One month after announcing its prime-time lineup for the fall television season, ABC changed its mind Thursday and substituted a detective show for two comedies.
Added to the schedule was "Spenser: For Hire," an action-adventure show starring Robert Urich as a Boston-based private investigator. It is based on novels by Robert Parker and will air Fridays at 10 p.m., opposite "Falcon Crest" on CBS and "Miami Vice" on NBC.
Dropped from the lineup were "He's the Mayor," a comedy about the problems faced by a newly elected black mayor (Kevin Hooks), and "Mr. Sunshine," a comedy about a sharp-tongued college professor (Jeffrey Tambor) who is blind, divorced and has a teen-age son.
Lewis Erlicht, president of ABC's entertainment division, said the two comedies would be held in reserve as mid-season replacements.
The realignment was undertaken for competitive reasons, Erlicht said. "We saw the opportunity for further improvement," he explained.
ABC finished third in the prime-time ratings this season--its poorest showing in 10 years.