New series on NBC -- We look at the line-up for new programs including ''The Martin Short Show,'' ''The Cosby Mysteries,'' and others

By Bruce Fretts
Updated May 27, 1994 at 04:00 AM EDT

What do you do when you’ve just finished your second straight season as the third-place network? You tear up one of your strongest nights (Thursday) and try to spread a little of its magic to one of your weakest (Tuesday). NBC is transplanting Wings and Frasier to Tuesdays at 8 and 9 p.m., respectively, where they’ll face ABC’s long-running comedies Full House and Roseanne. Gone are NBC’s Saved by the Bell: The College Years, The Second Half, The Good Life, Cafe Americain, L.A. Law, Viper, Nurses, and I Witness Video. In addition to cloning Dateline NBC with Dateline NBC II, the network is adding eight new series:

The Martin Short Show The SCTV/SNL imp returns to TV as a variety-show host with a wife and three kids. Watch for Larry Sanders-ish cameos from stars like Sally Field.
The Cosby Mysteries He hasn’t bought the network yet, but Bill Cosby has decided to star as an NYPD forensics expert who can’t stay retired even after he wins the lottery.
Friends Not to be confused with ABC’s These Friends of Mine, this sitcom concerns six singles — among them Family Ties’ Courteney Cox and NYPD Blue‘s David ”4-B” Schwimmer — hanging out in Manhattan.
Madman of the People Three-time TV loser Dabney Coleman (Buffalo Bill, The ”Slap” Maxwell Story, Drexell’s Class) plays a cantankerous magazine columnist working for his publisher daughter (Gypsy‘s Cynthia Gibb).
E.R. The Jurassic Park duo of Steven Spielberg and Michael Crichton reteams for this Chicago-set hospital ensemble drama featuring Anthony Edwards and yet another NYPD Blue vet, Sherry Stringfield.
Young at Heart Big-screen exile Gene Wilder stars as a late-in-life-dad coping with rambunctious twin-boy toddlers.
Sweet Justice Despite the failures of I’ll Fly Away and Against the Grain, NBC has ordered another weekend-night Southern drama, about a Wall Street attorney (Melissa Gilbert) who moves back home to Dixie to work with a muckraker (Cicely Tyson).
Earth 2 This futuristic series about settlers on a new planet creates a two-hour block of Spielbergian sci-fi with the returning seaQuest DSV. Oh, joy.