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(May 16, 2001) -- CBS Television Network is taking the most ambitious tack so far in this week's run of network upfront presentations. CBS plans to debut eight new shows, more than any other network so far.

The goal is to help lower the age of the network's audience, which is still skewing too old, said Leslie Moonves, president and CEO of CBS Television. No longer on the schedule are Walker, Texas Ranger, Diagnosis Murder and its Wednesday night movie, which appealed to an older crowd.

One of its highest profile efforts is the hour-long drama The Education of Max Bickford on Sundays at 8 p.m., in which Richard Dreyfuss stars as a college professor. Next on the big celebrity meter comes The Ellen Show, with Ellen DeGeneres as an Internet executive.

Ellen will air on Friday at 8 p.m., a night where CBS has made some major changes. After Ellen, Daniel Stern plays a single father of two who runs a local community center in American Wreak. That's Life moves to Friday at 9 p.m. from Saturday. And, at the last minute, CBS moved 48 Hours to 10 p.m. to take the place of the newsmagazine hole left by ABC's shift of 20/20 to Wednesday.

In addition to Max Bickford, CBS announced four other dramas on its schedule. The Agency, about CIA agents in Washington, runs Thursday at 10 p.m. Wolf Lake, airing Wednesday at 10 p.m., is an X-Files-like show about wolves living in humans in a Seattle suburb. On Tuesdays at 9 p.m. is the The Guardian, which focuses on a slick lawyer who gets caught doing drugs and is forced to perform community service. Citizen Baines, Saturday at 9 p.m., is about a U.S. senator whose life is in limbo after losing re-election.

In the reality programming vein, on Wednesday at 9 p.m. CBS will debut The Amazing Race, which pits 11 teams against each other for a four- to five-week race around the world. -- Wayne Friedman

Copyright May 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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