clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:


As we move into March, there are only about six weeks left in the official 1990-91 television season.

Not only are the networks jockeying for position - first place NBC is just three-tenths of a rating point ahead of both ABC and CBS - but programs on those three networks and Fox are battling for spots on the fall schedule.Here's a brief look, network by network, at those shows and their chances of renewal.


The alphabet network's most publicized cancellation "Twin Peaks," isn't really a cancellation. Officially, the show is on hiatus - and the remaining six episodes may begin airing as soon as late this month. But, unofficially, it's dead, barring a miraculous revival in the ratings.

"China Beach" is also on hiatus, but don't hold out any hope. They've already filmed a final episode for that series.

The same is true of "Head of the Class." Yes, those 30-year-old high school students are actually graduating.

ABC also has a few series that will get tryouts this spring, including "Eddie Dodd," "Baby Talk" and "My Life and Times."

Here are some semi-educated guesses about the future of ABC shows:

Sure bets: "America's Funniest Home Videos," "America's Funniest People," "Coach," "Doogie Howser, M.D.," "Family Matters," "Full House," "Growing Pains," "Perfect Strangers," "Roseanne," "20/20," "Who's the Boss?," "The Wonder Years."

Probably: "MacGyver," "PrimeTime Live,"


Maybe: "Anything But Love," "Equal Justice," "Father Dowling Mysteries," "MacGyver."

Doubtful: "Gabriel's Fire," "Married People," "Young Riders."

Sure goners: "China Beach," "Davis Rules," "Going Places," "Twin Peaks," "Under Cover."


According to star Patrick Duffy, "Dallas" - the Big Eye's longest-running entertainment program - will bite the dust at the end of the season. That ends that slim hope.

"The Trials of Rosie O'Neill" and "WIOU" - a pair of shows that have spent the last several weeks on hiatus - are both coming back soon, but it will take a big increase in their numbers for the shows to make the fall cut.

The network would be thrilled to have "Murder, She Wrote" back, and it's looking increasingly likely. This was supposed to be the final season for the show, but Angela Lansbury's proposed sitcom fell apart and it appears she might agree to another year of "Murder."

CBS has a bunch of other shows on hiatus - including "Doctor, Doctor," "Family Man," "Over My Dead Body," and "You Take the Kids" - none of which has much if any chance.

The network is also premiering or returning several series this spring, including "Northern Exposure" and "Family Dog."

Sure bets: "Designing Women," "Evening Shade," "Knots Landing," "Major Dad," "Murphy Brown," "Rescue 911," "60 Minutes."

Probably: "48 Hours," "Jake and the Fatman," "Murder, She Wrote."

Maybe: "The Flash," "Good Sports," "Top Cops."

Doubtful: "Guns of Paradise," "Lenny,"

"The Trials of Rosie O'Neill," "WIOU."

Sure goners: "Dallas," "Doctor, Doctor," "Over My Dead Body," "Sons and Daughters," "You Take the Kids," "Uncle Buck." NBC

NBC is in an especially difficult position. Its ratings are eroding badly, and its aging hits like "Cosby," "Cheers" and "Golden Girls" are asking for an awful lot of money to return for another year. (They almost certainly will, nonetheless.)

And other shows that are bombs in the ratings - particularly the Peacock's Sunday shows like "Sunday Best," "Real Life with Jane Pauley," and "Expose," might stick around simply because they're cheap to make and NBC has pretty much conceded the night.

There's at least a slim possibility that "Night Court" might stick around one more year, despite all the publicity about this being its last season.

Sure bets: "Cheers," "Cosby," "A Different World," "Empty Nest," "Fresh Prince of Bel Air," "The Golden Girls," "In the Heat of the Night," "L.A. Law," "Matlock," "Unsolved Mysteries."

Probably: "Amen," "Carol & Co., "Dear John," "Wings."

Maybe: "The Fanelli Boys," "Law & Order," "Night Court," "Seinfeld."

Doubtful: "Blossom," "Dark Shadows," "Expose," "Hunter," "Quantum Leap," "Real Life with Jane Pauley," "Sunday Best."

Sure goners: "American Dreamer," "Midnight Caller."


The fourth network has had a tough year - it probably would have canceled a few shows like "Babes" and "Against the Law," but it didn't have anything to replace them with.

By the fall, it will have some replacements ready to go.

And a few shows will get spring tryouts - the reality show "Yearbook," a couple of interactive game shows, and a spinoff from "Married . . . With Children" starring Joe Bologna.

Sure bets: "America's Most Wanted," "Cops," "In Living Color," "Married . . . With Children," "The Simpsons."

Probably: "Beverly Hills, 90210," "Comic Strip Prime Time," "Get A Life," "Parker Lewis Can't Lose."

Maybe: "True Colors."

Doubtful: "Totally Hidden Video."

Sure goners: "Against the Law," "Babes," "D.E.A."