Spoilerish: Networks Make Moves For Fall Lineups

Thanks to Karyn for this:


By Allan Johnson

The networks won’t start announcing what’s on their fall schedules
until early May, but that hasn’t stopped a few of them from letting
some cats out of the bag.

NBC had two kitties in play: The renewal of “Just Shoot Me” for two
seasons, and that “3rd Rock from the Sun” officially won’t return next

“Shoot,” which has been a steady performer on Thursdays — or it
was, until CBS’ “CSI” landed on that day — will last through its
seventh season on the network. The handwriting has been on the wall
for months for “Rock,” which has had steadily decreasing ratings, and
taped what seemed to be the show’s swan song in January.

That finale is set for May 22, with a farewell tune sung by Elvis
Costello as the wacky aliens (John Lithgow, Kristin Johnston, French
Stewart and Joseph Gordon-Levitt) drive off in the red convertible
that brought them to Earth when the show bowed in 1996. “Rock” has
been off the air for a few weeks but returns this Tuesday (at 7 p.m.
on WMAQ-Ch. 5) for four episodes.

What won’t be back in the fall — and probably not ever — is NBC’s
limp legal drama “First Years,” which the network has already pulled
from the lineup after only three episodes.

Meanwhile, Fox renewed its dysfunctional family comedy “Titus” for a
third season. The sitcom stars standup comedian Christopher Titus and
is based on his nutty life.

Ratings report: Comedy Central’s “That’s My Bush!” scored the highest
rating ever for a Comedy Central premiere. Nielsen numbers show about
2.9 million viewers tuned in last week. Let’s see if those numbers
hold for the series’ second episode, which is at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday.

The news was also good for the USA Network, whose “Eco-Challenge:
Borneo” was seen in an average of 1.6 million homes when it aired last
week, equaling or beating the WB and UPN in the 18-49 demographic.
Mark Burnett’s (“Survivor”) next endurance-challenging competition
takes place in New Zealand and should air in the spring.

Finally, because ABC’s “My Wife and Kids” has been doing so well with
two half-hour episodes airing back-to-back on Wednesdays, the network
will continue the practice through April 25.

Will an alien land–permanently? Maybe not, but a character from the
WB’s “Roswell” is supposed to bite the big one when the teen sci-fi
series returns on Monday (8 p.m. on WGN-Ch. 9).

Co-executive producer Ronald D. Moore wouldn’t tell who was
leaving the series, but a possibility is Colin Hanks — Tom’s kid —
who hasn’t been shy about telling the press he wanted out.

The WB hasn’t hinted if the fan favorite series will return in the
fall but said it will look at the numbers for the next several
episodes before it makes a determination, Moore said.

Getting real “Lost”: NBC has ordered six episodes of “Lost,” a new
reality series where contestants are left in the middle of nowhere and
have to make their way to the Statue of Liberty.

Muscling in: Nothing’s in stone, but World Championship Wrestling,
which is now owned by the World Wrestling Federation, could debut on
TNN on June 9 with a two-hour show that would be a Saturday night
fixture, the WWF’s Jim Ross wrote on the WWF Web site.