''Once and Again'' and ''Felicity'' made the cut, but ''Popular'' and ''Grosse Pointe'' didn't, says Bruce Fretts

By Bruce Fretts
Updated May 18, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT
Once and Again: Carin Baer

Which TV shows got renewed — and which didn’t

This week, the broadcast networks announce their fall schedules. While much of the attention goes to the new shows (Jim Belushi as ABC’s ”The Dad,” anyone?), we decided to focus instead on the existing dramas and comedies: what got picked up, what got canceled, and why. Here’s the rundown for the first three nets out of the gate.

NBC
The Peacock seems terrified by the prospect of losing its long running hits, so it’s renewed several for multiple seasons. This means we’ll see at least two more seasons of ”Just Shoot Me” (David Spade must be SO tired of jokes about that title), three more seasons of ”Frasier” (which means Kelsey Grammer will have played the title character for more than two decades, counting his years on ”Cheers”) and ”ER” (although Anthony Edwards will exit after next season, Noah Wyle is signed on through year 10), and four more seasons of ”Law & Order” (the ”Gunsmoke” of crime dramas). Also returning: ”L&O Special Victims Unit,” ”Ed,” and ”Providence.”

NBC-U-LATER
The network deservedly pulled the plug on the reputed comedies ”3rd Rock From the Sun,” ”DAG,” ”The Fighting Fitzgeralds,” and ”The Weber Show” — and the unintentional comedy of the XFL.

THE WB
In a perverse move, the network will air its vampire noir detective series (and ”Buffy” spinoff) ”Angel” right after its Monday family drama ”7th Heaven.” The WB also renewed the great ”Gilmore Girls”, but will move it to Tuesdays at 8 p.m. Young adult dramas ”Dawson’s Creek,” ”Felicity,” and ”Charmed” (sans Shannen Doherty) will be back, along with sitcoms ”Sabrina” (for at least two more seasons), ”The Steve Harvey Show,” and, inexplicably, ”Nikki.”

WB-GONE
”Roswell” is MIA on the fall schedule, but it looks like UPN will pick it up and pair it with ”Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” ”Jack & Jill” fell down the cancellation hill, as did the inaccurately titled ”Popular” and the underappreciated ”90210” spoof ”Grosse Pointe” (too bad — Shannen Doherty would’ve been free to do a guest shot now).

ABC
The critically hailed ”Once and Again” was spared, but will be shifted to Fridays at 10 p.m. (Personally, I don’t care — I watched that show once, but never again). In the Comedies That Have Overstayed Their Welcome Department, ”Dharma & Greg,” ”Spin City,” and ”The Drew Carey Show” all return. And in the Comedies That Aren’t As Good As They Should Be Department, rookies ”My Wife and Kids,” ”What About Joan?”, and ”The Job” (which took a dip in quality after its bracing pilot) will all live to see a second season. ”The Practice” stays where it is (Sundays, 10 p.m.) and ”NYPD Blue” will return in November.

ABC-U-LATER
The godawful sitcoms ”Two Guys and a Girl” and ”Norm” are gone (yay!), but so is the terrific medical drama ”Gideon’s Crossing” (boo!).

What veteran shows were you happy to see get renewed — or canceled, for that matter?

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