Show Business: Cops and Comedy

TV programmers are like astrologers: every spring they nervously plan for the future by trying to predict what the viewing public will be buying in the fall. Since they all follow the same arcane guidelines, the Nielsen ratings, their predictions are usually much alike. As the networks completed their fall lineup last week, the pattern was clear: cops and comedy—and precious little in between.

Changes. NBC, which finished up the current season* slightly behind CBS, announced the biggest changes, with the introduction of nine new shows. Its old Tuesday night lineup, which included a movie and rotating news and documentary specials, will...

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