Posted on Thu, May. 15, 2003
The Philadelphia Daily News
Reason to celebrate, Philly: 'Hack' will be back!
by ELLEN GRAY
Daily News Television Critic
Good news for those who've made a buck or two off the first TV drama to be filmed entirely in Philadelphia (or who've merely enjoyed seeing our town onscreen): CBS' "Hack" is coming back.
The freshman drama, which stars Philadelphian David Morse as a disgraced cop-turned-cabdriver, will move to 9 p.m. Saturdays on the fall schedule CBS unveiled to advertisers in New York, becoming the lead-in to "The District," which moves to 10.
"We felt 'Hack' was unrealized on Friday night," CBS Chairman Leslie Moonves told reporters yesterday. "We felt it has great potential. We love those two actors, with David Morse and Andre Braugher. We think they are terrific. We think it should be an 'Equalizer' kind of show...where the good guys kick the heck out of the bad guys on Saturday night."
News of the pickup reached Greater Philadelphia Film Office chief Sharon Pinkenson at the Cannes film festival yesterday.
"It was fabulous news to my ears," she said in a statement issued by her office. "I'm very excited for Philadelphia."
In the past, Pinkenson has estimated that the show brings about $60 million in business to Philadelphia per 22-episode season.
Though "Hack" remains the only series being made here, CBS did pick up "Cold Case," a police drama created by 1990 Penn grad Meredith Stiehm that will be set in Philadelphia.
Backed by Jerry Bruckheimer, who's already changed the fortunes of CBS with "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" and "Without a Trace," it stars Kathryn Morris as a detective who specializes in investigating old cases that were never solved. Though the pilot was shot in Los Angeles, it's possible the series will do some shooting here at some point.
In all, CBS rearranged every night but Thursday and added five new dramas and two comedies, a lot of new programming for a network ranked No. 1 in total viewers (but not among the 18- to 49-year-olds advertisers crave). Among the shifts: "King of Queens" will move to Wednesdays after "60 Minutes II," "JAG" to Fridays and "48 Hours Investigates" to Saturdays.
Missing in action (some for quite a while) are "My Big Fat Greek Life," "Becker," "Presidio Med," "Robbery Homicide Division," "The Agency," "Bram and Alice" and, of course, "Touched by an Angel," which ended its nine-season run recently.
Besides "Cold Case," which is scheduled to air at 8 p.m. Sundays, new dramas on the acronym-happy network include: "Navy CIS" - which stands for "Naval Criminal Investigative Service" - a "JAG" spin-off starring Mark Harmon, Michael Weatherly and David McCallum that will take over its parent show's 8 p.m. Tuesday slot as "JAG" moves to 9 p.m. Fridays; "The Brotherhood of Poland, N.H." (10 p.m. Wednesdays), a show from producer David E. Kelley ("The Practice") that stars Randy Quaid as one of three inseparable brothers living in a small town - a venue Kelley last explored in "Picket Fences"; "Joan of Arcadia" (8 p.m. Fridays), a series from "Judging Amy's" Barbara Hall that stars Joe Mantegna and Mary Steenburgen as a couple whose teen-age daughter has begun having secret conversations with God; and "The Handler" (10 p.m. Fridays), which stars "The Sopranos' " Joe Pantoliano as an FBI agent who trains agents in undercover work.
New comedies include: "Two and a Half Men" (9:30 p.m. Mondays), which stars Charlie Sheen and Jon Cryer in a series about a wealthy single guy (Sheen) whose single-father brother (Cryer) moves in with his son (Blythe Danner plays their mother); and "The Stones" (9:30 p.m. Wednesdays), a show about adult children living with their "divorcing but still friendly parents" that's from the creators of "Will & Grace" and stars Robert Klein and Judith Light as the parents.