ALTERED STATES The new TV season kicks off in seven short weeks, but not all the contenders are in fighting shape. Major repair jobs are being done on Fox’s highly anticipated Party of Five spin-off Time of Your Life, starring Jennifer Love Hewitt, and ABC’s Snoops, the female private-eye drama from Ally McBeal and The Practice creator David E. Kelley.
Fox felt the first pilot of Time of Your Life — which focused on the Hewitt character’s New York City-based search for her birth father — was too touchy-feely and unrealistic.
”Fox was concerned about the fairy-tale quality to the original,” admits cocreator Chris Keyser, who says that the second take of Time ”is more grounded.” The action will now start a lot more quickly, with Sarah landing a job in a bar and actually living life instead of just dreaming about her parents’ histories. The show won’t make its debut until October at the earliest, after Hewitt appears on three episodes of Party of Five.
The tune-up at Snoops has also sprung from a desired change of direction. Initially, this was going to be a David E. Kelley show in name only. Although he created the drama, he was planning to be as hands-off as possible. That all changed, however, when Kelley gave a thumbs-down to episodes penned by executive producer Rob Thomas and decided to take the reins back, which in turn caused Thomas to quit. Now Kelley is burdened with overseeing all three of his shows while also keeping an eye on his old warhorse Chicago Hope. Network execs had better pray he doesn’t catch a cold.
THE TALK EXCHANGE Roseanne‘s low-rated chat show is on the ropes, as NBC has decided to pull it from its local stations, including those in New York, L.A., and Chicago. That will make it very hard for the show to book top guests and get strong ad revenue. Martin Short, meanwhile, is prepping his new fall talk show, which he says will feature sketches and musical numbers along with the usual chat. He’s recruited Mary Scheer from Mad TV and Kids in the Hall alum Kevin McDonald. Why would the comedian want to venture into such rough waters as daytime TV? Says Short: ”The money helps.”