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`Smith' vanishes while `Kidnapped' survives

October 07, 2006|Greg Braxton | Times Staff Writer

Two of the networks' most-touted new serialized dramas appear to be on the ropes after only three weeks of the fall TV season, but producers of both shows say they are not down for the count -- at least not yet.

CBS has pulled "Smith," starring Ray Liotta as a thief encountering pressures on the job and at home, from its lineup and did not specify if or when the drama would return. The series, which co-starred Oscar-nominee Virginia Madsen, comes from acclaimed producer John Wells.

Despite its pedigree, "Smith" has not been able to hang on to enough of the audience from its strong lead-in, "The Unit." It will be replaced Oct. 10 by a repeat of "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" and the following two weeks by repeats of "Criminal Minds."

Executives at Warner Bros. Television, which produces the series, said "Smith" remains in production.

Meanwhile, NBC's "Kidnapped," which revolves around the abduction of a rich youth, is being moved from Wednesdays at 10 p.m. starting Oct. 21 and will air its remaining installments Saturdays at 9 p.m.

Zack Van Amberg, co-president of programming and production of Sony Pictures Television, said that studio executives and producers "are putting our heads together to talk about a relaunch strategy," and that he is confident the series can build audience on its new night.

ABC, as expected, has pushed back the premiere of its comedy "The Knights of Prosperity" until early next year, and instead will premiere the comedy "Big Day" at 9 p.m. Tuesdays, beginning Nov. 28.


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