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ABC opts for laughs this fall

ABC is looking to laugh all the way to the ratings bank.

The network is adding four comedies this fall to bring its total to 10 -- the
most of any network -- and it hopes to increase that number to an even dozen by

David Kelly is likely smiling, too, since the network has decided to change
the venue of his legal drama, The Practice, to its former home of Sunday
at 10 p.m.

The network is also adding three dramas for fall.

Of the seven new shows, ABC's co-owned Touchstone studio has a hand in

In keeping with its comedy emphasis, ABC will bring back its "TGIF" comedy
lineup on Friday, said ABC Entertainment chairman Lloyd Braun and president
Susan Lyne, who unveiled their new fall lineup for advertisers in New York.

The new comedies are Back to Kansas (from Brad Grey Television and
20th Century Fox TV); Hope & Faith (Touchstone), starring Faith Ford
and Kelly Ripa; I'm with Her (Tollin-Robbins in association with Warner
Bros. TV), about a schoolteacher who dates a movie star; and It's All
(Touchstone and Paramount Television), about a couple whose relatives are on
opposite ends of the political and sexual-orientation spectrum (in the vein of
theatrical The Birdcage).

The new dramas are Karen Sisco (Jersey TV and Universal), based on
Jennifer Lopez's character in the movie Out of Sight; Threat Matrix
(Touchstone and Industry TV), about a homeland security agency; and
10-8 (Spelling and Touchstone), about rookie sheriffs-in-training in Los

The TGIF block will kick off with George Lopez, moved from Wednesday
at 8 p.m., followed by Back to Kansas at 8:30 p.m. and Hope & Faith at
9 p.m.

Life with Bonnie moves from Tuesday at 9:30 p.m. to Friday at the same time,
leading into 20/20.

ABC made some significant shifts in its core schedule, moving Wonderful World
of Disney
to Saturday night, followed by Dick Wolf's retitled L.A.
at 10 p.m., which moves from Sunday at 10 p.m. to make way for The

The Saturday movie will become a Monday-night movie when Monday Night
ends in January.

ABC tried to debut dramas in the MNF time period last year without

Moving Disney to Saturday allows ABC to lead in to Alias with
10-8 at 8 p.m. Sunday, which Lyne called "a more useful lead-in to Jennifer
Garner's spy thriller."

America's Funniest Home Videos will kick off Sunday night at 7 p.m., moving
from Friday at 8 p.m. The Practice follows at 10 p.m., moving from Monday at 9 p.m.

8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter will continue to lead off Tuesday night at 8 p.m.

According to Jim, which had aired at 8:30 p.m., will move to 9 p.m. -- against
NBC's Frasier -- to make room for I'm with Her.

Less than Perfect returns at 9:30 p.m.

My Wife and Kids will continue to lead off Wednesday nights, followed by
It's All Relative and a new edition of The Bachelor at 9 p.m.,
featuring "Bachelor Bob," also known as Guiney from The Bachelorette.

In yet more Bachelorette news, the network will devote four hours to
the wedding of bachelorette Trista Rehn to firefighter Ryan Sutter in the

Following The Bachelor at 10 p.m. on Wednesday is drama Karen

ABC has promised to aggressively schedule Thursday night, and to that end,
it will kick off with Threat Matrix, followed by a reality wheel that gets
rolling with Extreme Makeover -- which has done extremely well for the
network -- followed by PrimeTime Thursday at 10 p.m.

For midseason, ABC has picked up Rod Lurie's Line of Fire and Stephen
King's Kingdom Hospital.

Braun and Lyne said they may still pick up two more dramas, plus the two
comedies, for midseason.