Monday night is ladies' night on NBC. No, that won't mean two-for-one drinks or a discounted cover charge (or cable bill), but it will mean increased competition for the testosterone-fueled Monday Night Football, which has ruled the fall ratings roost since its season debut four weeks ago.

The two-hour block of single-white-women-in-the-workplace sitcoms lines up Brooke Shields' Suddenly Susan, Sharon Lawrence's Fired Up, Lea Thompson's Caroline in the City and Tea Leoni's Naked Truth back-to-back-to-back-to-back starting at 8 p.m.

All four shows started in what some call the best time slot on television, comfortably nestled between Seinfeld and ER on NBC's juggernaut of a Thursday night lineup, and those that have ventured from the nest have had mixed results.

Caroline has fared best outside the nest, pulling strong Tuesday night numbers against Michael J. Fox' highly-touted Spin City last season. Naked has never quite found its audience, nor its premise, for that matter, and rumors of the star's unhappiness have plagued the sitcom. A new executive producer was brought on yet again this year to reshape the show (it will return Leoni to the taloid settings of the show's first year).

While some critics have voiced the concern that the shows all told the same story--of single, white females working in the media industry--Shields believes the strength of the lineup is their diversity. "We all have a different take, a different point of view, and yet we're all very succintly female, and celebrate each other's feminity," she says.

There has been no shortage of tag lines laid on the Monday night quartet: "Must She TV," "Jerry's Kids," "Chick Night," "Chick-coms," "Girls Night Out," and NBC president Warren Littlefield's personal faves "Monday Night Mommas" or "Warren's Angels."

Of course, NBC's competition isn't only from Monday Night Football--the Fox Network has its own unofficial ladies' night with Melrose Place and the new Ally McBeal, which debuted to some of Fox's highest post-Melrose numbers in years.

So, while Mondays may be a bitch (as Fox once boasted in Melrose ads), starting tonight, they may be a lot funnier.

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