FOX, 8-9 P.M.
No more multiple personalities or Loni Anderson cameos. This season, Melrose‘s key word is substance. ”Last year, we got all hot and bothered,” concedes executive producer Frank South. ”We are telling more in-depth stories this year.” To wit: Jane (Josie Bissett, who’s leaving the show because she’s pregnant) deals with a family emergency that takes her back to her Midwest roots; sister Sydney (Laura Leighton) starts her own business — presumably not an escort service; Amanda (Heather Locklear) settles into married life with Peter (Jack Wagner); and Alison (Courtney Thorne-Smith) and Jake (Grant Show) begin a ”long-term relationship,” says South. ”Jake and Alison are decent people.” Long-term relationships? Decent people? Surely this can’t be Melrose Place!
The Jeff Foxworthy Show
NBC, 8-8:30 P.M.
It’s easier to list what hasn’t changed: Jeff Foxworthy and Haley Joel Osment (as his son). As for the many changes, the show’s on a new night and a new network and has new cast members (including Ann Cusack — John and Joan’s sister — as Jeff’s wife), a new location (Georgia instead of Indiana), and a new job for Jeff (at a trucking company, not an air-conditioning repair shop). One other thing: no more redneck jokes. ”I’m not ashamed of that material,” says Foxworthy, ”but I don’t want to be a one-trick pony.” He promises his show will be funnier now that it’s not on ABC: ”Last year it was more of a cookie-cutter approach — Mom, Dad, and kid, and everybody gets along. That’s boring.” You’re telling us.
CBS, 9:30-10 P.M.
Cybill Shepherd’s struggling actress will get steady work this season, with gigs as the voice of a Babe-like pig, a spokesmodel in a Japanese car commercial, and one of the leads on an X-Files-esque TV series (where she’ll have a difficult costar — could this be the opportunity for Bruce Willis’ long-awaited guest shot?). Meanwhile, Maryann (Christine Baranski) and Ira (Alan Rosenberg) will consummate their relationship, and Zoey (Alicia Witt) gets her own apartment. Plus, claims Shepherd, ”Maryann and I are going to write a porno film.” We can see it now: Cybill Liberties.
CBS, 10-11 P.M.
The turnover continues at the Windy City’s second-most-popular TV hospital: Jamey Sheridan and Roxanne Hart are out; Mark Harmon and Rocky Carroll are in. The stars will step behind the camera as well, with Peter Berg, Adam Arkin, and possibly Christine Lahti (who won an Oscar for her live-action short film) set to direct episodes. The custody battle between Dr. Kate Austin (Lahti) and her ex-husband (Ron Silver) rages on as she’s arrested for kidnapping their daughter and loses her job. Any love interests for Dr. Austin? ”Not now,” says Lahti. ”I’ve got my eye on Mark Harmon, though. He’s really cute.”