David Hiltbrand
August 09, 1993 12:00 PM

At this point I’ve seen—at least in rough form—almost all the network shows that will premiere in the coming weeks. So it is that I can provide you with a preview of the new season’s trends. Fox, for instance, will present its usual gaudy grab bag, a strange spectrum of series that takes in an ironic western (The Adventures of Br is co County, Jr.), a spooky paranormal drama (X-Files) and a crude insult sitcom (Daddy Dearest, with Don Rickles and Richard Lewis). NBC has fashioned vehicles to bring back a number of familiar TV faces: John Larroquette, Valerie Bertinelli, Larry Hagman, Kenny Rogers, Robert Wagner and Kelsey Grammer (who recently described his spun-off sitcom, Frasier, as the “methadone clinic” for those in severe Cheers withdrawal). ABC seems intent on reinstituting familiar formulas. Grace Linder Fire with stand-up comedian Brett Butler is a single-mom Roseanne (John Goodman even does a cameo in the pilot). Thea is a revamped What’s Happening!! and Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman…well, ‘nuf said. (To ABC’s credit, they also have the season’s only groundbreaking series: the adult-themed NYPD Blue, running heavily to sex and violence, from producer Steven Bochco.) CBS has the most ingenious strategy. Call it Dave TV. This week the sitcom Big Wave Dave’s debuts. CBS is also frenetically promoting the imminent advent of David Letterman’s new show”. It has another new sitcom too: Dave’s World, coming in September. And on the hour comedy-drama Harts of the West, the lead character’s wife refers to him repeatedly and caustically as “Buckaroo Dave.” I really think CBS is on to something. After all if there’s one thing prime time has always been lacking, it’s more guys named Dave. Once the other networks see what a ratings bonanza CBS reaps with this tactic, TV will be wall-to-wall Daves.

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