Fox strips 'Skin' from schedule

LOS ANGELES: For weeks, Fox used every opportunity during the network's high-rated playoff broadcasts to relentlessly plug the new Jerry Bruckheimer drama Skin.


On 4 November Skin fell victim to too much hype and not enough viewers, becoming the first new drama of the season to earn an outright cancellation.

Skin only aired three times since its launch on 21 October in the midst of the World Series. On that night, which also saw a less-than-impressive premiere for The Next Joe Millionaire, Skin attracted 6.3 million viewers. It was down to fewer than 5.1 million viewers in its second airing and fewer than 4.1 million by its final airing on 3 November.

Originally, Fox intended to re-air the early episodes of Skin in an effort to build an audience over time, a strategy that paid off with late-summer hit The O.C. The network abandoned that plan after only a week, opting to encore the season premiere of 24 instead last week.

For the next three Mondays, Fox will show a second original episode of The Next Joe Millionaire at 9 pm. Those episodes were supposed to run on Tuesdays during sweeps as a lead-in to 24, but after last week's dismal showing, the Tuesday 8 pm slot will be filled with a variety of repeats for the rest of the month.

In the place of Thursday night's scheduled 9 pm re-airing of Skin, Fox will encore The O.C.. This, coincidentally, was where Fox had hoped to move the series for the fall, before moving it to Wednesday nights.

To say that Fox's schedule is pretty liquid at this point would be an understatement. Following the sweeps period, Fox will have a number of empty places in the schedule. The network has midseason replacements like Wonderfalls and Still Life waiting in the wings. With Luis already pushing up daisies, this gives Fox the unfortunate distinction of being the first network to cancel both a new comedy and a new drama. The network also has several other under performing new offerings which could soon be tempting the Fox reapers.

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