CBS yesterday announced a new fall schedule of shows that gives Betty White and Ed Asner each their own new series but drops, among others, "Who's Who," "Sonny and Cher," "Phyllis," and Norman Lear's Washington-based situation comedy, "All's Fair"
CBS is introducing 10 new series - six hour-long drama and comedy dramas and four half-hour situation comedies.
The programing changes announced by CBS are more sweeping than those made public last week by ABC, which in the past year knocked CBS out of the top-rated position it has occupied for the past 20 years.
Part of the programming development that will be reflected in the new CBS schedule was done elsewhere. Two shows - "The Tony Randall Show" and "Wonder Woman" - were on ABC during the past season but were dropped by that network when it announced its fall schedule.
The new CBS entries:
"The Ed Asner Show" will continue Asner in the role of Lou Grant, but now cast as a city editor of a Los Angeles newspaper.
"The Fitzpatrick" is about an Irish-American family living in Flint, Mich. The husband is a steelworker and the wife is a waitress. Burt Kramer and Mariclaire Costello star.
"Rafferty," stars Patrick McGoohan as Dr. Sid Rafferty, a former Army doctor who now practises in a large general hospital.
"Dan'l Boone," is about the gentleman of that name when he was 25 and going across the Cumberland Gap to Kentucky. He has the company of a young boy, an indentured servant from Limehous in London, Rick Moses will star.
"Logan's Run," based on the movie is set in the 23rd century and stars Gregory Harris, Heather Menzies and Donald Moffat.
"The Betty White Show" stars White as Joyce Whitman, a witty, veteran film actress who's now making a television series with her husband, whom she alternately loves and hates, as her director. Her best friend is Mitzi played by Georgia Engel who, like White, also starred on the now retired Mary Tyler Moore Show.
"On Our Own," starring Bess Armstrong and Lynnie Green, is about two young women who work in the creative department of a New York advertising agency.
"We've Got Each Other" stars Oliver Clark, Beverly Archer, Tom Poston and Joan VanArk. Clark stays home and write copy for a mail-order catalog company. Archer works for eccentric photographer Poston who uses model VanArk, who gets on Archer's nerves.
In addition to =Who's Who," "Sonny and Cher," "Phillis" and "All's Fair," other CBS shows that were canceled were "Delvecchio," "The Andros Targets," "Hunter," and "Code R." A spokesman at CBS said yesterday that "Nashville 99," and "Loves Me, Loves Me Not," which also were canceled, seen this spring as only limited series.
Though "Who's Who" was listed among those shows canceled, the program has not yet been counted out. "This Tuesday's program will be the last this month, but it's understood that =Who's Who" will be back in June for one month on Sunday nights.
It will be seen at 7 p.m., which is the normal time slot for "60 Minutes." "60 Minutes" will follow at 8 p.m. This is seen as an attempt to find out whether "who's who" can do better with that time slot then when it was up against "Happy Days" and "Laverne and Shirley" on ABC and "Baa Baa Black Sheep" on NBC on Tuesday nights.
It's also understood that the "Who's Who" production unit will continue with a reduced staff for the rest of the summer, in case there are some early failures in the fall schedule that need immediate replacement.
If the show is finally ordered close down production, Dan Rather will go back to "60 Minutes" and Kuralt will probably continue with his "On The Road" segments for the CBS Evening News. Less clear is what role there will be for Barbara Howar. She has more than two years remaining of a three-year contract with CBS News.
The CBS fall schedule.