Baltimore is all over NBC's fall schedule


THE NEW SERIES called "Baltimore" isn't on the NBC fall schedule, but nevertheless Baltimore will be all over that network's lineup in September.

Actually, "Baltimore," a pilot by native son Jay Tarses, was set in Pennsylvania but was about a lounge singing act named after our fair city.

Though that didn't make the cut, a new comedy from the creators of "Cheers" -- Glen and Les Charles and James Burrows -- that is on the schedule is set in Baltimore.

That would be "Flesh 'n' Blood," which centers on one of those odd TV sitcom families, this one made up of Baltimore's youngest assistant district attorney, who is trying to find her natural mother, and a charming con man who claims to be her brother and moves in with his 11-year-old daughter and 16-year-old son. The half hour will go Fridays at 9:30.

Then there's "Sisters," which made the grade Saturdays at 10 o'clock though it has had only two outings in its tryout run. Pikesville High graduate Daniel Lipman is co-creator.

And Johns Hopkins graduate Jeff Altman is one of the stars of "Nurses," a Saturday night comedy from Susan Harris, who came up with "Soap," "The Golden Girls" and "Empty Nest."

NBC is clearly trying to use its dominance on Saturdays to introduce new comedies. "The Golden Girls" will move to 8 o'clock and will be followed by "The Torkelsons," a show that sounds like the sitcom version of "You Can't Take It with You." Michael Jacobs, who is responsible for the mediocre writing on ABC's "Dinosaurs," is behind this one.

"Empty Nest" moves to 9 p.m. Saturdays followed by "Nurses" and "Sisters."

Not surprisingly, NBC's perennial problem nights -- Friday and Sunday -- get the most attention. Friday will now start off with the news shows "Real Life with Jane Pauley" and "Expose." "Dear John" moves to 9 p.m. followed by "Flesh 'n' Blood."

At 10 o'clock Fridays is "Reasonable Doubts" with Mark Harmon as a police investigator who gets teamed with a hearing-impaired district attorney played by Oscar winner Marlee Matlin.

Sundays kick off at 7 p.m. with "The Adventures of Mark and Brian," in which two Los Angeles deejays, Brian Phelps and Mark Thompson, get involved in various adventures, from dancing with the Temptations to bungee jumping.

At 7:30 is "Eerie, Indiana," which brings to life for your pleasure and enjoyment a 13-year-old's imagination of all sorts of horrific events taking place in his seemingly placid Midwestern hometown.

At 8 o'clock on Sundays, James Garner returns to series television, this time in a sitcom called "Man of the People." He plays his specialty, a con-man character who becomes a populist champion when he inherits his wife's seat on a city council.

That's followed at 8:30 by "Pacific Station," which has Robert Guillaume and Richard Libertini as an odd couple of cops working in the offbeat beach community of Venice, Calif.

The only other new show goes in Tuesdays at 8 o'clock. It's called "I'll Fly Away" and has Sam Waterston as a prosecuting attorney, and single parent of three, in a small Southern city in the late 1950s who learns a great deal about the changing times from his new and outspoken black housekeeper, played by Regina Taylor. This is from Joshua Brand and John Falsey, who currently have "Northern Exposure" on CBS.

"Matlock," which has been running Tuesdays at 8, gets a mid-season order. The biggest travesty among the cancellations is the demise of the excellent "Shannon's Deal." Also gone are "Midnight Caller," "Hunter" and "Carol & Co." Ms. Burnett reportedly is moving to CBS, which is giving her the hour that NBC denied her to bring variety back to prime time.

Shows on the fence that made it back include "Seinfeld," running Wednesdays at 9:30 after "Night Court" and before "Ouantum Leap;" "Blossom," which will still follow "Fresh Prince of Bel Air" on Mondays, and "Wings" which gets the coveted post-"Cheers" spot.

Shows that still have the possibility of a mid-season pickup include "Amen" and "Down Home."

There doesn't appear to be any groundbreaking fare among NBC's new offerings, but any time Jim Garner steps into a series role, or the Charles brothers and Jim Burrows put their name on one, or Brand and Falsey crank out a quality drama, you have to pay attention.

But don't look too closely because watching what "60 Minutes" does to a couple of L.A. disc jockeys will not be a pleasant sight.

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