April 8, 2005 in Features

Five hit shows on ABC will return next season

From wire reports

ABC will bring back freshman hits “Desperate Housewives” and “Lost” next season, as well as “Alias,” “Boston Legal” and “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.”

“Desperate Housewives,” a comedy-drama about suburban angst, is the network’s top-rated series with 22.8 million weekly viewers and ranks fourth among all shows.

“Lost” is winning its Wednesday time slot with 15.9 million viewers, making it the 14th-ranked program in prime time, according to Nielsen Media Research.

The show that follows it, “Alias,” with Jennifer Garner as a fetching spy, will return for its fifth season after improving its ratings this year.

“Boston Legal,” a reworked version of the canceled “The Practice” with Emmy-winning stars James Spader and William Shatner, will get a second season after winning its Sunday time slot following “Desperate Housewives.”

“Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” which airs before “Housewives,” has taken off in its second season, drawing 15.9 million viewers per week.

‘JAG’ loses battle

The CBS drama series “JAG,” which mixed real war and conflict with fiction, is ending after a 10-year run. The final episode will air at 9 p.m. on April 29.

Canceled after a single season on NBC, the show was picked up by CBS and became a reliable ratings performer. But its popularity had begun to ebb; it’s averaging 9.8 million weekly viewers this season, compared to 14.8 million in 2001-02.

“Over the last 10 years we have had an opportunity to shine a spotlight on our armed forces and call attention to issues of significant importance to our country as well as the men and women who serve it,” said series creator Donald P. Bellisario.

Movie Friday for Fox

The increasingly diminished returns for Fox’s Friday night schedule have led the network to abandon original programming there for the rest of the season.

Starting next week, Fox will air movies, including a couple of broadcast-network premieres, on Friday nights. “The Bernie Mac Show” will end its season tonight after an abbreviated run of 12 episodes.

The network’s movie night will kick off next Friday with the Adam Sandler comedy “Mr. Deeds.” Broadcast premieres in the coming weeks include “Maid in Manhattan” on April 22 and “Shallow Hal” on May 20.

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