NEW YORK – With so many duds last fall -- remember girls club and Good Morning Miami -- the networks have had to muster a large army of winter reinforcements this year.
CBS, still giddy from the launch of CSI: Miami as the most-watched new show of the year, has My Big Fat Greek Family, possibly the most anticipated new comedy of the second season.
CBS is also launching Queens Supreme, a new legal drama produced on location in New York. And chances are the network may also bring back its somewhat disturbing, but well-rated comedy Baby Bob.
Of all the midseason gambles, powerhouse NBC may have the most to lose.
Despite working out a deal last week to keep Friends on the air for a 10th season, NBC has been locked with CBS in a cutthroat ratings race for the better part of three years.
But NBC's most anticipated midseason show, for once, isn't a comedy.
Kingpin a gritty crime show that follows the trials and travails of the Mexican drug trade has been called The Sopranos for network TV. NBC is also getting ready to launch Mr. Sterling, a kind of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington starring Josh Brolin (The Hollow Man.)
Of all the networks, ABC most needs a homerun.
With the exception of a couple of two new comedies, Eight Simple Rules and The George Lopez Show, ABC has been relying on is short-run reality series The Bachelor for ratings.
The show will return this winter with a new twist. The Bachelorette stars Trista Rhen, the second runner up and Miami Heat dancer on the show's first season, who'll get her chance to find a man from among 25 bachelors.
Meanwhile, ABC has more than 10 new shows fighting for a slot on the midseason slate, including a reality show from Roseanne and a celebrity version of The Mole.
Like the other networks ABC brass is expected to announce its new lineup in the next two weeks.
At Fox, the network is still reeling from the loss of two hours of dramas last season -- The X Files and Ally McBeal.
So far it has not been able to find hits to replace them. Still, for midseason, Fox will be bringing back its biggest hit of last summer, American Idol 2. A lot too will be riding on the success of a slick new London crime drama called Keen Eddie.
UPN, which is staring down what is potentially the final season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer is banking on its new reality show Supermodels, a kind of American Idol for the runway vixen set.