Fox goes for young adults, CW resurrects Heaven

Fox is hoping to cement its position as the most popular network for young viewers by changing very little in its fall season lineup.

Fox is hoping to cement its position as the most popular network for young viewers by changing very little in its fall season lineup.

There will be just five new programs in fall 2006 and four more in the spring. Sixteen of its series are returning, including Bones and The War at Home.

The Fox schedule is built around the popular American Idol, which begins in January, with different lineups for before and after the show's January debut.

The hit series 24 will return in January and run uninterrupted, while Prison Break will take a long break in midseason, just as it did this year.

Fox is also airing baseball and the World Series, which eats into its fall schedule.

Bernie Mac and Stacked have been cancelled and That '70s Show and Malcolm in the Middle are already closing out.

In the hotly contested 9 p.m. slot on Thursday, when ABC is airing Grey's Anatomy against long-running CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Fox is sticking with itsyouth-oriented melodrama, The O.C.

For seven of the past eight years, Fox has attracted the largest number of 18- to 34-year-old viewers, with shows such as American Idol, 24 and The O.C.

Over at CW, which combines programming of the WB and UPN whichmerged into one network, the surprise change for fall is that 7th Heaven will be renewed for another year. Its cancellation had already been announced, but it continued to get good ratings and fans demanded its return.

It will stay on Monday nights as a lead-in to a new show, Runaway, starring Donnie Wahlberg, about a family that establishes a new identity when its father is falsely accused of murder.

Everwood is to be cancelled, but Veronica Mars survived the merger of the two networks. The only other new show is The Game, about the wives and girlfriends of National Football League players.

New Fox programs are heavy on crime drama and comedy, but include a new reality show, Duets, that pairs professional singers with non-singing celebrities, and On the Lot, a filmmaking talent competition.

In the fall, two new shows will premiere — Justice, a Jerry Bruckheimer-produced drama about a team of lawyers with an expertise in forensics, and the comedy, Happy Hour, about two bachelor roommates living in Chicago.

In midseason, Fox will start The Winner, a comedy with Rob Corddry of The Daily Show, and The Wedding Album, a drama that looks at marriage through the lens of a Lothario wedding photographer.

Its other comedy outing is Til Death, the story of two married couples in different stages of their relationship, starring Everybody Loves Raymond's Brad Garrett.

Fox also has Vanished, an action drama about the search for the missing young wife of a prominent senator and Standoff, about two FBI crisis negotiators who are romantically involved.