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Joan Cusack
Credit: Joan Cusack: George Lange

TUBE TALK ”What About Joan?” Well, what about her? She’s history. Joan Cusack‘s show, at 8:30 Tuesdays, has been canceled. It’s the second ratings casualty of the new season, after CBS canceled Daniel Stern‘s ”Danny” earlier this week. The cancellation marks part of a hasty rescheduling of ABC’s Tuesday night lineup, whose dominance is threatened for the first time in years. The network is getting pounded during the first hour of prime time by Fox’s ”That ’70s Show” and ”Undeclared,” during the second hour by NBC’s ”Frasier” and ”Scrubs,” and during the third hour by CBS’ ”Judging Amy.” So for now, ABC viewers will get a double dose of ”Dharma & Greg” from 8 to 9.

On November 6, ”Spin City” will move from 9:30 to 8:30, and ”NYPD Blue” will appear at 9 on Tuesdays instead of 10 on Wednesdays. (That date’s season premiere of ”Blue” will air opposite the series premiere of Fox’s Secret Service drama ”24.”) Jason Alexander‘s struggling ”Bob Patterson” will move from 9 on Tuesdays to 9:30 Wednesdays, followed by one of ABC’s news magazines in what would have been ”Blue”’s spot.

Asked during his press conference last night if the war on terrorism will require Americans to make sacrifices, President Bush said he believed they already have. The Americans at CBS certainly have made plenty of sacrifices, at least in terms of advertising dollars, this week alone. First, there was the indefinite postponement of Sunday’s Emmy ceremony upon the news that allied forces had launched the first air strikes against Afghanistan. Then last night, the president’s press conference pushed back the much-hyped season premiere of ”Survivor,” delaying the show by about 45 minutes and probably decimating its East Coast audience. Of course, CBS’ competitors also must have lost viewers with the 45-minute delay; NBC had to scrap a new episode of ”Inside Schwartz” for East Coast viewers. It looks like the networks and their sponsors and viewers are going to have to get used to a world where entertainment lineups will be bumped by breaking news coverage not just occasionally but often.

Even if the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences does decide this weekend to reschedule the Emmys a third time, Don Mischer won’t be producing the show. He was on board for the telecast when it was scheduled for September 16 and then October 7, but now he’s off to produce the opening and closing ceremonies of the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City in February. Mischer noted that it usually takes a whole year just to plan an Emmy show, and the Olympics are only four months away. However, he’ll still serve as a consultant to the new producer if, as suggested, ATAS reschedules the awards show for November, perhaps at a California military base or a hotel ballroom….

Bob Patterson
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