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PAX TV Unveils New Primetime Schedule for 2001-2002 Television Season (Business Wire)PAX TV`s 2001-2002 primetime schedule, announced today at the network`s annual upfront presentation, puts the spotlight on original, family-friendly programming that crosses the entertainment gamut.- May 16 10:31 AM ET


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Posted on: 05/16/2001

"Yahoo - PAX TV Unveils New Primetime Schedule for 2001-2002 Television Season"
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Wednesday May 16, 10:31 am Eastern Time

Press Release

PAX TV Unveils New Primetime Schedule for 2001-2002 Television Season

Original Dramas, Specials and Variety Series From Industry Leaders Including Ed McMahon and Fred Silverman Headline Network's Fall Programming Slate

First Quarter 2001 Marks Best Ratings Quarter Ever for Network, Attracting over 1.4 Million Primetime Viewers Up 32% Over First Quarter 2000 Now Reaching 83% of U.S. TV H.H.

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 16, 2001-- PAX TV's 2001-2002 primetime schedule, announced today at the network's annual upfront presentation, puts the spotlight on original, family-friendly programming that crosses the entertainment gamut. New hour-long dramas, original movies-of-the-week and specials as well as a new slate of game and variety programming are set to premiere this fall.

Jeff Sagansky, Paxson President and CEO, introduced a programming lineup featuring a prequel to the popular "Bonanza" series, a program that held a top-ranking spot on NBC for 14 years. Entitled The Ponderosa, the series tells the story of how the Cartwrights acquired their first 100 acres, named it the Ponderosa and built what would become the single largest ranch in the West. Also in September, PAX will introduce Forbidden Secrets, a new documentary-style, pop culture series hosted by television star Lee Majors. In January, the network will present Left Behind, a new hour-long program based on the dynamic science fiction series of the same name.

PAX's ongoing programming partnership with NBC continues to thrive with PAX introducing re-broadcasts of the hit primetime game show, Weakest Link, beginning June 1. The network also announced that it will rebroadcast NBC's original provocative drama, Crossing Jordan (starring Jill Hennessy and Ken Howard) in January, 2002. Returning to the schedule will be the one-hour drama Mysterious Ways that will be seen this summer on NBC. The program stars Adrian Pasdar as an anthropologist driven to uncover the mysteries behind uncanny occurrences, and Rae Dawn Chong, as the psychiatrist who reluctantly assists him; Encounters With The Unexplained, an hour-long reality mystery program hosted by Jerry Orbach; Doc, starring music superstar Billy Ray Cyrus as a small town doctor who aims to make a difference in New York City; and It's A Miracle, which going into season four, remains one of PAX's most important assets. Game shows take center stage on PAX with the network green-lighting over 200 episodes of Supermarket Sweep and Shop 'Til You Drop, two growing franchises for the network that have been strong lead-ins to the primetime schedule. New movies-of-the-week based on the books from best-selling mystery author Mary Higgins Clark and three new movies from veteran producer Fred Silverman round out the programming schedule.

"This schedule gets us one step closer to creating the original franchises on PAX that will become signatures for the network," Sagansky said. "Our ratings are up, our demos are strong and we have all the necessary components in place to make the network a strong competitor in 2001."

Alan Wurtzel, President of NBC Research, said: "As we all know, the network business has become increasingly more competitive with ratings success stories few and far between. But in the case of PAX, the opposite is true. Strong and growing - that's our theme for the new season."

NEW DRAMAS

THE PONDEROSA, Sundays, 9:00 PM - 10:00 PM (ET/PT), Encore Presentation: Saturdays, 8:00 PM (ET/PT)

Prompted by the outstanding ratings of two "Bonanza Extravaganza" marathons this past fall (which doubled and tripled Adults 25 - 54 in the Saturday time periods), PAX will premiere "The Ponderosa." This prequel to television's classic western series "Bonanza" chronicles the early years of widower Ben Cartwright and his three young sons. The family buys a small piece of scrub in the wilds of the Nevada Territory. Adam, the eldest, is 17 years old, Hoss, 15 and Little Joe, 10. Together the family makes a go of it against the odds. Created by Beth Sullivan ("Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman") and executive produced by David Dortort, the original creator and producer of "Bonanza," "The Ponderosa" is a natural extension of a show that was number one in this same time period for 14 years.

FORBIDDEN SECRETS, Mondays, 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM (ET/PT)

"Forbidden Secrets" is a program with news you can use. Hosted by television star Lee Majors, the documentary-style program addresses topics from the worlds of pop culture, money, mysticism and government. Stories will range from scams and schemes of con men, to how to make it through an environmental disaster, and gives you tips on how to dress like a million bucks for just under $30. In each episode, "Forbidden Secrets" will provide viewers with a weekly dose of tips and information that make our lives just a little easier. The series is produced by Associated Television International.

CROSSING JORDAN, Tuesdays, 10:00 PM - 11:00 PM (ET/PT) (January 2002)

Beginning January 2002, murder meets its match in "Crossing Jordan," another programming component in PAX's partnership with NBC. " Law & Order" star Jill Hennessy returns to series television in this provocative drama about a seasoned medical examiner whose as much a liability to the coroner's office as an asset. That's because when it comes to exposing the truth behind a crime, Jordan Cavannaugh (Hennessy) plays by her own rules, and she's got a history of insubordination to prove it. Even so, her consummate skills get her an offer to return to her former job at the state coroner's office in Boston. Jordan accepts the job and leaves L.A. behind. The move will also give her a chance to consult on cases with her father, Max (Ken Howard), an ex-cop still haunted by the unsolved murder of his wife, Jordan's mother. Jordan's erratic boss, Dr. Garret Macy (Miguel Ferrer), admires her gift for crime-solving as much as he fears the trouble it's likely to cause. The series is produced by NBC Studios, executive produced and written by Tim Kring ("Providence") and directed by Allan Arkash, ("Ally McBeal" & "The Practice").

LEFT BEHIND, Tuesdays, 9:00 PM - 10:00 PM (ET/PT) (Beginning January 2002)

Launched in 1995, this series of eight (and eventually 12) novels are unique science fiction thrillers based on Biblical prophecy. The "Left Behind" series, based on the best-selling, end-of-time books by authors Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, focuses on the riveting struggle of a small resistance movement called the Tribulation Force whose members fight evil forces. This dynamic science fiction series has captured the imaginations of millions, becoming a powerhouse on the New York Times Best Seller List and selling nearly 35 million copies. Executive producers Joe Goodman and Bobby Neutz have previously produced "Left Behind: The Movie," currently the #1 sell-thru home video.

MOVIES-OF-THE-WEEK / PAX BIG EVENT

THE MIRACLE OF THE CARDS

A new original movie starring Catherine Oxenberg and Kirk Cameron will air during the network's PAX Big Event Friday showcase (9:00 - 11:00 p.m., ET/PT) -- "The Miracle of the Cards," based on the inspiring true story of Craig Shergold, an eight-year-old English boy with a fatal brain tumor. His mother's plea for get-well cards sparks a deluge of good wishes, over 160 million cards from around the world and a miraculous recovery -- not to mention a place in the Guinness Book of Records.

TWICE UPON A CHRISTMAS: RUDOLFA'S REVENGE (Sequel)

Santa's daughter, Kristin Claus (Kathy Ireland) faces a difficult dilemma with the Morgan family with whom she has been living as nanny and confidant, when Bill Morgan (John Dye) proposes marriage. Having given up her immortality, Kristen is conflicted about her true identity and now confused over her decision. The Morgan family takes on the quest to discover her past by Christmas Day, when Kristin and BiIl are to be married. Meanwhile, Kristin's wicked sister, Rudolfa is once again scheming to destroy Christmas - she has launched a campaign to sell off pieces of the North Pole. When all has been sold, she plans to build a timeshare gambling resort, leaving Santa out in the cold. When Kristin finally regains her memory, she must once again, save Christmas from Rudolfa's evil plan and be back in time for her wedding day.

I SAW MOMMY KISSING SANTA CLAUS

Based on the classic holiday song, "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus," this is the comic and touching story of a young boy struggling to keep his family together. After learning that his best friend's parents are getting a divorce, Justin Carver (Cole and Dylan Sprouse) fears the worst when he sees his mother, Stephanie, (Connie Selleca) kissing Santa Claus. Justin and his friend Bobby conclude that if Santa rewards "nice" boys and girls, then the only way to keep Santa away from his mother on Christmas Eve is to be "naughty." Little does Justin know it was his father, David, (Corbin Bernsen) dressed in that Santa suit, a mistaken identity of holiday proportion.

MARY HIGGINS CLARK

Grosso Jacobson Communications Corporation in association with Rigel Independent Distribution & Entertainment has created six original movies for television for PAX from the queen of suspense, Mary Higgins Clark. Titles include: "You Belong to Me," "Pretend You Don't See Her," "Haven't We Met Before," "Loves Music, Loves to Dance," "Lucky Day" and "The Cradle will Fall." Mary is the #1 Best Selling Suspense Writer in the United States where over 50 million copies of her books are in print.

Veteran television producer Fred Silverman has created three original telepics for PAX in association with Lewis Chessler and David Perlmutter. They are:

MURRAY MAGUIRE, M.E.

As Chief Medical Examiner for the city of New York, Murray Maguire (Gary Basaraba) is all too familiar with the cases that slip through the cracks of NYPD, the unsolved riddles, and the "perfect" murders. When an old friend of his, a renowned actress named Leona, is mysteriously killed in a car crash, Murray refuses to sign it off as an accident and takes it upon himself to investigate. Before the story turns into a tabloid frenzy, Murray must unravel Leona's surprising past - her relationships and love affairs with powerful entrepreneurs and famous actors - culminating in a shocking conclusion.

BREAKFAST WITH DICK AND DOROTHY

What's the hottest show on the radio in Chicago? Try Dick (Cameron Daddo "Hope Island") and Dorothy (Fiona Lowe "Love and Death in Long Island") - He's a prominent lawyer, she's a gossip columnist. Between them they know everybody - from the mayor to the local convenience store operator - and the information gleaned from the sources makes their two-hour AM radio show the most accurate indicator of who's moving and shaking in Chicago. After an accidental encounter with a bizarre homeless woman, Dick and Dorothy begin to investigate this strange individual via their radio show. As the clues unwind, they track down the bag lady only to discover that she is no ordinary homeless woman and has in fact been dead for weeks! They soon unravel an incredible scandal involving the local government and the prestigious Chicago Art Museum. A Nick and Nora Charles for the new century, Dick and Dorothy solve baffling mysteries with their hallmark wit, intelligence, skill and sophistication.

ISABELLA ROCKS

In 1999, Isabella Delarocca (Donnamarie Recco) left her home in Italy, determined to take Hollywood by storm. Beautiful, intelligent, vivacious, Isabella believes with absolute conviction that she can do anything she puts her mind to. When a friend in her acting class is arrested for the murder of his father, she vows to help him by solving the crime. Knowing this might require some professional help, she seeks out the sardonic and jaded private detective who lives in her building. Steve Order (Greg Evigan) is still nursing the wounds of a malpractice suit that destroyed his client base and moved him from a posh Beverly Hills condo to a West Hollywood one-bedroom apartment. Embittered and vulnerable from the experience, the last thing he needs is an enthusiastic amateur partner. Somehow the two find a way to work together - Isabella's vitality brings Steve out of his funk, and Steve's pragmatic cynicism anchors Isabella's impulsiveness. It doesn't hurt that - ignore it as hard as they might - there's an unmistakable spark between them...

NEW VARIETY SHOWS

ED MCMAHON'S NEXT BIG STAR - Sundays. 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM (ET/PT)

Based on Ed McMahon's ("Tonight Show," "Star Search") successful Internet venture and television specials of the same name, "Ed McMahon's Next Big Star" will scour the nation for the next generation of performers. Competitors will advance through the quarterly finals, followed by the semi finals and ultimately, the final competition giving each finalist a chance to win cash, prizes and fame.

PAX has committed to 26 original episodes of this new variety hour with production beginning at the end of July. In addition to open auditions scheduled throughout the country, "Ed McMahon's Next Big Star" will generate additional entries through the successful website "NextBigStar.com" and several nationwide bus tours. Joining the creative team will be executive producer and television veteran George Schlatter, best known for creating and producing "Laugh In." Although the competitive element will be the focus of the program, "Next Big Star" plans to integrate live appearances and taped pieces featuring some of the celebrated names that credit McMahon with their rise to stardom.

CANDID CAMERA - Wednesdays, 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM (ET/PT), Encore Presentation Sundays, 7:00 PM (ET/PT)

Hosted by Peter Funt, (son of Alan Funt) and Dina Eastwood, "Candid Camera" returns with all new episodes of a television classic. "Candid Camera" is one of the longest running and most successful franchises in the history of broadcasting, first appearing more than 50 years ago as a radio program called "Candid Microphone" that debuted in 1947 with Allen Funt as host. The program appeared on network television schedules as early as 1948, but enjoyed its most successful run in the 1960's. Peter Funt made his first appearance on the program when he was three years old and has been featured in hundreds of "Candid Camera" sequences since. A former news reporter and magazine publisher, Funt began hosting the show in 1987.

WEAKEST LINK, Fridays, 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM (ET/PT)

PAX TV, the family entertainment network, will re-broadcast the hit primetime quiz show, "Weakest Link" every Friday at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT beginning Friday, June 1. "Weakest Link," hosted by Anne Robinson, is a highly competitive game in which a group of eight contestants are quizzed on general knowledge. However, the competition takes on a sharp turn at the end of each round when one of the contestants is deemed "the weakest link" and voted off the show.

RETURNING SERIES

MYSTERIOUS WAYS - Tuesdays, 9:00 PM - 10:00 PM (ET/PT)

This established hit returns for its sophomore season on both PAX and NBC. "Mysterious Ways" stars Adrian Pasdar as Declan Dunn, a professor of Anthropology and Rae Dawn Chong as Peggy Fowler in the hit drama series that explores the place where mystery and miracles collide. Executive produced by Peter O'Fallon and Carl Binder in association with Lions Gate Television, each episode focuses on another powerful human drama that takes this pair to the precipice between fact and faith.

IT'S A MIRACLE - Thursdays, 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM (ET/PT)

"It's a Miracle," PAX TV's one-hour primetime signature series, features heartwarming, inspirational, true stories of amazing miracles occurring in everyday life. Hosted by Richard Thomas in it's fourth season, "It's A Miracle" presents romantic miracles, answered prayers, angel encounters, medical miracles, remarkable coincidences, miracles from the animal kingdom and inspirational stories about children. Whether defying the laws of probability or the limits of science, the true-life stories profiled on this series cause viewers to stop, listen and wonder.

ENCOUNTERS WITH THE UNEXPLAINED - Sundays, 10:00 - 11:00 PM (ET/PT)

Sooner or later, we all ask the same questions: How did we get here? Where did we come from? Are we really alone in the universe? Each week, the hour-long series, hosted by Jerry Orbach ("Law and Order"), teams renowned scientists, explorers, analysts and historians to break a riddle that has baffled mankind for generations. Every episode presents breakthrough discoveries and compelling scientific proof that lead to startling new conclusions about the way we understand our world and ourselves. Do these mysteries hold clues that illuminate our past or foretell our future? "Encounters With The Unexplained" will explore the answers to these age-old mysteries. Produced by Chuck Selier and Grizzly Adams Productions.

DOC - Sundays, 8:00 - 9:00 PM (ET/PT) - Encore Presentation: Tuesdays, 8:00 - 9:00 PM (ET/PT)

PAX has ordered an additional year of the Billy Ray Cyrus drama, now PAX's highest rated weekly show. "Doc" garnered record high ratings for PAX with its 2-hour kickoff this past March in its regular 8:00 PM timeslot, improving the time period average by 100% and the key Adult 18 - 49 demo by 218%. Created by David Alan Johnson and Gary Johnson, the series captures the drama and comedy of big city medicine as seen through the eyes of Clint Cassidy (Billy Ray Cyrus), a handsome country doctor from Montana whose love for a woman takes him to the Big Apple. Never losing his values, common sense and "fish out of water" demeanor, Clint begins adjusting to an urban lifestyle, forming new relationships and stumbling across adventure along the way.

RETURNING GAME SHOWS

SUPERMARKET SWEEP - Weeknights, 6:00 PM and 7:30 PM (ET/PT)

Hold on to your shopping carts... "Supermarket Sweep," the fun-packed family game show pits husbands and wives, mothers and daughters or pairs of friends against each other and the clock to see who will take home the goods. Hosted by David Ruprecht and produced by Al Howard Productions, it's a game anyone can play, but only the best shoppers among us can win.

SHOP 'TIL YOU DROP - Weeknights, 6:30 PM and 7:00 PM (ET/PT)

"Shop 'Til You Drop" is classic TV game show fun with newly produced shows for PAX, combining physical stunts, puzzles, pricing games and trivia questions in a fast-paced, audience play-along format. If the merchandise contestants accumulate adds up to more than $2,500, the lucky pair wins a fantastic dream vacation. Hosted by Pat Finn, the series is produced by Stone Stanley Productions.

About PAX TV

Paxson Communications Corporation owns and operates the nation's largest broadcast television station group and PAX TV, the newest broadcast television network. PAX reaches 83% of U.S. television households via nationwide broadcast television, cable and satellite distribution systems. Through the company's strategic relationship with NBC, the two networks have shared programming including the dramatic series "Mysterious Ways," special PAX runs of original NBC TV movies, sports programming and beginning June 1, PAX will re-broadcast the hit primetime quiz show, "Weakest Link" every Friday at 8:00 p.m. Other original PAX 8:00 p.m. (ET/PT) series include "Miracle Pets," "Twice In A Lifetime," "It's A Miracle," "Encounters with the Unexplained" and "Doc" starring popular recording artist, Billy Ray Cyrus. For more information, visit PAX TV's website at www.pax.tv. FOR PHOTOGRAPHY, PLEASE LOG ONTO www.paxpressroom.tv

                             PAX FALL 2001
                   Eastern/Pacific Program Schedule

TIME     MON.     TUES.     WED.     THUR.     FRI.     SAT.     SUN.

1:00                      Promised
 PM                         Land

2:00                      Bonanza
 PM

3:00                     Scarecrow &
 PM                       Mrs. King

4:00                      Remington                   PAX Sat.   Just
 PM                         Steele                    Family     Deal
                                                      Movie      ----
                                                                Calif.
                                                                Dreams

5:00                       Bonanza                             Miracle
 PM                                                              Pets

6:00                     Supermarket                  Miracle    Next
 PM                         Sweep                      Pets      Big
                                                                 Star
6:30                      Shop 'Til
 PM                        You Drop

7:00                      Shop 'Til                     Our     Candid
 PM                        You Drop                    House    Camera

7:30                     Supermarket
 PM                         Sweep

8:00  Forbidden    Doc     Candid   It's A   Weakest  Ponderosa   Doc
 PM    Secrets             Camera   Miracle   Link

9:00  Touched by  Mystr.   Touched   Touched   PAX     Touched  Ponde-
 PM   An Angel     Ways     By An     By An    Big     By An     rosa
      ----------            Angel     Angel    Event   Angel
      Left
      Behind
      (Jan)

10:00 Diagnosis   Diag.     Diag.     Diag.         Encounters  Mystr.
 PM    Murder     Murder   Murder    Murder          w/the      Ways
                  ------                            Unexplained
                 Crossing
                  Jordan
                  (Jan)

11:00                      It's A                      Diag.   Touched
 PM                        Miracle                    Murder    By An
                                                                Angel

11:30                      Dave's
 PM                        World

Check out www.nbcmarketplace.com/pax for detailed program and promotional information.


Contact:
     PAX TV, New York
     Nancy Udell, 561/682-4419
     Tracy Speed, 818/487-2013
     Sharyn Kornberg, 212/603-8492
     Email: nancyudell@paxson.com
            tracyspeed@pax.net
            sharynkornberg@paxson.com
     or
     FerenComm, New York
     Sheila Feren/Stephanie Greenhut, 212/983-9898
     Email: sheilaf@ferencomm.com

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