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Global shakeup puts Heroes on the move

Global's fall TV lineup will include the hotly anticipated musical-comedy "Glee," "Family Guy" spinoff "The Cleveland Show" and new programs featuring Julianna Margulies and rapper LL Cool J.

TORONTO - Global's fall TV lineup will include the hotly anticipated musical-comedy "Glee," "Family Guy" spinoff "The Cleveland Show" and new programs featuring Julianna Margulies and rapper LL Cool J.

The broadcaster announced its upcoming schedule at a breakfast presentation Wednesday that made no mention of its five-station E! network, which owner Canwest Global Communications Corp. is trying to unload as it grapples with a roughly $4-billion debt.

One of Global's biggest gambles is a plan to move its super-power serial "Heroes" to Sunday night from Monday, while shifting the family drama "Brothers and Sisters" to Monday from Sunday.

Canwest exec Barbara Williams said the switch would give each show a greater opportunity to grow, noting that come fall, "Brothers & Sisters" will be preceded by "House" and "Lie To Me."

Meanwhile, "Heroes" will follow an evening of animated shows including "The Simpsons" and "Family Guy," series that are similarly geared toward a young, male demographic.

"'Heroes' has been a staple for us on Mondays for a long time but honestly, coming out of the Monday night lineup in a post-position was not going to give it its best strength possible," Williams said of the once-mighty NBC series, which has sagged in ratings and been pummelled by critics in recent years.

"We were fighting too many issues there."

The switch means that "Heroes" fans in Canada will catch the series a day earlier than viewers in the United States, while "Brothers & Sisters" fans will see it a day later.

New shows coming to Global include an updated version of the '90s soap "Melrose Place," featuring original cast members Laura Leighton and Thomas Calabro alongside singer/tabloid staple Ashlee Simpson-Wentz and Canadian Jessica Lucas.

Margulies, of "ER" fame, will appear in "The Good Wife," about a politician's wife trying to weather a public scandal while LL Cool J teams up with Chris O'Donnell in "NCIS: Los Angeles." Returning shows include "The Office," "90210," "Dollhouse" and "Survivor."

After the presentation, Williams said no programs were purchased for Global's E! network, adding that efforts were ongoing to find a buyer for the stations.

"Clearly we've made a strategic decision as a company that running one conventional network is the way to go and we're focused on that," she said.

"We will not be running those E! stations come fall."

E! shows including the Neil Patrick Harris sitcom "How I Met Your Mother," and the reality series "The Biggest Loser" and "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" were snapped up by Rogers Media for its Citytv stations.

 
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