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Jumping Jellybeans, Batman: FOX Cuts Order for "Jezebel James"


That sound you hear? It's the sound of FOX cutting back the episodic order for midseason comedy The Return of Jezebel James.

After a disastrous pilot (read my advance review here), I had pretty low hopes for this sadly middling series, despite a top notch cast (Parker Posey, Lauren Ambrose, Scott Cohen, Dianne Wiest) and a brilliant creator (Gilmore Girls' Amy Sherman-Palladino), so I can't say that I am surprised by FOX's announcement that they would trim the series' original 13 episode commitment to a mere six episodes (plus the original pilot).

The seven episode order for The Return of Jezebel James.places the series on par with the order for FOX's other underwhelming midseason comedy entry, Unhitched (formerly known as The Rules for Starting Over), whose sole distinction is that it's the first post-Office gig for Rashida Jones.

The reason given for the unceremonious chop? FOX claims that it only needs seven episodes to fill its schedule, rather than the 13 they initially ordered:

“For several years, midseason has been a busy time at Fox as we prepare to launch new series and make room for returning favorites like 24 and American Idol," FOX announced in a statement. “We have always planned to launch The Return of Jezebel James in midseason, and seven episodes are all we need to allow us to program the series through the current broadcast season. We are big fans of Amy Sherman-Palladino, Dan Palladino, and the extremely talented cast and are looking forward to airing the show."

While a devoted fan of Sherman-Palladino, I simply couldn't get behind the series' multi-cam mentality. According to sources, production on The Return of Jezebel James' seventh episode--the last under its reduced order--will take place next week.

Meanwhile, FOX freshman comedy Back to You is expected to get a full-season order as early as this week.

What's On Tonight

8 pm: How I Met Your Mother/The Big Bang Theory (CBS); Chuck (NBC); Everybody Hates Chris/Aliens in America (CW); Dancing with the Stars (ABC; 8-9:30 pm)

9 pm: Two and a Half Men/Rules of Engagement (CBS); Heroes (NBC); Girlfriends/The Game (CW); Samantha Who (ABC; 9:30-10 pm)

10 pm: CSI: Miami (CBS); Journeyman (NBC); The Bachelor (ABC)

What I'll Be Watching

8 pm: Chuck.

You know how much I'm already in love with this dramedy, from creators Josh Schwartz and Chris Fedak, so why don't you do me a favor and tune in? On tonight's episode ("Chuck Versus the Wookie"), Chuck joins forces with Sarah and her lovely CIA colleague on a mission involving a diamond bigger than the Ritz, which in this case is being used to fund a terrorist operation.

10 pm: Journeyman.

It's Kevin McKidd (Rome) as a time-traveling newspaper reporter in a drama that's more about human interactions and the nature of choice than, say, technicolored time machines. On tonight's episode ("The Year of the Rabbit"), Dan travels to 1998, where he follows a software company founder whose fiancee was cooking the books.

10 pm: Weeds on Showtime.

The third season of Showtime's acclaimed comedy, Weeds continues. On tonight's episode ("Roy Till Called"), Celia cares for Dean, Doug is investigated by the Majestic City Council, and Nancy broadens her operations.


Anonymous said…
yikes. they can spin it all they want - this can't be good.
Unknown said…
I can't believe they're even producing six episodes of JJAMES. there must be a huge penalty attached if they don't. evidently, someone at FOX is finally grasping the concept of not throwing money down the crapper. it's about time!
Having seen the awful pilot I can't say that I'm surprised but I am sad. There were so many talented people behind this. I'm not sure how it went so horribly wrong!
Anonymous said…
This is terrifying. I agree with difi that there must be some sort of penalty or they would have scrapped the whole thing. The pilot was terrible and I have lost faith in Amy's abilities because of it. Do us a favor Fox and don't air it at all.

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