Coproducer Tote Board

What a difference a coproduction makes. Thanks to partnerships, Columbia TriStar Television is nipping at the heels of perennial champ Warner Bros. in the overall number of shows scheduled for the fall season. Relationships with NBC Studios, CBS Productions and corporate giant Procter & Gamble put Columbia in second place in total shows on the air and second to 20th Century Fox in total hours on the 1997-98 lineup. Not surprisingly, Warner Bros. lands near the top of the supplier heap, as it usually does. 20th Century Fox TV, which saw a resurgence under Peter Roth, who now heads Fox Entertainment, leads in total hours because its lineup is packed with dramas. Paramount, traditionally not a major network supplier, is neck and neck with the more entrench-ed studios for next season, helped by the four shows that air on its sister network, UPN, including Clueless, which was promptly picked up after ABC dropped it. Carsey-Werner, a sitcom powerhouse, holds its ground after losing ABC’s Grace Under Fire for fall, but retaining NBC’s Men Behaving Badly, which some had said was destined for cancellation. The independent production house retains Cosby, Cybill and 3rd Rock From the Sun. DreamWorks SKG, the startup studio, has plunged from four shows last season to one this fall, with the future cloudy about the return of Arsenio Hall’s first sitcom effort for ABC. Spin City, the studio’s only prime-time effort, has been moved to a more restrictive, Tuesday 8 p.m. slot. –T.L. Stanley

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