[11/10/05 - 12:00 AM] FOX to Close 'Arrested,' 'Kitchen' After 13 Episodes This Season By Brian Ford Sullivan (TFC)
LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- Following its decision to pull its Monday comedies "Arrested Development" and "Kitchen Confidential" for the remainder of the November sweeps period (read the story), FOX has confirmed both series will only produce 13 episodes this season.
"Arrested" had begun the season with a 22-episode order, making the nine-episode rollback a dark cloud over the show's already slim chances to return for the 2006-07 season. A similar scenario played out last season when FOX cut the show's second season order to 18 installments.
The news comes as little surprise as "Arrested's" return to the schedule on Monday could only muster 4.0 million viewers for its back-to-back installments, sending the network into fifth place in the 8:00/7:00c hour. While industry insiders speculate producers 20th Century Fox Television and Imagine Television will try and sell the show to cable should FOX officially pull the plug, it's widely considered a longshot at best due to the show's production cost.
As for "Kitchen," the decision to not order additional episodes effectively spells the end of the series. Overall, the series has averaged just 4.03 million viewers to date this season, on par with the similarly ratings-challenged "Arrested."
Darren Star, Dave Hemingson, Jim Rosenthal and David Knoller are the executive producers of "Kitchen," a co-production of 20th Century Fox Television, New Line Television and Darren Star Productions.
Both "Arrested" and "Kitchen" will return to FOX's schedule on December 5 however it's unlikely all the produced episodes will air by the time "24" makes its two-episode return to the night on January 16. "House" then will likely assume the 8:00/7:00c hour on January 23 should the network stick to its previously announced plans for January.
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