Wanna stay ahead of the TV curve? Gather your friends, stretch out, and tune in

By Ken Tucker
Updated September 15, 1995 at 04:00 AM EDT

This fall, you can’t tell your friends without a scorecard, which is why we’re giving you lotsa inside info about 38 new shows. NBC’s megasuccessful Friends is receiving the sincerest form of flattery on every network, and you know what that means — expect the rapid cancellation of many of the rip-offs, followed by a Friends backlash that Friends itself won’t deserve. Ain’t TV grand?

There is at least one format-stretching new series: Steven Bochco’s eagerly anticipated ABC drama Murder One, which will follow a single homicide case throughout the season. And when it comes to lathering up prime time, expect CBS to do its darnedest to convince you that the soap Central Park West is every bit as cool and lascivious and fashionable an address as Melrose Place.

All this, plus scoops on returning shows like Frasier, Lois & Clark, Seinfeld, and Beverly Hills, 90210. Guess who Martin Mull is planning to marry on Roseanne? Start reading, friend.