CHICAGO (thefutoncritic.com) -- "Cedric the Entertainer Presents" may appear on FOX's fall schedule but it won't be returning for a second season. Network reps and producers of the series both confirmed the news yesterday. FOX will simply burn off the remaining produced episodes of the sketch comedy series in the fall.
In total 16 episodes aired this past season, leaving at least a half-dozen installments still in the can. The network had planned to run new episodes of "Cedric" following the close of May sweeps but will instead hold them for next season.
This isn't the first time FOX has kept a series on its schedule well beyond the close of its production run. "Futurama," for example, has remained on FOX's schedule despite the show ceasing production early last year.
The news solves what could have been an ugly problem at FOX come January 2004. With the return of "American Idol" for a third season, a half-hour slot would have to be vacated on Wednesday nights for the series' results show. Now with "Cedric" wrapping by the end of 2003, FOX has a free slot on the night and could shuffle its schedule accordingly.