The gist: An Original King of Comedy and his cast of players ham it up in sketches while the Ced-sation fly girls provide a dash of spice.
Target audience: Hip blacks, whites and anyone in between
Most like: Any TV comedy-variety show from the '50s onward, particularly Fox's earlier "In Living Color"
Major competition: ABC's "The George Lopez Show"
What it has: Cedric's characters in a "really big shew," with "The Bernie Mac Show" as a lead-in
What it needs: To keep the skits fresh and, if that fails, a continuous engagement for the host in Vegas
Title: "Birds of Prey"
Time slot: 9 p.m. Premieres Oct. 9
Key cast: Ashley Scott, Dina Meyer ("Starship Troopers"), Rachel Skarsten
Behind the camera: Mike Tollin and Brian Robbins ("Smallville") are executive producers. Based on the DC comic books.
The gist: In ominous New Gotham City, Batman and Catwoman's orphaned love child (Scott) becomes the crime-fighting Huntress after she is taken in by the partially paralyzed Batgirl (Meyer), now known as Oracle, a master designer of high-tech gadgetry. They are joined by a girl (Skarsten) with the ability to read minds and dreams.
Target audience: Older teens, young adults, hip baby boomers
Most like: "Smallville," of course, as well as "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and the defunct "Dark Angel"
Major competition: NBC's "The West Wing," Fox's "Fastlane"
What it has: Dark, moody visuals and a setup rife with meaty psychological issues. And what a wardrobe.
What it needs: Still more of the mother-daughter tension between Oracle and Huntress, and excuses to get Meyer out of her wheelchair.
Time slot: 9 p.m. Premieres Sept. 18
Key cast: Peter Facinelli ("The Scorpion King"), Bill Bellamy from MTV, Tiffani Thiessen ("Beverly Hills, 90210")
Behind the camera: McG, stylish director of "Charlie's Angels" (even his name is quick and cool)
The gist: Two ultra-suave L.A. undercover cops take a fast and furious ride on the edge in pursuit of justice, guided by a sultry lieutenant who gives them access to "the candy store" of stolen goods.
Target audience: Young males who like to watch stuff blow up
Most like: "Starsky and Hutch" for the Vin Diesel crowd
Major competition: "The West Wing," "Birds of Prey"
What it has: Glitz galore, pulsating music and a lot of energy
What it needs: An audience willing to go along with such an implausible ride
Title: "The Twilight Zone"
Time slot: 9 p.m. Premieres Sept. 18
Key cast: Forest Whitaker ("Panic Room," "The Crying Game") in the Rod Serling host role, and different guest actors each week. C'mon, you remember the formula.
Behind the camera: Pilot directed by Jonathan Frakes ("Star Trek: The Next Generation"), executive-produced by Pen Densham, Mark Stern and John Watson of Trilogy Entertainment ("The Outer Limits" 1995 series, "Poltergeist: The Legacy")
The gist: Submitted for your approval: a 21st century update of the concept Serling conceived for the original '59 series; edgy, unsettling stories about strange things that happen to people and communities, having more to do with human imperfection than anything supernatural, although that plays a role too.
Target audience: Sci-fi and mystery fans
Most like: The two previous TV incarnations, naturally
Major competition: Lots of it in what might be TV's toughest hour: "The West Wing," "Fastlane," "Birds of Prey"
What it has: A tremendous legacy, and a potential audience open to stories of the unexplainable in this post-"X-Files" world
What it needs: An easier time slot
Time slot: 10 p.m. Premieres Sept. 25
Key cast: William Fichtner ("Contact," "Armageddon"), John Hannah ("Four Weddings and a Funeral," "The Mummy"), Robert Joy, Aunjanue Ellis, Michaela Conlin, Jane Lynch
Behind the camera: Executive producer/writer Gary Tieche, executive producer Marc Platt ("Legally Blonde")
The gist: A San Francisco hospital's beleaguered medical staff, split roughly between renegade rule-breakers and by-the-book anal-retentives, has at it, leaving the patients to take cover
Target audience: 16 and up
Most like: The more sedate S.F.-set medical drama "Presidio Med"
Major competition: See above, plus "Law & Order"
What it has: A strong ensemble cast and that most venerable of story-generating settings, a large urban hospital
What it needs: Fresh angles and a breakout character or two should keep it off the critical list
Title: "Presidio Med"
Time slot: 10 p.m. Sneak preview Sept. 24, then into its regular slot Sept. 25
Key cast: Blythe Danner ("Meet the Parents"), Dana Delany ("China Beach"), Anna Deavere Smith ("The West Wing," "Twilight: Los Angeles"), Julianne Nicholson, Sasha Alexander, Oded Fehr ("The Mummy")
Behind the camera: Created by Lydia Woodward and John Wells, whose joint work includes "ER" and "China Beach"
The gist: The doctors of a San Francisco medical group battle the impersonal, bottom-line-driven health care system that can terrify patients.
Target audience: Adults