CBS' 'Smith' First New Show to Bite Dust

Ray joins a panel Ray joins a panel

(October 6, 2006) — Here’s something Ray Liotta and Virginia Madsen won’t be putting on their resumes: stars of the first new TV show to bite the dust this fall. “Smith,” the Tuesday night CBS drama with Liotta leading a band of high-stakes thieves, is off the schedule, the network said Friday. It will be replaced temporarily by reruns of “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” and “Criminal Minds.”

Networks don’t like to use the word “cancel” it sounds so messy but the show’s producers have been given no promise that it will return.

Its last episode had only 8.4 million viewers on Tuesday, according to Nielsen Media Research. It faced tough competition in the time slot from NBC’s “Law & Order: SVU” and ABC’s “Boston Legal.”

Meanwhile, NBC announced the sort-of cancellation of its Wednesday night serial comedy “Kidnapped,” which stars Jeremy Sisto. NBC gambled by putting the show in the time slot held for a long time by “Law & Order,” and it failed miserably.

“Kidnapped” will be moved to the television purgatory of Saturday nights, starting Oct. 21. Its producers have been told to wrap up the serialized drama’s story lines by the end of the show’s 13-episode order, NBC said.

Networks have been wrestling with how to satisfy fans who’ve gotten involved in serialized dramas when the ratings are poor enough for the show to be canceled.

Fox has put its new comedy “Happy Hour” on hiatus, but insists it will return.

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