FOX LOOKS TO REGAIN YOUTHFUL STEP

Nine New Shows Range From Quirky Drama to Variety Revue

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- After losing 20% this year in the key adults 18 to 49 ratings mostly due to aging shows like Ally McBeal and The X-Files, News Corp.'s Fox Broadcasting Co. will try to revamp its fortunes with nine new shows.

Girls Club, from David E. Kelly, focuses on three female attorneys -- a new generation Ally McBeal -- that will air after another Kelly show, Boston Public, on Monday nights at 9 p.m.

Fastlane follows two undercover cops in Los Angeles and its airs at 9 p.m. on Wednesday, a rebuilding night for Fox.

Retooling Friday
Friday night is

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another retooling effort, as Fox jettisions Dark Angel and replaces it with Firefly, a sci-fi drama from Joss Whedon, creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Following Firefly at 9 p.m. is John Doe, described by Fox as being about a mysterious man "possessing knowledge of literally everything in the world, yet having no memory of who -- or even what -- he is."

After the Major League Baseball playoffs, Fox on Thursday will have the drama Septuplets, about seven children who live with their parents in their small, family-run hotel situated on an idyllic beach in Southern California.

Old-style variety show
Cedric the Entertainer Presents, an old-style variety show hosted by the comedian of the same name, features set pieces from different comedians. The comedy airs after Bernie Mac -- Fox's surprise hit last season -- at 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

On Sunday -- another troubled night or Fox -- the network adds two comedies.

At 7:30 p.m. there's Oliver Beene, about an 11-year-old in 1962 who has to deal with an eccentric family and other chaos. The Grubbs goes somewhat older, looking at the life of a goodhearted 14-year-old who yearns for mediocrity, and it airs at 9:30 p.m.

Other comedies include 30 Seconds to Fame, a new-style talent show to air on Thursday at 8 p.m, and Meet The Marks, which is a Candid Camera-esqe effort in which improvisional actors live in a real house where unsuspecting people enter into the half-scripted, half-reality sitcom environment.

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