Hopes Five New Dramas Will Lure Key Demographic

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NEW YORK ( -- Currently in second place in the key 18 to 49 demographic ratings race, CBS at its upfront presentation today for advertisers announced five new dramas and two comedies for the 2002-03 broadcast season to close the gap with champ NBC.

This season CBS rose to second place among adults 18-49, scoring a 4.0 rating so far. Though the network is still way behind NBC's 5.3 rating, this is the first time in nine years CBS has been in second place in this key demographic.

To help it gain more advertiser-attractive viewers, the Viacom network is looking to one of the centerpieces of its fall schedule, the spinoff of its highly rated drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. The new show, CSI: Miami, starring former NYPD Blue star David Caruso, will be placed on CBS' already strong Monday night at 10 p.m.

Leading into the police drama will be a new sitcom, Still Standing, starring Jami Gertz and Mark Addy about a working-class Chicago couple raising three children.

CBS isn't changing

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its Tuesday lineup, but on Wednesday it has slated Presidio Med, from the creators of ER, about hard-working doctors at a medical group in San Francisco. The show runs right against ABC's Meds, which is also about a group of doctors in San Francisco.

The big night
On Thursday, CBS' big night -- and arguably one of the biggest nights on TV -- the network is adding the drama Without a Trace, which focuses on the missing persons squad at the FBI.

CBS has revamped its Friday night lineup with two new dramas: Hack at 9 p.m. about an ex-cop turned taxi driver who still fights for justice, and RHD/LA, a hip drama from Hollywood filmmaker and Miami Vice creator Michael Mann about the Los Angeles Police Department.

The show is "a little out of our wheel house," said Leslie Moonves, president-CEO of CBS, "but we liked it."

Revamped Sunday
Sundays have changed as well. The Education of Max Bickford is gone and will be replaced by comedies. A new one, Bram and Alice is about a strange relationship between a novelist and one of his fans -- "a comedy for adults," said Mr. Moonves -- followed by Becker, which moves from Monday.

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