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Fall TV 2011: The deathwatch begins

With the cancellation of ”The Playboy Club,” will low-rated shows like ”Charlie’s Angels” and ”Free Agents” live to see another episode?

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Premiere week has come and gone, which means the vultures have begun circling a handful of unlucky series. NBC’s Monday-night drama The Playboy Club has already been picked off — the Eddie Cibrian starrer was yanked after three very low-rated airings. Now the deathwatch has turned to NBC’s Free Agents, the Wednesday-night Hank Azaria comedy that fell 21 percent to 3.1 million in its second airing. At least it’s not lonely at the bottom: The reboot of Charlie’s Angels quickly lost flight after its second Thursday airing on ABC — earning just 7.2 million, a plunge of 18 percent. If those shows aired on Friday, they’d probably be safer, because the bar’s much lower on that night. CBS’ A Gifted Man, for example, dropped 14 percent to 8.1 million on Sept. 30, but CBS still managed to triumph that night with adults 18-49 and overall viewers. Insiders at NBC and ABC said there was no movement on the fate of Agents and Angels (yet), as viewers are still sampling new fall fare — but with November sweeps just weeks away, the ax won’t stay still for long.