konrad and James Mangold are behind the Warner Bros. Television-based hour, which also stars Abraham Benrubi ("ER"), Derek Richardson ("Hostel"), Emily Bergl ("Gilmore Girls"), James Tupper ("Love's Long Journey"), John Amos ("The West Wing"), Sarah Strange ("Life As We Know It"), Seana Kofoed ("It's About Time") and Sue Mathew ("The Dead Zone").

"Traveler," also from Warner Bros. Television, revolves around three friends (Aaron Stanford, Logan Marshall-Green, Matthew Bomer) - one of whom (Stanford) is revealed to be a terrorist who frames the other two. David DiGilio is behind the hour, which is also executive produced by Bruce Cohen and Dan Jinks. David Nutter directed the pilot, which also stars Steven Culp ("Desperate Housewives") and Viola Davis ("Jesse Stone: Night Passage").

And finally, "Ugly Betty" is about an unattractive girl (America Ferrera) who's hired by a fashion magazine to stop her new boss's (Eric Mabius) habit of sleeping with attractive assistants. Reveille's Ben Silverman and Ventanarosa's Pepe Tamez and Salma Hayek are behind the Touchstone Television-based hour, which Richard Shepard directed from a script by Silvio Horta.

The ensemble cast also includes Alan Dale ("The O.C."), Ana Ortiz ("Boston Legal"), Ashley Jensen ("Extras"), Becki Newton ("Charmed"), Mark Indelicato ("Chappelle's Show"), Tony Plana ("24") and Vanessa L. Williams ("South Beach").

NBC announces its fall schedule on Monday while ABC is due to detail is 2006-07 schedule on Tuesday.





  [may 2006]  
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· 20 GOOD YEARS (NBC)
· 24 (FOX)
· ALIAS (ABC)
· ALLY MCBEAL (FOX)
· BATTLESTAR GALACTICA (SCI FI)
· BOSTON LEGAL (ABC)
· BROTHERS & SISTERS (ABC)
· CHAPPELLE'S SHOW (COMEDY CENTRAL)
· CHARMED (WB)
· DEAD ZONE, THE (USA)
· DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES (ABC)
· DISTRICT, THE (CBS)
· ER (NBC)
· EXTRAS (HBO)
· FIVE DAYS TO MIDNIGHT (SCI FI)
· GILMORE GIRLS (CW)
· JESSE STONE: NIGHT PASSAGE (CBS)
· LIFE AS WE KNOW IT (ABC)
· LOVE'S LONG JOURNEY (HALLMARK)
· MEN IN TREES (ABC)
· NIP/TUCK (FX)
· OC, THE (FOX)
· OVER THERE (FX)
· OZ (HBO)
· PRISON BREAK (FOX)
· REUNION (FOX)
· SIX FEET UNDER (HBO)
· SOUTH BEACH (UPN)
· TRAVELER (ABC)
· UGLY BETTY (ABC)
· WEST WING, THE (NBC)
· WINDFALL (NBC)





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