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Sexy new series fail

Steamy shows like ”Charlie’s Angels” and ”The Playboy Club” prove to be non-starters for the nets, while ”Prime Suspect” and ”Pan Am” fight to keep up their numbers

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Sorry, Charlie: ABC canned one of the most buzzed-about fall shows last week, shutting down production on Charlie’s Angels after only four episodes. What went wrong? Well, according to critics, just about everything, including the show’s serious tone, writing, and lack of chemistry among its leads. Angels debuted weakly and fell sharply on Thursday nights, with the most recent episode delivering 5.9 million viewers. (ABC plans to air the remaining four hours.) The cancellation follows NBC’s axing of Monday night’s The Playboy Club — another show that tried to lure viewers by playing up its sexy cast — which, along with Angels, was among the highest-profile new series. In both cases, shows with well-known brand names in the title bombed out. They’re not alone: NBC’s reboot of U.K. hit Prime Suspect is struggling, while ABC’s airline drama Pan Am is softening after a strong start.