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Fox Family Starts Revamp

11/29/1998 7:00 PM Eastern

In its evening block of original programs, Fox Family
Channel has already canceled two shows -- Outrageous! and I Can't Believe
You Said That!
-- and replaced Stephanie Miller with Rondell Sheridan as host of Show
Me the Funny
.

"We expected when we revamped the whole lineup that
not all of the shows would work," Fox Family president Rich Cronin said. "Those
two shows just weren't cutting it."

On Oct. 19, Fox Family unveiled its rejiggered 6 p.m. to 9
p.m. schedule, with new video-reality series AXN and The New Addams Family debuting.

That new lineup has given an initial lift to Fox
Family's ratings. Comparing Oct. 19 to the first week of the fourth quarter (Sept. 28
through Oct. 4), the network's household ratings were up 48 percent, to a 0.8, with
kids two through 11 up 276 percent, to a 0.8, according to Fox Family.

By itself, in its first three weeks, The New Addams
Family
generated a 53 percent increase in household ratings, to a 0.8, compared with
the first three weeks of the fourth quarter, according to Nielsen Media Research data
cited by Fox Family.

The network also has some holiday stunts planned --
"The Apes of Wrath" and "25 Days of Christmas" -- that it expects to
boost its audience. And waiting in the wings for next year, Cronin said, Fox Family has
two new sitcoms ready.

Of all of the network's new programming, only The
New Addams Family
has created any buzz and attracted much attention from TV critics.
And their reviews of the original series, in which Fox Family has invested $35 million,
were mixed.

Some would argue that drawing viewers to a new show such as
The New Addams Family is tough for a network like Fox Family.

"For you to launch a new show behind Frasier is
one thing," said Tim Spengler, general manager of national TV for Western
International Media Corp. "To launch new shows without tent-pole programming is very
difficult. There's no reason to start watching it."

-- Linda Moss

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