TELEVISION: IT'S A FRIENDLY FALL

INSPIRED BY THE NBC HIT FRIENDS, A DOZEN NEW SITCOMS FOCUS ON URBAN DATING LIFE. BUT DRAMAS ARE THE SEASON'S BEST BETS

They will be as hard to avoid this fall as TV's usual glut of precocious grade-schoolers. Soon to arrive in droves: wisecracking, style-conscious young men and women on perpetually unpromising blind dates. Within the next month, a macho cop will be fixed up with an earnest obituary writer; a messy-haired leftist will share a grueling meal with a money-obsessed adman; a skeptical guy who writes novels will not hit it off with a name-dropping magazine reporter; and a receptionist will dine uneasily with a balding editor afflicted with Tourette's syndrome.

Of the 42 new prime-time shows premiering in the next few...

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