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09.27.2004

"CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE," A NEW COMEDY SERIES STARRING EMMY AWARD WINNERS JOHN GOODMAN AND JEAN SMART, DIEDRICH BADER, MELINDA MCGRAW, SPENCER BRESLIN, EMMY AWARD AND GOLDEN GLOBE AWARD WINNER ED ASNER AND ACADEMY AWARD WINNER OLYMPIA DUKAKIS, TO PREMIERE WEDNESDAY, OCT. 20

September 27, 2004

(NOTE TO EDITORS: Please substitute the following premiere episode of CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE for the one previously sent to you. It will now be broadcast Wednesday, Oct. 20).

"CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE," A NEW COMEDY SERIES STARRING EMMY AWARD WINNERS JOHN GOODMAN AND JEAN SMART, DIEDRICH BADER, MELINDA MCGRAW, SPENCER BRESLIN, EMMY AWARD AND GOLDEN GLOBE AWARD WINNER ED ASNER AND ACADEMY AWARD WINNER OLYMPIA DUKAKIS, TO PREMIERE WEDNESDAY, OCT. 20 ON THE CBS TELEVISION NETWORK

"Pilot" -- Emmy Award winner John Goodman ("Roseanne"), Emmy Award winner Jean Smart ("Designing Women"), Diedrich Bader, Melinda McGraw, Spencer Breslin, Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award winner Ed Asner and Academy Award winner Olympia Dukakis star in the new comedy series, CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE, premiering Wednesday, Oct. 20 (9:30-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. The comedy follows John Barnett, a family man who, by default, is the go-to guy for his eccentric extended clan. Andy Ackerman directed the episode from a script by Mitchel Katlin & Nat Bernstein, two of the series' executive producers. (Previously scheduled for an earlier date).

In CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE, John (Goodman), and Kate Barnett (Smart), are still very much in love after 20 years of marriage and are looking forward to the next 20. Only one thing interrupts their bliss: John's family. His feisty father, Art (Asner), and his loopy mother, Marge (Dukakis), have a penchant for coming over unannounced, ready to stir the pot. As the owner of a security company, John just hired his gleefully oblivious brother, Tommy (Bader), who is having trouble wrapping his mind around the concept of "office hours." John's sister, Lily (McGraw), is a therapist who is her own best patient. If that's not enough, their 12-year-old son, Miles (Breslin), has the makings of a perfectly nutty third generation Barnett. As the family patriarch, John fights an uphill battle with Kate's help to keep the peace while his oddball family spins around him.

In the premiere episode, as John and Kate prepare for a family party where they will renew their wedding vows, John's family doesn't give him a moment of peace: Marge asks him to talk to his father about a delicate topic, Tommy asks for an advance on his salary after only working for one month and Lily is upset that she doesn't have a date for the party. Tired of being the one the family comes to for help, John snaps. But when his family turns up missing for the party, his place in the family becomes crystal clear to him.

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John Goodman is best known for his eight-year role as Dan Conner on "Roseanne," which earned him seven Emmy nominations and a Golden Globe Award. He received two more Emmy nominations for his roles in "Kingfish: A Story of Huey P. Long" and "A Streetcar named Desire," for the Network. His feature film credits include "Barton Fink," for which he earned a Golden Globe nomination, "Raising Arizona," "The Big Lebowski" and "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" all for the Coen Brothers. His other feature film credits include "Masked and Anonymous," "Storytelling," "Coyote Ugly," "Fallen," "Blues Brothers 2000," "The Flintstones," "Arachnophobia," "The Babe," "Revenge of the Nerds," "The Big Easy" and "The Wrong Guys." Goodman's voice-over credits include "Monsters, Inc.," "The Emperor's New Groove," "The Jungle Book II" and "Father of the Pride."

Jean Smart's television credits include "Frasier," for which she received two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Guest Actress, "The District," on the Network, for which she was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress, "High Society" and "Style and Substance," on the Network, "In-Laws," "The Oblongs" and the television movies "A Change of Heart," "Audrey's Rain" and the CBS movies "The Yearling," "Overkill: The Aileen Wuornos Story," "Undue Influence," "A Stranger in Town" and the mini-series "Scarlett." Her feature film credits include "Bringing Down the House," "Sweet Home Alabama," "Disney's The Kid," "Snow Day," "Guinevere," "The Odd Couple II," "Mistress" and "The Brady Bunch Movie."

Diedrich Bader's television credits include "Murphy Brown" and "Diagnosis, Murder," on CBS, "The Drew Carey Show," "The Simpsons," "King of the Hill," "Frasier," "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," "Cheers" and "Quantum Leap." His feature film credits include "Ice Age," "The Beverly Hillbillies," "Country Bears," "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back" and "Office Space."

Asner is perhaps best known for his role as Lou Grant in the Network's "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," for which he received three Emmy Awards and two Golden Globe Awards. His other television credits include "Lou Grant," on the Network, for which he received two Emmys and two Golden Globes, "The Trials of Rose O'Neill," on the Network, and the mini-series "Roots," for which he received an Emmy Award and "Rich Man, Poor Man," for which he received both an Emmy and Golden Globe Award. His other guest appearances include "Hawaii Five-O" and "Rhoda," on CBS, "The Practice," "ER," "The Ellen Show," "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "The Simpsons," "The X Files," "Mad About You," "Roseanne," "Police Story," "Here Come the Brides," "Mission: Impossible," " The Fugitive," "Please Don't Eat the Daisies," "Gunsmoke," "Dr. Kildare," "The Virginian," "The Untouchables," "Route 66" and "The Outlaws."

Academy Award-winner Dukakis' television credits include the mini-series "Guilty Hearts," "And Never Let Her Go," "Joan Of Arc," for which she was nominated for an Emmy Award, and "Sinatra," for which she earned a Golden Globe Award nomination, all on the Network, "More Tales of the City" and the television movie "Lucky Day," both of which earned her Emmy Award nominations. Her other television movie credits include "Mafia Doctor," "Scattering Dad," "A Match Made in Heaven," "Young At Heart" and "Fire In the Dark," all on the Network, "Strange Relations," "The Last of the Blonde Bombshells" and "The Pentagon Wars." Dukakis' series credits include "Touched By An Angel," on the Network, "The Simpsons" and "Frasier." CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE is her first regular series role.

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Dukakis' feature film credits include "Moonstruck," for which she received both an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role and a Golden Globe Award for Best Performance By an Actress in a Supporting Role, "Steel Magnolias," "Look Who's Talking," "Look Who's Talking Too," "Look Who's Talking Now," "Naked Gun 33 1/3," "I Love Trouble," "Mighty Aphrodite," "Mr. Holland's Opus" and "Mafia!"

Breslin first grabbed attention at the age of 3 when he starred alongside Charles Barkley in a McDonalds commercial in which he recited all the ingredients in the Big Mac. His television credits include "Wonderfalls," "Teamo Supremo," "Moms On Strike," "You Wish," "Storm of the Century" and "Law & Order." His feature film credits include "Raising Helen," "The Cat in the Hat," "Disney's The Kid," "Meet the Parents," "The Santa Clause 2" and "Return to Never Land."

McGraw's television credits include "Cybill" and "The District," both on the Network, "It's All Relative," "The Practice," "Ally McBeal," "The X-Files," "Mad About You," "The Larry Sanders Show," "The Commish" and "Seinfeld." Her feature film credits include "Nutty Professor II: The Klumps," "Wrongfully Accused" and "Albino Alligator."

CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE is produced by Warner Bros. Television Production, Inc. in association with CBS Productions. Alan Kirschenbaum, Mitch Katlin & Nat Bernstein and Eric Tannenbaum & Kim Tannenbaum are executive producers.

John Barnett            John Goodman
Kate Barnett            Jean Smart
Tommy Barnett           Diedrich Bader
Lily Barnett Manning            Melinda McGraw
Miles Barnett           Spencer Breslin
Art Barnett             Ed Asner
Marge Barnett           Olympia Dukakis
Minister                Holmes Osborne

RATING: TBA

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