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Network shows with weak ratings may get cut

Network shows with weak ratings may get cut — We rate the chances of eight series possibly getting the ax before the TV season is over

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Network shows with weak ratings may get cut

Don’t be alarmed by the pfft noise coming from your TV — it’s the sound of deflating network shows. Here’s a look at eight series and their chances of being axed (one ax, there’s hope; five axes, it’s likely toast) by season’s end.

(NBC, 7.5 million viewers, down 15%) Dreams was hammered by Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Now it’s battling Hurricane Lost. Still, it’s a likely keeper: ”NBC has so many holes in its schedule that keeping it around gives them one less problem to deal with,” says a network insider. [2 axes]

(Fox, 6.04 million, down 2%) Despite an enviable berth after The Simpsons, ratings for this sophomore comedy haven’t caught up with its acclaim. ”It’s really surviving based on critical praise and the awards,” says one network exec. That could be enough to save it — for now. [2 axes]

(Fox, 5 million, down 33%) What night is this on? That would be Friday — Mac’s fourth night in three years. In that time, the comedian’s once-edgy humor has Berned out. ”Part of the fun early on was how shocking it was,” says the net exec. ”It’s more run-of-the-mill now.” [3 axes]

(The WB, 2.4 million) Scheduling this freshman political drama opposite The West Wing wasn’t a sound executive decision. But Jack’s likely to get another term. ”Look at One Tree Hill,” says the network insider. ”[The WB] generally gives shows more than a year, and they do like this show.” [1 axes]

(CBS, 8.1 million, down 26%) Last season’s most uplifting show is the downer of this season. ”It’s lost its appeal,” says the insider. ”It’s no longer about Joan’s dialogue with God and helping people.” The only possible savior: CBS prez Nina Tassler, who loves the series. [4 axes]

(CBS, 10.5 million, down 3%) The verdict isn’t good for the six-year-old legal drama that’s regularly trounced by NBC’s Law & Order: SVU. ”CBS has a formula that works, so it’ll probably want to find a procedural drama for that time slot instead,” says the insider. [5 axes]

(UPN, 2.9 million) Critics love this male version of Baby Boom. Too bad the freshman bombed opposite American Idol. ”Some people thought it would be a breakout hit and it’s fallen short,” says the network exec. ”But it’s still a big step forward for UPN in terms of quality.” [3 axes]

(ABC, 6.4 million, down 28%) A switch from Tuesdays to Fridays didn’t help this comedy — and there’s word that star Sara Rue is looking for another series. (One actor has reportedly landed a project.) ”It’s been less than perfect for two years now,” says the network exec. [5 axes]